SOP for Netherlands: Sample, Requirement, Top Universities

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Aprant Agarwal
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Mar 29, 2023 13:01 IST

An applicant's academic and professional experience, as well as their aspirations for the future and the reasons they are applying to a particular programme or university, are all described in a statement of purpose (SOP) for university admission. An SOP is intended to give the admissions committee a thorough insight into the applicant's background, goals, and compatibility with the programme and school to which they are applying.

Top Netherlands universities either require a Statement of Purpose (SOP), a Letter of Motivation (LOM), or a Personal Statement (PS). Irrespective of whichever document you submit to the university, there are a few things common in all three of them. These common aspects need to be covered in any written document you submit to the university, such as:

  • Avoid vague and generic statements.
  • Clearly outline your achievements and aspirations in a precise manner.
  • Avoid superfluous language or jargon.
  • Limit your document to one or two pages in length.
  • Word limit can vary from anywhere between 500 to 1500 words. Some universities might have separate guidelines on how to present a document.
  • The document should be free from any kind of plagiarism.
  • Check grammatical mistakes.

For a generic sample of SOP, you can check out these links:

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SOP for the Netherlands: University Requirements

Most Dutch universities have university-specific requirements. Let us discuss a few of these requirements and how to approach them.

1) Leiden University

Leiden University: The university generally requires a motivational letter of 500-1000 words. The following points should be covered in the LOM:

  • Brief self-introduction and academic background
  • Professional experiences, learnings, and achievements
  • What makes you a good candidate?
  • Why choose Leiden University?
  • Reasons to choose a particular program
  • Relevance of chosen program to your academic history, interests and future career

2) University of Amsterdam (UvA)

University of Amsterdam (UvA): A personal statement or a LOM is required for UvA of 500-1000 words. It is advised the students visit the official course webpage for exact requirements. The university expects you to answer the following points in detail in the document:

  • Details of academic and professional background
  • Community service (if any)
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Special skills/achievements which led to personal growth
  • Why this particular program?
  • Career goals linked to the program chosen
  • Why choose the University of Amsterdam?

3) Utrecht University (UU)

Utrecht University (UU): UU accepts a motivational letter of a maximum of two pages and with no word specified limit. Aspects to be covered in the LOM are:

  • Academic background and achievements
  • Practical experience in the field of interest and achievements
  • Why you are a fit candidate to pursue this program?
  • Why choose Utrecht University?
  • Why choose this particular program?
  • How the program will correspond to your career goals?

Note: SOP requirements vary on the basis of the course and the university. It is advised that the students check the official webpage for exact details.

SOP Sample for Netherlands 

For other universities that require a generic SOP, you can refer to this sample:

“With this statement of purpose, I wish to show you why I would be a suitable candidate for the XXXX program at your incredible university. Although I was initially interested in the engineering aspect of XXXXX, I became increasingly dedicated to an academic career throughout my bachelor's degree. After my first year as a XXX major, I was fortunate enough to be accepted for a basic position at the XXXX Department of XXXX firm, where my role involved…………………. During this tenure, I transitioned from this position to become a key member of the XXXXX team while working on multiple projects for usage in both private and national security.

These projects helped me learn while working and gained experience which was detrimental to my dedication towards a career in XXXX. While working here, I witnessed the exciting and innovation-driven part of the field of XXXX. This made me determined to make long-lasting contributions to the field by pursuing a career in XXXX as an XXXXX.

My undergraduate degree in XXXX helped me focus on getting experience in XXXXX outside of the university environment. By doing so, I built a solid basis on XXXXX by attending training and internships. The training at XXXXX exposed me to another branch of this field which was XXXXX. Fascinated with this, I took up internships with firms that XXXXXXXX. One particular internship at XXXXX encouraged me to get a deeper insight into this field. Thus, I decided to pursue a master’s program in XXXXX from XXXX University.

This program will help me develop the crucial skills required to become an XXXX in future and help me understand the nuances of XXXXX. Selecting XXXX University was easy as I researched its XXXXXXX. Being tutored by professors XXXX and XXXX will help me ………………….

Throughout my graduate degree, I also wish to continue my current activities in educating people outside the academic community. By hosting talks at libraries and community centres I hope to educate them about current research and how this might influence their lives. Besides teaching being a life-long passion of mine, I also see it as an important part of our academic obligation.

