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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.  

Leiden University offers around 50 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. As a Leiden student, you are given priority when applying for a minor in Delft or Rotterdam before 31 May. 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 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;
  • For some minors there are additional admission requirements, which can be found in the minor information in the prospectus.


Places on minors are limited, so admission is not guaranteed.

In Leiden

You can register for most Leiden University minors via uSis between 1 May (at 13.00) and 1 August. Note: some minors have earlier deadlines, so always refer to the Prospectus for exact registration deadlines. 

In Delft or Rotterdam

Do you want to do a minor in Delft or Rotterdam? Apply via uSis. Make sure to apply before 31 May, whilst there is a priority ruling in place for Leiden students. You can still apply after 31 May, but without the priority ruling and with less chance of admission.

Note: some minors have earlier application deadlines and you may need to apply as early as April. Check the exact deadlines on the website of TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam.

The minors of the Faculty of Science:

Please find a list of minors offered by the Faculty of Science at the study activities page. On this page, you will also find more information about registration for minors. Note that after being admitted to a minor, you must also register for the exams of the minor courses.

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