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Education Bachelor's degree programmes Mathematics
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Mathematics

How many prime numbers are there in a certain interval? How do we calculate the limit of an infinite series of function values? Can you predict an economic crisis?

Mathematicians love difficult questions and models underpinned by theoretical foundations. Over the centuries, mathematics has made an important contribution to technological progress, and it is still a crucial part of research on important issues such as the climate crisis.

Obviously, parts of the degree programme in Mathematics are similar to the mathematics that you studied at secondary school. However, you will also discover new areas such as algebra (number theory and coding), dynamical systems (how predictable is the weather?) and systems theory. Another difference with secondary school is that university mathematics has a very strong focus on reasoning and proofs.

Some people choose to study Mathematics because its diversity appeals to them. Others recognize the social relevance of mathematics and choose to do research. Other students enjoy Mathematics simply because it involves solving abstract problems.

The University of Groningen offers degree programmes in both Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. The first year is largely the same for both Bachelor’s programmes, during which you explore the programmes and gradually work towards your specialization. It is still possible to switch programmes in the second year.

Within the degree programme in Mathematics, you can choose between two specializations:

- General Mathematics
- Probability and Statistics

This three-year programme in Mathematics is an international Bachelor’s degree programme. All of the course units are taught in English, which gives Mathematics an extra dimension as many of your fellow students and lecturers will come from abroad.


Listen to the podcast!

Do you want to hear more from people who have a passion for (Applied) Mathematics? Professor Marcello Seri and Master student Marit van Straaten are hosting the podcast “It’s not just numbers” (in English) which features mathematics professors from the University of Groningen talking about the human aspects of mathematics! Episodes 5 and 6 address the differences between applied mathematics and pure mathematics.
Facts & Figures
Degree
BSc in Mathematics
Course type
Bachelor
Duration
36 months (180 ECTS)
Croho code
56980
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Science and Engineering
Studie in Cijfers
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • Groningen is the only Dutch university where you can study Mathematics or Applied Mathematics.
  • You can still switch to the other programme in the second year.
  • Mathematics is an international degree programme, which gives you a substantial advantage at the start of your career.
Programme
CoursesCourse Catalog >
Analysis
Calculus 1 and Calculus 2
First-year Project
Introduction to Graph Theory
Linear Algebra 1 and Linear Algebra 2
Linear Systems
Mechanics and Relativity for Maths
Probability Theory
Scientific Programming
Sets and Numbers

Curriculum

The degree programmes in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics have a common first year. This gives you time to familiarize yourself with the two programmes, so that you can make an informed decision at the end of the first year. During the first year, you take course units that are relevant to both Mathematics and Applied Mathematics.

You also become familiar with abstract mathematics – through course units such as Analysis – and the various specializations within Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, through the course units Probability Theory, Computer-Aided Problem Solving, Linear Systems and First-year Project Mathematics or Applied Mathematics.

During the second and third years, as well as following common course units in Mathematics, you choose a specialization. The common course units include subjects such as Statistics, Group Theory, Partial Differential Equations, Complex Analysis, Functional Analysis and Numerical Mathematics. You complete your Bachelor's degree programme with a research project.

Some very talented and highly motivated students have the opportunity to receive a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics as well as a Bachelor's degree in Physics. This normally requires one additional year and choosing studying over things like sports, going out or holding a part-time job. More information can be found here: https://www.rug.nl/fse/education/double-degree-mathematics-physics

Credits per year: 60 ECTS; most courses are 5 ECTS.

Please be advised that students of the Faculty of Science and Engineering are expected to adhere to our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, ensuring seamless integration of personal electronic devices for academic purposes. For more detailed information on our BYOD policy, please visit our webpage .
Programme options
General Mathematics (specialization)

In General Mathematics, the emphasis is on the theoretical aspects of mathematics.

Topics that you already know from secondary school are treated in more depth and breadth. For example, the mathematical foundation of continuity, differentiation and integration is explained, also for functions of more than one variable. You learn to analyze series of terms and prove theorems regarding their convergence. You are also introduced to new fields of mathematics, such as number theory and coding, numerical mathematics and dynamical systems.

More information about this option

Statistics and Probability (specialization)

The Statistics and Probability specialization focuses on applications and advanced knowledge in the field of probability and statistics.

