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How do I apply for a pre-master’s programme?

Have you completed a higher professional education (HBO) and want to do a Master's programme? You will usually first have to follow a pre-master's programme.

For some programmes, you first need to take part in an assessment. For more information, see the page of the pre-master's assessment (in Dutch).

Specific admission requirements for a programme can be found on the programme page and in the Education and Exam arrangements of the programme concerned.

  • Many faculties offer a standard 30 EC pre-master's track for students with an appropriate HBO preparatory education. Do you want more information on the specific content of the different tracks per programme? Check the programme page of your Master's programme.
  • You can only participate in the pre-master's programme once. 
  • As a pre-master's student, you can only enrol on 1 September, with the exception of the pre-master's programmes of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) and the bridging programme of the Faculty of Law. The programme must be successfully completed before 1 September of the following year. Is this not possible? Then you cannot continue your studies: you cannot transfer to the Master's programme and you cannot redo the pre-master's.
  • If you decide to quit during the pre-master's programme, there will be no refund of the pre-master's fee. You owe the entire pre-master's fee.
  • Follow the steps on this page to apply for a pre-master's programme. Pay attention to all deadlines!

Pre-masters per faculty

Apply for a pre-master's programme

  • Deadlines

    Most pre-masters have an application deadline of 1 May or 1 June at the latest. Always check the relevant study programme page; there you will find the exact deadline and any additional information. For some programmes you have to participate in an assessment. For all information, see the pre-master's assessment page.

    Faculty of Law

    The application procedure for the Law programme runs through the Open University (OU). Applying for this programme is possible throughout the year. Payment of tuition fees is via the OU and for the pre-master's courses via the faculty's contract education system. Those interested in this Law programme need not read any further on this page.

    School of Business and Economics

    The pre-master's programme of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) differs from the other pre-master's programmes. The pre-master's programme of SBE starts in February. Hence different deadlines are applicable for the pre-masters of this faculty.

    • 1 November 2022: Non-EU/ non-EAA students who need visa/residence permit. November 1 is the deadline to apply. Once you are conditionally admitted you have till December 1 to hand in an valid English Language test and GMAT (if applicable)
    • 31 January 2023: EU/EAA students
  • Costs pre-master's programme

    The costs for a pre-master's programme can be found on the tuition fees page.

  • Step 1: apply in Studielink

    See the deadlines as described above and on the relevant study programme page. Are you applying in Studielink for the first time? Then consult the Studielink step-by-step plan. You can log in with your DigiD. Don't have one yet? Then apply for it as soon as possible, because it takes a few days before you receive it. 

    What else do you need to keep in mind?

    • Under Type of programme, choose 'Bachelor's or other non-master's programme'. You will recognise the pre-master's programmes by the suffix (pre-master's).
  • Step 2: login to your personal dashboard on VU.nl with your obtained VUnetID and complete your application

    Within two working days after your application you will receive login details for your personal dashboard on VU.nl by e-mail. Didn't receive any login details? Please check your spam folder first. If you don't find them there either, you can contact the UCIT Servicedesk via ucit-servicedesk@vu.nl or 020 - 598 0000. 

    Make sure you go through all the steps of the application portal and confirm your application, because only then your application can be assessed by the faculty.

  • Step 3: check your admission

    Do this as soon as possible after completing your application. You will receive a message from Studielink as soon as your admission has been processed. It is advisable to already check the study programme page to see if you meet the admission requirements. Do not hesitate to contact the Admission Board if you have any questions.

    For the contact details per programme, please check the programme overview.

  • Step 4: submit missing documents

    Most Dutch HBO Bachelor's degrees are already registered in Mijn diploma's (digital diploma register by DUO), in which case you do not have to submit anything manually. However, this is not always the case. You will be informed by VU Amsterdam whether you need to submit proof of your previous education. The following documents will be accepted: 

    • Original certified copy of diploma. Submit the document by post (Student Administration, de Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands) or to the Student Desk (Main Building, ground floor). You can have your diploma authenticated at the Student Desk; do not forget to bring your original diploma and a copy.
    • Graduation statement. Request this from your current faculty's Educational Office. The declaration must state the study programme and the examination date and must be signed by the Examination Board. Submit the original by post (Student Administration, de Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands) or to the Student Desk (Main Building, ground floor).
    • Digital extract from the Diploma Register. Download the extract from DUO and submit it digitally to studentdesk@vu.nl. You cannot submit a printed version of the extract as it is not valid. Please note: this option is only valid if you do not have an original certified copy of your diploma or graduation statement before the deadline. Unless stated otherwise, we only process documents that are handed in by post or at the Student Desk. If you submit a digital document, we may ask you (at a later moment) to submit a hard copy.
  • Step 5: pay the pre-master's fee

    Make sure you pay the pre-master's fee before the deadline, otherwise you will not be enrolled and cannot start your study programme. You can read more about the (payment of the) pre-master's fee on the tuition fees page.

    The pre-master's fee is not refundable if you cancel your registration after 31 August or 31 January (applicable for SBE).

  • Step 6: check if you're enrolled

    Your enrolment is only complete when you receive a message from Studielink and VU Amsterdam that you are enrolled in the pre-master's programme. Until that time, you are not enrolled.

Do you have any questions?

Please contact the Student Desk.

Call +31 (0)20 59 85020 (Mon – Fri: 10:30 – 12:30 and 14:00 – 16:00)

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

Are you currently a VU student? Ask your question via the question form (log in with your VUnetID)