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International Minors in Medicine (electives/exchange)

Last updated on 19 September 2022
Ever wondered how and why diseases develop?

How medicine work or how novel drugs are discovered? What the underlying mechanisms are? Then join the exchange semester of Faculty of Medicine VU in which we will address all these questions. 

The Faculty of Medicine's elective semester will give you insights in the translation of research into health care and back. 

Start date: September
Duration: One semester 
Language of instruction: English 
Credits: 24/30 EC

The programme offers a number of different minors every year.
For 2022-2023 these are:

Global Health Indonesia, Challenges in Women's & Child Healthcare, Clinical & Scientific Internal Medicine and Comprehensive Care, and Anatomy are only open to medical students of the Faculty of Medicine VU. Please mind that in the last three minors some parts (e.g. patient presentations) will be taught in Dutch. 

The minors of the elective/exchange semester focus on the deepening and broadening of medical scientific knowledge and the translational connection between research and clinic. The aim is to strengthen academic and scientific training within the clinical context. This means that you are better prepared for current developments in healthcare. In light of internationalisation and the reinforcement of academic training, the minors are taught in English.

The minors at the Faculty of Medicine VU start in September, last 16 weeks and comprise a total of 24 EC. The education is small-scale, consisting of interactive tutorials of +/- 25-48 students, study groups of approximately 12 students, practicals, working visits, etc. Each minor is multidisciplinary in design. You can complete your minor in January with a literature essay (6 EC) to make it 30 EC. 

Admission, registration and questions about the programme

  • Admission

    The minor electives programme is open to students of the Bachelors Programme in Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine VU, students from other faculties, and to foreign Exchange and Semester in Amsterdam students.

    Faculty of Medicine VU students must have completed the first bachelor year and have acquired at least
    30 ECTS in the second year (= at least 90 ECTS in total), of which 18 ECTS are acquired in the first semester of the second year. For more information check Canvas.

    The minor programme at the Faculty of Medicine VU is also open to third year bachelor students in Biomedical Sciences, Health and Life Sciences (major clinical sciences or major biomedical sciences), Medical Natural Sciences and the beta track at Amsterdam University College. Students must have completed the first bachelor year and have acquired at least 30 ECTS in the second year (= at least 90 ECTS in total).
    In addition, good English language proficiency is required (at least VWO level). Please note that some tracks are only open to medical students and acceptance is also subject to availability of places.
    To apply, please send an e-mail to bachelor.info@vumc.nl before 1 April 2023. 

    The minor also accepts Exchange and Semester in Amsterdam students. In order to be eligible, they must have completed at least 90 EC in a relevant programme such as: medicine, biomedical sciences, psychobiology, technical medicine, or biopharmaceutical sciences. Furthermore, good English language proficiency is required. Please note that some tracks are only open to medical students, and acceptance is also subject to availability of places. For acceptance and registration into a minor, exchange students can contact the Incoming Exchange Team: incoming@vu.nl. International exchange students should be selected and proposed by the international offices of the partner universities.
    Semester in Amsterdam students can contact: semesterinamsterdam@vu.nl

    Interested? See Admission and Registration

  • Minor registration

    If you wish to follow a minor, you must apply before 31 March. As part of your application, please submit a transcript of records and include information on your prior and current education.  
    Please note: The number of places for the International Minors Medicine is limited. Applying for a minor does not mean that you are guaranteed a place. The places are therefore allocated with priority. 

    Information for VU students

    Information for other students

    Are you an exchange student or Semester in Amsterdam student? The International Office is responsible for course approval and registration. Please contact either the Incoming Exchange Team or Semester in Amsterdam Team for details:

  • Finding out more about the programme

    The international minors in medicine are scheduled in the first semester of the third year of the Bachelors Programme in Medicine.

    For Faculty of Medicine VU students information sessions are organised in the second year of the medicine programme:

    • In October general information will be provided about the minor within the degree programme and the options available;
    • In November there will be an information session about the possibilities for taking a minor at a foreign university;
    • At the beginning of December there will be an information fair about the Faculty of Medicine VU minors. All minors present themselves during this information fair. You can obtain detailed information about the various minors at the different stands at the information fair.

    Global Health Indonesia and Comprehensive Care and Anatomy are only accessible to Bachelor’s students of Faculty of Medicine VU.

    If you are an exchange student and you want to take part in Comprehensive Care and Anatomy, an exception can be made if you meet all the requirements. This differs per exchange student and will be considered individually after your application.

    For more information about the programme or general questions:
    - VU students can send an email to bachelor.info@vumc.nl
    - Students (Foreign) from partner institutions can send an email to international@vumc.nl

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    When are the minors offered at the Faculty of Medicine VU?
    The minor programme is offered from September to December (24 ECTS). You have the option to complete your minor with a literature essay in January (6 ECTS) to make it 30 ECTS. 

    What conditions do I have to meet to be eligible to take a minor?
    The minor electives program is open to students of the Bachelorrs Programme in Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine VU, students from other faculties, and to foreign Exchange and Semester in Amsterdam students.

    Am I allowed to take two minors, simultaneously at the Faculty of Medicine VU?
    Unfortunately, you cannot take two minors simultaneously at the Faculty of Medicine VU. All minors are taught in the same period. You can choose to take a minor at two different faculties, click here for an overview of all minors at VU.  
    Please noteIn order to include a second minor in your programme, you will need approval from your
    programme’s Board of Examiners. 

    Can I choose or switch to another minor? 
    If you would like to change minors, you need to do this before the application deadline 31 March.
    Making changes after approval is not possible.  

    When and how you will be notified of the timetable for your minor?
    The timetables are published late July or at the beginning of August. You can find the timetable of your minor at rooster.vu.nl  

    I cannot register (course) in VUweb. What do I have to do?
    You cannot register for the minor courses yourself. The Faculty of Medicine VU education office carries out the registration. 

    Where can I find more minor course information
    When you are registered for a course, you are automatically registered for the corresponding module on CANVAS where more information will be posted.  

    For how many credits (ECTS) may I register?
    A minor is 24 ECTS (September- December). You can complete your minor with a literature essay in January (bachelor thesis) (6 ECTS) to make it 30 ECTS.  

  • Crossing boundaries magazine

    Are you an international student interested in medical sciences? Would you like to study in the vibrant and multicultural city of Amsterdam? In this magazine you can read everything about the options for studying at the Faculty of Medicine Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the experiences of our former exchange students, and we give you practical information on how to get started.