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

  1. Choose from over 1000+ English-taught Bachelor or Master courses in 9 different faculties. Please refer to the course selection process before before choosing individual courses.
  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 honours courses, Dutch electives, and can even extend your time abroad by staying for a VU Amsterdam Summer School Course!

Want more information about university life? Check out this video!

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

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 .

Here you can find a list of the minors offered to Semester in Amsterdam students. 

There are certain advantages to choosing a minor:

  • Students gain specialized knowledge in a chosen field of study
  • Students can immediately finalize their study plan because courses within a minor do not conflict
  • Minors show a focused area of study which can be listed on a CV
  • Students will follow all courses with the same group of students in the minor programme

If you prefer not to take a minor programme or will study abroad during the spring semester, you can create your own schedule from the courses listed in the Exchange Study Guide via the link below. 

Please refer to the Course Selection Process before you begin choosing courses

You can choose from 1100+ English-taught courses for Bachelor and Master students.

Note: Semester in Amsterdam students are not the same as Exchange students, but you choose from the same course lists. Semester in Amsterdam students follow different course registration and application procedures.

Here you can find the academic calendar for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year. 

Below you can find the deadlines to add or drop courses for the current 2020-2021 academic year.  Please note that all of the final add/drop deadlines (in bold) occur on Mondays at midnight.  We will publish the new add/drop deadlines for the 2021-2022 academic year here as soon as they are finalized.  We expect these dates to be similar to the dates listed below.

Academic Year 2020-2021

Fall 2020 (Semester One)Course Registration PeriodInstruction Period (including exams)
Period 120 July - 07 September 202031 August - 23 October 2020
Period 214 September - 05 October 202026 October - 18 December 2020
Period 323 November - 14 December 202004 January - 29 January 2021
Spring 2021 (Semester Two)Instruction Period (including exams)
Period 412 December 2020 - 11 January 202101 February - 26 March 2021
Period 508 February - 01 March 202129 March - 28 May 2021
Period 612 April - 03 May 202131 May - 25 June 2021

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 honours courses. Honours 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 8.0 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.


  • 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 honours courses offered at VU Amsterdam. Please also be aware that Semester in Amsterdam students follow different enrolment procedures. 

How to Apply:

All applications for honours courses via the Semester in Amsterdam Programme should be sent directly to Please make sure to include a motivation letter of approximately 500 - 750 words describing your main motivation for choosing the specific course. If you are interested in more than one course, you must submit a motivation letter for each course. Since honours courses are popular and often fill up, we suggest choosing more than one course. If you have questions about the honours program or how to enroll, please contact us at

Want to extend your Semester in Amsterdam? Take a course (or two!) via the VU Amsterdam Summer School!  Summer is the best time to be in Amsterdam, after all.

The summer school offers two blocks of 2-week long 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. 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 complete social programme full of unique social activities is also available.

Semester in Amsterdam students qualify for a €450 discount off of all Summer School courses!

Interested? Learn more.