Enrolling yourself for two masters simultaneously seems the way around the higher tuition fee that counts for EU/EEA-students in The Netherlands. EM spoke to two master students who thought exactly the same.

In The Netherlands a first master degree can be obtained by EU/EEA students for the regular ‘government-reduced’ tuition fee of 1.835 (in 2012/2013). However, for a second degree the institutional tuition fee of 10.000 euro counts. When you enroll yourself into two masters simultaneously however, you only pay one tuition fee; the reduced one. It therefore seems the perfect way around the higher tuition fee while still being able to obtain two master degrees.

No help from study advisors

Maximilian Bartsch (27) started two masters last September, namely Media and Business at ESHCC and Marketing Management at RSM. Similarly, Jil Lindau (23) enrolled into two master programs as well, specifically Finance & Investments at RSM and Media and Business at ESHCC. Study advisors advise against doing two masters at the same time. “So there was no point asking them for help”, says Bartsch. Lindau faced the same problem. “I did talk to the program managers of both studies before I applied, but both times I was told they do not encourage a student’s choice to do two Masters simultaneously.” Both Bartsch and Lindau decided for themselves to give it a try.

Study advisors warn about risk

“We neither advise for or against it”, explains Olga Novikova, pre-master and master Media Studies study advisor at ESHCC. “We simply make the students more conscious about their choice by informing them about the risk involved.” Both Novikova and Pim Visscher, master study advisor at RSM agree there is no advice that fits all students and the choice to enroll into two master programs is highly personal. “I leave the choice up to the students”, says Visscher. “After all who am I to say how many master programs they can participate in simultaneously?”


Both Bartsch and Lindau agree that as long as you are committed, following two masters at the same time is doable. However, the workload is significant. “I go to class about four days a week, do assignments and presentations, and go to Amsterdam once a week where I am writing my Media and Business thesis for a company”, highlights Lindau. But grades do not have to suffer under the workload. “I did pretty okay and finished all my five courses with an 8 + average”, explains Bartsch, “but it requires a lot of commitment”.

Free time?

Considering the workload of two full time master programs, the question remains if there is any time for anything but studying. “There were indeed a few weeks where I had no time for anything else”, admits Bartsch, “and that is not my kind of thing usually.” Lindau is more positive. “I still have a life outside of university and I even have time for sports!”

Writing two master thesis

While Lindau is still enrolled into both master programs, Bartsch dropped one of the master programs. “At my first RSM thesis meeting I learned that I was not allowed to combine theses, meaning I would have to write two distinct master theses. That would have been tough.”

‘There is no harm in trying’

Lindau recommends that if you have a hard time choosing between two master programs, to at least try to do them simultaneously. “If you are motivated, it will definitely work!” Bartsch is somewhat more hesitant. “It is a highly personal decision. Although I am confident that I could have finished the coursework for both programs, this is my last year at university. I would prefer it to be a nice experience and there is enough work waiting after that,” explains Bartsch, “but there is no harm in trying”. NdB