Frequently Asked Questions

Student raising hand to indicate she wants to ask a questionWhat is the difference with the PPLE programme of the University of Amsterdam (UvA)?
PPE is a classic combination, one which has proven its value over the past decades and which is well-known in countries like the UK and the USA. The PPE bachelor programme at VU Amsterdam is the first one on the European continent that is offered fully in English and by a large university. A further difference is that we offer a semester in which you can choose to either study abroad or do an internship. PPLE is a new but therefore also not well-known and not yet proven combination ‘invented’ by the UvA. Both programmes offer the possibility to study abroad. Only PPE also offers the possibility to do an internship.

What if I like one PPE discipline less/more than the other two?
In the first year you get a thorough basis in all three disciplines, so you should have at least some interest in all three. In the second year, you choose two of the three PPE disciplines as your tracks/specialization – so Philosophy & Political Science, Political Science & Economics or Economics & Philosophy. In other words: you can drop the discipline that you like the least. You follow 2 mandatory courses in each of your two chosen tracks (so 4 in total), plus 4 electives. If you like one discipline best, there is the possibility to choose all 4 electives in that discipline – and thus specialize a bit more. In year three there is the possibility to do an internship or to study abroad for one semester. Your courses during the semester abroad also determine the degree to which you become more of a specialist or more of a generalist. Whatever you choose, you will always do some integrative courses in year two and three, in which all PPE students participate regardless of their chosen tracks. By working together groups of students are thus able to apply all three disciplines to the real-world problems that are put central in those courses.

Is the PPE programme a residential programme?
The college has its own housing where both the lectures/seminars and the extracurricular activities take place. At the moment it is however not a residential programme. The International Office of VU Amsterdam does offer accommodation for international students in the first year of their bachelor programme. Dorms are located at various places in Amsterdam. Our policy is to group PPE students together as much as possible on the same location, so that you can also easily hang out / study / eat together outside ‘college hours’. Please note: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam onlys guarantees accommodation to all international Bachelor students who submitted their accommodation request and paid their housing fee before the deadline of 1 June. In case you apply for accommodation after June 1st, you will be offered accommodation based on availability or you will be placed on the waiting list and will be informed when there is a cancellation immediately.

Do you have a scholarship programme?
Yes. The PPE scholarships offer talented, prospective international students the unique opportunity to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. PPE offers several scholarships for international students for 2017/2018.

All PPE scholarship applications received by 1 March 2017 will be reviewed by the PPE committee. Awarding of the scholarships will be based on your contribution to diversity in the classroom, motivation, financial need, and merit as evidenced by your CV and transcripts. A scholarship offer will be made to successful candidates.

Eligible candidates

The PPE scholarships are for strongly motivated students with excellent study results. Eligible candidates must be able to prove their excellence, and they must be admitted to the PPE programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Students with the Dutch nationality and/or Dutch educational background are not eligible for admission. Students already enrolled in the PPE programme in 2016/2017 are not eligible to apply for the PPE scholarship for 2017/2018.

Scholarships amounts

The PPE scholarship is a tuition fee waiver for one year. The PPE scholarship does not provide any additional allowance towards study or living costs. The scholarship will be extended to the second and third year of the programme, but only if the full 60 ects are obtained before the start of the new academic year.

For more information and how to apply, see here.

Other scholarships:

  • The Grantfinder website is an online search engine for those who want to study in the Netherlands and are looking for financial aid.
  • The Scholarship Portal is a website which provides information on scholarships available for students who want to study in Europe.

Dutch students and students from EU/EEA/S countries (countries in the European Union or European Economic Area, and Switzerland) can apply for a ‘loan tuition fees‘ or collegegeldkrediet with the DUO – IB group, which is the Dutch governmental organisation responsible for the payment of study grants to students.

Is there a way to be admitted in the case that….

  • … I have a ‘propedeuse’ from a Dutch HBO programme (= fully completed first year from a Dutch university of applied sciences)? No, unfortunately this does not give you access to our PPE programme. If you started your HBO programme with a Dutch VWO high school diploma (or a foreign equivalent) as your previous degree, you can of course apply based on that diploma.
  • … I do not have a suitable previous degree, for example based on an entrance exam? Yes, in some cases we accept entrance exams (known as the ‘colloquium doctum’ in the Netherlands). For more info, contact our Dutch admissions officer: info.ppe@vu.nl

I am getting good grades for my English course in high school. Do I still need other proof of my proficiency in the English language?

Yes, getting good grades in high school on this subject is not enough. We would like to make absolutely sure that all students admitted to this demanding programme, fully taught in English, meet our standards and are up to the challenge. Please see the page with more information on English proficiency for tests that we acknowledge and the minimum requirement for each test type. Only applicants who have completed their education in Canada, the USA, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia are exempt from this requirement, as are those who have obtained an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma (English-taught programs only).

Can I follow some PPE courses without doing the full programme?

No, unfortunately our courses are not accessible to exchange students or other students who would like to take some electives outside their regular programme. Our courses are exclusively taught for students who follow our full bachelor programme in PPE.