In short, you learn how to analyse data. For example, you learn how to calculate the probability of an event and how to estimate and test a hypothesis regarding the data. This data may be taken from the medical sciences, industry or pre-election polls. The acquired knowledge can be applied to answer questions such as: 'If 10% of the sample population lives in an industrial area and they have a 20% higher risk of a certain disease, what can you say about the average health of the total population?' You also learn how to process 'big data' and how to use search algorithms to find relevant information in large datasets.

More information about this option

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
  • Maximum of 30 EC

Exchange: All our science and engineering programmes offer study abroad possibilities at a number of partner institutions. Our partners include top-100 universities in Europe (for example in Germany, UK, and Sweden) and in the USA, China, South-East Asia, and South America. Our exchange programmes have a typical duration of one semester and count toward your final degree.

Entry requirements

Admissible Dutch diploma profiles

  • VWO Natuur & Techniek
  • VWO Natuur & Gezondheid

    wiskunde B

  • VWO Economie & Maatschappij

    wiskunde B

  • VWO Cultuur & Maatschappij

    wiskunde B

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Language proficiency certificate for English (except for applicants with a Dutch pre-university education (VWO) as well as the exemptions listed on the language exemptions webpage). More info: https://www.rug.nl/fse/programme/admissions/bsc/language

other admission requirements

Before you apply!

When you cannot fulfil the vwo requirement, due to deficient profile or if you want to be admitted on the basis of a successfully passed first year of HBO or colloquium doctum, you need to submit an additional admission request via the Admission Board Bachelor programmes. Please go to this website for more information.

Please note! The admissions procedure is independent of the matching procedure. Information about the matching procedure can be found here

Choice of degree programme check

More information about matching: https://www.rug.nl/fse/education/matching

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025

Choice of degree programme check

More information about matching: https://www.rug.nl/fse/education/matching

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Secondary education equivalent to Dutch pre-university education (vwo) is required.

A list of qualifications that are considered equivalent to pre-university education in the Netherlands can be found here: https://www.rug.nl/education/application-enrolment-tuition-fees/admission/procedures/application-informatie/with-non-dutch-diploma/entry-requirements/bachelor-entry-requirements/vwo-equivalent-qualifications

If you have any questions concerning admission to the programme, please contact our Admissions Office: https://www.rug.nl/education/application-enrolment-tuition-fees/contact/

additional subject

Sufficient background knowledge in Mathematics is required.

The Admissions Board will determine whether your background knowledge in this subject is sufficient to start the Bachelor's degree programme of your choice.

language test

You will need to submit proof of English proficiency in accordance with the requirements of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Please find our English language requirements (exemptions, IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge and more) on this page: https://www.rug.nl/fse/programme/admissions/bsc/language

other admission requirements

Please note! The admissions procedure is independent of the matching procedure. Information about the matching procedure can be found here

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2024-2025€ 2530full-time
non-EU/EEA2024-2025€ 19300full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Once you have finished your studies, especially your Master's degree, there are many possibilities for your future career. You can continue in the academic world or opt for a career in the business world, either in the Netherlands or abroad. Research, business, consultancy or teaching… there are many fields open to you!

Business
Having finished your degree programme in Mathematics, many opportunities will be open to you for a career in the business sector, for example with an insurance company or a consultancy firm. Multinational companies such as Shell, Philips and ABN Amro also welcome mathematicians enthusiastically, as do smaller and medium-sized enterprises.

During the degree programme, you learn to think logically and to structure your reasoning. An analytical approach becomes second nature – a skill that is highly welcome in the business world. After all, you are able to identify the structure of a large organization, to separate the main issues from the side-issues, and to produce a model to predict how the organization will change as a result of internal and external influences.

Research
Once you have your Master’s degree, you may choose to carry out PhD research at a university. Your Master’s degree will also qualify you for positions at research institutes such as TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research) and the KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute).

Teaching
There is a great demand for mathematicians to work as teachers in secondary education. After the Bachelor’s programme in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics, you can follow the Master’s degree programme in Science Education & Communication (Dutch-taught education track, English-taught communication track).


Job examples

  • Researcher
  • Consultant
  • Analyst
  • Positions in the financial world
  • Teacher
Research

Our Bachelor's degree programme in mathematics is connected to the Bernoulli Institute.

