Are you passionate about taxes? Do you have a bachelor’s degree in financial law, economics, business administration, or a related field? And are you ready to take the next step in your career? Then you should consider doing the American specialisation of the master’s in International and European Tax Law. This one –year master’s programme is jointly offered by Maastricht University and the University of Aruba. It focusses on corporate taxation and international tax planning with particular reference to Europe and the Americas. You’ll combine legal and economic approaches with policy and practice, and you’ll gain insight into the interdependence of corporate structures, investment, cross-border employment and tax law. Upon graduation, you’ll find yourself in an enviable position. Thanks to their broad knowledge of financial and business matters, many of our graduates are highly in demand in the job market. And the international orientation of your degree will open up job opportunities in many different countries.

Why this programme?

Taxes are a fact of life, yet not all tax systems are created equal. In a globalising world where taxpayers often have connections to more than one country and companies do millions of cross-border transactions every day, knowledge of multiple tax systems is becoming increasingly valuable. Frequent updates and revisions also make it a highly dynamic field of law. In the double-degree programme in International and European Tax Law, you’ll be familiarised with corporate taxation and international tax planning in different countries in Europe and the Americas. It will provide you with the opportunity to deepen and strengthen your tax knowledge from a regional as well as an international/European perspective.

Taught on Aruba

The programme is entirely taught on the University of Aruba campus in Oranjestad. This strategic location offers many advantages. As it is part of the kingdom of the Netherlands, this Caribbean island often functions as a hub between Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. You’ll, therefore, be living in an international and multicultural environment. You’ll also have access to lectures and guest lectures taught by instructors and professionals from a wide range of backgrounds, who have worked in many different countries.

Is it for me?

This programme is the right choice if:

  • you have a bachelor’s degree in financial law, economics, business administration or a related field
  • you have a basic knowledge of the tax system of your home country or country of previous studies
  • you are a tax professional in Latin America and the Carbic region seeking to work in a transnational environment or
  • you are a professional from another continent who would like to immerse yourself in corporate international tax law in the USA and Latin America

What you'll actually do

Tax law forms the core of the programme. A broad range of economic, legal and social topics are discussed from the perspective of international and European tax law. Students gain a hands-on approach by discussing and solving real-life tax problems and cases.

Our differences are our greatest strength

The American specialisation of the master’s in International and European Tax Law is a highly international programme. You’ll attend lectures taught by instructors from Maastricht University, the University of Aruba, the University of Florida and many other renowned universities. Your fellow students will also have a diverse range of backgrounds all bringing their own specialities and academic methods.

Learning in an international classroom offers students the opportunity to increase their awareness and understanding of other cultures, promotes critical thinking, and helps to develop an appreciation for other points of view, bringing you closer to the programme’s goal of teaching students not only facts and concepts but also international accessibility and understanding.

Problem-Based Learning

As with many Maastricht University programmes, the Faculty of Law’s programmes is taught using Problem-Based Learning (PBL). In small tutorial groups of up to 13 students, you seek solutions to ‘problems’ taken from real-world situations. PBL requires you to be proactive in setting learning goals and encourages you to engage your peers over matters of law, helping you build the social skills necessary for future legal practice.

Moot court competitions

Maastricht University has built a considerable reputation on the international moot court circuit by winning first place in the European Law Moot Court Competition several years in a row. Our law students also compete in various other moot court competitions in the Netherlands and abroad, such as:

  • René Cassin Moot Court Competition
  • World Trade Organization Moot Court Competition
  • Philip Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

In these competitions, Maastricht University regularly outperforms universities such as Harvard University, New York University and Paris-Sorbonne.

Rankings & recognition

International and European Tax Law is tied for 1st in its category in the national Keuzegids ranking

The master's programme in International and European Tax Law is tied for 1st place in the International Law: Economic and Business Law category of the 2016 Keuzegids.

The Keuzegids Masters 2016 offers rankings of all master’s programmes in the Netherlands. These rankings are based on the results from the Dutch National Student Survey, combined with expert evaluations. The Keuzegids is published annually by the Dutch Higher Education Information Centre. It is an independent publication that allows you to compare all accredited master’s programmes in the Netherlands.

