Below is an overview of course offerings and minor programmes available to incoming exchange students.
Exchange study guide
Exchange students must always select courses from our exchange study guide. Selecting courses from our regular Bachelor's or Master's programmes is unfortunately not possible:
Note that the exchange study guide is subject to change.
Courses taught in Dutch
If you wish to take Dutch-taught courses, you need to be sufficiently proficient in the Dutch language (C1 level). Attaining such a level of proficiency usually takes several years of study. If you wish to take courses taught in Dutch, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courses for students from PPE partner universities
If you are a PPE student from one of our PPE partners, you are allowed to also choose from a total of 18 courses from our PPE Bachelor's programme. You can find the overview of courses on the programme page in the VU study guide. Note, however, that your choice is limited to the second-year courses within the Track Philosophy 2nd Year, the Track Political Science 2nd Year & the Track Economics 2nd Year.
Minor programmes (first semester only)
We encourage exchange students to follow one of our minor programmes rather than piecing together their own schedule. Minors are pre-packaged selections of approximately five related Bachelor's courses that span the entire first (or Fall) semester. Most minors are Interdisciplinary and so are open to students from any background, however some minors do have prerequisites and can only be found under the faculty that offers it. One big advantage of selecting a minor is that you will not have overlapping classes in your schedule. Also, minors show a focused area of study, so you can add them to your CV.
University minors 2021-2022 (open to all students)
- A Christian Worldview?
- American Studies
- Bible Translation in the Digital Age
- Brain and Mind
- Buddhism, Yoga and Spirituality
- Business Administration
- Development and Global Challenges
- Digital Humanities and Social Analytics
- European Urban and Cultural History
- Foreign Language Learning
- Gender and Diversity
- Law and Global Society
- Managing Digital Innovation
- Peace and Conflict Studies
- Peace Theology and Anabaptist-Mennonite Traditions
- Political Science
- Psychology and the Brain
- Religion, Law and Society
- Religious Dimensions of Global Challenges
- Risk Management for Financial Institutions
- Technology, Law & Ethics
Faculty minors 2021-2022
Please note that these minor programmes have specific entry requirements
Minors Behavioural and Human Movement Sciences
Minors Economics and Business Administration
- Applied Econometrics: A Big Data Experience for All
- E-business and Online Commerce
- Health Care Management
- Real Estate Economics and Finance
- Sustainability: Management and Innovation
- Understanding and Influencing Decisions in Business and Society
Minors Earth and Life Sciences
- Biomedical and Health Interventions
- Biomedical Topics in Health Care
- Biomolecular & Neurosciences track Biomolecular Sciences
- Biomolecular & Neurosciences track Neurosciences
- Earth Surface track Earth Sciences
- Earth Surface track Earth, Economics & Sustainability
- Evolutionary Biology and Ecology
- Five Big Issues in Health
- Geo Information minor
- Global Health
- Topics in Biomedical Sciences
Minors Social Sciences
Minor Programmes Faculty of Medicine VU
VU partner exchange students who wish to apply need to have completed at least 90 ECTS in a relevant programme, for example medicine, biomedicine, psychobiology, technical medicine, medical biology, liberal arts & sciences or biopharmaceutical sciences. Please mind that some tracks are only open to medical students, and acceptance also depends on the availability of sufficient spots. More information: Minor within electives - International Minors Medicine
Many Bachelor's and Master's courses have specific entry requirements, which you can find in the exchange study guide.
In addition to course specific entry requirements, students interested in following Master’s courses must also meet the admission requirements for the Master’s degree programme to which the course belongs. This includes a copy of your Bachelor’s diploma and submitted proof of an English proficiency test.
For more information please see our nomination and application procedure.
Courses and registration deadlines
The International Office will ask you submit your course selection in advance. If approved, your course list will be made available in your VUweb account. Please note that you must still register for courses yourself in VUweb. Course registration for the first semester of each academic year will start in July. Course registration for the second semester will start in December. Any changes to your course selection must be emailed to email@example.com before the registration deadlines (see "Semesters and periods").
Exams and resit exams
When you register for courses in VUweb, you must also register for work groups (if applicable) and for the first exam. In the event of failing a course, you must register for the resit examination at least two weeks prior to the examination date.
Semesters and periods
At Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the academic year is divided into 2 semesters. Each semester is divided into 3 periods:
Academic year 2021-2022
1st semester (Fall) Calendar dates Course registration & deadlines De-registration deadline Period 1 6 September - 29 October 26 July until 13 September 13 September Period 2 1 November - 24 December 27 September until 18 October 8 November Period 3 10 January - 4 February 29 November until 13 December 17 January 2nd semester (Spring) Period 4 7 February - 1 April 20 December until 17 January 14 February Period 5 4 April - 3 June 20 December until 7 March 11 April Period 6 6 June - 1 July 20 December until 9 May 13 June
For details about our semester dates, please consult our academic calendar:
Dutch grading system
Dutch grades range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest). Grades of 5.5 and higher are passing grades. The highest grade, 10, is very rarely awarded. An 8 is considered a high mark and a 7 is more common. Grades from 1 to 3 are also quite rare.
ECTS % Quality Assessment Dutch grade 10% Excellent/Very good 8.0 - 10.0 25% Good 7.5 - 7.9 30% More than satisfactory 7.0 - 7.4 25% Satisfactory 6.5 - 6.9 10% Sufficient 5.5 - 6.4 Fail 0.0 - 5.4
VU Amsterdam uses the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) which is based on the workload students should have in order to achieve expected learning outcomes. ECTS is based on the principle that 30 ECTS credits measure the workload of a full-time student during one semester (and 60 ECTS for a full academic year). In addition, each ECTS credit is equivalent to 28 study hours (which includes both classroom hours as well as self-study). Most courses are 6 ECTS credits.
If you are nominated on a faculty contract, you are expected to follow the majority of your courses at that faculty with a minimum of 18 ECTS out of 30. Additionally, you are allowed to follow 12 ECTS at other faculties, provided you have the relevant academic background. As an exchange student, you must take a minimum of 24 ECTS credits per semester (or 48 ECTS for the whole academic year).
Dutch language courses
The Department of Dutch as a Second Language (NT2 Academy) offers extensive Dutch language courses for exchange students. These courses cover eight weeks and take place two evenings a week. In addition to attending these class hours students are also expected to commit at least five hours of self-study per week. Exchange students can obtain 3.5 ECTS for completing this course. Please note that there are costs involved. As an (exchange) student you get a discount on the course fee.
Do you have any questions about our exchange programme?
During your stay in Amsterdam, you can either contact us through e-mail or visit us during the office hours of the International Service Desk (currently closed due to Covid-19).