Then the Politics, Philosophy and Economics programme is for you.
Better decisions for a better world
Check whether you meet the admission requirements and apply
The admission process for Philosophy, Politics and Economics is selective.
PPE is a small-scale and intensive programme which means that in the programme we aim for high level learning outcomes within our learning community. We are therefore looking for talented and ambitious students with an affinity for each of the disciplines who are motivated to contribute to the PPE community.
To qualify for admission, you will need to meet the entry requirements and satisfy the specific selection criteria.
As part of the application procedure you are asked to complete the PPE - Application File.
Whether or not you will actually be offered a place in our programme will depend on your:
- grade point average (GPA)*
- motivation and suitability to join our intensive study programme
- commitment to contribute to the College’s international student and campus life
The above will be determined based on the documents you submit in your application and possibly an additional interview. The selection committee evaluates an applicant’s dossier as a whole, considering all these factors. Your prior performance in disciplines foundational to PPE may also be considered.
*Grade point average (GPA)
We are looking for a Grade Point Average on your high school diploma that is equivalent to ≥ 7.0 in the Dutch grading system. If you have not graduated yet you can receive a conditional offer; we then calculate your GPA over the final two years of your secondary education at the moment of applying. In order to receive an unconditional offer you will need to meet the required GPA on your final diploma as communicated in your conditional offer.
For examples of accepted minimum GPA's you can check our PPE diploma list.
Admission requirements: non-Dutch previous education
In addition to a strong motivation, your educational qualifications are assessed as part of the selection procedure. In order to be admissible you must meet our academic requirements as specified below.
Applicants holding a non-Dutch pre-university diploma apply via the International Office. We will evaluate your application and and inform you of the admission decision from the Admission Board. If you do not yet meet the requirements but expect to do so in the future (such as obtaining your diploma), you can already apply and - if selected - receive a conditional admission.
Requirements that apply:
1. A diploma equivalent to the Dutch pre-university VWO diploma
In order to meet the general admission requirements for a Bachelor's programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam you will need a diploma that is deemed equivalent to the Dutch pre-university VWO diploma in education level. If you apply with a non-Dutch diploma VU Amsterdam will assess if your previous education is sufficient for admission.
Take a look at the list of equivalent diplomas to see if your diploma is considered equivalent by our university.
Is your diploma not mentioned? You can still apply - possibly you need to have completed one year of academic studies at an accredited university to meet our entry requirements.
Please note: this list is meant to give you an indication of admissibility; no rights can be derived from it.
2. A sufficient GPA
PPE is a small-scale and intensive programme. We are looking for a Grade Point Average on your secondary school diploma that is equivalent to ≥ 7.0 in the Dutch grading system. Also see the section on 'selection criteria'.
For examples of accepted minimum GPA's you can check our PPE diploma list. Is your diploma not included? Then first check if your diploma meets our diploma requirements.
3. Proof of sufficient proficiency in English
All courses in the PPE programme are conducted in English and, since the student community is highly international, most conversation and socialising occurs in English as well. Consequently, we require an English language test for all applications, unless you qualify for an exemption. You can already begin your application before you have completed the test and then submit your passing score once you have been conditionally admitted. You can find all accepted tests and scores on the language requirements page.
PPE English language requirements.
If you require a visa to study in the Netherlands, you must submit your test results before June 1st. If you do not need a visa to study in the Netherlands, you will be asked to show proof before August 15th. Your acceptance to the PPE programme will remain conditional until we have received proof of English proficiency. Please note that it can take a long time to receive your results, so plan your date accordingly, since you may want to leave yourself time to retake the exam.
4. Proof of sufficient proficiency in Mathematics
The courses in our programme use a significant amount of mathematics and even though we provide mathematics training in the methods courses, this training moves at a fast pace. In our experience we have found that a minimum level of prior mathematics proficiency is required. The International Office will determine whether your mathematics level is sufficient.
For the mathematics requirement you will need to to show proof of completing 'VWO Mathematics A or B' with minimum grade 6.0 in the Dutch grading system or a foreign equivalent.
