International Business Administration

Your pathway to international business success

Studying International Business Administration?

Are you curious about other cultures? Looking to create a platform for your future business success? At the heart of business is people. So by studying International Business Administration (IBA) at the VU Amsterdam, you’ll combine a comprehensive study of all the essential business disciplines in a genuinely international context with a strong focus on people in a cross-cultural environment.  Not only the businesses you’ll study are international, but also the faculty staff and your fellow students are from a wide variety of backgrounds.

The programme is multi-disciplinary, which means you’ll study everything from management and organisation to cross-cultural marketing, and from information technology to international strategy. And you’ll get to work with real businesses – in IBA, companies meet classrooms to give you practical experience that will set you up for a career in international business.
The first half of the IBA programme allows you to explore a broad range of business disciplines, while the second half is about making choices and deciding what your future holds. Along the way, you’ll acquire research and analytical skills, as well as learning to deal with real-world business problems.

Year 1
VU Amsterdam is the only university in the Netherlands to offer a course that takes a holistic approach to businesses and the people who run them. The international dimension of IBA is reflected through key courses on topics like global economics, cross-cultural marketing and global supply chain management.
For more information on the first year, see our study guide.

Year 2
In the first semester, you’ll continue your core education with courses like International Strategy: a globally operating company will present a business problem to you at the start of the course, which you’ll need to solve by using SWOT analyses, proposing your strategy, and working with their feedback. In the second semester, you can choose from electives that suit your preferences – the first step in selecting a specialisation.
For more information on the second year, see our study guide.

Year 3
The first half of the year you’ll spend on an international exchange with any one of our partner universities across the globe . When you return, you’ll specialise in business discipline of your choice and write your Bachelor’s thesis – this is your chance to tailor your studies to your future field of work, or to prepare yourself for a Master’s programme in your chosen specialisation.
For more information on the third year, see our study guide.
  • Unlike traditional Business Administration, IBA will give you a truly international training – our courses are customised for the international market.
  • VU Amsterdam organises Business Experience Days, during which companies are invited to give presentations, workshops and masterclasses (and to recruit their new hires!)
  • The university’s top-class career services offer events, internships, workshops and career coaching.
  • Not only do you benefit from an exchange abroad; you’ll also work in real cross-cultural teams with students from all over the world.
  • VU Amsterdam offers you the opportunity to make your own decisions and choices.
  • VU Amsterdam is a campus university, which means students actively participate and spend time together – both during the programme and in their free time.
  • You’re curious about different people and cultures, and how they interact and work.
  • You have the ability to reflect on yourself and your own behaviour having learnt about other cultures .
  • You want to be challenged, and you thrive on critical thinking.
  • You have an affinity for numbers, data and analytics.
  • You have a high level of English (the programme is taught in English only).
  • You’re keen to grow and create a platform for your future career.

Does this sound like you? Then join us at one of our Open Days where you can find out more and try out the programme for yourself! If you’re keen to apply and meet the entry requirements (see below), then take a look at our application procedure and deadlines. 

Master’s programmes
Whatever you choose to specialise in during your third year is likely to translate into a Master’s programme. IBA graduates have gone on to get Master’s degrees in many business disciplines, including Digital Business & Innovation, Financial Management, Human Resource Management, International Management, Leadership & Change Management, Management Consulting, Strategy & Organisation, Transport & Supply Chain Management, Marketing, Finance, Accounting and Control, as well as related fields such as International Journalism, Creative Advertising, International Development Studies, and Sustainability. What’s more, all these Master’s programmes are open to you at universities abroad.

Job opportunities
Many IBA graduates end up at international corporations or even go on to become entrepreneurs and run their own start-ups. Lots of our students find work abroad, for obvious reasons, and fields include business analytics, supply chain management, marketing, financial management and policymaking. A Bachelor’s degree in IBA will give you any number of employable qualities, including critical thinking, research skills, self-awareness, social/professional skills, and the ability to make the link between theory and practice.

