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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. You can earn these elective credits by doing a minor.

What is a minor?

A minor is a cohesive set of courses that has been pre-approved by the university. 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.  

Leiden University offers around 55 minors:

•    Minors at Leiden University

Taking a minor in Delft or Rotterdam

Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam collaborate closely on a range of educational matters, including minors. In the month of May, a special priority arrangement applies for the placement of students from all three universities on each other’s minors. Note that the application deadline for some minors is the beginning of April. For the exact deadlines, see the websites of Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam. 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 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 2018-2019 are: ‘Responsible Innovation’, ‘Security, Safety and Justice’, ‘Geo-resources: the licence to operate’ and 'Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development’.

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Admission requirements

To be admitted to a minor you must have obtained your first-year (propaedeutic) diploma. For some minors there are additional admission requirements, which can be found in the minor information in the e-prospectus.
For a minor of 15 credits (EC) you need permission from the Board of Examiners.


Places on minors are limited, so admission is not guaranteed. In May, 33% of the minors are available for students from Delft University of Technology or Erasmus University Rotterdam. Make sure to apply on time!

You can register for most Leiden University minors, via uSis, between 1 May (open at 7 A.M.) and 1 August. Note that some minors have earlier deadlines, so always refer to the e-prospectus for exact registration deadlines. 

If you want to do a minor in Delft or Rotterdam you should apply before 31 May. Until that date there is a priority ruling for Leiden students and a greater chance of admission. You may also apply after 31 May but without priority and with a smaller chance of admission.

Please note: applications for Delft and Rotterdam open at 9.00 on 1 May

The minors of the Faculty of Science:

(update August 2017)

The Faculty of Science offers ten minors in 2017-2018. Some minors also offer the possibility to follow a part for 15EC.

The registration for the minors is now closed. If you have been accepted for a minor, you still have to register for the study activities of the minor courses. More information about this can be found on the study activities page.

The minors of the Faculty of Science are:

  • Advanced Life Science and Technology 
  • Data Science
  • Quantitative Biology
  • Science and Research-Based Business
  • Sustainable Development
  • Biodiversity and Natural Environment
  • Computational Approach to Disease, Signaling and Drug Targets
  • Human Evolution
  • Modern Drug Discovery
  • Molecular Biotechnology


In the e-Prospectus you can find more information about these minors. After admission for a minor, you must also register for the exams for the minor courses.

The Astronomy bachelor's education programme does not offer a minor programme. However, in consultation with the Astronomy study advisor, the first semester of the third year of the bachelor's programme offers 30 EC to follow a minor programme at Leiden University, TU Delft or Erasmus University Rotterdam. An overview of all minors to choose from can be found in the e-Prospectus.

Choosing a minor is at the expense of the Astronomy course package, in which 24 EC can be filled with Astronomy, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Sciences electives of choice in addition to the mandatory Radiative Processes course.

When choosing a minor, also consider how this combines with the courses and schedules in your third year. For example, the second semester of the third year will be largely taken up by your Bachelor Research Project, leaving little room for other courses.

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