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Amsterdam Merit Scholarship (AMS)


The Amsterdam Merit Scholarship (AMS) is a full scholarship (amount for 2021-2022: €25,000). Scholarship recipients become part of a select community, taking part, for example, in extracurricular activities developed especially for them.

Scholarship recipients

The scholarship is highly competitive; there are approximately five scholarships available for Humanities students.

Eligibility criteria

  • You hold a non-EU/EEA passport and are not eligible for support under Studiefinanciering, the Dutch system of study loans.
  • You are new to the UvA. An AMS will not be awarded to candidates who are applying for a second Master's programme at the UvA.
  • You have not been granted another scholarship in addition to AMS. Please notify the UvA if you have been awarded and have accepted another scholarship.
  • You are applying for a Master's programme (regular, dual or research) that does not have interviews as part of the admissions procedure. Unfortunately, for programmes such as Art and Performance Research Studies, where one of its specialisations (Artistic Research) includes interviews in its selection process but the other (Art Studies) does not, this means that none of the students of this programme are eligible for an AMS. 

Academic requirements

Minimum GPA

  • 3.7 (USA);
  • First class degree (UK);
  • Cum laude (Dutch system); or
  • equal to these GPA’s (other education systems).

To calculate your GPA, multiply the amount of credits for each course by the grade you obtained. Add all the totals together and divide this number by the total amount of credits you obtained. This gives the weighted average (GPA).

In order to get an indication of whether your GPA is sufficient, check out the NUFFIC standards for the assessment system of the country of your previous education and compare that to the assessment system of these countries.

English proficiency

Please note: the Graduate School of Humanities only accepts English language score reports from tests taken within the past two years.

  • TOEFL iBT: overall score of 95, with a minimum score of:
    - reading: 24
    - listening: 22
    - speaking: 25
    - writing: 24;
    The TOEFL institution code for the University of Amsterdam is 9011. Students will need to enter this code on their answer sheets when taking the exam. If asked for a department code, please indicate none, or 99 (any department not listed).
  • IELTS: overall score of 7.0 (minimum score of 6.5 on each sub-score);
  • Cambridge International Examinations: minimum of C1 (CAE) with a minimum score of 190.

Chinese applicants are recommended to do the IELTS (academic) language test in order to apply for the NESO Certificate

Exempt from providing an English language score report are:

  • students who have completed their Bachelor's in the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada (with the exception of Quebec), Australia or New Zealand;
  • students who have obtained a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Culture at a Dutch university.

If you are applying for the AMS scholarship and you do not meet the exemption criteria mentioned above, an English language test is mandatory. Exemptions from the Examination Board are not accepted as proof of English proficiency for the scholarship application.

Deadline scholarship application: 15 January

Please make sure to submit your Master's and scholarship application before 15 January. Late or incomplete applications for the AMS scholarship will not be considered.

How to apply

You will need to submit a scholarship application parallel to your Master's application. The Master's application and the scholarship application will be reviewed by different selection committees. Submit your scholarship application and Master's application by completing the following steps:

  1. You start with your application for a Master's programme. For instructions on how to apply for a Master's programme, please go to Application;
  2. On your MyInfo application form, you will find the option ‘apply for a scholarship’. Tick this box;
  3. Upload all the Master's application documents in MyInfo before 15 January;
  4. In the meantime, you also upload your scholarship application form in Qualtrics. before 15 January. You need to use the Required Scholarship Application Format (see below) and upload it under the section 'Scholarship application' as one document containing the following components:
    • Academic records: Bachelor's transcripts (and diploma if you have already finished your degree), including your GPA (see Academic requirements). If you have also completed a Master’s degree you may also upload your Master’s diploma and transcript of records next to your Bachelor’s documents;
    • 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 (of your Bachelor's degree)*;
    • 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);
    • CV, 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 (see Academic requirements).

* If your dean, teacher or academic supervisor is not able to state in their recommendation letter that you belong to the top 10% of your undergraduate degree, you need to submit a statement from your university in which they confirm that they do not issue such documents, an addition to the recommendation letter.

The selection committee of the Graduate School of Humanities will decide whether you will be pre-selected for an AMS. Candidates who are awarded an AMS scholarship will be contacted in Spring.


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