Econometrics and Operations Research

Solving big issues using mathematics and statistics, in a smart way

Econometrics and Operations Research

AACSB

Mathematics, Statistics, Economics and Computer Science is a single programme!

Do you have an analytical mind? Do you find it an exciting challenge to translate the abstraction of mathematics and statistics into solutions for real problems? Do you have a practical nature and would you like to put it to use to solve the big issues in society? If so, the bachelor's programme in Econometrics and Operations Research could be right for you. The programme involves solving problems using insights from:

  • mathematics
  • statistics
  • economics
  • computer science

During the programme, you will gain in-depth theoretical knowledge of econometrics and operations research as well as develop practical skills. You will learn to quantitatively formulate and analyze questions from economic practice by developing models that can be used to interpret data, particularly ‘big data’. You will also learn to develop software to find the most efficient solution to the problem at hand. For instance, you might develop a model that can:

  • determine the effects of an interest rate cut by the European Central Bank on employment
  • portray the risk scenarios of an investment strategy
  • create the optimal schedule for the Dutch railways
  • find optimal routes to navigate (roads or) other types of networks

Excellent study environment
Econometrics and Operations Research at VU Amsterdam is a small-scale programme. You can always count on personal guidance by senior students and instructors, and on expert lectures. You will attend mathematics lectures given by mathematicians, learn programming from computer scientists and attend economics lectures given by our top economists. You will also participate in integration practicals, in which you can apply the material from various courses to interesting case studies in a practical and coherent way. This makes the theory really come to life and optimally prepares you for professional practice.

Best programme in this field of study
In the 2017 and 2018 National Student Survey, students of the bachelor’s programme in Econometrics and Operations Research at VU Amsterdam assessed our programme as the best in its field of study! 

Looking further as an econometrist

VU is looking further. As an Econometrics and Operations Research student, the latest insights from the interdisciplinary VU research theme Governance for Society will be integrated into your curriculum. You will learn to look at problems from various disciplinary perspectives in order to develop complete and effective solutions. For example, you might develop a model involving multiple disciplines that: 

  • describes movements in the market (finance), including the diversity of trade constructions and the high pace of the transaction process (economics) 
  • predicts future demand for a treatment (healthcare) at a hospital and determines the optimal number of beds that will maximize the level of service (operations management) while staying within budget (economics)

Want to become an econometrist? Come to a Taster Day

If you think you might like to become an econometrist, then come to a Taster Day and get a feel for whether the programme is right for you. During the Taster Day at the VU campus in Amsterdam, you can get to know the study, the students and the city.

Keuzegids Universiteiten 2019

When you graduate, you will earn the title Bachelor of Science in Econometrics and Operations Research. Most of our students immediately follow up with a master’s degree. This allows you to further specialize in this field and gives you an even greater advantage in the labour market. Our faculty offers a broad range of Master’s programmes

If you would like to go straight into the job market, your ability to combine mathematics, statistics, economics and computer science to solve problems will make you quite popular with employers. You could work in a variety of jobs, depending on the discipline you focus on in your third year.

Econometrics
With Econometrics, you will be able to model and analyze economic developments, at a macro level as well as at a micro level. Many econometrists therefore work in institutions such as: 

  • banks
  • consultancy companies
  • pension funds
  • hedge funds
  • ministries of economics and finance
  • policy agencies
  • market research companies

Operations Research
With Operations Research, you will be a quantitative specialist in logistics (inventory management, routing, scheduling problems) or in analyzing complex networks (computer systems, internet and social networks). Recently, financial institutions have experienced an increased need for operations researchers. Many graduates end up at: 

  • major trading companies
  • transport companies
  • financial institutions 
  • consultancy companies

Mathematical Economics
With Mathematical Economics, you can start working with government agencies, such as the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis. Or you can also make a difference in business, for example, at a telecom company, where you can determine the best pricing for subscriptions.


Programme-specific VU Matching information will be published in October 2018. For the time being, see general information about VU Matching.

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).

Ready to apply? Great! Click here to start your application.

Do you have questions about the course content or information activities? Get in touch via contact@vu.nl.

International Student Advisors
For questions about admission, entry requirements and other matters, please contact the International Student Advisor via bachelors.sbe@vu.nl.

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 the study association Kraket; 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.

Student-for-a-day
Try out what it’s like to be a student for a day at the campus in Amsterdam’s Zuidas. Sign up now for the Taster Day!

Matching
The VU Matching system allows you to check whether you’re making the right degree choice. It’s a two-step process: fill in a digital questionnaire as part of your application, and take part in an online matching activity. If you have any questions about matching, please contact matching.sbe@vu.nl.

How will you be spending your time?

The bachelor's in Econometrics and Operations Research is a three-year programme. The courses are taught by experts in each field. You will follow the mathematics courses in relatively small groups and some of the economics courses in larger groups of economics students. The workshops will be held with relatively small groups of students, so you will have room for direct discussions with the instructors.

Time commitment
This is a full-time programme, so it will require about 40 hours a week, of which about 12-14 hours will be contact hours (lectures and study groups). Even though your studies will keep you busy, many of our students still find the time to have a part-time job in order to gain professional experience and help with expenses.

You will take foundational courses that will prepare you for the more advanced courses. You will also expand your mathematical knowledge, study probability and statistics and learn to program. In addition, you will get a brief introduction to the three core disciplines of the programme: 

  • Econometrics
  • Operations Research
  • Mathematical Economics

Dutch tutorials
In your first year you have the possibility to attend tutorials in Dutch.

