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Make a difference – Solve real-world problems

Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics

Do you want to analyse real-life societal problems such as regional differences in income, traffic congestion, environmental pollution and housing shortage?

And do you want to tackle these problems at a high level of abstraction, assessing the pros and cons of different solutions and formulating your own alternative? Then Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics is the right Master's programme for you.

Please note that the inflow of students into the Master in Spatial, Transport & Environmental Economics is very diverse: 

  • About 50% has completed a bachelor in another field than economics
  • About 50% of the inflow has an international background

Read more about previous education of our students

Use the following dropdown menu to find the admission criteria given your educational background.

Check if you meet the programme requirements and sign up

  • I have a School of Business and Economics Degree

    We welcome and look for motivated students who are interested in the economics of the real estate market. In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, economics, but bachelor students with sufficient technical expertise, e.g. engineering, or finance, are also very welcome. Other bachelor students need at least a minor in economics.

    Admission requirements

    With a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Economics, Econometrics and Operations Research, (International) Business Administration from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam you are admissible to all specializations provided you successfully meet the requirements in this document

    Services for international (EBE, EOR, IBA) students / Residence permit:

    If you are planning to continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam after your SBE Bachelor, 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 an 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)

    We welcome and look for motivated students who are interested in the economics of the real estate market. In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, economics, but bachelor students with sufficient technical expertise, e.g. engineering, or finance, are also very welcome. Other bachelor students need at least a minor in economics.

    Admission requirements

    Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics is open to students with a university Bachelor's degree that provides sufficient knowledge of microeconomics or a solid background in mathematics and statistics for economics. You need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, as listed below (or equivalents):

    • Microeconomics
      Snyder C.M. and W. Nicholson, Microeconomic Theory: Basic Principles and Extensions, Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning, 11th edition (Chapters 2-5, 9-13). Particularly chapter 2 (except dynamic optimisation) is essential.
    • Mathematics
      Sydsaeter, Knut and Hammond, Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis, Prentice Hall, 3rd ed., 2008.
    • Econometrics
      Stock, J.H. and M.W. Watson's Introduction to Econometrics, fourth edition Addison Wesley, New York (Chapters 2-9).

    Approval is in general given to students who hold a:

    • Bachelor’s degree in Earth and Economics (VU bachelors Earth and Economics have direct admission)
    • Bachelor’s degree in Econometrics, Environmental Sciences, Transport Science, Engineering, but also Geography (with sufficient background in economics and statistics)

    Other applicants (e.g. with a polytechnic degree) may be required to complete preparatory courses before they can be admitted to the programme.

    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.

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

    In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, economics, but bachelor students with sufficient technical expertise, e.g. Engineering or Environmental Science, are also very welcome.

    If you have a Dutch higher vocational (HBO) degree you need to enrol in a transfer programme, which is specifically designed to bridge the gap between higher vocational education and university-level education. The transfer programme consists of 5 courses in Mathematics and Economics and a GRE test.

    To apply for admission you should send a request to the admissions board with a transcript of your grades. The admission board then will decide whether admission is possible through a specific transfer programme. You can send your request to toelating.sbe@vu.nl.

  • Application procedure with a Dutch degree

    Application procedure

    To enrol in the programme submit your enrolment application via Studielink.

    Step 1:

    Apply for the programme MSc Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics via Studielink before 1 June.

    Step 2:

    After application in Studielink, you will receive a VUnet-ID and password via email. Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions and uploading the following document: 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 transcript is uploaded.

    Step 3:

    The admission committee will assess if you meet the admission criteria and will inform you about the decision via email.

    For the full description of the registration procedure see the VU website (in Dutch).

  • I have an international degree

    Admission requirements

    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. The programme is open to students with a university Bachelor's degree that provides sufficient knowledge of microeconomics or a solid background in mathematics and statistics for economics. You need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, consisting of (or equivalents of): 

    • Microeconomics - Snyder C.M. and W. Nicholson, Microeconomic Theory: Basic Principles and Extensions, Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning, 11th edition (Chapters 2-5, 9-13). Particularly chapter 2 (except dynamic optimisation) is essential.
    • Mathematics - Sydsaeter, Knut and Hammond, Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis, Prentice Hall, 3rd ed., 2008.
    • Econometrics - Stock, J.H. and M.W. Watson's Introduction to Econometrics, fourth edition Addison Wesley, New York (Chapters 2-9).

    Applicants may consider reading the following books to become familiar with the topics that will be taught per specialisation:

    • Urban & Regional Economics - McCann, P. (2001) Urban and Regional Economics Oxford University Press, Oxford
    • Transport Economics - Boyer, K.D. Principles of Transportation Economics Addison Wesley, Reading
    • Environmental Economics - Kahn, J.R. (1998) The Economic Approach to Environmental and Natural Resources (2nd edition). The Dryden Press, Forth Worth. Parts I, II and III

    Additional requirements per specialisation

    • Urban and Regional Economics / Transport Economics: We welcome and look for motivated students who are interested in Urban and Regional Economics. In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, economics, but bachelor students with sufficient technical expertise, e.g. Engineering are also very welcome. 
    • Environmental Economics: We welcome and look for motivated students who are interested in Environmental Economics In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, economics, but bachelor students with sufficient technical expertise, e.g. Engineering or Environmental Science, are also very welcome. 
    • Real Estate Economics and Finance: We welcome and look for motivated students who are interested in the economics of the real estate market. In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, economics, but Bachelor's students with sufficient technical expertise, e.g. Engineering, or finance, are also very welcome. Other Bachelor's students need at least a minor in Economics. 

    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.

    A PDF copy of your English test result can be sent to the following email (for non-Dutch degree holders): masters.sbe@vu.nl
    The general requirements regarding language proficiency are found here.

  • 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: 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.

  • 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?

    Please send your transcript of records directly to admissions.sbe@vu.nl/ toelating.sbe@vu.nl. Make sure the name of your education and institution are visible.

    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.

Want to know more?

Don't hesitate to contact us!

For questions about the programme, please send an e-mail to streem.sbe@vu.nl. For more general questions, please send an e-mail to contact@vu.nl

Are you a Dutch student? Please send your admission questions to toelating.sbe@vu.nl / admissions.sbe@vu.nl. For practical questions (about the tuition fee, Studielink, Vunet) please contact studentdesk@vu.nl.
For general information about VU Amsterdam, you can send an e-mail to study@vu.nl.

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 e-mail within two working days (around application deadlines it could take longer).

Dutch students can call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 15:00h and 16:00h : Tel. 020 5985873.
International students are welcome to to schedule a telephone appointment with the International Student Advisors of the School of Business and Economics through this link.