Amsterdam Excellence Scholarship (AES)


The Amsterdam Excellence Scholarship (AES) is a full scholarship of €25,000, covering tuition and living expenses for one academic year. Scholarship recipients become part of a select community, taking part, for example, in extracurricular activities developed especially for them. For two-year Master’s programmes, there is the possibility of an extension for a second year.

Scholarship recipients

The scholarship is highly competitive: there is a maximum of three scholarships available for Humanities students. There is a 1:25 chance that you will be awarded a scholarship.

  • In September 2016 three new Humanities students received an AES scholarship.
  • In September 2017 one Humanities student received an AES scholarship.

Fifteen students were selected by the Executive Board of the UvA and the Faculty Deans to receive the Amsterdam Excellence Scholarship for the academic year 2017-2018. The selected students were among the very best applicants from non-EU/EEA countries to the UvA’s Master's programmes.

Can I apply?

The scholarship review committee looks at study excellence (min. GPA: 3.7 (USA), First class degree (UK), Cum laude (Dutch system), motivation, English proficiency and extra-curricular activities. We recommend you only apply if you are certain that you meet the eligibility requirements.

Deadline scholarship application

Please make sure you upload your scholarship application onto your Personal Service Page before 1 February. Late applications for the AES scholarship will not be considered.

How to apply

The MA application and the scholarship application are two separate applications and will be reviewed by different selection committees.You will therefore need to upload a scholarship application parallel to your MA application. Submit your scholarship application by completing the following steps:

  1. You start by applying for a Research Master's programme (2-year programme) or Dual Master's programme* (1.5 years). On the online application form for the Master's programmes in the Humanities, all students have the option of applying for a scholarship. Tick this box.
  2. After you have filled in the online application form,  make sure you upload all the MA application documents onto your Personal Service Page before 1 February.
  3. Also upload your scholarship application onto your Personal Service Page before 1 February at the latest. It should be uploaded under the section 'Scholarship application' as one document called Scholarship application and include your last and first name. For example: 'Scholarship Application, Roosdorp, Sascha'. Only complete applications will be taken into consideration. Under 'Requirements scholarship application' you will find the required content and format for a full scholarship application.
  4. The selection committee of the Graduate School will decide whether you will be pre-selected for an AES. Candidates who are awarded an AES scholarship will be contacted in the Spring.

Requirements scholarship application 

A complete scholarship application contains the following documents. Only complete applications will be taken into consideration.

  • Academic records: transcripts (and diploma if you have already finished your degree), including your GPA:
    • 3.7 (USA)
    • First class degree (UK)
    • Cum laude (Dutch system)
  • Letter of recommendation by a dean, teacher or academic supervisor, in which he/she confirms that you belong to the top 10% of your class/year. 
  • Letter of motivation (maximum 500 words) in which you explain the reasons for choosing the specific Master’s programme (broader context, relevance for future career) and scholarship;
  • CV or resumé, including a description of extracurricular activities such as participation in student committees, international experience, sports or music at a high level or volunteer work
  • Proof of English proficiency:
    • a. TOEFL (internet-based) -  overall score of 100 (minimum score of 22 for each component);
    • b. IELTS (academic) - overall score of 7.0 (minimum score of 7.0 for each component);
    • c. Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) - grade A;
    • d. Cambridge Certificate for Proficiency in English (CPE) - grade B (or C if test taken after Jan. 2015);
    • Exempt are students who have completed their Bachelor's in the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada (with the exception of Quebec), Australia or New Zealand or a Bachelor's in English Language and Culture at a Dutch university.

Please find the required format for your scholarship application below. Your scholarship application needs to be saved as a PDF and uploaded onto your Personal Service Page under "Scholarship Application".  

Eligibility requirements

Candidates wishing to study at the Graduate School of Humanities (GSH) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) in September 2017 can apply for an Amsterdam Excellence Scholarship (AES) if they meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a non-EU/EEA passport and not be eligible for support under Studiefinanciering, the Dutch system of study loans (for more information, consult the DUO website). The scholarship office should be notified as soon as possible of any change in nationality, type of residence permit, and/or possible studiefinanciering support throughout the academic year.
  • Have completed an application for a selective Research (2-year programme) or Dual Master’s programme* (1.5 years) in the Humanities at the University of Amsterdam. It is not necessary that the candidate has already received the outcome of the Master's application when applying for a scholarship.
  • Be new to the UvA. An AES will not be awarded to candidates who are applying for a second Master's programme at the UvA.
  • Be able to comply with Dutch visa regulations as indicated by the Dutch Immigration Service.
  • Be enrolled at the UvA as a full-time student for the entire academic year and the programme for which the scholarship has been awarded. Scholarship continuation is not guaranteed when a candidate changes his or her Master’s programme.
  • Have not been granted another scholarship in addition to AES for the same period of study as the AES. Please notify the UvA if you have been awarded and have accepted another scholarship.

* Dual Master's programmes that include interviews in their selection process do not take part in the AES. 

Conditions for continuation of the AES

AES recipients must maintain good academic standing. The scholarship will only be continued after the first year if the AES student has completed all courses of the first year on time and with a grade point average of 8.0.

It is further expected that AES recipients will:

  • Participate in activities with AES sponsors;
  • Join extracurricular activities and become part of a select community, including the AES alumni network;
  • Form a strong international network during their period of study, which will be stimulated by an interesting tailor-made extracurricular programme.

The AES recipients’ special relationship with the UvA will continue to be fostered once they have graduated. The UvA’s Alumni Office is actively involved in setting up international alumni chapters, and AES alumni are ideal candidates to play an active role in these. In so doing, they will maintain a special link with the UvA and pave the way for new AES students.

AES scholarships may be terminated if the recipient unreasonably refuses to participate in such activities.


We have tried to make the information presented here as accurate as possible. Nevertheless, the information may not be exhaustive. Please check our website regularly for updates. Please notify us if the information seems to be incorrect or incomplete. The University of Amsterdam cannot be held responsible for the contents of the information presented here or for any consequences resulting from its use. No rights can be obtained from the information presented here.

Published by  Graduate School of Humanities

14 December 2017