Prospective Bachelor's Students

Prospective Bachelor's Students

The information on this page relates to the academic year 2019-2020 and may be outdated. The content will be adapted to the new academic year 2020-2021 as soon as possible.

Welcome to the Faculty of Humanities at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!

On this page you will find all the information you need to know to be well-prepared to start your studies. If you still have any questions, please contact us at

We look forward to seeing you and wish you a lot of fun and good luck with your study programme!

General information

Track the status of your application in VUnet
Make sure that you have completed your registration for your programme by 31 August at the latest. See your status overview on VUnet for any requirements you still need to meet to complete your registration.

Your registration is only complete once you see the indication ‘registered’ in the ‘my programmes’ field in Studielink. If you change anything in relation to your application or registration in Studielink or VUnet, it will be shown the next day in your status overview.

Once your registration is complete, you will receive a Proof of Registration document within two to four weeks.

Where will you find the status of your registration?

  1. Log in to VUnet.
  2. Under ‘Complete Application’, go to the relevant programme.
  3. Under ‘Status’, click on ‘Check status’.
  4. For each requirement, you can see if you still need to take any action.

Do you have questions about the registration process? Please contact the Student Desk or, if you applied with an international diploma, the International Student Advisor (International Office).

Additional information for international students:
Not yet admitted at VU Amsterdam?
If you are still waiting for admission, you are advised to not yet arrange payment. Please wait until you have received a letter of admission.

How can you pay?
If you are a student from a SEPA* country:
You will be able to select the digital authorization option in order to arrange a spread payment option (in 5 instalments), in which case the first payment will be collected from your account around 25 September. Alternatively, you can pay the whole amount in a lump sum.

If you are a student from a SEPA country with a VUFP scholarship:
You can select the digital authorization option and fill out your bank details to stop the messages from being sent. If you do not confirm the digital authorization form in the to-do list in the next step, no payments will be taken out of your account.

If you are a student from a non-SEPA country:
You can fill out your country details to stop Studielink from sending out the messages. Studielink will notify you that you cannot arrange payment directly via Studielink. You can either wait until you have opened a Dutch bank account in August, or arrange an international bank transfer.

All payment details can be found on Tuition Fees.

Do you still have questions about tuition fee payments? Please contact the Student Desk.

* Single Euro Payments Area

All students following a Dutch-taught degree programme or specialization, must take a compulsory Dutch language proficiency test in September. Students who follow an English-taught degree programme or specialization take part in the compulsory English language test.
If your mark is below the required standard, you will need to take a compulsory refresher course, including a final test.

On the website of Taalloket, you will find more information about the Language Proficiency Test.

Please refer to your timetable for the planned date and time of the test.

Student Desk
Many answers to questions about your degree programme can be found on VUnet. For questions about registration for courses, enrolment, tuition fees, student cards, transcripts, etc. you can visit the Student Desk.
Location: Main Building (HG), central hall, VU campus

International Service Desk
The International Service Desk (ISD) deals with general questions of international students.
Location: Main Building (HG), central hall, VU campus

Academic advisors
You can contact your academic advisor for any questions or advice regarding personal circumstances that are interfering in your studies, a delay in your study progress, or study skills or choices within your degree programme. There is a walk-in session for shorter questions. If you have a question that needs more time, you can also make an appointment.

You can find more information about Academic Advisors on VUnet.

Studying with a disability
If you suffer from a disability, a chronic illness, dyslexia, or a mental disability, this does not mean that you will be unable to successfully complete your studies. If you need help with your studies because of your disability, there are a number of people you can turn to. Firstly, you can see an Academic Advisor.

The Student Counsellors at VU Amsterdam can advise you on matters such as financial support in the event of a delay in your study progress. If you have problems such as performance anxiety or study stress, or if you are experiencing problems that are interfering in your studies or preventing you from completing your degree, then you can get in touch with one of the Student Psychological Counsellors at VU Amsterdam. You can find more information on Studying with a disability on VUnet.

Negative Recommendation on Continuation of Studies (BSA)
The faculty makes every effort to help students to complete their studies successfully. Your study progress will therefore be closely monitored from the very start of your programme.

If your results continue to be below the expected standard during the first year, there is a high probability that these problems will get worse during the rest of the programme. To prevent you wasting your valuable study time, the faculty will issue a Negative Recommendation on Continuation of Studies (BSA) at the end of the first year of your Bachelor's programme based on your results. If you have not made sufficient progress, you may be required to discontinue the programme.

You must earn at least 42 credits in your first year of study. If you are ill or if there are exceptional circumstances and you are unable to achieve 42 credits, the advice is to contact your academic advisor as soon as possible.

You can register for courses in period 1 starting on 15 July up to the first week of the teaching period (no later than 9 September). Please note: for the remaining periods, registration closes three weeks prior to the start of each teaching period.