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 +316 107 87 317.

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:

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 Aureus 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 Communication Science 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 matching.sbe@vu.nlbe a student at VU Amsterdam. Please sign up for the Taster Day!

The VU Matching system allows you to check whether you’re making the right degree choice. If you have any questions about matching, email

Admission with a Dutch degree

VWO diploma
You can study Economics and Business Economics at VU Amsterdam if you have one of the following VWO profiles:
  • Natuur en Gezondheid, with a minimum grade of 7 for English at 5 VWO or 6 VWO level
  • Natuur en Techniek, with a minimum grade of 7 for English at 5 VWO or 6 VWO level
  • Economie en Maatschappij, with a minimum grade of 7 for English at 5 VWO or 6 VWO level
  • Cultuur en Maatschappij, with a minimum grade of 7 for English at 5 VWO or 6 VWO level

HBO propaedeutic year
You will be eligible for admission to this bachelor programme if you obtain an additional modular certificate at 6 VWO level in the following subject: Mathematics A or B or C* and English with a minimum grade of 7.

HBO completed programme
You will be eligible for admission to this bachelor programme if you obtain additional modular certificate at 6 VWO level in the following subjects: Mathematics A or B or C* and English with a minimum grade of 7**.

* Does not apply to the HBO study programme Toegepaste Wiskunde/Mathematical Engineering.
** Does not apply to an English-taught HBO study programme.

Aged 21 or over?
Dutch applicants who do not meet any of the above educational requirements and who are aged 21 or over, may be admitted by way of colloquium doctum. This requires obtaining the following modular certificates at 6 VWO level:

  • English
  • Dutch
  • History
  • Mathematics  A or B or C

Meet the prerequisites?
You can obtain your certificates from various institutions.

Application steps

  1. Check if you match the entry requirements.
  2. Register for the Bachelor before the application deadline via Studielink
  3. After registering you will receive log-in details for VUnet
  4. Then upload the following documents:
    • tell us why you’re a great fit (link naar document)
    • certified transcript
    • optionally: you may include a letter of reference with your application (in Dutch or English). You can choose the referent yourself; we suggest, however, that you pick someone who knows you professionally (teacher, supervisor, boss, etc.).

Ready to apply?
Great! Start your application.

Admission with an international degree

If you have obtained or will obtain a Dutch diploma, please check the criteria on our Dutch webpage. Applicants holding a diploma from another country must meet a number of requirements:

  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.

  3. Proof of sufficient proficiency in Mathematics
    After you apply to the programme and upload the required documents in our student portal, your International Student Advisor will have a look at your transcripts to determine whether your diploma is equivalent to the Dutch VWO diploma and whether your mathematics level is sufficient.

These examples of diplomas demonstrate sufficient proficiency in the required level of mathematics:

  • International Baccalaureate: Math Studies, Math Standard Level or Math Higher Level.
  • British GCE A-Levels: A-levels or AS-level in Mathematics with a grade A, B or C.
  • Germany: Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife
  • European Baccalaureate: Mathematics; written or oral examination, at least 3 hours during the Orientation Cycle.

If your diploma is not considered to be at the right level and/or if your proficiency in mathematics is considered to be insufficient, your International Student Advisor will inform you about the possibilities how to meet the requirements with additional certificates. When advised to sit an entry exam, the following certificates are deemed equivalent to the required Dutch VWO Mathematics C level.

International Exams
International Baccalaureate certificate in Math Studies, Math Standard Level or Math Higher Level.

Exams in the Netherlands
Boswell-Bèta (English). Boswell-Bèta in Utrecht (the Netherlands) provides a VWO Mathematics C exam in May, July and August.

Application procedures
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 university housing and/or a student visa must apply before 1 April. Students who do not require university housing and/or 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! All applicants must start the application procedure through the portal.

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.

Overview International Business Administration




Three years


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


1 September




A minimum of 42 credits including the course business mathematics


Economics, Business and Law

International Business Administration


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