Time commitment
Approximately 20 hours a week for lectures and study groups.


Courses
Period 1
Language test
Analysis I
Colloquium I
Introduction to Programming (Java)
Probability Theory
Linear Algebra I
Period 2
Analysis I
Colloquium I
Introduction to Programming (Java)
Probability Theory
Linear Algebra I
Period 3
Introduction to Econometrics, Operations Research and Mathematical Economics
Period 4
Analysis II
Macroeconomics I
Colloquium II
Statistics
Period 5
Analysis II
Statistics
Finance I
Colloquium II
Period 6
Academic Skills: Probability and Inference

You can find more detailed information in our study guide.

During the second year, you will follow more advanced courses on the three core disciplines. In the Econometrics course, you will start by formulating causal relationships between dependent and explanatory variables into a statistical model, then estimating unknown parameters and determining whether there are significant relationships within the model. In this way, you can determine, for example, whether the price and quality of a product significantly affect the sale of the product. In the Operations Research course, you will learn optimization theory and learn how to apply your knowledge in decision-making problems such as finding the shortest route between a large number of locations or finding the optimal re-supply policy for a warehouse. In Mathematical Economics, you will study mathematical models, for instance, regarding the strategic interaction between different auction houses. You will finish off with an integration practicum in which you can apply your acquired knowledge and skills in a number of case studies.

Time commitment
Approximately 12 hours a week for lectures and study groups.



Courses
Period 1

Operations Research I
Econometrics I
Mathematical Economics I
Numerical Methods 

Period 2

Operations Research I
Econometrics I
Mathematical Economics I
Numerical Methods 

Period 3

Integrative Practical 

Period 4

Operations Research II
Econometrics II
Mathematical Economics II
Ethics

Period 5

Operations Research II
Econometrics II
Mathematical Economics II
Ethics 

Period 6

Advanced Practical 

You can find more detailed information about the second year in our study guide.

During the first half of your third year, you will have complete freedom of choice. You can use this time to: 

  • study abroad
  • conduct an internship
  • follow a minor at the faculty
  • follow a minor at another faculty
  • fulfil the requirements for a specific master’s programme

In the second half of the third year, you will write your thesis. For your thesis, you will independently analyze a scientific article or question in the area of specialization that you choose, independently work on your own solution, and write your own report.

You can find more detailed information about the third year in our study guide.

You will take foundational courses that will prepare you for the more advanced courses. You will also expand your mathematical knowledge, study probability and statistics and learn to program. In addition, you will get a brief introduction to the three core disciplines of the programme: 

  • Econometrics
  • Operations Research
  • Mathematical Economics

Dutch tutorials
In your first year you have the possibility to attend tutorials in Dutch.

Time commitment
Approximately 20 hours a week for lectures and study groups.


Courses
Period 1
Language test
Analysis I
Colloquium I
Introduction to Programming (Java)
Probability Theory
Linear Algebra I
Period 2
Analysis I
Colloquium I
Introduction to Programming (Java)
Probability Theory
Linear Algebra I
Period 3
Introduction to Econometrics, Operations Research and Mathematical Economics
Period 4
Analysis II
Macroeconomics I
Colloquium II
Statistics
Period 5
Analysis II
Statistics
Finance I
Colloquium II
Period 6
Academic Skills: Probability and Inference

You can find more detailed information in our study guide.

During the second year, you will follow more advanced courses on the three core disciplines. In the Econometrics course, you will start by formulating causal relationships between dependent and explanatory variables into a statistical model, then estimating unknown parameters and determining whether there are significant relationships within the model. In this way, you can determine, for example, whether the price and quality of a product significantly affect the sale of the product. In the Operations Research course, you will learn optimization theory and learn how to apply your knowledge in decision-making problems such as finding the shortest route between a large number of locations or finding the optimal re-supply policy for a warehouse. In Mathematical Economics, you will study mathematical models, for instance, regarding the strategic interaction between different auction houses. You will finish off with an integration practicum in which you can apply your acquired knowledge and skills in a number of case studies.

Time commitment
Approximately 12 hours a week for lectures and study groups.



Courses
Period 1

Operations Research I
Econometrics I
Mathematical Economics I
Numerical Methods 

Period 2

Operations Research I
Econometrics I
Mathematical Economics I
Numerical Methods 

Period 3

Integrative Practical 

Period 4

Operations Research II
Econometrics II
Mathematical Economics II
Ethics

Period 5

Operations Research II
Econometrics II
Mathematical Economics II
Ethics 

Period 6

Advanced Practical 

You can find more detailed information about the second year in our study guide.

During the first half of your third year, you will have complete freedom of choice. You can use this time to: 

  • study abroad
  • conduct an internship
  • follow a minor at the faculty
  • follow a minor at another faculty
  • fulfil the requirements for a specific master’s programme

In the second half of the third year, you will write your thesis. For your thesis, you will independently analyze a scientific article or question in the area of specialization that you choose, independently work on your own solution, and write your own report.

You can find more detailed information about the third year in our study guide.

Overview Econometrics and Operations Research

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

3 years

APPLICATION DEADLINE

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

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

BINDING STUDY ADVICE

A minimum of 42 credits

VWO Profile

NT of CM/EM/NG met Wiskunde B

FIELD OF INTEREST

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

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