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Designing policy to deal with great societal challenges

Want to understand and know how to implement policies that can change our society now and in the future?

Then the Economics: Public Policy programme is the programme for you.

Check if you meet the admission requirements and sign up!

Admission Requirements for Public Policy

  • I have a School of Business and Economics Degree from VU Amsterdam

    The MSc Programme in Public Policy welcomes ambitious students who are interested in studying key policy challenges from an economics perspective. Students should have an interest in thinking about societal problems and should start with introductory knowledge in economics and sufficient knowledge of mathematics and statistics.

    Admission requirements
    Students with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics or Econometrics have direct admission as well as students who completed the economics track in (International) Business administration or completed the Minor Economics at VU. The entry requirement for students with a Bachelor’s degree in (International) Business Administration, Economics and Econometrics from the Vrije Universiteit are summarized in this document

  • 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 in Public Policy welcomes ambitious students who are interested in studying key policy challenges from an economics perspective. Students should have an interest in thinking about societal problems and should start with introductory knowledge in economics and sufficient knowledge of mathematics and statistics.

    Admission requirements
    The MSc programme in Public Policy is open to students with a university Bachelor's degree that provides an introductory knowledge in Microeconomics and Macroeconomics and a solid background in mathematics and statistics for social scientists. Specifically, students ought to be familiar with mathematics (calculus and algebra), economics and econometrics at a level commensurate with all of the following texts:

    Microeconomics - Goolsbee, A., Levitt, S. and Syverson, C., Microeconomics, MacMillan, 2013.

    Macroeconomics - Some introductory knowledge on growth, trade, business cycles, unemployment and inflation. This is described in chapters 1-10 of Mankiw, N.G. and Taylor, M.P. Macroeconomics (European Edition), MacMillan, 2014.

    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.

    Approval is in most cases given 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 the Vrije Universiteit

    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. 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.

    Application procedure

    Step 1:

    Apply for the programme MSc Economics via Studielink before 15 July. You can apply for the specialization Public Policy on your VU Dashboard (see step 2).

    Step 2:

    After applying for the programme in studielink you will receive a VUnet-ID and password. Please complete your application in your VU Dashboard by answering additional questions, affirming  your choice for the specialization Public Policy and uploading a formal transcript of your bachelor grades. Your transcript must include an average score (GPA) (please note: we can only process your application when your choice of specialization is clear and your transcript is uploaded). 

    Step 3:

    The admission committee will assess your application and decide whether you are admissible. You will be informed about this decision via email.

    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 the Vrije Universiteit.

    Note that participation in the transfer programme may substantially increase the time to completion.

  • I have a Dutch higher vocational education

    Students with a HBO degree in economics related fields can enroll in the MSc program in Public Policy, 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 you HBO courses and grades by email to toelating.sbe@vu.nl. The admission board then will decide whether admission is possible via the transfer programme.

    For more information about the transfer programme contact toelating.sbe@vu.nl.

    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.

  • I have an international degree

    Admission requirements

    The Master's programme in Economics, specialization in Public Policy, welcomes ambitious students who are interested in studying key policy challenges from an economics perspective. Students should have an interest in thinking about societal problems and should start with introductory knowledge in economics and 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 academic 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 - Goolsbee, A., Levitt, S. and Syverson, C., Microeconomics, MacMillan, 2013.
    • Macroeconomics - Some introductory knowledge on growth, trade, business cycles, unemployment and inflation. This is described in chapters 1-10 of Mankiw, N.G. and Taylor, M.P. Macroeconomics (European Edition), MacMillan, 2014.
    • 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

    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.

    You can upload your English test score in the Application Form Template or, after conditional admission, send your test results by email to: masters.sbe@vu.nl.
    The general requirements regarding language proficiency are found here.

  • Application procedure with an international degree

    Applying with an international degree

    Please note: you will need to upload all required documents in one PDF file, using this Application Portal Template. You can find all the required documents listed in this template.

    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 required documents and arrange the payment of the application fee, a non-refundable €100 application fee applies. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided 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 the programme, 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: masters.sbe@vu.nl.

    Student ambassadors

    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.

  • Contact for students with a Dutch degree

    Admissions questions
    toelating.sbe@vu.nl / admissions.sbe@vu.nl or on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 15:00h and 16:00h : Tel. 020 5985873

    Practical matters (Tuition fees, Studielink, VUnet)
    studentdesk@vu.nl

    All other questions
    contact@vu.nl

    Questions about the programme content
    Bas van der Klaauw - b.vander.klaauw@vu.nl

  • Contact for students with an international degree

    Are you applying with a non-Dutch diploma? You can contact the International Student Advisors of the School of Business and Economics: masters.sbe@vu.nl. We aim to respond to your email within two working days (around application deadlines it could take longer).

    International students are also welcome to schedule a telephone appointment through this link. You can book a date and time and then we will give you a call.

    For general information about VU Amsterdam
    Please phone us at +31 20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 09:00 to 17:00). 
    You may also e-mail us at study@vu.nl.

    Questions about the programme content
    Bas van der Klaauw - b.vander.klaauw@vu.nl

  • Coronavirus: additional information admission

    As a result of the COVID pandemic, both our current as well as prospective students may have encountered study delays. To facilitate transitions within programmes (BSc) as well as to new programmes (MSc) a number of policies have been developed again for the upcoming academic year 2022-2023 in collaboration with the government and other universities.

    Please note that if you already made use of the so-called ‘Zachte Knip’ or ‘Soft-cut’ for the academic year 2021 – 2022 and are still in the same study phase as then, you will not be eligible to use it again

    For questions about the ‘soft cut’ for international students, please contact your International Student Advisors on masters.sbe@vu.nl.  

    1. Transition from BSc programs to full-time MSc programs – national and EU

    In accordance with the agreements made with the Dutch government, VU Amsterdam has developed guidelines for the so-called “zachte knip” (soft cut, i.e., transferring from BSc to MSc program without completing the BSc yet.)

    Based on these guidelines and previous experience with the “zachte knip”, the following requirements have now been developed for admission to SBE full-time programs:

    Students are allowed to miss a total of 18EC of their BSc degree program (10% of the total of 180EC than can be obtained), provided that:

    • The student has completed his/her BSc Thesis
    • The general qualitative entry requirements for the specific program are met (as stipulated with other academic degree holders), rather than specific courses (as is now the case for our own BSc students).

    The above does not apply to admission to the part-time program in Accounting and Control, as this program starts twice a year.        

    For example, the MSc Marketing requires, in general terms:

    • A university Bachelor's degree that provides a sufficient foundation in Marketing and Consumer Behaviour
    • Successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, consisting of
      • at least 18 EC in course work on Marketing and Consumer Behaviour, and
      • at least 12 EC related to statistics (to a level of being able to use techniques such as (multiple) regression, ANOVA and factor analysis).

    Requests for exemptions can be submitted via the usual procedures (examination board). The remaining 18EC need to be completed before September 1, 2023. If not, students will not be able to apply for their MSc degree. We have opted for the 10% maximum of missing EC, as it would be unlikely for students to have a reasonable chance of completing their MSc program otherwise. Even with 18EC missing, this is challenging. Students that start with a deficiency will therefore proactively be invited by the academic advisors to discuss their situation and see if they can offer help where needed.

    Click here to apply for the exceptional admission to a Master’s programme.

    Note: for non-EEA students, the regular rules apply.

    2. Transition from premaster programs to respective MSc programs

    Note: this applies to the premaster programs of the MSc in Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, Transport and Supply Chain Management, Finance, Marketing, Digital Business and Innovation and the full-time MSc Accounting and Control. There is a separate policy for the transition from the premaster to the part-time MSc Accounting and Control.

    Students are allowed to miss a total of 12EC of their premaster program (40% of the total of 30EC than can be obtained), provided that the student has completed his/her Academic paper.

    This 40% deviates from the VU guideline of 10-20% EC not completed. This is motivated by the fact that:

    • Our pre-master program only starts in semester 2 (contrary to most other programs at the VU) and our students are therefore disproportionally affected by the crisis;
    • The premaster program, for a substantial part, consist of courses that are part of larger scale programs. In replanning all assessments, the planning for the core program takes preference over the premaster, which in some cases might lead to less favourable circumstances for the premaster students (despite customized measures being taken as well).
    • In normal circumstances, many of our premaster students perform well, both in the premaster as well as in the master program. Hence, we are less concerned about the students that are not sufficiently ready to start the master will gain access via this route after all.

    The remaining 12EC need to be completed before September 1, 2023. If not, students will not be able to apply for their MSc degree. Also here, students that start with a deficiency will proactively be invited by the academic advisors to discuss their situation and see if they can offer help where needed. 

    Note: for enrolment in the premaster starting in February 2023, the regular procedure and requirements will be applied, given that this program only starts in semester 2.

    Click here to apply for the exceptional admission from a pre-Master’s programme to a Master’s programme.

Want to know more?

Don't hesitate to contact us!

Send an email to contact@vu.nl

Are you a Dutch student? Please send your admission questions to toelating.sbe@vu.nl / admissions.sbe@vu.nl or call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 15:00h and 16:00h: Tel. 020 5985873. For practical questions (tuition fee, Studielink or your personal dashboard on vu.nl) please contact studentdesk@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.sbe@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

  • Leanne Schrijver
  • International Student Advisor
  • School of Business and Economics
  • masters.sbe@vu.nl
  • Marita Visser
  • International Student Advisor
  • School of Business and Economics
  • masters.sbe@vu.nl
  • Wouter Tuijnman
  • International Student Advisor
  • School of Business and Economics
  • masters.sbe@vu.nl
Wouter Tuijnman
  • Alissa Hiegentlich
  • International Student Advisor
  • School of Business and Economics
  • masters.sbe@vu.nl