International Business Administration

Push your boundaries and those of international businesses

Develop an integrated perspective

The IBA programme will give you the necessary theoretical knowledge to succeed in the marketplace and will introduce you to the practical application of disciplines that are at the very heart of International Business Administration: Strategy, Marketing, Finance, Accounting, Organization, Human Resource Management, Logistics and Technology. Our IBA programme will help you develop an integrated perspective to understand and influence international business issues. You will learn to think strategically and gain a balanced overview of diverse and interconnected organizational issues. You will also learn how to make decisions that can affect the various components of an organization. These studies will enable you to bring success to businesses anywhere – and hence also to your own career.

The International Business Professional looking further

Students from over 50 countries across all continents have already come to study in our faculty at VU Amsterdam, which is engaged in world-class research. Through the VU theme of Governance for Society you will connect with your fellow students, VU teachers and researchers to solve international business and societal challenges. The VU Amsterdam IBA curriculum is the result of a co-creation initiative involving four major stakeholders: academics, employers and recruiters, current students and alumni. This has resulted in a uniquely positioned curriculum with the three core elements of people, business and society, a programme that develops leading academics, professionals and citizens. Where will your ambition take you?

Want to become an International Business Professional? Come to a Taster day

Are you ambitious? Internationally oriented? Can you have fun and challenge yourself and others with new, out-of-the-box ideas? Do you want to enhance your business acumen and build your international network? Are you prepared to cross boundaries and borders? If so, we would be happy to meet you during one of our Taster days here at VU Amsterdam in the Zuidas.

Graduating from this programme you will earn you the title of Bachelor of Science (BSc) in International Business Administration. Our faculty offers you a broad range of options for continuing your studies after you have completed your Bachelor’s.

You may also choose to go straight into the job market; you will have a wide choice. You are most likely to find work in any kind of organization that manages processes or works on performance improvements. You could work in the for-profit or non-profit sector, for a company providing services or products, for a small or large organization, either on the owner side or on the organization side of the business. You could find work in various disciplines you have been trained in, such as Strategy, Marketing, Finance, Accounting, Organization, Human Resource Management, Supply Chain Management and Technology.

The IBA programme is also an excellent start for those who want to launch their own business, because you will have gained an understanding of organizations, business principles and their underlying structure.

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

1.       A diploma equivalent to the Dutch pre-university ‘VWO’ diploma

2.       Proof of sufficient proficiency in Mathematics

3.       Proof of sufficient proficiency in English

You are allowed to have a deficiency regarding these criteria at the time of application but the criteria should be fully met before the start of the programme. 

Mathematics

Examples of diplomas that demonstrate sufficient proficiency in Mathematics are:

  • International Baccalaureate: Mathematics Standard Level
  • UK: Mathematics A levels
  • Germany: Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife, including Mathematics as Abiturfach and/or Leistungsfach.

After you apply to the programme and upload the required documents in our Student Portal VUnet, 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, you will need to pass an entry test in mathematics.

Mathematics exams in the Netherlands

Both Boswell-Bèta and CCVX offer the mathematics A entry exam. The Boswell-Bèta Institute offers summer courses in the months June and July.

Mathematics exams abroad

  • Cambridge International A-levels
    Another option is to take an A-level mathematics exam at a registered Cambridge school. Please check here to find the nearest Cambridge school in your country.

Proof of sufficient proficiency in English
International applicants must take an English language proficiency test and submit their scores before 31 August 2018. 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 programmes 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 Taalloket. Please note however that this test is only valid at VU Amsterdam. We only accept language tests that have been completed max. 2 years ago, counted from the date you start the IBA programme.

Nuffic Certificate for Chinese students 
Chinese students who wish to enroll in an English-taught programme at a Dutch higher education institution are required to apply for a Nuffic Certificate. Nuffic sends this certificate directly to the relevant Dutch higher education institution once it has been issued. More information on the Nuffic Certificate for Chinese students

Start September 2018?
Do you want to start the IBA programme in September 2018? Make sure to apply before the deadline of 1 May 2018! You are able to apply from 1 October 2017 via www.studielink.nl. After that you will receive a VUnet ID and password (in two separate emails). Be sure to complete your application in our Student Portal VUnet by uploading all the necessary documents. 

The VU Matching Programme enables you to check whether you have chosen the right degree programme. The matching programme consists of two steps: a digital questionnaire on VUnet, which is part of the application process, and an online matching activity. By taking part in the matching activity, you can check whether the programme is really the right one for you. For more information, please take a look here.

If you are a student with a Dutch degree, please take a look at our IBA page here.

 

International Student Advisor:
Ester de Koning
Tel: + 31 (0) 20 598 2508
E: bachelors.sbe@vu.nl

Prefer to contact a student?
Feel free to contact the board members of Aureus at secretary@aureus-vu.nl. They will be more than willing to put you in touch with a student who is currently participating in this programme.

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How will you be spending your time?

The IBA is a full-time, English-taught programme that takes three years to complete. A year has six periods. During most periods you will work intensively on two courses simultaneously. Outside of class you will work on assignments in student teams. You will combine in-depth business subjects with academic skills, research methods and personal development, all with an international orientation.

Examples of courses:
People in Business and Society
During this course you are invited to engage in cultures, understanding people working in international organizations and to develop your own view. You will be encouraged to look beyond boarders and obtain an understanding of current events from a (cross-)cultural perspective and to learn how this transcends into managing people effectively in a cross-cultural setting. We will challenge you with a view on professional development in an international context, make you work together on creating your own IBA culture and critically reflect on business cases from a cross-cultural perspective.

