Are you interested in a programme that focuses specifically on global development and social impact? (Making it the only Economics programme in The Netherlands to do so). Do you want to make a difference and not just money? Are you passionate about working with data and using it to develop real solutions? Then the Master’s in Economics is the programme for you.
Economic solutions to global challenges
Check if you meet the programme requirements and sign up
I have a School of Business and Economics degree
The MSc programme Economics welcomes ambitious students who want to develop an advanced knowledge in economics and apply their knowledge to study a wide range of topics. Therefore, students should start with a solid academic background in economics and have sufficient knowledge of mathematics and statistics.
Direct admission is granted to students who pass the courses Microeconomics II, Macroeconomics II and Quantitative Research Methods III (Economics/Finance), who obtain a Bachelor's degree in econometrics, or who complete the Minor Economics @ VU with a grade point average of at least 7.5. The entry requirement for students with a Bachelor's degree in (International) Business Administration, Economics and Econometrics from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are summarized in this document.
Students who do not meet these admission requirements are not necessarily declined to enroll in the MSc Economics, but can file an admission request, which shows their background in economics and quantitative research methods.
Services for International (IBA) students / Residence permit:
If your are planning to continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam after your IBA, please contact the Central Admission's Support Team of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for further information and specific questions about the offered services for international students like extending your residence permit. You will need to apply for extension of your residence permit if you continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
I have a Dutch university level (WO) bachelor's degree (VU bachelor's degree, VU premaster or bachelor's degree at another university)
The MSc programme Economics welcomes ambitious students with a university degree from either a Dutch or international university who want to develop an advanced knowledge in economics and apply their knowledge to study a wide range of topics. Therefore, students should start with a solid academic background in economics and have sufficient knowledge of mathematics and statistics.
The MSc programme Economics is open to students with a university Bachelor's degree that provides a thorough knowledge in microeconomics and macroeconomics and a solid background in mathematics and statistics for economists. Specifically, students ought to be familiar with mathematics (calculus and algebra), intermediate economics and econometrics at a level commensurate with all of the following texts:
Varian, H.R., Intermediate Microeconomics, Northon, 9th ed., 2014
Gärtner, M., Macroeconomics, Prentice Hall, eth ed., 2016
Econometrics and Statistics
Stock, J.H. and Watson, M.W., Introduction to Econometrics, Pearson, Updated 3rd ed., 2015 (chapters 1-7)
Mathemetics for Economists
Sydsaeter, Knut and Hammond et al., Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis, Prentice Hall, 5th ed., 2016
Approval is in most cases gives to students who hold a:
- Bachelor's degree in economics or econometrics
- Bachelor's degree in business administration, social sciences and sciences with sufficient elective courses in economics
- Bachelor's degree from a University College with a specialization in sciences or social sciences and sufficient economics courses
- Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) or in Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE) with sufficient economics and quantitative courses
- Bachelor's degree and who completed the Minor Economics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam with an average grade of at least 7.5
With a Bachelor's degree in (International) Business Administration, Economics or Econometrics and Operations Research from Dutch Universities you can review this document. Any additional admission requirements can be found on the Curriculum page of this website.
Please note: this information is only meant as an indication of your admissibility. No rights can be derived from this table. This document is based on the obligatory courses and does not take electives into account. Students are recommended to apply for the Master via Studielink (without obligation) to find out if additional courses need to be completed. Every application will be reviewed individually by the Admission Board. The final admission decision may differ from the indication in this table. If your programme is not listed but contains enough relevant courses, please feel free to apply.
Students who do not meet the admission criteria can be:
- admitted conditional on passing one or more Bachelor courses
- requested to take an admission test after self-study of the literature
- admitted to the transfer programme (a minimal GRE score may be required)
The admission test takes place in June at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Note that participation in the transfer programme may substantially increase the time to completion.
More information regarding registration WO-bachelor, see the VU website (in Dutch).
I have a Dutch higher vocational education (HBO) bachelor’s degree (premaster)
Admission requirements and application
Students with a HBO degree in economics related fields can enroll in the MSc Economics, but only after completing a transfer programme.
If you have a Dutch higher vocational (HBO) degree you need to enroll in a transfer programme, which is specifically designed to bridge the gap between higher vocational education and university-level education.
To apply for admission you should send a request and a transcript of your HBO courses and grades by email to email@example.com. The admission board then will decide whether admission is possible via the transfer programme.
For more information about the transfer programme contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students wishing to attend the transfer programme may be required to submit scores from a recent GRE test prior to start and admission may be conditional on achieving a set of minimal scores (information is available on request). Note that participation in the transfer programme may substantially increase the time to completion.
Application procedure with a Dutch degree
Applying with a School of Business and Economics degree
To enroll in the programme submit your enrolment application via Studielink.
Apply for the MSc programme Economics via Studielink before 1 June.
Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions and uploading a recent transcript of your bachelor grades. (You can create a pdf of your grades via the application results on VUnet yourself.)
More information regarding registration WO-bachelors, see the VU website (in Dutch).
Applying with a Dutch university level (WO) bachelor's degree (VU bachelor's degree, VU premaster or bachelor's degree at another university)
Apply for the programme MSc Economics via Studielink before 1 June.
After applying for the programme in Studielink you will receive a VUnet-ID and password. Please complete your application via VUnet by answering additional questions and uploading a formal transcript of your bachelor grades in VUnet (please note: we can only process your application when your transcript is uploaded).
The admission committee will assess your application and decide whether you are admissable. You will be informed about this decision via email.
