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Cracking the code of living systems

Do you want to use machine learning, sequence analysis, computational models and/or systematic experiments to unravel the mysteries of molecules?

Want to model complex biological systems to discover the key components of health and disease? Then the Master Bioinformatics and Systems Biology is definitely for you. Read all about the admission requirements.

Check whether you meet the programme requirements and apply

  • I have a Dutch university level (WO) Bachelor’s degree (VU Bachelor’s degree, VU pre-master or Bachelor’s degree at another university)

    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 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 requires proficiency in three key subjects: Mathematics, Programming, and (Molecular) Biology. If you have received training in  all three key subjects you are directly admissible.  If you have had training in two of the three key subjects, your GPA should be at least 6.5; if you only received training in one of the three key subjects, your GPA needs to be at least 7.0.

    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

    Please refer to this page for more information.

    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.

  • I have a Dutch higher vocational education (HBO) Bachelor’s degree (pre-master)

    If you hold a certificate of University of Applied Sciences (HBO) or an equivalent of a VU BSc degree your your GPA should be at least 7.0 when you have proficiency in two subjects,  and at least 7.5 if you have proficiency in only one subject. In all other cases, you will be directed to our pre-master's programme Bioinformatics and Systems Biology which consists of a selection of the courses that are listed below, depending on your prior training and background.

    For your admission you are requested to provide:

    • Your Curriculum Vitae
    • A motivation letter of at most one A4. This letter should contain one paragraph on why you would like to enrol into this programme. Most importantly, for each of the three key subjects Mathematics, Programming and Molecular Biology state your proficiency. Please clearly indicate which courses, programs or other activities prove sufficient training and background in these subjects. Also indicate on which of the three key subjects you will still need to follow training during the MSc.
    • An official transcript of your academic grades, including your GPA

    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

    Please refer to this page for more information.

    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.

  • Application with a Dutch degree

    Enthusiastic about this programme? And do you meet the admission requirements? Find out how to apply.

    If you want to apply for a Master's programme at VU Amsterdam, the application procedure depends on your previous degree(s) and whether you obtained your diploma in the Netherlands or abroad. You find all information about the application procedure with a Dutch degree on the application page.

    Required documents
    This Master’s programme requires students with a Dutch bachelor's degree to upload the following documents:

    • Letter of Motivation of at most one A4. This letter should contain one paragraph on why you would like to enrol into this programme. Most importantly, for each of the three key subjects Mathematics, Programming and Molecular Biology state your proficiency. Please clearly indicate which courses, programs or other activities prove sufficient training and background in these subjects. Also indicate on which of the three key subjects you will still need to follow training during the MSc.
    • An official transcript of your academic grades, including your GPA

    The application deadlines are:

    • 1 February for international students applying for one of the VU scholarships 
    • 1 April for non-EU/EEA students*
    • 1 June for non-Dutch EU/EEA students
    • 1 June for holders of a Dutch bachelor’s degree (with a Dutch or EU/EEA nationality)

    *non-EU/EEA students who do not need a study visa and/or a residence permit can still apply until 1 June.

  • I have an international degree

    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. 

    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

    Please refer to this page for more information.

    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.

    English language requirements

    If you are applying for one of our English-taught Master's degree programmes you will have to demonstrate sufficient English language proficiency by submitting English test results. 

    Although complete applications are preferred, you can begin your application before you have completed the test and then submit your passing score once you have been conditionally admitted.

    You can find which test types and scores are accepted, the deadlines for submitting test results and all other relevant information on our application page under the Language Proficiency Requirements tab.

  • Application with an international degree

    Required format and required documents
    Please note: you will need to upload all required documents in one PDF file, using this Application Form Template. Please check here which documents you need to submit for this specific Master's programme.

    When working on your application, please take the following into account:

    • The motivation letter should be at most one A4. This letter should contain one paragraph on why you would like to enrol into this programme. Most importantly, for each of the three key subjects Mathematics, Programming and Molecular Biology state your proficiency. Please clearly indicate which courses, programs or other activities prove sufficient training and background in these subjects. Also indicate on which of the three key subjects you will still need to follow training during the MSc.
    • The course description should include the relevant courses followed in the three key subjects mentioned above and literature used during your previous higher education.

    After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. Here you can find all relevant application information, including deadlines, a step-by-step explanation of the procedure and the English language requirements.

    For more information, international students may also contact the International Student Advisors: masters.fs@vu.nl.

    Grants and scholarships
    As an international student planning to study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries. Detailed information about scholarships and deadlines can be found on www.vu.nl/scholarships or www.grantfinder.nl

    International Student and Alumni Ambassadors
    Our International Student and Alumni Ambassadors are happy to tell you all about their experiences with studying at VU Amsterdam and living in Amsterdam.

    • Our Student Ambassadors are current students at VU Amsterdam that represent a wide variety of programmes and countries.
    • Our International Alumni Ambassadors are VU Amsterdam graduates who are currently either working in the Netherlands or abroad, or doing a PhD or (second) Master's.

    You will find the full overview of our Ambassadors here: vu.nl/ambassadors. There you can chat with them directly.

  • Additional costs

    Master students Bioinformatics and Systems Biology will have to spend approximately 200 euro per year for buying books. Students are expected to possess a laptop computer, running either Windows 10 or mac OSX, for participating in educational activities (which comes down to approx. 300 euro per academic year).

Want to know more?

Don't hesitate to contact us!

Are you applying with a Dutch diploma? You can contact the Educational Office of the Faculty of Science for questions and practical information: toelating.beta@vu.nl

For questions about the programme, please send an e-mail to info-msc-bsb.beta@vu.nl. For more general questions, please send an e-mail to contact@vu.nl

Call us on +31 20 5985000 (on working days from 10.00 till 16.00)

International diploma applicants

Do you have any questions about the application or admission procedure? International diploma applicants are welcome to send an e-mail to masters.fs@vu.nl or book a phone appointment to get in touch with the International Student Advisor of this programme.

If you have questions about the tuition fee, Studielink or your personal dashboard on VU.nl, please contact the Student Desk: studentdesk@vu.nl

Also, make sure to take a look at our FAQ page - you might already find your question answered there.

Contact

  • Marija Bosnić
  • International Student Advisor
  • Faculty of Science
  • masters.fs@vu.nl
  • Sandra van Daalen
  • International Student Advisor
  • Faculty of Science
  • masters.fs@vu.nl
  • Jasper Oosterveld
  • International Student Advisor
  • Faculty of Science
  • masters.fs@vu.nl