Premaster programmes / hbo-schakelprogramma

Premaster programmes at SBE

The premaster programme at the School of Business and Economics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a deficiency programme that aims to provide students the relevant knowledge they require for studying a Master’s programme at the School of Business and Economics. The premaster programme is for

  • Students with an hbo degree or a degree from a university of applied sciences, in any subject
  • Students with a university degree who do not meet all requirements of the master programme

The premaster programme starts in February and ends in July. It prepares you for the Master in Business Administration (all programmes, except for the Duisenberg Honours Programme in Financial Markets and Regulation), Entrepreneurship, Finance, or Marketing.

See the programme webpages for details on the premaster programme, admission requirements and application procedure. The study guide provides a detailed overview of courses and course content. Further down this webpage you can find the general admission requirements for your type of degree


The Master's programmes in Econometrics and Operations Research, Economics and in Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics do not have a standard premaster programme. See the respective webpages of those programmes on how to submit an application request, which determines whether you can be admitted via a specific switching programme. 


General premaster programme admission requirements

Students with a degree from a Dutch university of applied sciences - an HBO degree - can enroll each year until January 31 for the premaster programme. To get admission to one of the premaster programmes at the School of Business and Economics, you must meet the following admission requirements.

An hbo degree

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) combined score of at least 550 for the parts Verbal and Quantitative

  • The score must be no older than two years, counted from the starting date of the premaster programme
  • The Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment scores do not count for admission
  • A Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) score for the parts Verbal and Quantitative that is equivalent to the required GMAT score of at least 550 will also satisfy this requirement.
    The GRE score can be converted into the equivalent GMAT score with the GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools

Students with a degree from a Dutch university are encouraged to directly apply for one of the master programmes at the School of Business and Economics. If the admission board decides against admission to the programme, the board may recommend the premaster programme. The admission requirements for the premaster programme are:

A degree from a Dutch academic university

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) combined score of at least 550 for the parts Verbal and Quantitative

  • The score must be no older than two years, counted from the starting date of the premaster programme
  • The Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment scores do not count for admission
  • A Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) score for the parts Verbal and Quantitative that is equivalent to the required GMAT score of at least 550 will also satisfy this requirement.
    The GRE score can be converted into the equivalent GMAT score with the GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools

Student from a non-Dutch University of Applied Sciences, or a non-Dutch academic university, are encouraged to directly apply for one of the Master’s programmes at the School of Business and Economics. If the admission board decides against admission, the board may recommend the premaster programme.

The premaster programmes at the School of Business and Economics have the following admission requirements.

A degree from a non-Dutch university of applied sciences of at least 240 EC, or a degree from a non-Dutch academic university

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) combined score of at least 550 for the parts Verbal and Quantitative

  • The score must be no older than two years, counted from the starting date of the premaster programme
  • The Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment scores do not count for admission
  • A Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) score for the parts Verbal and Quantitative that is equivalent to the required GMAT score of at least 550 will also satisfy this requirement.
    The GRE score can be converted into the equivalent GMAT score with the GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools

Proof of English language proficiency

  • A degree from an English-speaking country directly meets this requirement
  • The following English test results meet this requirement
    • IELTS (academic): general score 6.5, writing score 6.0
    • TOEFL: paper-based test 580 / internet-based test 92
    • Cambridge English: Cambridge Proficiency Exam / Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C

Please note that the application deadline for non-EU citizens is November 1 and January 31 for EU citizens

GMAT and GRE

One admission requirement for the premaster programme is a GMAT score of 550 or higher, or an equivalent GRE score. It may take up to 20 calendar days for VU Amsterdam to receive your GMAT score, therefore it is important to plan for and take the test on time!

At SBE, you can take the GMAT Preparation Course to help you take the test successfully. The preparation course starts each year in August.

Can I start the premaster programme in September?
No, all premaster programmes start in February. They are set up as a six-month programme, after which you can directly start your master programme in September.

I will not do the GMAT until January. Can I submit a preliminary score to satisfy the admission requirements by 1 February?
No, VU Amsterdam only accepts final scores. When planning the GMAT, remember that it may take up to 20 days for VU Amsterdam to receive the scores. Therefore, take care to start preparing and planning for the GMAT on time!

Is there a maximum number of hbo students who can do the premaster programme?
There is no limit. All hbo students who satisfy the admission requirements are admitted.

Can I get direct admission to the master programme if I have already done a premaster minor during my hbo programme?
This is possible, and you can submit a request for admission in this case. The admissions committee will determine whether you are admitted directly, or whether you have deficiencies. See more information on the master programme webpages.

Do I have to do the VU Amsterdam premaster programme if I have already completed a premaster programme at another university?
This depends on the premaster programme you completed. Submit a request for admission to the admissions committee and they will determine your admissibility. See more information on the master programme webpages.

I have a Dutch academic bachelor's degree, can I do the premaster programme to be admitted to a master programme?
Submit a request for admission to the admissions committee, and include an overview of courses, credits and course descriptions. The admissions committee will determine your admissibility.