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Honours Programme SBE

The Honours Programme offers several advantages to our students. Only a select group of motivated, talented students can participate in the programme. The programme draws upon the expertise of our top faculty members. Special courses are developed, that are only accessible to honours students. These courses are characterized by small classes (10-20 students), a high degree of teacher-student interaction and for free (no extra charge of tuition fees).

The Honours Programme is designed for motivated and talented bachelor students: by joining, you can add more depth to your studies and broaden your horizon with extracurricular courses. You can choose from a wide range of interesting courses, both in- and outside of your own field:

  • With the faculty part of the programme, you gain a more in-depth perspective on your own field of studies by taking extra courses at SBE or doing research. For course descriptions and other information, please scroll down to 'Faculty part of the Honours Programme at SBE'. 
  • With the interfaculty part, you cross the boundaries of your own study programme by choosing from a wide range of interdisciplinary honours courses at VU, UvA or AUC.

In other words, the VU Honours Programme offers you an exciting option to expand your regular bachelor programme by earning 30 EC on top of the 180 EC of your regular studies. You are eligible for the Honours Programme if you have the motivation to take extra courses in the second and third year of your bachelor programme and passed all your first-year bachelor courses by the end of year one, with a grade average of 7.5.

More information: Honours Programme

Why should you apply?

In this video Honours Programme students express their enthusiasm about this extracurricular opportunity. Watch and listen why they choose to participate, which aspects of the programme are most beneficial and how honours education has contributed to their deepening of knowledge and broadening their horizon.

Are you ready to challenge yourself? Register before 1 May!

More about the VU Honours Programme

Find out about interfaculty courses, application (deadline 1 May) and more on the central webpages

Honours Programme pages

Faculty part of the Honours Programme at SBE

  • Structure and planning

    2 SBE HP courses12 EC
    2 VU HP interfaculty courses12 EC
    1 HP elective or Research-Assistantship 6 EC

    The SBE Honours Programme consists of 30 EC. These credits are usually completed during the second and third year of your SBE bachelor. In the SBE Honours programme, students need to complete 12 EC in faculty (SBE Honours) courses and 12 EC in interfaculty Honours courses. You can choose how you wish to complete the remaining 6 EC as you have the option to complete another faculty course, an interfaculty course or a Research Assistantship.

    The course descriptions of the SBE faculty courses can be found in the study guide of the SBE Bachelors under the head ‘’Honours programme’’.

  • Faculty Honours courses and projects

    • Behavioral Game Theory (E_HP2_BGT), period 2
    • The Economics of Globalization: A Transaction Costs Perspective (E_HP1_EGTC), period 4
    • Contemporary Challenges in Corporate Strategy (E_HP1_CPCS), period 4
    • Bubbles and Crashes (E_HP1_BC), period 5
    • Research Assistantship (E_HP2_RASS), year round in 3rd year

    During the Research Assistantship, you perform a tutored research project. It is possible to combine the Research Assistantship with your bachelor thesis. The Research Assistantship is organized at faculty level and has to be approved by the SBE Honours Programme coordinator.

    Courses, descriptions and the time of the year can be found in the study guide of your bachelor. You will find the Honours courses under the ‘’Programme’’ tab. 

  • Registering for Honours courses and projects

    If you have been accepted into the Honours Programme, you can register for SBE Honours courses on your personal dashboard. You can find the courses by filling in the course name or course code under the tab ‘’all courses’’ instead of the tab ‘’proposed courses’’.

    The Research Assistantship has a custom registration process that is explained in the study guide of the course.

    If you have questions regarding the SBE Honours programme, you can contact directly.

    For interdisciplinary HP courses, we refer to the central VU honours programme webpage for details on enrollment. There you can also find information on how to participate in the second-half of your first year.

  • Diploma and grading

    All successfully completed Honours courses appear as extracurricular courses on your bachelor diploma. You receive an honours mentioning on your diploma if you complete the Honours Programme as well as your bachelor programme within three years, with a grade average of at least 7.5 for your regular bachelor courses.

  • Information events

    SBE bachelor students will be informed of any organized events regarding the Honours Programme via email or Canvas.

  • FAQ

    • Q: What happens to the Honours courses I passed if I decide to stop or if I fail to meet the GPA requirement?

    A: Passing courses is no waste of effort. All Honours courses will appear as extracurricular courses supplementing your diploma, also in case you complete five Honours courses with a GPA below 7.5. Please inform the Honours coordinators if you wish to no longer participate in the Honours Programme.

    • Q: Does the GPA of at least 7.5 apply to my bachelor or my bachelor plus Honours courses?

    A: The GPA of 7.5 applies only to your bachelor grades.

    • Q: I fear that the extra exams of Honours courses during exam weeks will lower my grades.

    A: Honours Courses usually do not involve exams, but assignments, essays, presentations etc. Most deadlines are outside the regular exam periods as well. You can contact the SBE study advisors to discuss your study schedule.

    • Q: I fear that the Honours Programme will lower my grades to obtain Cum Laude.

    A: There is hardly evidence for this fear. Many Honours students obtain Cum Laude and Honours. You can contact the SBE study advisors to discuss your study schedule.

    • Q: Can I combine Honours and act as a board member of study associations?

    A: You can ask the SBE exam committee for an exception from the three-year rule if you decide to act as a board member of Aureus and Kraket.

    • Q: When and how can I arrange the Research Assistantship?

    A: The Research Assistantship (RA) is an optional 3rd year course that is not linked to a specific semester. The Research assistantship does not take a whole academic year, but instead can be completed throughout the year. An 6 EC RA can be translated into a fulltime month, or two part-time months, or combined as an extension of your thesis. More information about the RA-ship can be found with the rest of the Honours Programme courses in the study guide.

    For more FAQ regarding the interfaculty courses, please see the general VU Honours FAQ webpage.

  • Application SBE Honours Programme

    You can apply for the SBE Honours Programme via the VU Honours website (deadline 1 May).

    Your application has to include the following material:

    • a letter of motivation directed to the coordinator of the SBE Honours Programme Dr. Harold Houba
    • your resume
    • list of bachelor grades and the grade average of all courses passed so far

    Your letter of motivation should be written in English, should be no more than 1.5 pages (A4) and should contain the following information:

    • motivation for participation in the Honours Programme
    • what Honours courses of the VU Honours Programme arouse your interests
    • what you hope to achieve by participating in the Honours Programme
    • why you think you have it to complete the Honours Programme successfully. In this respect, take also into account any other plans you might have beside your studies, such as studying abroad for a while or participation in the board of a student society, etc.

    On basis of the material received, the selection board will conditionally admit the best students. The faculty aims at the top 5-10% of students. Final selection takes place when all grades for all first-year courses have been published, which is typically the end of August.

Do you want to know more about the Honours Programme at SBE?

Please contact Harold Houba

For more information or questions about (the interfaculty part of) the Honours Programme, please contact the Honours Programme Team