94% of students recommend this programme: Elsevier

The programme in International and European Tax Law ranked 2nd in the Netherlands in overall student satisfaction, according to the Elsevier Best Studies ranking. The Elsevier Best Studies Guide is published once a year by the Dutch magazine Elsevier. It contains student evaluations of each programme's education, contact hours, facilities, structure, instructors and assessment methods, as well as its organisation and communication. The guide is largely based on the results of the Dutch National Student Survey.

Here are some of the highlights from the International and European Tax Law programme:

  • 94% of the students would recommend this programme to others
  • 78% of the students are satisfied or very satisfied with the instructors
  • 70% of the students are satisfied or very satisfied with the education

UM is the 4th best young university in the world

Maastricht University has climbed to the 4th place in the 2016 Times Higher Education (THE) '150 Under 50' ranking for the best young universities in the world. After maintaining the 6th place for three years in the THE ranking for universities under the age of 50, UM is proud to have its continued efforts, for example toward internationalisation, affirmed in this new THE ranking. UM also scores in the top 10 in the 2015 QS ‘Top 50 under 50’, at 8th place. These special rankings for young universities are published to give an indication as to which universities are expected in the future to become the top universities worldwide.

UM ranked as 14th most international university in the world

UM ranks 14th in the 2016 Times Higher Education ranking of the most international universities in the world. The ranking is based on a university’s international student numbers, its percentage of international staff and the proportion of its research papers published with a co-author from at least one other country. This top 20 position confirms UM's international profile.

Your future

Graduates of the Double Degree Programme in International and European Tax Law are legal professionals with a thorough knowledge of financial and business matters. They have studied tax law from a multidisciplinary, international perspective. This gives them a strong position in the job market.

Practically all our students find a job soon after they have graduated. Generally, their salary levels are higher than for jurists who graduate in other legal fields. The international orientation of the programme will make you particularly well-suited for work at international organisations or international law firms. You’ll also be able to pursue a career in many different countries.

Admission requirements

If you do not have a bachelor's degree in either Tax Law or Fiscal Economics, the regular Dutch language exam is compulsory in order to be admitted to the Nederlandse Orde van Belastingadviseurs (NOB).

Language proficiency

Applicants who are non-native English speakers and have their undergraduate degree in a language other than English must meet one of the following requirements:

  • IELTS test with a minimum overall score of 6.5
  • TOEFL with a minimum score of 575 paper-based (PBT), 233 computer-based (CBT) or 90 internet-based (iBT)
  • Cambridge examinations: CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) with grade A, B or C or CAE (Certificate in Advanced English) with grade A, B or C

Note: a master's degree in fiscal economics alone (without a bachelor's degree in fiscal economics) is not sufficient to be directly admissible to the master's programme in tax law.

Entrance exam

Students with a bachelor's degree in accounting, business, economics or law may qualify for an exemption of the admission exam, depending on the inclusion of sufficient tax law courses in their bachelor's. We advise all students to have taken a course in substantive tax law in their home countries.

Please keep in mind that the admission exam is only required if a candidate is not directly admissible.

The entrance exam takes place twice a year; in May and in November.

The next entrance exam will take place on the 12th of May 2016 in Maastricht and the 13th of May, 2016 in the Hague. Please note clearly on the registration form which date and location you prefer. Candidates are required to bring a valid passport or EU identity card. Please register for this exam no later than 22 April 2016 by using the registration form. It is possible to take the entrance exam online under supervised conditions in your own country.

Recommended literature

  • Ault/Arnold, Comparative Income Taxation: A Structural Analysis, third edition, 2010, Aspen Publishers / Kluwer Law International, parts 2, 3 and 4
  • N. Foster, Foster on EU Law, Oxford University Press, latest edition

Examination fee

The entrance examination fee of € 50,00 is to be paid directly into account number 657618705 (ING Bank; BIC-code INGBNL2A; IBAN code NL05INGB 0657618705) of Maastricht University, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht. Please clearly state your name and the reference number 32030023N / 84000. The amount must be in our account one week prior the exam.

Program taught in:
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sept. 2019
1 year
12,000 EUR
An early bird registration fee is available. The amount to be paid depends on when register for the programme: after 1 June 15500 EUR
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