Utrecht University

Theoretical Physics, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • Tuition Fee
    18690 EUR/year
    Tuition fee
    2060 EUR/year
    Tuition fee
  • English
The research Masters degree programme in Theoretical Physics at Utrecht University is your gateway to understanding the fascinating world of physics, ranging from the unimaginably small scales of elementary particles to the vast dimensions of our universe.


Programme objective

The MSc programme in Theoretical Physics at Utrecht University provides students with a broad overview of methods and topics in theoretical physics and teaches them to work independently in a specific sub-discipline of the field. Students also learn to present and discuss their work both orally and in writing, and to take a critical attitude towards the existing literature.

The programme offers excellent preparation for further research studies in physics or careers in the international job market. Two-thirds of our graduates continue on to conduct PhD-level research either at Utrecht University or at other prestigious institutions around the world.

The highly rated research programme will equip you with the knowledge and skills to desbribe space-time and elementary particles as well as macroscopic and microscopic phenomena in quantum and soft matter.


The Master’s degree in Theoretical Physics offers a solid basis for many interesting careers, including that of a researcher for multinational corporations such as Philips and Shell, a consultant in information technology, a financial analyst for banks or insurance companies, and a scientific journalist.


Accredited by the NVAO - Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders

Programme Structure


Two required courses, Quantum Field Theory and Statistical Field Theory, run in parallel in the fall semester and form the basis of several courses taught during the Spring semester.

The remainder of the first year consists of elective courses, with at least three primary electives from theoretical physics, one from mathematics, and two secondary electives from the natural sciences (including theoretical physics, experimental physics, mathematics, computer science, chemistry, etc.).

In the fall semester of the second year, students participate in the Student Seminar, where they sharpen soft skills such as literature searches, discussion, oral and written presentation, etc., in a theoretical physics context. Students devote most of their time during their second year to the thesis research project, possibly while taking additional (advanced) lecture courses.

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test
  • Minimum required score (Grade B):


    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

  • You have a University bachelors degree (Equivalent to a Dutch Bachelors Degree) in: Physics, Physics and Astronomy, A BSc degree with a major in physics, A major in science with a strong component in physics
  • You are able to demonstrate basic knowledge of classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, electrodynamics and thermal physics, as well as of the mathematics required for the study of such topics at an advanced level. Students typically qualify for admission if they have successfully completed advanced courses in quantum mechanics, statistical physics, and electrodynamics (typically the second courses on these topics in a physics curriculum), and preferably also a course on solid-sate or condensed-matter physics.
  • You are able to express yourself in proficient English, both orally and in written text, as evidenced by your motivation letter and/or writing sample, and the interview that is part of the selection procedure.

  • Further accepted proof of your proficiency in English: CPE - at least Grade C

Tuition Fee

  • International

    18690 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 18690 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA

    2060 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2060 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.

For more information about tuition fees and exemptions have a look at the programme website.

Living costs for Utrecht

900 - 1,450 EUR/month
Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Scholarships, fellowships, and grants offered by Utrecht University, the Dutch government, and other organisations can help fund your studies at the university. You can begin your search for funding by reviewing the list below, which contains some of the scholarships and loans available to international students:

  • Utrecht Excellence Scholarships
  • Holland Scholarships
  • Orange Tulip Scholarships
  • Canadian student loans
  • Fulbright / NAF
  • US Federal Loans
  • Erasmus+ Master loans

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.