Skip to main content


Fields of Study: Humanities, Social Sciences, Science

The University College Utrecht (UCU) program features a variety of university courses in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. At UCU, classes are small (maximum of 25 students), each student is assigned a tutor, and there is a high level of individual attention. It offers a unique opportunity to live and study in Europe on a small campus in a residential environment.

Unique study opportunities

  • Access excellent course offerings in English across the humanities, sciences, and social sciences.
  • Work in a small group using modeling, analysis, and simulations to solve complex systems problems.


Language of Instruction: English

Language Study: Optional

Dutch Language and Culture courses are offered during the semester.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Four courses for a total of 24 quarter/16 semester UC units. All courses are worth 6 quarter/4 semester UC units. 
  • You may take one course per semester for pass/no pass credit.

Current Program Courses

University College Utrecht offers courses in anthropology, art history, biology, comparative literature/English, Dutch, economics, geography, history, legal studies, linguistics, mathematics, physics, philosophy, political science, psychology, religious studies, and sociology.

UCU also offers Academic Core courses designed to teach the academic skills applicable across an array of disciplines. These courses cover research methods and statistics, writing and composition, and argumentation analysis. Some of the Academic Core courses are low in unit value (2.5 ECTS) and may be taken only in addition to your four courses.

Courses are taught at three levels. Level 1 courses are Introductory and have no prerequisites. They are mostly lower-division with only a few upper-division options. Level 2 courses are Intermediate, most are upper-division and will have prerequisites. Level 3 courses are Advanced courses and should only be taken within your major. They are upper-division and will have prerequisites. UCEAP students cannot take Master level courses at UCU.

Independent study and internships are not available on this program.

Catalogs and resources

  • University College Utrecht Course Catalog: Click the British flag in the upper right-hand corner of the page to change the page to English. You can use the search box in the upper left-hand corner to search by keywords. In the Periods section, select 1 for fall courses or 3 for spring courses. 
  • University College Utrecht comparison: Compare UCU with other Dutch universities available through UCEAP.
  • UCEAP Course Catalog: See a list of courses students have taken on this program. This is not a current representation of course offerings on this program. Reference the above links to review recent course offerings. 
  • Campus Credit Abroad: Learn the types of credit (major, minor, general education, elective) students from your campus received at this location.

Academic culture

You will enroll in courses as part of your application to UCU.

UCU is modeled on American liberal arts colleges such as Smith and Oberlin. The college specializes in undergraduate teaching and strives to connect rather than isolate fields of study, challenging you to integrate different aspects of your curriculum.

Each student at UCU gets assigned a tutor. The tutor is your academic and personal coach during your studies at UCU. You will meet your tutor during the introduction week and work with them on final course enrollment. Thereafter, you can meet with your tutor regularly during the semester.

Group work on papers and presentations is common at UCU. Groups are responsible for achieving high results and are commonly graded as a group—not individually—on assessments.

Although students of all levels may find UCU courses interesting, graduating seniors may find the academic environment lacks some of the independence of inquiry and activity that might be expected in senior seminars on the UC campus; the closed social atmosphere may feel confining for those accustomed to independence. Class attendance is taken, and the attendance policy is strict.


You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Grading at UCU is done according to American letter grades, as opposed to the numerical grades (1-10) common for Dutch universities. Grading based on a curve—a form of relative ranking of class performance—is uncommon at Dutch universities. You will be graded based on objective standards and not on your relative rank in the class.

Grades for the fall semester are typically available in February and grades for the spring semester are typically available in mid-July.