Recognition of a foreign degree

In recent years a lot has been done for EU-residents to make the education system as equal as possible. Therefore, most EU-residents should not have any problems to get accepted into a study program in the Netherlands.
However, you still need to submit your current degree to find out what the Dutch equivalent is of your diploma. In the Netherlands there are two designated competent authorities specialised in International Credential Evaluation; the Nuffic in The Hague and the Colo which is based in Zoetermeer. The Nuffic does evaluations of qualifications at primary and (basic) secondary education level and at higher education level. The Colo evaluates qualifications at vocational education level.
General information can be obtained from their joint information desk; Informatiecentrum Diplomawaardering (IcDW). You can contact the IDW at Postbox 7338, 2701 AH Zoetermeer. Call them at +31 (0)79 321 79 30 or visit the website (

General information on titles and degrees

The Higher Education and Academic Research Act (Wet hoger onderwijs en wetenschappelijk onderzoek, ‘WHW’) has been altered in 2002 in order to enclose the new bachelor/master’s structure.

In the Netherlands the bachelor part of the academic training program in psychology takes three years and leads to the title Bachelor of Science (BSc). The subsequent master’s training takes one or two (research) years and leads to the title Master of Science, MSc (but some universities are using the title Master of Arts). The ‘old’ doctorandus (drs.) title, roughly the equivalent of a Master’s degree, will also be maintained. All the mentioned titles have statutory protection under the WHW Act. Only holders of one of these degrees may legally use them. With a foreign degree, you may use the appropriate foreign title, where applicable.


Use of Dutch title

If you wish to use the Dutch academic titles BSc, MSc, MA or drs. in psychology you can ask the Degree Assessment Department of DUO to investigate the possibilities. To determine whether you qualify for a Dutch title, the Degree Assessment Department will need to know what course you have taken abroad, as your course will have to be comparable to a Dutch course. The assessment looks at the preparatory education and the (nominal) length of study. There is no charge for applying for a Dutch title. If you believe that you meet the general conditions, we recommend you to ask for an application form from:


DUO (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs)

Afdeling Diplomawaardering
Postbus 30157
T +31 (0)50 599 80 36

DUO will use the information provided by you to investigate whether your degree is to be regarded as an equivalent in standard to a Dutch degree. If the outcome of this investigation is positive, you will be granted the right to use the title BSc, MSc, MA and/or drs. In reaching its decisions on titles, the Informatie Beheer Groep makes use of the expertise of NUFFIC (Netherlands Universities Foundation For International Cooperation) when it comes to the evaluation of foreign higher education.