BA/BSc in Liberal Arts and Sciences


Program Description

"All entities move and nothing remains still." - Heraclitus

University College Groningen is a Faculty of the University of Groningen, one of the world’s top 100 universities. Our mission is to challenge you and to give you space and support to thrive. Our Liberal Arts and Sciences program is designed to empower you to forge your own path, develop your own identity, and find your position in a constantly changing world.

Our Liberal Arts and Sciences program offers students the opportunity to study a broad range of subjects whilst developing specialist knowledge in their major discipline (Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences). Throughout the degree, students will work in interdisciplinary teams on a series of projects that take them outside of the. This will enable students to learn how to apply a creative approach to finding solutions for complex global challenges.

Why study this program in Groningen?

The academic profile of the program is unique as it is inspired by the three leading societal profiles of the University of Groningen: Energy, Healthy Ageing and Sustainable Society. In this context, the program has a strong emphasis on societal impact. The methodological approach to complex societal challenges is characterized by the perspectives of creating horizon through imagination and creating scholarship and leadership through invention and academic innovation.


Year 1

The emphasis is on orientation and ideas, seeing and identifying problems and imagining solutions, and students learn to provide informed suggestions on how to contribute to the challenges of modern society. Continuous elements are the Skills & Projects line and the research and methodology courses, both of which help you to reflect on and integrate what you learn in the disciplinary subjects.


  • Academic Writing (5 EC)
  • Exploring Challenges of Modern Society (5 EC)
  • Elective modules from Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities (30 EC, optional)
  • Logic and Argumentation and Basic Statistics (5 EC)
  • Research and Methodology (5 EC)
  • Skills & Group Projects (10 EC)

Year 2

In the second year of the program, you will focus on one of the majors (35 credits), you will participate in an interdisciplinary project (10 credits), and a Research and Methodology program (15 credits).

Within each major, Major Specialisations allow students to combine different academic disciplines or perspectives into a tailor-made program that fits their interests and prospective Master choice. Please note that alternative specializations within majors are possible and can be created by the students to fit their needs.

Year 3

In your third and final year, you will gain some international experience, which could include study abroad (30 credits) or a University of Groningen minor. On top of this, you will complete your major specialization (15 credits), Bachelor thesis (10 credits) and a capstone project (5 credits).

Study load

40 hours of class and self-study per week on average


The first year consists of 30 required credits in Exploring Challenges, Research & Methodology, Skills & Projects, and Academic Writing. The other 30 credits are up to the student: courses can be chosen from a wide variety of topics and disciplines, ranging from physics to psychology and everything in between. After the first year, students are able to choose their major orientation and specialize in a particular academic field. The academic core runs through all three years of the program.

Program options

  • Health and Life Sciences (specialization)
  • Smart Technologies (specialization)
  • Mind, Machines, and Morality (specialization)
  • Mind and Behaviour (specialization)
  • Societies and Cultures in Transition (specialization)
  • Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (specialization)
  • International Relations & International law (specialization)
  • International Business & Entrepreneurship (specialization)

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended
  • For an average of 20 weeks
  • Maximum of 30 EC

We encourage our students to study their minor (30 EC) abroad in the 1st semester of year 3.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirements More information
language test

Since English is the official language at University College Groningen, applicants are required to demonstrate proof of their English language proficiency. The following exemptions apply:

  • Native English speakers who have completed their entire secondary education in one of the following countries: USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (English secondary education);
  • Applicants with an IB diploma, with English as the medium of instruction;
  • Applicants with an EB diploma, with English as final exam subject from a European School or one of the Accredited European Schools;
  • Applicants with a Dutch VWO diploma and a 7 or higher in English;
  • Applicants with a German Abitur Diploma and a 10 or higher for the English Kurs;
  • Applicants with at least 3 GCE A2-level certificates from an accredited British examination board;
  • Applicants who have already completed, and entire Bachelor's program in one of the following countries: USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (English secondary education);

If you do not meet the requirements listed above, one of the following tests will provide proof of English proficiency: IELTS (Academic), TOEFL (IBT, CBT or PBT), Cambridge English or the English Language Test offered by the University of Groningen Language Center.

