Bachelor's degree programmes in Dutch

How to apply

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers 44 Bachelor's degree programmes in Dutch. If you are not yet proficient in the Dutch language, and/or if your educational qualifications do not grant you direct admission to your chosen course, then the VASVU programme offers a path towards admission. This foundation year for international students helps you to prepare for full-time degree study. You can apply for a Bachelor's degree programme in Dutch with an international degree or a Dutch degree, but the application procedures are different.

For some Bachelor’s degree programmes there are more students applying than places available. In this case a selection procedure applies and the application deadline for these programmes is 15 January. Please follow the application procedure for selection-based programmes. For the academic year 2019-2020, there are four Dutch taught study programmes with a selection procedure:


If you have followed your secondary education outside the Netherlands then it must be equivalent to the Dutch secondary educational standard (VWO diploma) that is required for entrance to all universities of the Netherlands. 

Some foreign diplomas qualify for university entrance in their own country. However, these diplomas do not have the same academic level as the Dutch VWO diploma. For this reason we must first assess if your previous education is sufficient for admission to a bachelor’s degree programme. 

List of diplomas that grant access to bachelor programmes in Dutch (please note: you also have to meet the specific educational requirements for the programme of your choice)

Even if you possess a diploma that is equivalent to the Dutch VWO, (for example the European and International Baccalaureat) you will still have to meet the language proficiency requirements and specific educational requirements before you'll be admitted to a Bachelor’s degree programme.

Besides the general educational and language requirements, every Bachelor’s degree programme has specific entry requirements. This means that if your knowledge of specific subjects is below the required standard, you will need to sit examinations in those subjects. 

Please check the Bachelor´s programme of your choice to find out if any knowledge of specific subjects is required, for example knowledge of mathematics or biology. 

We offer special courses for foreign students in these obligatory subjects so you can prepare yourself properly for the entrance examinations. You can only be admitted to this preparatory year, otherwise known as VASVU (Voorbereidend Jaar voor Anderstalige Studenten aan de VU) if you already have a basic understanding of Dutch, as all courses are taught in Dutch. To be admitted to VASVU you have to live permanently in the Netherlands, or come from a country of the EU/EEA (European Economic Area). It is almost impossible to enrol in this preparatory year if you depend on a study visa or MVV.

If you have an international educational background, even if you speak and write perfect Dutch, you must take a proficiency examination before you can be admitted to a study programme taught in Dutch. 

  • State Examination Dutch as a second language, programme II (NT2-II)
    The examination is the State Examination in Dutch as a second language, programme II (NT2-II) and consists of four parts: reading, listening, speaking and writing skills. The examinations are held weekly (registration 6 weeks in advance, results 6 weeks after the exam).
    For admission to selection-based programmes: If you are consider starting a selection-based programme, then the NT2-II exam must be done before June as the department CBAP of DUO needs to have the results before 15 July in order to keep you in the selection procedure. If you have to do entrance exams you will have to fulfill all the requirements before 15 July.
    More information about the NT2-II exam (in Dutch)
  • VU-NT2 Department
    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has its own department that provides Dutch courses to prepare international students for this examination. The courses start late August and end in July the following year, progressing from beginner’s level courses through three or four follow-up courses of increasing difficulty. These Dutch language courses are meant primarily for prospective students who want to prepare themselves for a bachelor's or master's programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. If you wish to take this course, you must contact the VU-NT2 Department
    For the beginner’s courses in particular there are usually more applicants than places available. Therefore we cannot guarantee a place if you apply late. You should bear in mind that it takes at least one year to learn Dutch.
    More information about NT2 VU 

Other accepted proofs of proficiency in the Dutch language:

  • emptyCNaVT Certificate (Certificaat Nederlands als Vreemde Taal): The CNaVT with the profiles “Educatief Startbekwaam” (before called PTHO) or “Educatief Professioneel” (before called PAT) are also accepted. The examinations can be done outside Holland in several countries. 

