Devise, build, and perfect the computer systems that connect our world

Computer Science

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Information interaction

Computer Science is all about our interaction with information. That information can range from railway timetables to personal health care data or exciting new virtual games. Computer technology has given us a wealth of new opportunities, but unfortunately it has also created serious risks. The Bachelor’s in Computer Science at VU Amsterdam focuses on both aspects, with Networks and Security as two major topics in the program.

The openness and transparency that we value in the Netherlands are reflected in our educational system. You will receive a pro-active and challenging education, and our lecturers’ doors are always open for any questions you might have. Our lecturers combine teaching with top-level research. They also maintain solid relations with various businesses in the field, and projects you will work on during your program are often organized in cooperation with such companies.

Can't wait? Check out this lecture on Computer Systems by top-researcher Herbert Bos, which is part of the actual curriculum.

The Computer Scientist looking further

We are moving towards a world in which everything and everyone is connected. This will affect all of us. For this very reason, VU Computer Scientists will be joining researchers from practically a wide range of academic disciplines as they examine the theme of the Connected World. We invite you to enter this world: as a Computer Science student at VU Amsterdam, you will be uniquely qualified to contribute to this theme as an expert in the field with technical as well as multidisciplinary skills.

Thinking about Computer Science? Visit a taster day

Are you up for joining VU Amsterdam’s international talent network? Are you tenacious and do you enjoy learning from others? Do you have an affinity with computers, programming and math? Are you creative, inquisitive and ambitious? Do you wish to make things simpler, and are you the problem solver this world needs? In that case we would be happy to meet you during one of our taster days. 

Upon graduation you’ll receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. You’ll be able to use your knowledge to develop state-of-the-art computer programs, evaluate potential network security weaknesses, or design a secure network. Our graduates have landed jobs as software engineers with Google, Nokia and the City of Amsterdam. Others have become Licensed Ethical Hackers at XS4ALL, consultants with Accenture or are now CEOs of their own companies (e.g. Voiceworks). Computer Science is invaluable for almost any modern industry or company, so you will have many options when it comes to finding the right job.

Even more doors will open for you if you decide to specialize further by pursuing a Master’s degree. VU Amsterdam offers six Computer Science Master’s programs, each with an excellent reputation in a decidedly international environment. Check out all our Master’s programs.

Admission criteria for international applicants
Applicants holding a pre-university school diploma from another country must meet a number of requirements: 

  1. A diploma equivalent to a Dutch VWO diploma
  2. Proof of sufficient proficiency in Mathematics
  3. Proof of sufficient proficiency in English

Equivalency to a Dutch VWO diploma

See the general guide to accepted diplomas for examples of diplomas with which you are eligible for admission to Computer Science, provided that you are not deficient in Mathematics or English. Please note: this list is meant to give you an indication of admissibility; no rights can be derived from it.

Proof of sufficient proficiency in Mathematics

Examples of diplomas that demonstrate sufficient proficiency in Mathematics are:

  • International Baccalaureate: Mathematics Standard or Higher Level
  • UK: Mathematics A levels
  • Germany: Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife, including Mathematics as Abiturfach and/or Leistungsfach.
  • Romania: Diploma de Bacalaureat, including a Mathematics and Informatics Profile, or Natural Sciences profile.

After you apply to the programme and upload the required documents in our student portal, the admission officer will have a look at your transcripts to determine whether your mathematics level is sufficient. If your proficiency in mathematics is considered to be insufficient, an additional certificate will be required for admission. This must be submitted before 31 August.

The following certificates (combined with a secondary school diploma) are deemed equivalent to Dutch VWO Mathematics B level and will allow admission into the Computer Science program:

International Exams

  • International Baccalaureate Mathematics Standard or Higher Level
    This program comprises more than mathematics alone, but some schools allow you to take only the mathematics course and can provide you with a certificate. The complete list of IB schools can be found here: contact a school near you to find out whether it offers separate course certificates.
  • Cambridge International A-levels
    Another option for obtaining a separate maths course certificate is to take an A-level maths exam at a registered Cambridge school. Please check here to find the nearest Cambridge school in your country.

Exams in the Netherlands

  • Boswell-Bèta (English). Boswell-Bèta in Utrecht (the Netherlands) provides a maths course in English with exams in December, May and July. More information about the exams can be found here.
  • CCVX (Dutch and English). CCVX offers maths exams equivalent to the Dutch VWO Mathematics B level for Dutch-speaking and English-speaking applicants.
  • VASVU You can also apply for the one-year VASVU preparation programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. This program prepares you for your academic studies (such as Computer Science) at our university.

