Econometrics and Operations Research

Shaping bright analytical minds that solve economic and business challenges

Econometrics and Operations Research

NOTE: The Bachelor’s programme Econometrics and Operations Research contains a separate specialization, Econometrics and Data Science. Visit the separate website for more information. 

Studying Econometrics and Operations Research?

During the Bachelor’s programme Econometrics and Operations Research at VU Amsterdam you learn to investigate and solve problems in economics, business and finance, using quantitative techniques. Should the European Central Bank increase or decrease interest rates (and by how much)? How are families affected by a change in consumption taxes? How can we reduce waiting times in healthcare? What is an adequate model for credit risks? These are the types of questions you will learn to answer!

Econometrics and Operations Research at VU Amsterdam is a top programme— it is rated one of the best Dutch Bachelor’s programmes by Keuzegids Universiteiten 2019. The programme offers a unique combination of econometric theory and practice, advanced methods for complex decision-making, as well as economic theory.

After the Bachelor’s programme, you will be able to choose from a number of Master’s programmes. As an econometrics graduate, you will be highly desired on the job market. You stand out because of your quantitative expertise, combined with knowledge of economics and business.

Keuzegids Universiteiten 2019


Imagine: a new mobile phone is about to be launched. How many potential customers are there? How many will actually purchase the phone? Are these new customers or existing customers? What kind of price can we ask for? All of these are predictions on the basis of which companies make decisions. In the Bachelor’s programme in Econometrics and Operations Research, you will discover what the best decisions are, based on predictions that you yourself learn to make.

The programme is taught in English. However, in the beginning, you can choose to participate in Dutch-language workgroups.

Year 1
In the first year, you will build your methodological foundation. You will study probability theory and statistics, and you will learn how to program. You will also follow some economics and finance courses. In addition, you will be introduced to the programme’s three areas of specialisation: Econometrics, Operations Research and Mathematical Economics. 

For more information on the first year, see our study guide.

Year 2
Besides continuing to build up your methodological skills, you will become more familiar with the three areas of specialization within the programme: Econometrics, Operations Research and Mathematical Economics. Furthermore, you will carry out several case studies, in which you can apply your acquired knowledge to practical problems. 

For more information on the second year, see our study guide.

Year 3
In the first semester, you can opt for a minor within or outside the faculty, an internship, or a period abroad. In the second semester, you will choose and deepen your knowledge in one or more areas of specialization.  Finally, you will write a bachelor's thesis on a subject of your interest.

For more information on the third year, see our study guide.

Want to know more? Check out the Programme overview!

  • VU Amsterdam offers an international education that focuses on the international labour market, with a lot of attention given to methodology and theory. Future employers can easily be found in the Zuidas business district, just a stone's throw away.
  • VU Amsterdam is an easily accessible campus university where you will meet students from all disciplines.
  • The study association Kraket is not only active and fun, but it also helps you with questions about your studies. Within the programme, the lines are short and students and teachers can easily get in contact with one another!
  • Econometricians with a diploma are highly desired in the labour market. At VU Amsterdam, you will be actively assisted in finding the job that suits you best.
  • You set yourself apart through your mathematical skills
  • You find it a nice challenge to solve real-life problems in finance, marketing and economics
  • You are motivated and not afraid to work hard
  • You like to study and you are curious
  • You have a Dutch VWO diploma with Mathematics B (Mathematics D is an advantage) or an equivalent diploma

Master’s programmes
Most students continue with the master's programme in Econometrics and Operations Research after obtaining their bachelor's degree. Some students also combine this with marketing or finance courses from other master’s programmes.

Job opportunities
As an econometrics graduate, you will stand out amongst the rest because you combine expertise in quantitative methods combined with knowledge of economics, business and programming. That will make you particularly interesting to employers. There are many different options. You can continue with research, work in the public sector, or join a private company. For instance, our graduates work with central banks, government institutions, airlines, internet companies, banks, insurance companies, in management at large hospitals or in consulting.

Do you have questions?

  • You can call us on +31 20 5985000 (on working days from 10.00 till 16.00).
  • Or email us at
  • Furthermore, you can also send us a text message on Whatsapp on +31 6 825 48 367.

Do you have a question about admission?
Students with a Dutch degree
Please contact the Student Desk on +31 20 5985020 from 10.30 – 12.30 or 14.00 – 17.00). Or email them at

Students with an international degree
Please contact the International Student Advisors via

Contact a Student Ambassador
Would you like to hear from an international VU student about their student journey, what it is like to study at VU, the programme that they are doing and/or their student life in Amsterdam? Contact our student ambassadors! Our Student Ambassadors come from all over the world and would be happy to answer all your questions. Feel free to contact the board members of Kraket at They will be more than willing to put you in touch with a student who is currently participating in this programme.

