The Bioinformatics and Systems Biology programme is open to both Dutch and international students. The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application.
For admission to the Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Master’s programme it is required to hold at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university, with at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent.
The programme is aimed at science Bachelor's graduates (chemistry, biology, biotechnology, biomedical sciences, artificial intelligence, computer science, mathematics, physics or similar) with a strong interest in biological research topics and computational (quantitative) methods.
The Master's requires proficiency in three key subjects: Mathematics, Programming, and (Molecular) Biology. If you have had prior training in all three key subjects you are directly admissible, if in two of the three key subjects, your GPA should be at least 6.5 on the dutch 10 point scale (the VU international office will translate your grades to this scale); if only in one key subject, your GPA needs to be at least 7.0. In all other cases, you will be directed to our pre-master programme, which depending on your prior training and background, consists of a selection of the courses that are listed below.
Minor knowledge gaps in either biology, programming or mathematics will be cared for as an integral part of the master curriculum during the first two compulsory courses (“Fundamentals of Bioinformatics” and “Introduction to Systems Biology”). However, it is strongly advised to select introductory courses during your (current) Bachelor for an optimal transition to the Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Master programme. Depending on your background, take one or several of:
- Introductory course programming (preferably in Python)
- Introductory course calculus (and optionally linear algebra; most important are differential equations and matrices)
- Molecular cell biology, e.g. a book like 'Essential Cell Biology' (Alberts)
- Introductory course Bioinformatics, like Principles of Bioinformatics
- Introductory course Systems Biology, like Principles of Systems Biology
Bring your own device
All students enrolled in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology are requested to bring their own laptop, due to the nature of the programme. More information on specific system requirements can be found here.
Please check here which documents you need to submit for this programme.
English language requirements
VU Amsterdam requires all applicants to take an English test. You can, however, begin your application without having the test results. Exceptions are made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia.
The minimum English language proficiency requirements for admission to the programme in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology are:
• IELTS: 6.5 overall
• TOEFL Internet-based test: 92 overall
• Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): A, B, C
• Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B, C
Please note that students who need a study visa must submit their English test results before 1 June. All other students have to submit the test certificate before 31 August (preferably sooner).
TOEFL and IELTS tests must have been completed no more than two years before 1 September of the year in which your course starts. Note that MyBestScore is not accepted. Our institution's code is 7947.
A copy of your English test result can be sent to the following email (for non-Dutch degree holders): masters.fs@vu.
The general requirements regarding language proficiency are found here.
Contact & information days
For further information about admission to the programme you can send an e-mail to: BETA Info-msc-bsb. We will contact you as soon as possible.