The mission of the Bernoulli Institute is to perform outstanding academic research and teaching in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Artificial Intelligence, and to maintain international leadership herein; to foster these disciplines as a living body of knowledge, and to make it relevant to society in its broadest sense. The symbiosis between pure and applied science, and between mono- and multidisciplinary research and teaching, is a distinguishing characteristic of our institute. As an important part of this mission we aim to transfer our results to other areas of science and technology, and initiate and expand inter- and multi-disciplinary research collaborations.

The following research groups within the institute focus on Mathematics:

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Campus TourMore information

Contact

  • Ask Our Students! (Like to talk about the programme and student life with someone currently studying Maths?)
    Email: mathstudents rug.nl
  • Study Science (For general questions for all prospective students)
    Email: studyscience rug.nl
  • Academic Advisors FSE
  • 
						Testimonial of Augustin Procopi

    A lot of freedom in organizing my study time

    – Augustin Procopi
    Read more

    Ever since I was a child, I knew I wanted to study mathematics and to make a career out of it. This was determined by my passion to transform real-world problems into mathematical questions and to solve them in a rigorous way.

    I wanted to move from Moldova to the Netherlands for my Bachelor’s degree because of the country’s advanced and modern educational system. I picked Groningen because of the highly accredited university here, and it seemed like the best fit for me given that this city is very accommodating to both Dutch and international students.

    If I were to pick the best feature of my degree programme, it would be the possibility to study at my own pace. Most of the time, I have a lot of freedom in organizing my study time. This has taught me to be more self-organized and has given me the feeling that everything is within my reach—it just takes determination and hard work.

    At the moment, I am working on my Bachelor’s thesis, and I am really excited about how it is turning out. The thesis will provide an in-depth statistical analysis of the Dutch housing market indicators, which could be further used by experts in the field to solve the incredibly worrying dynamics of this sector in the Netherlands.

    During my free time, I like to play with my cat Keanu or to practise one of my hobbies, which include playing tennis, reading, fishing, cycling, roller skating, and playing chess. In the past year, I have worked in a couple of positions within the University of Groningen, which has shown me the other side of the educational process.

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Vinnie Ko

    Talk to the people who are already working in the field

    – Vinnie Ko
    Read more

    I like maths since I was a child. Unlike other subjects, it's more 'doing' and less memorizing facts.

    At this moment. I’m working as a PhD candidate in mathematical statistics. I spend around 75% of my time on research: reading articles, trying things out, programming and appointments with my supervisor. 25% of time is spent on teaching: preparing exercises/solutions for the class, giving tutorials, and grading assignments/exams. I also often go to presentations/seminars/conferences.

    As a PhD candidate, I daily use the mathematical and statistical knowledge that I learned during my study. But, I think the most valuable thing that I learned during my study is how to think critically and logically. In my Bachelor’s thesis, I analyzed social, geographical, and lexical influences on Dutch dialect pronunciations. For this, I used ‘generalized additive mixed model’ which is a flexible method that can be used to analyze non-linear relationships.

    When I was a student, I wondered how it would be to work at a company/university and what kind of skills I would need. Now looking backwards, the way I imagined it was very different from how it’s really like. Try to get a real glance of things that you want to do after your study. You can for example talk to the people who are already working in that field.

    Vinnie Ko - PhD University of Oslo

    Close

Study associations

FMF

The FMF is an association for the Bachelor's programmes Applied Mathematics, Mathematics, Applied Physics, Physics, Astronomy and all of the subsequent Master's programmes at the University of Groningen.
The association pursues three objectives. The first objective is that it wants to contribute to the broadening of the scientific education of its members. This is done by organizing various activities in the scientific field, such as study excursions, lectures and symposiums.
https://www.fmf.nl
Read more
(Binding) study advice
  • A minimum of 45 EC in the first 12 months (binding)

You will be issued a study advice at the end of your first year of study. You can expect a positive study advice if you have earned at least 45 ECTS credit points (out of a total of 60 ECTS; most course units are 5 ECTS). If you have earned fewer than 45 ECTS and are issued a negative study advice, you will not be allowed to continue your degree programme.

You will receive a preliminary study advice in December to make sure that you know where you are. Please contact your study advisor as soon as possible if you have any questions about the BSA system.

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