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Most Bachelor’s programmes at Leiden University have a major-minor structure, with 15 to 30 credits (ECs) reserved for electives. One way to earn elective credits is by doing a minor.

What is a minor?

A minor is a cohesive, carefully-compiled set of courses. Minors have a logical structure and cohesion, with introductory courses followed by an overview of the most important themes within a topic, thus allowing students who are less familiar with the topic to follow the minor. 

A minor allows you to explore subjects beyond the boundaries of your own study programme. It can offer new knowledge, insight and skills, perhaps from a completely different field of study. You can also use your minor as a way of preparing for a future Master’s programme.

You can follow a minor after you have obtained your first-year (propaedeutic) diploma. The best time to do a minor is in the third year of your Bachelor’s programme. It is important that you complete your minor within one year, as the range of minors on offer changes every year.


Minors in Leiden

Leiden University offers around 50 minors:

•    Minors at Leiden University

Minors in Delft and Rotterdam

Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam collaborate closely on a range of educational matters, including minors. During the application period for Leiden students, TU Delft and Erasmus University reserve a third of their minor places for Leiden University students. Just like a period of study abroad, following a minor elsewhere can enrich your studies, your student life and your CV.

Joint minors Leiden-Delft-Rotterdam

Leiden, Delft and Rotterdam also offer joint minors, taught by lecturers from the universities involved. Students from various fields of study have the opportunity to work together on a range of multidisciplinary topics. The joint minors offered in 2019-2020 are: ‘Responsible Innovation’, ‘Security, Safety and Justice’, ‘Geo-resources for the future', 'Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development’ and 'African Dynamics'. 

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Admission requirements

  • You must have obtained your first-year (propaedeutic) diploma;
  • Your minor may not overlap with your regular studies;
  • For a minor of 15 credits (ECs) you need permission from the Board of Examiners;
  • Certain minors are only open to students following specific study programmes or have a selection procedure in place. Check in the admission matrix whether your study programme grants you access to (the selection for) your chosen minor.
  • For some minors there are additional admission requirements, which can be found in the minor information in the prospectus.

In terms of educational level, the best time to do a minor is in the third year of your Bachelor’s programme. This is an advisory note, rather than an admission requirement.


Limited places available

There are limited places available on minors and these are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis (with the exception of selection minors*). So make sure to apply on time! 

Also remember to cancel your place if you decide not to follow the minor. This will allow another student to take your place.


Selection minors*

TU Delft, Erasmus, LDE, Leiden

1 till 15 April

Other minors

TU Delft, Erasmus

1 till 31 May



1 May till 15 July



1 May till 31 July

* A selection minor is a minor with a different selection procedure. You can check which minors are selection minors in the Prospectus or on the website of TU Delft and Erasmus.


Leiden University

  • Apply for the minor via uSis.
  • You can find the necessary study activity code in the Prospectus.
  • You can apply for an unlimited number of Leiden minors.
  • Make sure to cancel your applications for any minors you decide not to follow before 1 September.

TU Delft, Erasmus University and LDE minors

  • Apply for the minor via uSis.
  • You can find the necessary study activity code in the admission matrix (TU Delft/Erasmus) or by searching by name in uSis (LDE minors)
  • You may only apply for one minor at TU Delft, Erasmus University Rotterdam or a joint LDE minor.  

Important note: multiple applications automatically cancelled
It is technically possible to apply for more than one TU Delft, EUR or joint LDE minor. However only one application will be processed. After 31 May, all minor applications except your first one will be automatically cancelled.  Therefore it is essential that you delete all other minor applications and ensure that your preferred minor is the only one listed in uSis by 31 May.

The Faculty of Humanities offers the following minors:

Request for approval of bachelor’s Discretionary Space (30 EC)

For your discretionary space you can choose from the following options: 

  • An approved minor offered by Leiden University
  • An approved minor offered by Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • An approved minor offered by Delft University of Technology
  • An internship combined with courses offered by Leiden University and/or another educational institution
  • An individually compiled set of courses offered by Leiden University and/or another educational institution

If you wish to select another option than an approved minor offered by Leiden University, Erasmus University Rotterdam or Delft University of Technology, you need to obtain approval from the Board of Examiners. 

The Board of Examiners will judge your request on consistency and academic level

Digitally complete the Approval of bachelor's discretionary space form and print it out. Use the remarks section to motivate your choice in terms of coherence. 

Discuss your plans with your Coordinator of Studies and ask him/her to sign the form as seen. 
Hand in the form to the departmental student office . 

If your Discretionary Space includes courses offered by institutions other than Leiden University, you should also submit a request for following ‘ External education ’ in uSis. On the basis of this request, your study results can be validated afterwards. 

Submit your request before the start of the courses in your Discretionary Space, preferably at the end of the semester preceding the semester in which you plan to follow these courses. 

If your Discretionary Space include courses offered by institutions other than Leiden University, you must provide prior proof of the level and study load of these courses (how many ECs the course represents). In most cases, a course description is sufficient. If the courses are taught abroad or offered by a non-partner institution, you should also include information on how to translate the credits to ECs.

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