VU Bachelor's day
Come join our Open Day on Saturday 9 February, and see for yourself what it’s like to study Econometrics and Operations Research at VU Amsterdam! Register here.

Taster day
Come to a Taster day at the VU campus in Amsterdam's Zuidas district and experience what it is like to be a student at VU Amsterdam. Please sign up for the Taster Day!


If you have obtained or will obtain a Dutch diploma, please check the criteria on our Dutch webpage.

Admission criteria for international applicants
Applicants holding a pre-university diploma from another country must meet a number of requirements. If you do not yet meet the requirements but expect to do so in the future (such as obtaining your diploma), you can already apply. We will evaluate your application and inform you of our admission decision. All outstanding requirements need to be met in full by the time you enrol for the programme.

Admission to the programme will remain conditional until your diploma is awarded and your admission becomes unconditional. Requirements that apply: 

1. A diploma equivalent to the Dutch pre-university VWO diploma
See the Diploma Requirement List for examples of accepted diplomas per country. Please note: this list is meant to give you an indication of admissibility; no rights can be derived from it.

2. Proof of sufficient proficiency in English
See the General Admission Requirements for the English language requirement. You can begin your application before you have completed the test and then submit your passing score once you have been conditionally admitted.

3. Proof of sufficient proficiency in mathematics
After you apply to the programme and upload the required documents in VUnet (Student Portal), the International Student Advisor will have a look at your transcripts to determine whether your mathematics level is sufficient. These examples of diplomas demonstrate sufficient proficiency in mathematics:

  • International Baccalaureate: mathematics Higher Level
  • United Kingdom/GCE A-levels: A-level in mathematics completed with a grade A, B or C
  • Germany: Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife including mathematics Leistungskurs as as Prüfungsfach

If you do not meet the mathematics requirement but have an otherwise strong application, you could still be accepted with a conditional offer. You would then be asked to participate in an entry test in mathematics. If participation in the exam is necessary this will be communicated to you in the offer letter. Mathematics Exams (available in English and accepted by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam):

  • Boswell-Bèta (English[BVP1]). Boswell-Bèta in Utrecht (the Netherlands) provides a mathematics B course in English with exams in December, May and July
  • CCVX (Dutch and English)[BVP2]. CCVX offers mathematics exams equivalent to the Dutch VWO mathematics B level for Dutch-speaking and English-speaking applicants.

A positive result for the mathematics examination (5,5/10) is compulsory for admission to the programme.

Online Summer Prep-Campus
Even if you meet the mathematics requirements, some students find it difficult to know what is expected of them. From our experience, the math courses in the first period are major stumbling blocks for many students. This is why we have decided to offer an Online Summer Prep-Campus, so that you can refresh your math knowledge and start university with the math you need. Please visit our Online Summer Prep-Campus website.

Nuffic Certificate for Chinese students
Chinese students who wish to enrol on a programme taught in English at a Dutch higher education institution are required to apply for a Nuffic Certificate. More information on the Nuffic Certificate for Chinese students.

Application process
Please check our step-by-step application guide for more information.

International applicants will be asked to submit the following documents:

  • Transcript(s) of records (e.g. High School grade list)
  • Curriculum Vitae (your personal details, previous education and any relevant work experience in approximately one A4 page)
  • Copy of valid passport
  • English language test results (if already obtained)

Deadline: International students who require a student visa must apply before 1 April. Students who do not require a student visa 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). 

Matching for students with a foreign degree
VU Amsterdam believes that it is important you fit into our programme and university. The mandatory matching activity 'VU Matching' enables you to make your final decision with confidence. It’s a two-step process: fill in a digital questionnaire as part of your application, and take part in an online matching activity. You will receive a personalized recommendation afterwards.

Please note that if you have not taken part, you cannot register for the programme. If you apply for the programme before 1 May, the recommendation is not binding. If you apply after 1 May, the recommendation is binding. If you receive a negative binding recommendation, you cannot register for this programme. 

If you are a student with a Dutch degree, please find your information about VU Matching for this programme here.  

More information about VU Matching

If you have any questions about matching, email

Ready to apply?

Great! Click here to start your application.

Overview Econometrics and Operations Research




3 years


1 April (students requiring a visa) / 1 May (students that do not require a visa)


1 September




A minimum of 42 credits

VWO Profile

NT of CM/EM/NG met Wiskunde B


Economics, Business and Law
Behavioural and Social Sciences
Computer Science, Mathematics and Business