You can plan your courses by adding them to your schedule in the registration module in VUnet even before the course is open for registration. Please note: planning is not the same as registering! If you have planned courses, you must still register for them, the related teaching activities, and exams. Registration is not automatic. Further information about Registration for Courses and Exams is available on VUnet.

Once you register for a course, you are also automatically registered for the first exam opportunity for that course, but not for a resit, should that become necessary. If you need to take a written resit, you must register for this separately. You can take care of the registration up to 14 days prior to the resit.

Set the deadlines in your calendar or as a reminder in your phone so that you are on time. If you don't sign up in time for courses and exams, you won't be able to participate!

VUnet-ID and VUnet
The VUnet-ID is your username and password that gives you access to all kinds of digital services such as VUnet and Canvas.

VUnet will be an important source of information during your studies at the university. Through this portal you will find all relevant information such as your e-mail, your personal schedule, exam grades, important announcements and a link to the study guide. The VUnet homepage provides news from the university and the world of academia.
Log in using your VUnet-ID, which you should already have received. If you have lost your VUnet-ID, please visit the Student Desk. Take your university registration card or other form of identification for identification purposes.

VU Amsterdam e-mail
Each student is assigned a personal VU Amsterdam e-mail address, with the following format: You can read and send e-mails by logging in to VUnet with your VUnet-ID. The university uses this e-mail address exclusively when corresponding with you about your studies. It is essential that you check your inbox regularly to ensure that you do not miss any important information about your degree programme. If you would like to avoid having to log in to check your e-mails, you can have your VU Amsterdam e-mail automatically forwarded to your personal e-mail address.

Canvas is the digital learning environment of VU Amsterdam. Each course also has a course in Canvas, to which you automatically have access when you have signed up for the course. On Canvas you will find the course's study manual and examples of exam questions, the teacher will keep you informed about your progress and you will sometimes have to submit assignments via Canvas. Also, after a lecture, teachers often put the lecture sheets on Canvas, so that you can study them again at home.

Study guide and timetable
In the online study guide you will find information about the content of your courses, method of assessment and which literature you need. Here you will also find the Teaching and Examination Regulations of your study programme. The timetable of your study programme can be found at

If you think you might be eligible for one or more exemptions, based, for example, on your prior education, please submit a request well in advance of commencing the course in question to the Examination Board for your programme. You can do this via VUnet.

Good marks
Earning good marks is perhaps the most useful way of distinguishing yourself. It will not only help you to develop academically, but will also bring you additional opportunities. Students with good grades are allowed to take part in the Honours Programme, for example. If you complete the programme successfully (by earning 30 credits), your achievement will be indicated on your degree certificate. Research Master's programmes often select applicants on the basis of the grades they obtain during the Bachelor’s programme.

Extra courses
If you want to take additional courses alongside your required courses, you can register for ‘extra-curricular courses’. Naturally, you must meet the entry requirements for the course. Please see the course descriptions in the study guide for specifics.

If you take an extra course that is not part of your programme and you wish to add it to your own programme, then you apply to the Examination Board for permission. If you take that extra course at another educational institution, you are responsible for ensuring that the results and credits are forwarded to VU Amsterdam, so that the results can be entered into your file.

High-level athletes and forms of outstanding performance
If you participate in top-level sports or other high-level activities, you may have difficulty combining these with a busy degree programme. For that reason, VU Amsterdam has a High Achievers Scheme (in Dutch) for students who are involved with these kinds of extra-curricular activities in the areas of sports or culture. The scheme includes financial assistance in the event of delays to study progress and features that can help to reduce such delays.

In addition to your studies, you can become a member of a study association or enjoy the cultural, sporting and social activities offered by VU Amsterdam. More information can be found on the page Extracurricular activities.

Your opinion matters
Would you like to have a say in matters relating to education? Then joining a committee is something for you. More information can be found on the page Student Council.

During the Introduction Days, you will discover what it means to study at VU Amsterdam, participate in workshops and mini lectures, and you’ll meet your instructors. And, of course, there will be plenty of fun activities to help you get to know your fellow students better: everything from excursions in Amsterdam to a sports competition, a comedy night, and an amazing final party that you’ll never forget.

You won’t regret signing up for the full programme. If you are unable to participate in the whole week, or if you’d prefer a programme that focuses on academics, then you can sign up for the two-day programme on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 August. You can sign up for the full programme until 14 August and for the two-day programme until 19 August.

For international students:
The International Office organizes the Arrival Days on Monday 19 August and Tuesday 20 August.

During the Arrival days you can arrange various practical matters regarding your registration at VU Amsterdam, meet your International Student Advisor, register with the municipality (which will trigger the creation of a Citizen service number), meet student associations, etcetera. For more information go to the page When you Arrive.