Bachelor in Mathematics


Program Description

Application deadline update

  • Non-EU/EEA students: 1 May (the original deadline of 1 April has been extended due to COVID-19)
  • EU/EEA students and students who do not need a study visa/residence permit through VU Amsterdam*: 1 June (the original deadline of 1 May has been extended due to COVID-19)

This broad and challenging Bachelor’s degree programme lasts 3 years and is aimed at students who love logical thinking, and are not afraid of abstraction or complex calculations. It provides unparalleled possibilities for specialising in both pure and applied mathematics, and gives you a head start for a career in research, industry, education or consultancy. It also forms an excellent preparation for just about any quantitative Master’s degree programme.

Study Mathematics in Amsterdam
Whether you’re driven by pure curiosity in mathematical structures or by modern applications of these, at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam you will discover the beauty of mathematics. Mathematics is everywhere. You can learn for example about distribution of prime numbers and geometry of graphs, as well as applications of these in cryptography and big data.

Our lecturers are world-leading researchers that use innovative teaching methods. Lectures are accompanied by tutorial classes, in which you receive personal feedback from your tutors. Our study counsellors will make sure that you choose the study path that suits you best.

The VU campus is located in one of the most dynamic and fast-growing business districts in the Netherlands and just a 10-minute train ride from the international airport Schiphol. The lively and multicultural city centre of Amsterdam, with the largest concentration of students in the Netherlands, is just a 15-minute bike ride from the campus.

This is what you will be doing
The first year consists of a well-balanced programme that you follow together with all your fellow freshmen Mathematics students. This gives you a firm mathematical basis for the rest of your studies. In year two you decide to continue with a major in either Pure or Applied Mathematics. Various study tracks and numerous optional courses allow you to pursue your personal interests. During your minor in the first half of year three, you focus entirely on your favourite topic. You can also pursue your minor at a foreign university. The programme finishes with a research project in which everything you learnt is combined.

Within the major Pure Mathematics, you can choose between the following tracks:

  • Algebra and Geometry: If you’re into abstract algebraic structures or geometric constructions, this is the right track for you. In this track, you follow courses like Number Theory, Galois Theory, Differential Geometry, and Representation Theory.
  • Analysis and Dynamical Systems: This track evolves around mathematical models for many physical and societal processes. These models are used to predict for example the weather, the outbreak of diseases, and the spread of information over the internet. Courses include Chaotic Dynamical Systems, Partial Differential Equations, and Functional Analysis.
  • Probability and Statistics: in this track you study the fundamentals of probability theory and mathematical statistics. You will learn about powerful statistical methods and surprising probabilistic paradoxes in courses like Statistical Data Analysis, Measure Theory, Markov Chains, and Bayesian Statistics.

Within the major Applied Mathematics, you can choose between the following tracks:

  • Biomedical science: in this track, which is unique in the Netherlands, you learn how to Calculate Life! You follow courses in Mathematics, Biology, and Medicine, and you obtain all the necessary tools for solving quantitative problems in the life sciences. Examples include the analysis of the human genome, the search for new medicine, and the understanding of the brain. Courses include Biochemistry, Mathematical Biology, Bioinformatics, and Neuroscience.
  • Computer science: This is the right track for you if you want to become an expert mathematical programmer, or theoretical computer scientist. You follow courses like Computer Networks, Data Structures and Algorithms, and Advanced Programming.
  • Econometrics: This track prepares you for quantitative jobs in business, economics, or banking. Mathematicians from this track find jobs as risk analyst, financial analyst, actuary, and even as option trader. Courses in this track include Mathematical Economics, Operations Research, and Financial Mathematics.
  • Data science: Be part of the data revolution and follow courses like Statistical Data Analysis and Machine Learning.

Finally, within both majors, you can choose the track Education, which is taught in Dutch. After completing the Education track, you receive a qualification ("2e graadsbevoegdheid") for teaching in Dutch high schools.

Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 150 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to 23,00 ... Read More

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 150 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to 23,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff of 122 nationalities create a dynamic international academic community. The University distinguishes itself in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes: Human Health and Life Sciences, Science for Sustainability, Connected World and Governance for Society. Curious about student life at VU Amsterdam? Click here to ask our International Student Ambassadors. Read less