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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Do you have a question about admission?
Students with a Dutch degree:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 International Business Administration at VU Amsterdam! Register here.
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!
Matching for students with a foreign degree
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.
Please note that your participation in the online matching activity is mandatory—if you have not taken part, you cannot register for the programme. After you have completed the online matching activity, you will receive a personalized recommendation enabling you to make your final decision with confidence. 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 email@example.com
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:
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):
A positive result for the mathematics examination (5,5/10 in the mathematics A exam or 65% in the OMPT-A online exam) 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 once they begin the IBA programme. To address this, we have developed the Online Summer Prep-Campus. A university jury unanimously voted this course as the most innovative educational project in 2017 and it will ensure that you are more than ready to begin your studies! Take a sneak peek on the Online Summer Prep-Campus website. You will always take part in the diagnostic test during the IBA matching process. The test helps determine your own maths level and gives you advice on how to proceed. If you need some additional help, take courses through the online summer prep-campus and freshen up your mathematics - and meet your new fellow students early! If your level is up to par, you can still get a head start on the topics that will be discussed during the mathematics course!
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.
Please check our step-by-step application guide for more information.
International applicants will be asked to submit the following documents:
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.
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION
1 April (students requiring visa)/ 1 May (students who do not require visa)
BINDING STUDY ADVICE
A minimum of 42 credits including the course business mathematics
FIELD OF INTEREST
Economics, Business and Law