Dutch as subject for the following Matriculation exams: 

  • International Baccalaureate: Dutch as Language A: Higher Level or Subsidiary Level, or language B: Higher Level 
  • European Baccalaureate: Dutch as 2nd language 
  • UK: GCE: (from 1998) A-level or International GCSE First language 
  • Germany: Abitur: Dutch as Leistungskurs or Grundkurs; or Reifeprüfung Ordnung (only in Ausland) 
  • Belgium: Diploma van Secundair Onderwijs 
  • France: Baccalauréat Général of the Dutch department of Lycée Internationale Saint-Germain-en-Laye or Lycée Internationale of Ferney Voltaire (Dutch must be a graduation course) 
  • Dutch Antilles and Aruba: VWO diploma and any diploma from the higher education 
  • Surinam: VWO diploma and Propedeuse diploma (Anton de Kom Universiteit)

Good comprehension skills in English are necessary for all university studies in the Netherlands. If you live permanently outside the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) and do not have a diploma from a country where English is the first language of instruction, then you need to take an English proficiency test before applying for admission.
As many other Dutch universities, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam only accepts recognized English proficiency tests like TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Test System) or The British Cambridge Certificates CPE and CAE. The requested scores differ per study programme but the minimal requirements are:      

Pre-university secundary education (‘VWO’) diploma or any other diploma with a comparable level of English proficiency; 

  • IELTS (academic): 6.5; 
  • TOEFL paper based test: 580; 
  • TOEFL internet based test: 92; 
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) or the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) with a score of A, B or C; 
  • VU English proficiency test: TOEFL ITP   
For some language programmes, higher scores are obligatory.
For TOEFL or IELTS, the Test Institute will have to forward the results directly to our office. The institutional TOEFL code of Vrije Universiteit is 7947.
The VASVU is a programme for international students who want to study a Dutch bachelor or pre-master programme but cannot be admitted directly. Check the VASVU page for more information.

Dutch universities, including the VU, have recently introduced a process called 'matching'. This means that for most study programmes students are asked to fill out the VU Matching questionnaire.

This is asked when completing your application in VUnet. Also, VU Matching activities are organized.

This will help you determine whether the study programme of your choice is a good fit for you.

More information about matching can be found on VU Matching. On this page you can find the dates per study programme on which the matching activities are taking place.

Step-by-step application procedure

The first step is to create an enrolment application in Studielink. Studielink is the central application organisation for Dutch universities. If you have any questions about Studielink, please see Studielink help page.

If you are a prospective student with a foreign diploma, then you need to apply through the Dutch education website Studielink before 1 May. Please hand in as many of the required documents as possible before the deadline. This will increase the chance that your file will be assessed in time.

Log in to VUnet (Vrije Universiteit student portal) with your VUnet ID.

After you have finished your registration in Studielink you will receive a VUnet ID (username) and password (in two separate e-mails). Please use these details to log in on VUnet

Complete you application by answering the questions asked in VUnet (under complete application on your homepage) and upload your passport photo; this is necessary for your student card. 

If you have trouble logging in please consult the website or contact the IT Servicedesk on +31 20 59 80000 or

If you already have a diploma, then please send by post or hand in certified copies of all your documents. 

If you are finishing secondary school this year, please send a digital copy of the official school statement with the type of diploma you will obtain and the subjects you are following at present to

Required documents:      
- Copy of your EU passport or Dutch residence permit;
- Diploma(s) and academic records(s);
- Official translation of your diploma(s) and academic record(s) if these are not in Dutch, English, German, French or Spanish;
- Proof of language tests if already in your possession.

You can certify the copies of your documents at your school, university or notary and send them to:
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Study and Student Administration
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam

If you are already in The Netherlands, you may bring your documents to the Student Desk in the central hall of the main building of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, open every working day between 10.30-17.00. There you can also certify the copies of your documents. You must bring your original documents and a copy of each document.

Please note: the selection-based programmes have different deadlines and application procedures. For these programmes, check the application procedure for selection-based programmes.

You can pay from 15 May. Deadline for paying the tuition fees is 31 August. This is a strict deadline and you will not be able to start your study programme if you haven't paid on time.

Tuition fee rates and payment instructions 

Please note: the selection-based programmes have different deadlines and application procedures. For these programmes, check the application procedure for selection-based programmes.

Please check carefully whether your enrolment is complete. You will receive a confirmation email from Studielink once you are fully enrolled. Your enrolment is not completed until you have received this confirmation email and you status in Studielink is 'enrolled'.


For questions please contact the Student Desk.

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam

T:+31 20 59 85020 (Mon-Fri from 10:30 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 17:00)