To conclude, I am confident that I will be able to deliver the experience required for this program. By joining this experience and leveraging my eagerness and unprecedented dedication to improving my knowledge, I will be able to use it as a pillar to build a long-lasting and successful academic career.”

Now that you are aware of the various aspects of an SOP for the Netherlands, you must take your application process very seriously. For help with university applications, students seeking to study abroad can contact our Shiksha Study Abroad Counsellors. The comments section below allows candidates to contact us as well.

SOP for the Netherlands FAQs

Q. What is the importance of an SOP for the Netherlands?

A. Several graduate schools in the Netherlands require applicants to submit a statement of purpose (SOP), which gives them the chance to highlight their academic background, areas of interest in research, and long-term objectives. The usage of an SOP by admissions committees to assess an applicant's drive, potential, and eligibility for the programme can influence whether or not they admit them. In order to showcase one's special credentials and objectives and how they relate to the programme and university to which they are applying, it is crucial to take the time to create a great and appealing SOP.

Q. What points do I need to keep in mind while writing an SOP for the Netherlands?

A. You must check the university's official website and take notice of the directions and rules there before drafting an SOP for the Netherlands. It is suggested that you closely adhere to and do not depart from the directions. Also, your SOP has to have a suitable structure. While reviewing your SOP, the admissions committee must not be confused. To provide a smooth transition from one event to the next, all the events must be logically connected.

Q. What is the structure of an SOP for the Netherlands?

A. Depending on the programme and university, an SOP for the Netherlands may have a different form, but in general, it should have the following sections:
  • Introduction: Provide a brief overview of your past and who you are, as well as the reasons you are applying to the particular programme and school.
  • Academic credentials: Describe your academic background in general terms, mentioning your undergraduate degree and any pertinent courses or research experience. Mention your interest in research.
  • Career goals: Describe your long-term professional objectives and how the programme will help you accomplish them.
  • Conclusion: Explain your credentials and reasons for wanting to pursue graduate studies in the Netherlands, and describe what you will provide to the academic community if you are approved.
Ensure to check your SOP carefully for language and spelling issues and to adhere to the program's particular standards and word count restrictions.

Q. How should I write the introduction and the conclusion of an SOP for the Netherlands?

A. To capture the reader's attention and make a lasting impression, the introduction of your statement of purpose should contain a concise and impactful beginning. You might start with a motivational saying or give a succinct background of yourself. Make sure your conclusion persuades the admissions committee to choose your application. Keep in mind that the introduction and conclusion should be pertinent to the programme you are applying to and should be targeted.

Q. Which are the top ranking universities in the Netherlands?

A. The University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Delft University of Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Wageningen University & Research, Leiden University, University of Groningen, Eindhoven University of Technology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Tilburg University are some of the top universities in the Netherlands, according to various international university rankings. The best institution for you may differ based on your particular tastes and field of study, thus it's crucial to remember that rankings might change depending on the precise criteria employed. It is crucial to investigate and contrast numerous institutions to pick the one that best suits your academic and professional objectives.
About the Author
Aprant Agarwal
Study Abroad Expert

Scored 700 on the GMAT and likes to write articles and blogs in his free time. He is passionate about the Oil and Gas sector and enjoys reading energy sector economics and analysis reports. He has an interest in the... Read Full Bio




2 months ago

Hello Srishti! I applied at UvA in Amsterdam last week and will join the mandatory matching online session in May. Part of this procedure, I believe, is to write a motivation letter. Is the post from July 2022, and are the requested questions you listed there still up to date?I am looking forward...Hello Srishti! I applied at UvA in Amsterdam last week and will join the mandatory matching online session in May. Part of this procedure, I believe, is to write a motivation letter. Is the post from July 2022, and are the requested questions you listed there still up to date?
I am looking forward to hearing back from you! Thank you for being so supportive! Best regards, M

Reply to M


Aprant AgarwalStudy Abroad Expert

2 months ago

Hello M. The details have been updated in the article. Please note that the word limit and other requirements vary as per the course. For instance, the PPLE course requires a Motivation Letter of a maximum of 500 words. We suggest that you visit the official course webpage for the exact details. ...Hello M. The details have been updated in the article. Please note that the word limit and other requirements vary as per the course. For instance, the PPLE course requires a Motivation Letter of a maximum of 500 words. We suggest that you visit the official course webpage for the exact details. Make sure that you stick to the details mentioned on the webpage. Best wishes!

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