MSc in Applied Mathematics


Program Description

University of Groningen

Why does one car have more air resistance than another? How can the frequency of the electric power smart grid be kept constant under external disturbances?

Applied Mathematics is concerned with the development and application of mathematical tools for the analysis and design of dynamical systems that appear in modern technology. Mathematical modeling of the problems appearing there plays a basic role, followed by (numerical) analysis, (computer) simulation, and design of controllers to make the systems behave according to the desired specifications. Interaction with other disciplines and with specialists in the fields of application is essential.

During your 2-year Master's program, you will be embedded in one of the Applied Mathematics research groups of your choice. Your research project will be supervised by staff members. The research project can be taken in the form of an internship in the research division of a company as well. The Master's degree program in Applied Mathematics offers two tracks.

Two tracks

Systems and control

This track is concerned with the analysis, design, and optimization of complex dynamical systems. In particular, it deals with the mathematical tools behind large scale networks, like electric power networks, water distribution networks, the internet, platoons of cars, formations of robots, and networks of systems in general. A central issue is the design and synthesis of controllers and protocols to make these networks behave in an optimal way. The specialization Systems and control deals with mathematical systems and control theory, and the emphasis of this specialization are on the mathematics behind various technological applications, rather than on the applications themselves.

Computational mathematics

The computational sciences have revolutionized the process of scientific discovery by adding a new mode to it, the virtual laboratory, often complementary to theoretical, observational, or experimental means. The mathematical contributions to this research methodology are twofold -- a computational model of the phenomenon of interest needs to be constructed, and secondly, algorithms for solving the governing equations are to be developed. The master track Computational Mathematics focuses on both mathematical aspects, computational modeling, and numerical algorithms. The main application area is fluid dynamics. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has a rich tradition in the Netherlands, which has led to a strong chain from basic research to application.

Why study this program in Groningen?

  • Typical for Applied Mathematics in Groningen: the connection between mathematical theory and real-life problems
  • You can combine courses from both Mathematics and Applied Mathematics
  • Courses include related fields, e.g. Econometrics and Physics
  • Internship and research opportunities
  • Our faculty is the home of the 2016 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry, Ben Feringa, and the Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Frits Zernike.



2-year program; credits per year: 60 ECTS; most courses are 5 ECTS. In your second year, you will participate in an internship (15 ECTS) and a research project (35 ECTS).

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended
  • For an average of 20 weeks
  • Maximum of 60 EC

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

Internship: This program offers you the opportunity to carry out a research project of a variable number of months at a company in the Netherlands or abroad, as part of your thesis. Our choice of industry partners ranges from large multinationals (such as Shell, Philips, Unilever) to dynamic small and medium enterprises in the Groningen area.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Dutch diploma

Specific requirements More information
Knowledge minimum

Sufficient English proficiency on VWO level is required.

Previous education

A Dutch bachelor's degree in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics gives direct access. In the case of other bachelor's or master's degrees, the board of admission will decide if you meet the admission requirements in terms of the general level of previous education and specific background knowledge.

International diploma

Specific requirements More information
Additional subject

The Admissions Office will advise the Admissions Board on your application, after which the Board will decide if you meet the admission requirements in terms of the general level of previous education and specific background knowledge. Applications are evaluated on a continuous basis. You do not have to wait until the application deadline to apply.

Previous education

At least a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics or Applied/Engineering mathematics with courses in the field of control theory and/or fluid dynamics.

This is merely an indication of the required background knowledge. The Admissions Board determines whether the specific contents of your previous degree program meet the admission requirements.

Language requirements

Exam Minimum score
IELTS overall band 6.5
TOEFL paper-based 580
TOEFL computer-based 237
TOEFL internet-based 92

Registration procedure

The Admissions Board will decide whether you can be admitted to the Master's degree program. The Board may decide that you have to take supplementary courses or follow a bridging program before being admitted.

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
Dutch students

15 October 2020

01 May 2021

15 October 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

01 February 2022

EU/EEA students

15 October 2020

01 May 2021

15 October 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

01 February 2022

non-EU/EEA students

15 October 2020

01 May 2021

15 October 2021

01 February 2021

01 September 2021

01 February 2022

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Program form
EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 2143 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 17500 full-time

Job prospects

A Master's degree in Applied Mathematics opens up many job opportunities. During the Master's program, you will learn to think in a logical, systematic, and problem-oriented way in a multidisciplinary environment. After having finished the programme you will be able to apply mathematics to a technical problem, and hence to work at the interface between theory and practice. These qualities are highly appreciated by employers.

Job opportunities are available in industrial companies, research institutes, as well as in universities. Examples of companies looking for applied mathematicians include Gasunie, Philips, Stork, Shell, Corus, KPN and small engineering bureaus. Examples of research institutes are the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR, the picture on these pages comes from the NLR), WL/Delft Hydraulics, KNMI, and TNO.

You can start a university career by working as a Ph.D. student, which means working for four years on a research project and writing a thesis. After having successfully defended this thesis, you will be awarded a Ph.D. degree. Afterward, you can continue an academic career or start a career in the industry.

Job examples

  • Universities
  • Research institutes
  • Engineering bureaus
  • Industrial companies


Combine Mathematical Theory with Real-Life Problems

In the second year of the Master's program, you will conduct a research project. You can choose from one of the following fields of expertise:

Computational Science and Numerical Mathematics

Typical research questions in the area of computational science and numerical mathematics include how much force is exerted on a ship when it is hit by a wave, where does plaque develop in a blood vessel, how does the fuel in the tank of a satellite slosh in the absence of gravity?

Systems and Control

In the field of systems, control and optimization answers are sought to questions like how can a satellite be kept in a stable orbit around the earth, is it possible to design a controller that robustly stabilizes for a certain technical process?

The Master's program in Applied Mathematics is closely linked to the Bernoulli Institute. Its mission is to perform outstanding academic research and teaching in Mathematics, Computing Science, and Artificial Intelligence.

This set of programs as a whole has as its main goal performing research at a high international level, leading to publications in international scientific journals and a steady stream of highly qualified researchers (at Ph.D. level). The intended audience consists of the academic research community on one hand and social and professional practice (e.g. industry, hospitals, and administration) on the other hand. The Institute aims to provide an attractive research environment for graduate students by maintaining a modern infrastructure and by appointing highly competent and active scientific staff members.

Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astr ... Read More

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. Geographically, the University is rooted in the Northern part of the Netherlands, a region very close to its heart. Read less
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