I have an international degree
The Master's programme Economics welcomes ambitious students who want to develop an advanced knowledge in economics and apply their knowledge to study a wide range of topics. Therefore, students should start with a solid academic background in economics and have sufficient knowledge of mathematics and statistics.
In order to gain admission to our Master's programme, you need to have at least a Bachelor's degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academics study amounting to a minimum of 180 EC or equivalent. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score. You need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, consisting of (or equivalents of):
- Microeconomics - Varian, H.R., Intermediate Microeconomics, Northon, 9th ed., 2014
- Macroeconomics - Gärtner, M., Macroeconomics, Prentice Hall, eth ed., 2016
- Econometrics and Statistics - Stock, J.H. and Watson, M.W., Introduction to Econometrics, Pearson, Updated 3rd ed., 2015 (chapters 1-7)
- Mathematics for Economists - Sydsaeter, Knut and Hammond et al., Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis, Prentice Hall, 5th ed., 2016
Applications not providing proof of having passed course work at the minimally required level may be rejected, or applicants may be requested to make up for deficiencies by means of self-study. Good students with technical backgrounds (Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Statistics, and possibly Engineering) are encouraged to apply.
International degree holders from Universities of Applied Sciences (polytechnics, vocational colleges, etc.) cannot be admitted.
English language requirements
The admission board wants to stress the intensity of the programme: reading scientific articles and writing papers will be a key part, all in a very high pace. Your English language skills, both oral and written, are extremely important in this programme. As you will have to communicate frequently with your fellow students and you will be working with and for international companies.
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 a bachelor or master in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia.
The minimum English language proficiency requirements for admission to this Master's programme are:
• IELTS (academic):
- Minimum general score 6.5
- Minimum writing score 6.0
• 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 TOEFL MyBestScore is not accepted. Our institution code is 7947.
Application procedure with an international degree
Applying with an international degree
If you have read the admission criteria and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your original documents are required.
Step 1: Review the admission criteria
Step 2: Prepare your documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English.
- Copy of your valid passport or ID (only for EU citizens)
- Curriculum Vitae
- Motivation letter
- Transcript of records
- A description of the courses you have taken during your previous higher education, that are relevant with respect to the ‘admission requirements (with an international degree)’. Don’t forget to mention the main literature used for the courses you took and the number of credits/class hours. Please use this format.
- Thesis (or another sample of academic writing). If your thesis was not written in English, please submit the original with an added summary of about 3 pages in English.
Step 3: Await the decision on admission
The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about four weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you are admitted to theprogramme, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email.
Step 4: Finalise your registration!
Make sure to finalise your registration as a student before the start of the programme. Here you will find an explanation on what to do after you are admitted. When all of the conditions are met, you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!
Application fee & deadlines
All students seeking admission to an international Bachelor’s or Master’s programme with an international degree are required to pay a non-refundable €100 application fee. Only after you have paid this fee will we be able to start the evaluation of your application file. If you are applying for more than one programme, you will only need to pay the application fee once. Your application fee payment is valid for two years.
Information on how to apply with an international university degree and deadlines can be found here.
For more information, international students may also contact the International Student Advisor: email@example.com.
Our International Student Ambassadors are happy to tell you all about their experiences with studying at VU and living in Amsterdam. Our student ambassadors come from all over the world and are currently attending various Bachelor's and Master's programmes. The student ambassadors are listed here. Reach out to them and hear their stories about being a VU Amsterdam student!
Grants and scholarships
International students can apply to several scholarships. For all VU scholarships, please see www.vu.nl/scholarships. Any available external grant or scholarship can be found through www.grantfinder.nl.
FAQ for students with a Dutch degree
Can I be admitted into an SBE Master with my Dutch university degree?
The admission board can make a decision regarding your admissibility based on several documents. Apply for the Master via Studielink and complete your application in VUweb by uploading the required documents. Some Master programmes require additional documents such as an English CV and motivation letter, as well as your transcript of records. You will receive an admission decision within a couple of weeks after completing your application. Registration for the Master via Studielink is without obligation and does not commit you to anything yet.
I have a higher vocational (HBO) degree. Do I need to complete the premaster before I can start with an SBE Master?
Yes, we require all students with an HBO higher vocational Bachelor degree to complete the corresponding premaster before they can start with the Master. More information on the premaster can be found here.
I have a higher vocational (HBO) degree and wish to start with an SBE Master that does not have a specific premaster (MSc Econometrics & Operations Research, MSc Economics, MSc Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics). How do I apply?
I have a higher vocational (HBO) degree and wish to start the premaster. Can a high GPA grant me exemption from the GMAT?
No, the admission board does not take your GPA into account in the admission process for the premaster. All students who wish to start the premaster are required to complete the GMAT first. No exceptions can be made.
I do not want to start with a master in the next academic year, but the year after. How do I know if I am eligible?
You can still apply for the Master that starts in the next academic year via Studielink. Registration for the Master is without obligation and does not commit you to anything yet. If you need to complete additional courses in order to be admissible, you can do so during the next academic year. Because the admission decisions are valid for one year, make sure to check in advance if the admission requirements have not changed.
I am already completing a Master at a Dutch university. Can I be directly admitted into one of the SBE Masters?
You cannot be automatically admitted into one of the SBE Masters. First, your application needs to be reviewed by the admission board of the Master in the same way as all Bachelor students. Please apply for the Master via Studielink and upload all required documents. You can use an online PDF merger to upload both your Bachelor grades and (preliminary) Master grades.