What students say about the Master's program
Sabine de Bruijn (graduated in 2012, ILO, Geneva)
What students say about the the Master's program
Josephine de Vries, (graduated 2008, Lead Corporate Strategy Office at Deloitte)
What students say about the the Master's program
I’m glad I used my resources on the MSc Economics at VU University. I was afraid I was ill prepared for this program. Despite its demanding nature, however, the professors were always willing to help out. I thrived in the program, graduated cum laude in 2011, and learned the building blocks for my current occupation as a policy economist for the Dutch Ministry of the Interior. I still use the knowledge I got in the MSc Economics every day, and highly recommend it."
Sjoerd ten Wolde (graduated in 2011, Policy Officer Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Aim of the program
The Master in Economics has been developed for the prospective professional economist who aims to pursue a career either in the public or the private sector. It teaches you the essentials of modern economic theory and how to apply them to everyday problems in a number of core policy fields. Areas of focus include poverty and inequality, financial markets, economic growth and the environment. As a Master’s student, you will become a versatile, all-round economist with the ability to independently tackle important economic issues. This is reflected in the jobs that our students accept. Our faculty was ranked number one in the 2015 accreditation of Dutch economic departments and the Msc program was ranked number one by the students in the “nationale studenten enquete”.
The MSc economics is targeted towards students with background knowledge in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Quantitative Methods. This knowledge should be equivalent to:
– Microeconomics: Varian ‘Intermediate Microeconomics’
– Macroeconomics: Gärttner ‘Macroeconomics’
– Quantitative Methods: Stock and Watson ‘Introduction to Econometrics’ (chapter 1 t/m 7).
Students who enroll in the MSc economics are strongly encouraged to study these books before classes start. In the week before classes start a short Math Refresher is offered.
The MSc economics is suitable for students who have completed
– a BSc economics or econometrics at any Dutch university and international universities,
– a BSc in business administration, social sciences and sciences with sufficient elective courses in economics, for example in a minor in economics or (applied) econometrics,
– a University College with a specialization in sciences or social sciences and sufficient economics courses,
– a PPE or PPLE study with sufficient economics and quantitative methods courses.
For international students there are language requirements. These requirements are
– IETL: General 6.5; Speaking 6.0; Listening 6.0; Reading 6.5; Writing 6.5
– TOEFL: PBT 580; IBT 92-93.
Students may be asked to submit a recent GRE score as well.
For student, who have insufficient knowledge to directly enroll in the MSc economics a premaster-program is offered at the Vrije Universiteit.
The Master in Economics is a high-quality one-year programme. The first part of the programme consists of three compulsory core courses focusing on the foundations of the discipline at an advanced level. You will also take three elective courses that can be combined into a specialization. Two pieces of independent academic work, a research project and a final thesis, complete the programme requirements. Thanks to the compact, personal nature of the programme there is plenty of interaction with the teaching staff. The programme is highly esteemed by its students and is one of the top Economics programmes in the Netherlands. The academic year is divided into six teaching periods: four periods of eight weeks and two periods of four weeks. The program’s study load is 60 credits. Credits are expressed in EC: European Credit (Transfer System). Each credit amounts to circa of 28 hours studying
Development Economics: applies basic tools of economics to key policy issues in developing countries and transition economies
Microeconomics for Development
Globalization, Growth and Development
Thesis in Development Economics
Public Policy: focuses on the effect of institutions like social insurance or competition policies on a variety of economic outcomes.
Economics of the Welfare State
Industrial Organization and Competition Policy
Thesis in Pubic Economics in a wider sense
International and Macroeconomic Policy: focuses on trade, growth and coordination of fiscal and monetary policy.
Macroeconomic Policy in the EU
Globalization, Growth and Development
Thesis in Macro, International Economics or related subjects
Global Challenges: focuses on pressing global issues such as global warming, climate change, and poverty.
The Economics of Climate Change
Globalization, Growth and Development
Thesis relating to economic aspects of pressing global issues
Any combination of three elective courses.
