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MA North American Studies

Leiden University    Faculty of Humanities

Full time September, February MA Full-time: 1 year

About the course

Taking an integrated approach to the study of the United States, the master's programme in North American Studies at Leiden University focuses on key areas in U.S. history, culture, and literature, with special attention to the influence of the past on contemporary social, political and cultural developments.

While the programme focuses on the U.S., you will also explore the role the U.S. plays in the region and in the world, as well as the impact of the region and the world on developments in the U.S.

Key areas of the programme

The key areas and major issues in the history, literature and culture of the U.S.that the programme explores in-depth include:

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

A bachelor’s degree from a university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree, or demonstrate to meet the requirements for such a degree. Sufficient command of English (IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)). This language requirement does not apply if you have: completed your education in Canada (except Quebec), USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, or an International Baccalaureate, or a Dutch VWO-diploma.

 Course Content

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Student Profile(s)

Lexi Cleveland

As an American, I am understandably interested in finding out more about what makes America tick. Leiden’s program really appealed to me because it takes a holistic approach to America by examining history, culture, and contemporary politics. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, students from many fields, such as history, international relations, and literature, all come together to build a deeper understanding of the multiple facets of American topics. Even though I am a historian by trade I found that I actually really liked taking classes on literature as it helped me to understand familiar topics in new ways. I can say, in all sincerity, that I had a wonderful experience studying at Leiden. North American Studies is a relatively small program which allowed for me to become great friends with all of my classmates. Moving abroad to study means having to make a new network of friends in an unfamiliar culture; although this seemed daunting at first students were actively working to befriend each other from the very start. Likewise, not only are the faculty members experts in their fields but they are also wonderful mentors who take a real interest in meeting the needs of their pupils. There was a real sense of community within the program and both faculty and peers went out of their way to help me succeed. Overall, I highly recommend studying in Leiden to anyone looking for an academic challenge as well as lifelong friendships.

Leiden is an excellent city to study in as it is simultaneously quaint and lively. Leidenaars tend to embrace and enliven their history as can be seen in the city’s many wonderful museums and celebrations. Every Wednesday and Saturday an outdoor market with a carnival feel is held which makes grocery shopping a social event. Leiden is small enough that you are always seeing friendly and familiar faces any time you enter town and the locals make everyone feel welcome and at home. If you are into indoor activities, Leiden has plenty of cute, niche shopping boutiques as well as cinemas and cozy restaurants. If you are into the outdoors Leiden does have a few green spaces that are perfect for having picnics and enjoying natural scenery and the beach is just a bike ride away. Even if you don’t like small town life, being located in-between Amsterdam and The Hague means you are only ever a few minutes away from bigger cities.


This scholarship is intended for:

1. Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a Leiden University master's degree programme starting February 2017 or September 2017.
All MA, MSc and LLM programmes that are mentioned on the website Master's programmes in Leiden are eligible for LExS, but note that some programmes have a start date in September only.

2. Students of all nationalities enrolling in the Advanced Master programmes in the list below starting February 2017 or September 2017.

Note that the programmes listed below have a September start date only, with the exception of Advanced Studies in Air & Space Law:

◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Air & Space Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European & International Business Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Tax Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Public International Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Civil & Commercial Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Law & Digital Technologies
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European Tax Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European & International Human Rights Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Children's Rights
◦MSc in International Relations & Diplomacy

Additional requirements

1.In his or her prior academic education abroad, the applicant must have achieved excellent study results which are relevant for the programme for which the student wishes to enrol. As an indication, the student will be among the top 10% for the relevant programme followed abroad. We do not need proof of this, it is just to indicate the competitiveness of the scholarship.

2.The applicant will hold a non-EU/EEA passport and will not be eligible for support under the Dutch system of study grants and loans ("Studiefinanciering"; more information). This requirement does not apply to applicants who apply for a LExS for programmes mentioned under point 2 "For whom".

3.Scholarships will not be awarded to applicants who have already obtained a Leiden University master’s degree with the exception of students applying for a Master programme for which a specified previous Master programme or work experience is mandatory (the LLM advanced masters qualify as such).

4.Students who are granted a LExS must comply with and confirm in writing their agreement with the Rules and Regulations attached to the scholarship prior to the granting of the scholarship

Value of Scholarship(s)



For excellent Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a Leiden University master's degree programme and for excellent students of all nationalities enrolling in a Master of Law Advanced Programme or MSc in International Relations & Diplomacy.

The Leiden University Excellence Scholarship programme has three awards:

•€ 10.000 of the tuition fee

•€ 15.000 of the tuition fee

•Total tuition fee minus the statutory tuition fee

The number and type of award of the scholarship depends on the budget available for each Faculty department. The type of award has no reflection on the students' academic level of excellence. Please be aware that the LExS is not a full scholarship.

Application Procedure

1. Fill in your online application for admission to Leiden University.

Deadline 1 October 2016 for all programmes starting in February 2017.
Deadline for programmes starting September 2017

•All programmes except law:
1 February 2017

•Law programmes:
1 March 2017

2. Upload all required documents.

3. Indicate clearly that you would like to apply for the LExS scholarship on the scholarship page. Please note that if you apply for more than one master's programme, you have to indicate that you apply for the LExS scholarship for all these programmes seperately.

4. Upload your letter of motivation for the LExS scholarship on the scholarship page.

5. Submit your online application.

6. Pay the application fee of € 100.

7. The selection committee of the relevant faculty will review the applications. Students are selected on the basis of academic merit.

8. All LExS applicants will be informed by the scholarship department of Student Educational Affairs about the outcome of the selection procedure.

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