How to apply to Dutch universities
The application process in the Netherlands usually opens in November and deadlines differ among various universities, but usually are in spring. It means that you could submit your application as early as in October or November, but certainly has to do it before the summer. The deadline for most of the courses is 1th May.
If you plan to study in a public university, you have to use a national application system – Studielink. You have to provide your personal data and the information about your personal background, as well as the chosen programs and fields of study. The most important factor which influence admission decision is your GPA (grade point average), i.e. the notes you received in your secondary school.
If you apply for a master program you may also need to use a Studielink system, but in some cases the application should be send directly to the university you want to study at. In this case students may find all the necessary information on the universities' websites. In most of the cases, universities ask students to upload their university transcripts, personal statements or motivation letters and professional or academic recommendation letters. Your research project or research proposal may be sometimes needed for research-oriented programs. Students should also provide a language certificate which justifies their ability to study in Dutch or in English (in case the language of study is not their native language). Additional documents may be required in certain programs, especially if you apply to a professional school (for example, art school).
Doctoral programs have some specific requirements: the most important part of your application is your research project which should be approved by your prospective scientific supervisor. Those who want to pursue a career in academia should demonstrate excellent academic transcripts and an ability to conduct independent research. In some programs academic publications are expected from those who apply to a PhD program.