AMSTERDAM: Vrije Universiteit

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Program Website Type:   |  Minimum GPA:
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  • Fall Semester - