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Study the societal impact of religion and theology

Are you interested in different world religions? In cooperation between people from different (religious) traditions? In interfaith dialogue or spiritual care?

If so, the Master’s Theology and Religious Studies at VU Amsterdam is for you.

Academic year 2021-2022
VU Amsterdam expects all students to be able to attend classes on campus again as of September 2021. We look forward to meeting you on campus. Should the current events concerning Covid-19 in the Netherlands give rise to changes in (online) education, we will report it on the website.

Check whether you meet the programme requirements and apply

  • Coronavirus: additional information admission

    Generally speaking, students* must complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s before starting on their Master’s programme. This is known as the ‘Ba-before-Ma rule’. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, some students have had to partially stop their studies, resulting in an unfortunate delay.

    Under certain conditions exceptions to this Ba-before-Ma rule can be made for Master’s programmes at VU Amsterdam. This means that students who meet these conditions and are lacking credits for no more than a few courses, will still be able to start their Master’s at VU Amsterdam next year. The missing credits must be completed during the 2021-2022 academic year, in other words no later than August 31st 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:

    • You have earned at least 162 EC of the wo Bachelor’s programme that confers entitlement to admission, 216 of the hbo Bachelor’s programme that confers entitlement to admission or at least 24 EC of the bridging or pre-Master’s programme. In all of these cases you must have completed your bachelor thesis or other final work in order to qualify for this scheme.
    • You must complete all educational components of your current programme before 1 september 2022 or before you obtain the Master’s degree certificate, whichever comes first. If this condition is not met, you will not be able to continue or complete the Master’s programme.

    For students who come in through an integrated programme, an additional requirement is that a maximum of 6 EC may still be open at the start of the master's programme.

    *The above supplements do not apply to non-EEA students who must complete a Bachelor’s programme outside of the Netherlands.

    All conditions can be found in the Addendum Pertaining to the 2020-2021 Teaching and Examination Regulations.

    Request exceptional admission
    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.

    • Do you want to start a Master’s programme in September? Complete and submit this form.
    • Do you Do you want to start a Premaster’s programme in September? Complete and submit this form.

    Do you not yet meet all of the criteria, but do you expect to meet them by August 31st at the latest? Please apply for exceptional admission already.

    This scheme is meant for students that were faced with unavoidable study delay as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Please note that you are expected to obtain all missing credits in the academic year 2021-2022 (before 1 September 2022), and will therefore have a higher study load.

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

    To be accepted for one of our Master’s tracks, you need to have at least the following two qualifications: 

    • a Bachelor’s degree in Theology, Religious Studies, Social Studies or related studies, Humanities, Psychology or Law; this will need to have been obtained from an accredited research university. You must have at least three full years of academic study, amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent. You may also apply if you have a Bachelor’s degree in a different discipline provided it is from a research-oriented university; in this case you will need to do a premaster’s programme in Theology and/or Religious Studies.
    • an introduction to World Religions, non-Christian Religions or Religious Literacy. This could be part of your Bachelor’s degree, a separate course or a do-it-yourself course like or studying the book God is not one by Stephen Prothero. We will not check this qualification, but we strongly advise you to obtain this knowledge before you do this master’s programme.
  • I have a Dutch higher vocational education (HBO) Bachelor’s degree (premaster)

    Dutch students with an appropriate HBO degree (and international students with the equivalent) can apply for a premaster’s programme in Theology and/or Religious Studies. Our Admission Board will have to approve your application. 

    Dutch students with an appropriate HBO degree (and international students with the equivalent) can register via Studielink for the premaster Theology & Religious Studies until 1 June at the latest. First select 'Bachelor's or other non-master's programs' in Studielink and then the pre-master.

    After registering in Studielink, you will receive an email with your login codes for VUnet (VU student portal) within two days. Complete your registration in VUnet, and enter your specialization.

  • Application with a Dutch degree

    If you want to apply for and enrol in a master's programme at VU Amsterdam, the procedure you need to follow depends on your prior education and whether you obtained your diploma in the Netherlands or abroad.

    Please first check whether or not you are eligible for this programme and then apply.

    You can apply for the Master's programme Theology & Religious Studies via Studielink. The application deadline is: 1 June.

    If you have a Dutch diploma, follow this application procedure.

  • I have an international degree

    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.

    Students with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology or Religious Studies from a university abroad will only be admitted following an assessment of their degree by the admissions board. 

    Students with Bachelor’s degrees in other disciplines are also welcome to apply, provided that the degree obtained is from a research-oriented university. Before the start of the academic year the student needs to have an intake with the coordinator of the specialization. The aim of this intake is to discuss possible deficiencies in theological knowledge of the student.

    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 a bachelor or master in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia.

    The minimum English language proficiency requirements for admission to this master 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.

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

  • Application 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 and in PDF format.

    •   Copy of your valid passport or ID (ID only for EU citizens)
    •   Curriculum Vitae
    •   Motivation letter/Personal Introduction
    •   A Letter of Recommendation
    •   Transcript of records (and the degree obtained/to be obtained)
    •   A description of the courses you have taken during your previous higher education. Please use this format.
    •   Thesis (or another sample of academic writing, at least 5 pages plus a list of used literature)

    Step 3: Await the decision on admission

    The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about three 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:

    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 or

    Student Ambassadors

    Some International students are happy to tell you about their experience with living and studying in Amsterdam. These Student Ambassadors come from all over the world and have attended various Bachelor's and Master's programmes.

    Our Student Ambassadors are listed here on this webpage: Reach out to them and get their stories about being a student at VU Amsterdam.

Want to know more?

Don't hesitate to contact us!

Questions about the application procedure? Please contact Prof.dr. Hans Alma,

If you have questions about the tuition fee, Studielink, your personal dashboard on etc., please contact the Student Desk:

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 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, your personal dashboard on etc., please contact the Student Desk:


  • Stipo Jeleč
  • International Student Advisor
  • Faculty of Religion and Theology