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Unravel our planet’s past, present and future

Do you want to study the natural processes and cycles of the Earth’s system within and between rock, soil, water, living things and air?

Then the Master Earth Sciences is definitely for you. Check wether you meet the admission requirements and find out how to apply.

Academic year 2021-2022
VU Amsterdam expects all students to be able to attend classes on campus again as of September. We look forward to meeting you on campus. If you live abroad and are unable to come to the VU Amsterdam campus due to strict travel restrictions, there will be an online alternative for education activities including exams for this study programme until the end of period 2.

Check whether you meet the programme requirements and apply

  • Coronavirus: additional information admission

    IMPORTANT: CORONA VIRUS UPDATE

    Generally speaking, students must complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s before starting on their Master’s programme. This is known as the ‘BSc-before-MSc rule’. Due to the corona crisis, however, some students have had to partially stop their studies, resulting in an unfortunate delay.

    There has been examined how an exception to this BSc-before-MSc rule can be made possible for Master’s programmes at VU Amsterdam. This means that, under certain conditions, students who are lacking credits for no more than a few courses including their bachelor project, will still be able to start their Master’s at VU Amsterdam next year. This is a one-off measure. The missing credits must be completed during the 2021-2022 academic year, in other words no later than August 31 2022. Please read carefully below which rules apply for admission into this Master’s programme.

    The following rules apply this year for admission into this Master’s programme:

    Target group

    Number of EC at least achieved / % EC achieved


    Bachelor students at a Dutch University (incl. VU)150 EC
    Current premaster students24 EC
    HBO bachelor students210 EC

    Please note that, apart from the rules above, the following passages are still applicable and must be met to be considered for admission into the Master’s programme:

    • Admission criteria / requirements that are not EC related
    • English language proficiency requirements

    Do you meet these conditions or do you expect to meet these conditions by 31 August at the latest? If so, you can request exceptional admission no later than 1 August. You can do this by completing and submitting the form. 

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

    The Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application. In order to gain admission to one of our Master’s programmes, you will need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score.

    Specific admission requirements for the MSc Earth Sciences programme:

    For VU Bachelor’s degree students
    Students with a Bachelor's degree in Earth Sciences from VU will receive direct admission to the Master's programme in Earth Sciences, specialisations Geology and Geochemistry and Earth Surface Processes and Records. 

    Students with a Bachelor's degree in Earth Sciences, Economics & Sustainability (‘Aarde, Economie’ & Duurzaamheid') from VU will receive direct admission to the Master's programme in Earth Sciences, specialisations Earth Sciences and Economics, Earth Surface Processes and Records (when certain subjects form the minor Earth Surface have been chosen) and Earth Sciences, Global Environmental Change and Policy. 

    Students with a BSc-degree Earth Sciences will be admitted to the following Master’s *specialisations according to the Variant which was followed in the Bachelor’s programme:

    • Geology and Geochemistry: BSc variant I;
    • Earth Surface Processes Climate and Records: BSc variant I & II;
    • Earth Sciences and Economics: BSc variant I & II, with extra required subjects in Spatial Economics (contact the master coordinator);

    *After finishing the first year of one of the 6 Earth Sciences specialisations, you can choose the differentiation Science Communication.
    *After finishing the first year of one of the 6 Earth Sciences specialisations and provided you have taken Sociale geografie I and, preferably, 12 ECTS of "Oriëntatie-CE"- courses, you can choose the differentiation Science Education.

    Students who do not receive direct admission to a certain Master's specialisation, because their BSc variant is not entirely appropriate for this specialisation, may still be admitted by a decision to that effect taken by the Admission Board. The Admission Board will, in such cases, place additional requirements on the student before granting admission to the Master's programme.

    For the specialisation in Global Environmental Change and Policy, the following admission requirements apply:

    Academic results
    Bachelor degree at university level (preferably interdisciplinary) containing:
    - at least 6 ec in Earth Sciences at the end of the 3rd year
    - at least 6 ec in Environmental Sciences or Sustainability Sciences at the end of the 1st year
    - at least 6 ec in Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

    Basic Knowledge or affinity with environmental topics:
    - previous study programme, course work, thesis
    - relevant work experience (can include volunteer work)

  • I have a Dutch higher vocational education (HBO) Bachelor’s degree (premaster)

    Students who hold a certificate of University of Applied Sciences (HBO) or an equivalent of a VU BSc degree obtained at an institution inside or outside of the Netherlands may be admitted to the Master's programme in Earth Sciences on the basis of a decision to that effect taken by the Admission Board. The Examination Board will determine whether the qualification in question is sufficiently relevant to warrant admission. The Admission Board may place additional requirements on the student before granting admission to the programme.

    Students with a HBO degree, must take an English Language Test. Students who have completed pre-university secondary education (VWO) with English in the package, are exempt. Earth Sciences doesn't have a pre- Master's programme.


    For the specialisation in Global Environmental Change and Policy, the following admission requirements apply:

    Academic results
    Bachelor degree at university level (preferably interdisciplinary) containing:
    - at least 6 ec in Earth Sciences at the end of the 3rd year
    - at least 6 ec in Environmental Sciences or Sustainability Sciences at the end of the 1st year
    - at least 6 ec in Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

    Basic Knowledge or affinity with environmental topics:
    - previous study programme, course work, thesis
    - relevant work experience (can include volunteer work)

  • 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 or international degree on the application page.

    The application deadlines are:

    The application deadlines are:

    • 1 February for international students applying for one of the VU scholarships 
    • 1 April for non-EU/EEA students*
    • 15 July for non-Dutch EU/EEA students
    • 15 July 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 15 July

  • I have an international degree

    The Earth Sciences 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.

    In order to gain admission to one of our Master’s programmes, you will need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score.

    Specific admission requirements for the MSc Earth Sciences programme

    Students who hold a certificate of University of Applied Sciences (HBO) or an equivalent of a VU Amsterdam BSc degree obtained at an institution inside or outside of the Netherlands may be admitted to the Master's programme in Earth Sciences on the basis of a decision to that effect taken by the Admission Board. The Examination Board will determine whether the qualification in question is sufficiently relevant to warrant admission. The Admission Board may place additional requirements on the student before granting admission to the programme.

    Specific admission requirements for the specialisation Global Environmental Change and Policy

    Academic results
    Bachelor's degree at university level (preferably interdisciplinary) containing:

    • at least 6 ECTS in Earth Sciences at the end of the 3rd year
    • at least 6 ECTS in Environmental Sciences or Sustainability Sciences at the end of the 1st year
    • at least 6 ECTS in Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

    Basic knowledge or affinity with environmental topics:

    • previous study programme, course work, thesis
    • relevant work experience (can include volunteer work) 

    Please note: you will need to upload all required documents in one PDF file, using this template.
    Please check here which documents you need to submit for this specific 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 this Master's programme 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 TOEFL MyBestScore is not accepted. Our institution code is 7947.

    Your English test results can be included in your application file or sent to the following email address (for non-Dutch degree holders): masters.fs@vu.nl
    The general requirements regarding language proficiency are found here.

  • Application with an international degree

    General application information
    Information on how to apply with an international university degree and deadlines can be found here. You will also find an explanation for each required application document on this page. After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure.

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

    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.

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 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

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.

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