math test

In addition to being proficient in English, another minimum requirement for studying at UCG is proficiency in Mathematics. We measure proficiency in Mathematics by having passed maths as a graduating course in your secondary education. For students from the Netherlands, this means that you have to have passed Mathematics A, B or C as a graduating course. If you do not meet that requirement we would advise you to choose an alternative course/test to complement your application:

Course VWO Mathematics A (e.g. probability, statistics, calculus) or Mathematics B (e.g. differentiation, integration, trigonometry, geometry) offered in Dutch and English at the Boswell-Beta institute in Utrecht (the Netherlands) throughout the year and during the summer months; Dutch VWO Wiskunde A or Wiskunde B certificate (Dutch pre-university Mathematics A or B), obtained at: CCVX (; AP Calculus AB or BC with a College Board examination; AS-level or A-level certificate in Mathematics (via one of the British A-level examination boards); IB certificate Mathematics Standard Level or Higher Level.

previous education UK - 3 A-Levels at Grade B; Germany - Abitur at Grade 2.0 or higher; USA - 4 Advanced Placement Tests at Grade 3.0 or higher or SAT combined score 1300; International Baccalaureate Diploma - 32 points or higher. All applicants are also required to demonstrate proficiency in English and mathematics (see English and Maths sections for details)
written request

Your personal statement is a key part of the application process, as it shows your potential for development at UCG by demonstrating your prior academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and other relevant experience. The personal statement is intended as an opportunity to give the UCG Board of Admission a better sense of who you are as a person and as a potential student at UCG. The personal statement helps to determine whether you will be granted an offer to study Liberal Arts and Sciences at UCG. Therefore, we recommend you to follow the instructions carefully. Please show us your potential as a UCG student by making sure that your personal statement addresses the following questions:

  • What sparks your interest in the interdisciplinary approach of UCG's Liberal Arts and Sciences program and what do you believe is the added value of studying multiple disciplines together? Give concrete examples and/or use your own personal experiences.
  • Which UCG major(s) or major specialization(s) are you interested in, and why?
  • What makes studying in an international and intercultural student community attractive to you and what would you like to gain from this? Give concrete examples and/or use your own personal experiences.
  • How do you see Liberal Arts and Sciences skills, for instance, project-management skills, contributing to your future career success? Give concrete examples.

(If relevant) explain any shortcomings in the preferred admission requirements. If you have a deficiency in some particular area, explain how this is compensated by other qualifications.

The word limit of the personal statement is 500 words. Should you wish to make a video, the maximum duration is 5 minutes.

Language requirements

Exam Minimum score
IELTS overall band 6.5
IELTS listening 6
IELTS reading 6
IELTS writing 6
IELTS speaking 6
TOEFL paper-based 580
TOEFL computer-based 237
TOEFL internet-based 92

Registration procedure

Apply via Studielink and OAS (Online Application System) You need to submit your personal information, details of your prior education, and your personal statement

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
Dutch students 01 May 2021 01 September 2021
EU/EEA students 01 May 2021 01 September 202

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Program form
EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 4249 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 12600 full-time

Job prospects

In Projects, UCG students collaborate with experts to tackle real-world issues. In this environment, UCG students learn to work with each other and draw from the knowledge of multiple academic fields.

This is unlike the training offered in another degree program. Our graduates are provided an excellent foundation from which to pursue further education or enter the workforce.

Graduates’ choice of specialization determines which masters programs to which they can apply. Our students are guided in these decisions by assigned academic staff.

At UCG, students can fulfill most subject requirements for further study. However, some vocational programs, such as law or clinical psychology, are likely to have additional requirements.

Furthermore, strong marketplace interest in Liberal Arts and Sciences graduates makes our students highly sought-after by employers around the globe.

Job examples

  • Policy Advisor
  • Scientific Researcher
  • Entrepreneur
  • Journalist
  • Economist
  • Psychologist
Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astr ... Read More

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. Geographically, the University is rooted in the Northern part of the Netherlands, a region very close to its heart. Read less
Groningen , Leeuwarden + 1 More Less