These examples of diplomas demonstrate sufficient proficiency in mathematics:
- International Baccalaureate: Mathematics SL or HL, Applications & Interpretation HL, Analysis & Approaches SL/HL minimum grade 4
- United Kingdom/GCE A-levels: A-level in Mathematics completed with a grade A, B or C.
- Germany: Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife, including Mathematics Grundkurs as Prüfungsfach or Mathematics erhöhtem Anforderungsniveau (eA)/Leistungsfach, minimum grade 7 (out of 15)
You can find further foreign equivalents on our PPE diploma list.
After you've applied for the programme and uploaded the required documents in your VU Dashboard, the International Office will determine whether your diploma is equivalent to the Dutch VWO-diploma and whether your mathematics level is sufficient.
Is your mathematics not sufficient?
If you do not meet the mathematics requirement but have an otherwise strong application, you could still be accepted with a conditional offer. You would then be asked to participate in an entry test in mathematics. If participation in the exam is necessary this will be communicated to you in the offer letter.
Mathematics Exams in the Netherlands
- Boswell-Bèta - Mathematics A or B - minimum grade 6.0/10
- CCVX - Mathematics A or B - minimum grade 6.0/10
- Korteweg-de Vries Instituut for Mathematics (KdVI): Mathematics A or B - minimum grade 6.0/10
Online Mathematics Exam
- Online Mathematics Placement Test - OMPT-A or OMPT-B - minimum score 70%
If you have any questions about the application process or your eligibility, please contact the PPE International Student Advisor via firstname.lastname@example.org
Not directly eligible for admission?
If you do not meet the admission requirements, the following options are advised:
- Start your academic studies at an accredited university in your home country and obtain relevant credits to meet our entry requirements.
- If you meet the diploma and GPA requirement, but not the mathematics requirement, you could still be accepted with a conditional offer. You would then be asked to participate in an entry test in mathematics. If participation in the exam is necessary this will be communicated to you in the offer letter.
Admission requirements: Dutch previous education
If you have obtained or will obtain a Dutch diploma such as the VWO-diploma, please check the criteria on our Dutch webpage.
Want to know more?
If you have any questions about the application process or your eligibility, please contact email@example.com.
Note that for diplomas obtained outside of the Netherlands an application fee of €100 applies.
Application fee payment options and possible exemptions
- PPE - Application File; please download the correct form here.
- Proof of English language proficiency (if already obtained): upload your proof of English language proficiency or English language test results.
PPE English language requirements
If you apply before 14 February, we aim to send you our admission decision within 4 weeks after you have received confirmation from the International Office that your application is complete. Note that during holiday times such as Christmas and in case we require further information from you (by e-mail or in a Skype/Zoom interview) the processing and decision time will increase. For applications received after the Early Bird deadline the decision time after confirmation of your file being complete will be 4-6 weeks.
The final application deadline for non-EU/EEA students is 1 April and for Dutch and EU students the final deadline is 1 May.
Do you have a non-Dutch nationality? Then you may be eligible for housing via the International Office Accommodation Services. An early application is then strongly recommended.
Ready to apply?
Great! Click here for the application procedure.
Make sure to submit your application with all the abovementioned documents before the application deadline. Unfortunately, incomplete applications or documents that do not meet our conditions will not be taken into consideration.
If you have any questions about the application process or your eligibility, you can always contact the International Student Advisor via firstname.lastname@example.org (international diploma applications) or email@example.com (Dutch diploma applications).
Binding Study Advice (BSA)
The BSA is an advice given to all Bachelor’s students on four occasions during their first year of studies concerning their study progress. The fourth recommendation, issued at the end of the first year, is binding in nature. To continue to the second year you must have obtained a certain number of credits.
To receive a positive BSA for this study programme you must have obtained a minimum of 54 EC (credits) at the end of the first year of enrolment. Every student has access to an overview of the obtained study results and assessments are available for inspection after registration of the test result.
Want to know more?
International diploma applicants