Additional Electives Courses
Regional and Urban Economics
Strategic and Cooperative Decision Making
Time Series Econometrics
Financial Markets and Institutions
You need to budget for two main categories of costs if you come to study at the VU:
- Your tuition fee, which is 1984 euro (EU/EEA) and 13.400 (non-EU/EEA)
- Your personal and daily living expenses
The overview below gives you an estimate of the cost of studying at the VU. The actual costs will vary (apart from the set fees), depending on your personal lifestyle.
|All in euro, per year||2016-2017|
Dutch and EU/EEA
|Accommodation (at most)**||6.660||6.660|
|Books (rough estimate)||600||600|
|Visa/residence permit (approximate)||—||320|
|Living expenses (including food – rough estimate)||3600||3600|
* “Dutch and EU/EEA” refers to those students who pay the statutory tuition fee. Students not eligible to pay the statutory tuition fee pay the “non-EU/EEA” tuition fee.
** Adding together rent, service costs, costs for internet/tv connection, and municipal taxes. These costs are based on the most expensive rooms. The costs may also be lower if you find a unit that makes you eligible for rent benefit (huurtoeslag).
*** For non-Dutch students. The exact amount will vary according to your individual circumstances (see, for example, links below).
More information on student accommodation in Amsterdam can be found on the bachelor platform of VU Amsterdam. Dutch students are required to find their own housing.
You will need health insurance, and it is highly recommended that you also take out appropriate general third-party insurance (liability insurance). So don’t forget to budget for these costs as well.
Books, meals, travel, etc …
You will need to buy essential books for your studies, and cover your meals and drinks, your mobile phone bill, etc. etc. Have you got a bike and/or public transport pass? You will want to be able to get around the city, so bear that in mind.
You should also budget some money for unexpected expenses (if your bike gets stolen, or your laptop needs repairing or replacing, for example).
A variety of scholarship programmes exist for international Master’s students. Here you will find a list of the ones most commonly awarded to our students:
Scholarships offered by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
- VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP)
The VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP) offers motivated and talented prospective students with excellent study results the unique opportunity to pursue a Master’s programmes at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam with a tuition fee covering scholarship.
- Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP)
The Holland Scholarship Programe (HSP) offers talented and unique prospective students the opportunity to pursue a degree in a Master’s programmes at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
- Orange Tulip Scholarship (OTS) (offered in co-operation with NUFFIC-NESO)
A scholarship for excellent students from Brazil, China and Indonesia. The scholarship is highly selective, offering two scholarships for the year 2015-2016.
- Fulbright scholarship (for US students only – offered in co-operation with Fulbright)
For highly motivated students from the United States with excellent study results.
Other scholarship options
- STUNED Scholarship Programme
The STUNED Scholarship Programme is open for professionals from Indonesia who have completed a Bachelor’s programme (S1). It is aimed in particular at teacher-educators, government officials (central and regional), NGO employees and journalists. The programme gives priority to candidates from outside Java and takes account of gender equality. However, strongly motivated candidates from all other sectors including the private sector are encouraged to apply. PhD students are not eligible for grants under this programme.
- Indonesia Endowment Fund of Education (LPDP)
Funding for Indonesian students who wish to pursue a master-, or PhD degree through the LPDP programme (Indonesia Endowment Fund of Education).
- Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) (offered by NUFFIC)
Grants intended to enable people who are currently employed in developing countries to obtain a Master’s or PhD degree in the Netherlands.
Student Loan Programmes
- Direct Loan Programme (US students)
The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) offers federal student loans for eligible students from the U.S. to help cover the cost of higher education. Eligible students borrow directly from the ED at participating schools.
- SallieMae Smart Option Loan
SallieMae is a loan provider in the US, who offers private loans to US students to cover their costs for their study period abroad. Only students with the American nationality will be eligible for this type of loan. The loan is meant to finance your stay at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and could cover your tuition fee, room and board, etc.
Scholarship search tips
- The Netherlands Student Grantfinder website is a search engine for students who want to study in the Netherlands and are looking for sources of funding for their studies. Grantfinder is easy to use and contains information on a range of Dutch scholarships for foreign students.
- The Study in Holland website also contains information on grant possibilities.
- Scholarships to obtain a PhD degree.
Contact and information days
The dates for the Information Days are available on this page.
How to apply
You can apply through Studielink.
“The Master in Economics is of great value. It is rigorous, taught by an excellent and internationally recognized faculty and attracts students from all over the world. The degree definitely helped me in getting my current job as a macro economist at Rabobank (which I love), but it opens up opportunities in the public sector as well.”