Business Mathematics
Mathematics is a challenging but highly relevant topic for any international business student. Doing business for sure means having a vision, but it also means having the numbers right. You cannot develop a sound business plan without understanding and using mathematics, and you need mathematics in order to plan your stocks and trucks. In the business literature, we see many mathematical models, for scheduling, finance, and investments. Using such models requires a basic understanding of mathematical principles related to multi-variable calculus, optimization and expectation. Furthermore, today’s simple calculations require basic skills in setting up and handling spreadsheets and typesetting formulas. This course therefore also addresses such general skills.

Organization Theory
During this introductory course into organization theory we will start unpacking the theoretical tools with which you can understand what an organization is, how organizations function, and how different organizational structures influence various outcomes. The main part of the course deals with various theories that describe and explain the relationships between action in organizations and their outcomes. In addition, we start building the academic skills that you increasingly need when your studies progress. Along the way, we go through various examples of organizations - factories in 19th century industrial England, contemporary prisons in the US, the creative companies of the 21st century - to put flesh on the bones of organization theories. Though our focus is on general organization theories that can be applied across different organizational and national contexts, we explicitly discuss international business related issues, such as how managerial ideas spread across national contexts.

Cross-Cultural Marketing
This course provides you with a fundamental knowledge of the marketing field, while at the same time creating an intercultural sensitivity. Although the consequences of cultural differences are obvious, they are not simple to analyze, describe or categorize. We start again from a people perspective, building on your understanding of cultural differences and intercultural interactions and move from there to connecting this knowledge to international marketing. You will gain a basic knowledge and understanding of marketing strategy and tactics and the things you need to be aware of as a marketeer when practicing marketing across cultures.


Courses
Period 1
Business Mathematics I
People in Business and Society
Tutor Programme IBA
Research Participation I 
Period 2
Organization Theory
Economics for the Global Era
Tutor Programme IBA
Research Participation I 
Period 3
Academic Skills
Tutor programme IBA
Research Participation I 
Period 4
Business Statistics
Global Supply Chain Management
Tutor programme IBA
Period 5
Accounting
Cross Cultural Marketing
Tutor programme IBA
Period 6Business Processes

More information about the first year can be found in our study guide.


Courses
Period 1Business Information Systems
HRM-OB
Period 2Finance
International Business Law
Research Participation II
Period 3International Strategy
Research Participation II
Period 4
BRM I – Quantitative
Research Participation II
One of the following electives, Developed Economics: 
Digital Innovation and Virtual Organizing in Global Setting
Accounting in Multi-National Enterprises
HRM Practices: A global Perspective
Period 5
BRM II – Quantitative
One of the following electives, Emerging Economies:
Corporate Finance in Emerging Economie
Marketing in Emerging Economies
Supply Chain Management in Emerging Economies
Period 6Integrative Research Project

More information about the second year can be found in our study guide.


For all third-year IBA students who meet the exchange criteria there is a mandatory exchange semester in autumn. You are entirely free to select universities or courses.

More information about the third year can be found in our study guide.


Courses
Period 1
Business Mathematics I
People in Business and Society
Tutor Programme IBA
Research Participation I 
Period 2
Organization Theory
Economics for the Global Era
Tutor Programme IBA
Research Participation I 
Period 3
Academic Skills
Tutor programme IBA
Research Participation I 
Period 4
Business Statistics
Global Supply Chain Management
Tutor programme IBA
Period 5
Accounting
Cross Cultural Marketing
Tutor programme IBA
Period 6Business Processes

More information about the first year can be found in our study guide.


Courses
Period 1Business Information Systems
HRM-OB
Period 2Finance
International Business Law
Research Participation II
Period 3International Strategy
Research Participation II
Period 4
BRM I – Quantitative
Research Participation II
One of the following electives, Developed Economics: 
Digital Innovation and Virtual Organizing in Global Setting
Accounting in Multi-National Enterprises
HRM Practices: A global Perspective
Period 5
BRM II – Quantitative
One of the following electives, Emerging Economies:
Corporate Finance in Emerging Economie
Marketing in Emerging Economies
Supply Chain Management in Emerging Economies
Period 6Integrative Research Project

More information about the second year can be found in our study guide.


For all third-year IBA students who meet the exchange criteria there is a mandatory exchange semester in autumn. You are entirely free to select universities or courses.

More information about the third year can be found in our study guide.

Overview International Business Administration (IBA)

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

3 years (fulltime)

APPLICATION DEADLINE

1 May

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

Admission Requirements


FIELD OF INTEREST

Economics, Business and Law

Aarony Zade/Bangladesh

Bachelor International Business Administration

When I had to pick out a course for my Bachelor’s degree, the IBA programme stood out for me. The emphasis on the international aspect of business is vital because it is helping me understand how different business cultures come together. The small tutorial classes are very helpful because it gives me a chance to work with my group as well as the lecturer more closely, which is essential for understanding the courses better. The exchange programme abroad, which I am looking forward to, promises to put our understanding of the global business world to practice.

Coming to VU Amsterdam was an easy decision. The city is exactly how I pictured it to be, beautiful, fun and bustling with life all year round. The Dutch people are open and friendly, but very direct!  The university has been excellent in helping me adjust to a culture that is nothing like mine and feel welcome. I have made friends from all over the world because VU Amsterdam as well as the city of Amsterdam hosts a massive mix of different cultures. For me, coming to the Netherlands and studying at VU Amsterdam has been a crucial step to becoming a global citizen.


AACSB

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