Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ('VU Amsterdam') is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 190 English-taught programmes at Bachelor's, Master's and PhD level to more than 24,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff of 84 nationalities create a dynamic international academic community.

Top reasons to study here

  • Is located in lively and multicultural Amsterdam, the city with the largest concentration of students in the Netherlands;
  • Is a modern campus university with student housing just a five-minute bike ride away;
  • Is consistently listed among the world's top universities in various rankings.

Master's Programmes

Social Sciences (52)
Business & Management (34)
Applied Sciences & Professions (1)



VU stands for Vrije Universiteit, which translates literally as Free University. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam was the first university in the Netherlands established in 1880 by Abraham Kuyper, with no interference from the church or the state. This heritage is still very much part of who they are.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ('VU Amsterdam') is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 190 English-taught programmes at Bachelor's, Master's and PhD level to more than 24,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff of 84 nationalities create a dynamic international academic community. From the very beginning, the university has determined its own areas of research, created its own study programmes and practised its own didactic methods. The teaching style can be described as student-centered: we stimulate students to develop their own opinion through independent and creative thinking. 


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is consistently listed among the world’s top universities in various rankings;is located in one of the most dynamic and fastgrowing business districts in the Netherlands; is a modern campus university with student housing just a five-minute bike ride away; helps you with housing, visas and the administrative side of studying in the Netherlands;offers an international environment. A quarter of the students in our English-taught programmes come from abroad;provides high-quality education in small and highly interactive classes.


The overview of vacancies gives you a list of current vacancies at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. This list is continually updated so you can always see what is currently available. They therefore advise you to visit the website regularly to see whether a suitable vacancy has been posted for which you may submit an application. If no vacancies are available, you may send an open application to the faculty or department you are interested in, enclosing your profile. An application for a specific vacancy is however preferable.

Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2019

GSSA 2019

The Global Student Satisfaction Awards empower students across the globe to determine the best universities of 2019. By rating institutions on a scale from 1 to 5, on multiple studies-related questions, we found the top educators in the world.

Learn more about the Global Student Satisfaction Awards

University Ranking

Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University
ARWU World University rankings is the first world university ranking. It ranks the world's top 1000 colleges and universities based on objective indicator.
QS World University Rankings by TopUniversities
236 -17
219 12
QS World University Rankings is one of the top international rankings measuring the popularity and performance of universities all over the world.
World University Rankings by Times Higher Education
138 28
World University Rankings is a vital resource that provides the definitive list of the world's best universities.
Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report
82 4
Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report presents all the top universities from the U.S. and 60 other countries around the world.


Student services

An International Student Advisor (ISA) assigned to the faculty you are interested in will help you with the application procedure and any other information you may need. Once you have been admitted to the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdams programme, the Services-teams at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam International Office can help you find accommodation and apply for a visa and residence permit (if applicable). The International Office offers orientation periods for international students in August, consisting of social events, sports activities and a cultural programme.

Housing services

Accommodation consists of furnished (single) rooms with private or shared facilities. Some rooms can be reserved in one of the student dorms with shared shower and toilet. Students usually have their own bedroom. In most cases, bathroom, kitchen and living room must be shared with other students. It is common that men and women live together in the same student house. Given the shortage of good accommodation, you may find the room you get is rather small and not of the standard you had expected. Accommodation in Amsterdam is not only limited, but can also be more expensive than at home. Thinking about these things in advance could help avoid unpleasant surprises later.

Library services

VU Amsterdam Bibliotheek [university library] offers resources for study and research by providing a collection of scientific information to meet the demand of the questions posed.Approximately 90% of the collections accessible by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Bibliotheek are available digitally and, therefore, available to members of staff and students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

ICT services

Free WIFI is available for all students and employees on campus. There are several computer rooms, a notebook study room and internet work spaces to study comfortably and quietly. All faculties have their own study and computer rooms, often combined.The buildings are generally opened from 7AM to 11PM on weekdays and from 8AM to 6PM during the weekend.

Medical services

The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Medical Center has a general practice serving the local community. As part of the teaching hospital, it provides training and experience to medical students and conducts scientific research. VU students who live in Amsterdam (except Amsterdam Noord) or Amstelveen can register as patients.

Student Life

Campus life

Almost all of our students, staff and programmes are located on campus: a single building complex in the business district of Amsterdam.

The Main Building has a permanent exhibition space, which showcases work of beginning and established artists. All over the campus you can view the universitys art collection, including an art route through the public areas.

The campus has its own bike repair shop, which also sells reasonably priced second hand bikes.

Sports facilities

Sports Center with good facilities, many types of classes and a gym. Provides cheap entrance for students and the possibility to subscribe for a short period of time.A basketball field, multiple beach volleyball fields and tennis tables are located on the campus ground, free to use for students any time of day.

Student clubs

There are several types of student bodies at the university, mostly linked to a field of study. ESN Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an organization for all international and Dutch students at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. It brings together students from around the world to introduce them to the university, to Amsterdam and to make them feel at home. ESN Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam organizes a host of activities, including cocktail parties, weekly get-togethers (borrels), weekend trips and social gatherings every two weeks.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is fully recognised by the Dutch Ministry of Education as a research university. All degree programmes at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are either accredited by or in the process of being accredited by NVAO, the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders.

Student Reviews

Excellent International Environment
Anonymous rated 4 out of 5 stars

Great professors with a keen understanding about technology and humanities.

The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, it does not get any "free-er"
Anonymous rated 4 out of 5 stars

The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers a lot programmes outside of your Bachelor's, as well as sufficient support. They make it possible for anyone to combine their interests/hobbies with their studies. If you have an issue of any sort which might seem to complex at first, the professors, assistants, counsels etc. will push the limits to help you, so you can continue...

effective studying opportunity
Anonymous rated 4 out of 5 stars

All relevant information regarding the program are available on our virtual ground for easy access and the facilitators are on top of their job.