Raphie Hayat (graduated in 2007, Rabobank)
In 2014, I finished the MSc program in Economics. I strongly recommend the Master Economics to all students who are interested in macro and micro economics. The quality is very high and it is challenging. It offers interesting courses ranging from international economics to labor economics and development economics. Personally I am interested in the housing market and international economics. In my thesis, I was able to combine both. I am proud that I managed to publish a summary of my thesis in the main Dutch scientific journal (ESB).
Reinoud Linschoten (graduated in 2014, now BoFEB-trainee Ministry of foreign affairs)
I learnt how to connect and understand seemingly unrelated issues. Those analytical skills turned out to be extremely useful in the practice of consultancy. Every day I benefit from the tools I learnt at the MSc economics at the VU.
Rianne de Vos (graduated in 2008, Consultant at Willis Towers Watson)
During my Bachelor at the university of Amsterdam I became interested in Development Economics and the Master in Economics taught me the right knowledge and skills to work in this sector. It is a challenging program, but after graduation you will have great analytical skills and a broad range of job opportunities. The degree provided me the opportunity to work as a Junior Researcher at the Amsterdam Institute for International Development (AIID), which fits perfectly with my interests.
Emilie Berkhout (graduated in 2015, AIID)
This Master helps you to develop your analytical skills, understand economic behavior in general and how different economic environments can affect supervised institutions. These are key elements for good supervision.
Nick Rade (graduated in 2006, DNB, Dutch Central Bank)
Last year I graduated from the MSc program in Economics at the VU University. It offers a variety of interesting courses which are taught by inspiring professors who encourage and challenge you. The program is small scaled and you get to work in small teams of both national and international students. The degree really helped me get a position for a traineeship at the Rabobank. I definitely enjoyed my time at the VU.
Sanne Bruijns (graduated in 2015, Rabobank)
Choosing Vrije Universiteit was a perfect decision in many aspects. The program conveys sound knowledge of macro- and microeconomic theory as well as state of the art econometric methods at an advanced academic level. As a student you are also encouraged to work in small groups in order to solve assignments, e.g. conducting econometric analysis on a given dataset or writing policy-briefs on current economic topics. As a result, you will acquire analytical and methodic skills preparing you for both, either a professional or an academic career. Above all of this, you will have the opportunity to meet with inspiring people from all over the world. Some of them, certainly, will become good friends!
Simon Oehler, (graduated 2014, Deutsche Bundesbank)
“The master programme in economics at FEWEB has provided me with a sound understanding of some of the most important insights of modern economic thought. In my current job as an economist at the Dutch Central Bank I rely tremendously on the skills that I have acquired during my year at the VU. Therefore I would like to motivate every student who is aspiring a career in economic analysis to participate in this programme.
Patrick Kosterink, (graduated 2015, Nederlandsche Bank)
I chose the Master Economics because of the high quality of education offered at the VU. Moreover, the program is small scaled and very internationally oriented. I learned a lot from working in small teams of smart and motivated students. This degree gives me many career options. I did an internship at the Rabobank and just returned from a few months of traveling and am trying to start working in sustainability consultancy.
Tara Janssen (graduated in 2015, research department of the Rabobank on sustainability)
I have learned amazing things at the VU and I feel much more complete as an economist. Even though the master’s has not finished yet, I already see that my options have increased. When I am sending applications, everyone knows that if you have studied at the VU, you’ve had good training.
Maria Marimpi (current student 2016, will pursue for a PhD in the UK)
After finishing AUC I knew it was time for the next challenging step. Ultimately, it was MSc Economics at the VU that made the hit with its renowned professors, motivating environment, and a diverse student body.
Aleksandra Arsova (current student, 2016)
After finishing my undergraduate studies at the university of Amsterdam, I started the one-year Master of Economics program at the VU, which is an exciting program. With the variety of elective courses you are able to go in many directions. You can specialize in certain fields or choose your own courses. I specialized in development economics. This specialization encouraged participation with other students, while it also encouraged you to be involved in the studies of Professors. I learned a great deal about the different fields in development economics, the need for continuous research and all the possible pitfalls. The Master of Economics consisted of challenging course materials. Fundamental economic principles as modern day economic problems are studied in a comprehensive manner. The lectures helped me to understand the underlying causes of these problems, enabling critical thinking about solutions become possible. The Master of Economics was very interesting and it is recommended to anyone wanting to test their intellect in the economic field.
Peter Haanen (graduated in 2015).