Universiteit Leiden

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Elective credits

In addition to compulsory elements, most degree programmes also have elective credits. These are credits you can earn in a variety of ways, for example by taking elective courses, studying abroad or doing a minor.

How many elective credits do I have?

The number of elective credits varies from programme to programme. Take a look at the programme-specific information in the Prospectus for exact details.


A minor is a cohesive set of courses that has been pre-approved by the university. A minor can allow you to explore subjects outside the boundaries of your own study programme. You can choose to follow a minor in Leiden or another university. There are special arrangements in place for Leiden students who would like to do a minor at Delft University of Technology or the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Read more about minors.

Elective courses

You can also choose to put together your own set of courses, selected from those offered by Leiden University or another institute of higher education. Make sure to request permission from your study programme’s Board of Examiners before doing so.

Going abroad

You can earn elective credits by studying or doing an internship abroad for a few months. Read more on our study abroad webpages or contact your international exchange coordinator or study adviser to find out about the options within your study programme.


Electives credits can also be earned through internships or research projects, either in the Netherlands or abroad. Ask your internship or research coordinator for more information. The Career Service can also assist you in looking for an internship place

Permission from the board of examiners

If you choose to follow a complete minor  in Leiden, Delft or Rotterdam you do not need to request advance permission. For all other ways of earning your elective credits you must always request permission from your programme’s board of examiners. More information can be found in the Prospectus or your study programme’s Course and Examination Regulations (OER).

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