Proof of sufficient proficiency in English
International applicants must take an English language proficiency test and submit their scores before 1 August. Applicants who have completed their education in Canada, the USA, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia are exempt from this requirement, as are those who have obtained an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma (English-taught programs only).

We accept the following tests and minimum scores:

  • IELTS: 6.5
  • TOEFL paper based test: 580
  • TOEFL internet based test: 92
  • Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): A, B or C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B or C

If you are already in the Netherlands, you can also register for a TOEFL test at VU Taalcentrum. Please note however that this test is only valid at VU Amsterdam.
VU Amsterdam only accepts language tests that have been completed max. 2 years ago. The certificate of the test may not be older than 2 years, counted from the date you start the CS program at VU Amsterdam.

Nuffic Certificate for Chinese students
Chinese students who wish to enroll in an English-taught program at a Dutch institute of higher education are required to apply for a Nuffic Certificate. Nuffic will send this certificate directly to the relevant Dutch institute of higher education once it has been issued.

Dutch WO/HBO (first-year certificate, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree)
You will be eligible for admission to the Bachelor’s in Computer Science with proof of sufficient proficiency in Mathematics, similar to non-Dutch students (see above).

Application procedure

All applicants must start the application procedure through the portal. You will then receive an e-mail inviting you to complete your application in the VU student portal, where you will also be asked to submit all documentation needed for the admission procedure.

International applicants will be asked to submit:

· Transcript(s) of records (e.g. High School grade list)

· Copy of diploma (if already obtained)

· Copy of valid passport

· Curriculum Vitae (your personal details, previous education and any relevant work experience in approximately one A4 page)

Deadline: International students who require housing facilities, as well as all non-EEA students, must apply before 1 April. EEA students who do not require housing facilities must apply before 1 May. You will be informed about your admission within four weeks after the completion of your application (including all required documents).

Ready to apply?
Great! All applicants must start the application procedure through the portal.

Some international students are happy to tell you about their experiences with living and studying in Amsterdam. These Student Ambassadors come from all over the world and have attended various bachelor's and master's programmes.

Our student ambassadors are listed here on this webpage:

Reach out to them and get their stories about being a student at VU Amsterdam!

The VU Matching Programme enables you to check whether you have chosen the right degree programme. VU Matching is part of the application procedure for all bachelor degree programmes at VU. It consists of two steps, a digital questionnaire on VUnet and a matching activity related to the study programme. The matching activity aims to give you a realistic idea of the content of the study to help you determine if the study matches the ideas and expectations you have.

If you applied before May 1st in the Studielink portal and next logged into the VUnet portal you will automatically receive an invitation to participate in the matching activity. The invitations will be sent by the end of April. The matching date for this programme will be in the period of Wednesday May 30 until and including Tuesday June 12, 2018. Keep this time slot free in your agenda. The date(s) as well as details about the activity will be communicated here by the end of October.

If you have questions about the matching activity, please contact the matching coordinator for the Faculty of Sciences: For general information about matching check out the website VU Matching.

If you have a specific question about applying with a non-Dutch diploma you can contact our International Student Advisor. The ISA will help you with practicalities about your bachelor admission and support you throughout the application process.

Julia Tan                         Alexander Lindemans
M:   M:
T: +31 205984212          T: +31 205982788 

Juliatan2017                 Alexander Lindemans


How will you be spending your time?
Our three-year Bachelor’s program will teach you to speak and understand the language of computers, from the logic that systems are built on to the various abstractions of the code used to program them. Moreover, you'll learn how computer networks share information efficiently and securely, and how users interact with systems. You'll be in the driver’s seat with key skills and expertise, ready to start working in this fascinating field.

Study load
Computer Science is a full-time program with an intensive pace. On average you will spend 14 hours a week at the university. This time will be devoted to 3-4 lectures, practical classes and group assignments. You will also spend a significant amount of time  working  on  projects  at  home. You  will  take  two  courses  simultaneously  in  any given two-month teaching period.

Overview Computer Science




3 years (fulltime)


1 April (non-EEA students + EEA students requiring housing) / 1 May (EEA students who do not require housing)


1 September




Computer Science, Mathematics, Business


Computer Science, Mathematics and Business

Steven van Beelen

Third-year Computer Science student

I have always been fascinated by everything involving computers. So studying Computer Science seemed only logical, and VU Amsterdam was at the top of my list. Over the past three years I’ve taken fascinating courses on algorithms, programming, problem solving and database architecture, precisely what I like! In addition, the contact between the professors and students is great, which really makes me doubly glad I opted for VU Amsterdam. It’s almost a pity I’m nearly done with my Bachelor’s. I want more!