Choosing your curriculum is the first step in your study abroad planning. Semester in Amsterdam students can:

  1. Choose from over 350 English-taught Bachelor courses and Master courses which can be combined from different disciplines. Please refer to our Course Selection Process.
  2. Choose a set combination of courses in one specific field, known as a Minor programme. Minor programmes are only available in the fall semester.

You are also welcome to select honors courses, Dutch electives, and can even extend your time abroad by staying for a VU Amsterdam Summer School course. Learn more below.

Minors are a set combination of courses in a specific field. Minor programmes consist of 5 courses worth 30 ECTS are only offered in the fall semester. If you wish to return home before Christmas then you can skip the fifth course in period 3. 

Here you can find a list of the minors offered to Semester in Amsterdam students.  Please be aware that the information provided via the following link is written for Exchange students; however, you will be a Semester in Amsterdam student.  Semester in Amsterdam students follow different registration procedures, but choose from the same course lists.  If you have questions about the minor programmes, please contact us at [email protected]l .

There are certain advantages to choosing a minor:



  • Students gain specialized knowledge in the chosen field of study;
  • Students can immediately finalize their study plan, because courses within the Minor never conflict in the timetable meaning that once students are accepted to the Minor programme they are guaranteed to be able to follow all courses in the Minor;
  • Minors show a focused area of study, so you can list them on your CV;
  • Students will follow all of the Minor courses with the same Dutch and international students, thereby increasing the likelihood of cross-cultural contact

If you do not prefer to follow a minor programme or want to combine courses from different faculties then refer to the Course Selection Process for advice on choosing classes and structuring your semester. You can choose from 350+ English-taught Bachelor and Master courses.

Note: Semester in Amsterdam students are different than exchange students but Semester in Amsterdam students choose courses from the exchange program.

Students can choose to follow a Semester in Amsterdam Dutch elective course which spans two periods and is offered in the early evening hours. Choosing an elective would allow students to skip period 3 or 6 and return home in December or May as opposed to January or June. The electives run from September-December and February-May and are as follows:

  • Discover the Dutch - This course includes both culture and language components.  Since this is a special course organized by the VU NT2 language department, this course will not show up in your regular timetable in VUnet.  You will still receive an official transcript and 6 ECTS for this course.
  • Imagining the Dutch: Themes in Dutch History - For this course, there is no language component.

Qualified students can take honor courses. Honour courses are interdisciplinary, small seminar-style courses which emphasize student discussion. They are offered in the evening hours and, therefore, generally do not overlap with your other courses.

Students need a minimum grade average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale (comparable to an 'A' on a European ECTS scale) to qualify.  Students who do not meet this minimum grade point average may be considered in special circumstances. Students must also include a motivation letter in their application for the honours course(s) of their choosing.

You can find the Honours Course Selection Form Here.


  • Fall Semester: 1 June
  • Spring Semester: 1 December

You can find a full list of all honours courses here.  Please be aware that Semester in Amsterdam students are only eligible to take honors courses offered at VU Amsterdam.  Please also be aware that Semester in Amsterdam students follow different enrollment procedures.  If you have questions about the honors program or how to enroll, please contact us at [email protected].

Taking a course via the VU Amsterdam Summer School could be an easy way to extend your time abroad. Summer is the best time to be in Amsterdam, after all.

The summer school offers 3 blocks of 2-week courses. Courses are multidisciplinary and feature practical assessments such as in-house company boot camps, mock “shark tanks,” and data analysis systems. The level ranges from Advanced Bachelor to Master and PhD.

Semester in Amsterdam students qualify for a €450 discount off all Summer School courses. The Summer School provides you with the same accommodation as the Semester in Amsterdam programme, meaning you can stay in your choice of accommodation.

All Summer School courses include built-in excursions to museums and institutes such as the Anne Frank House and the International Criminal Court. Personal guidance by your instructors and a stimulating cultural environment provide an engaging experience. A social programme is available if you wish to explore more outside of the course.

Interested? Learn more.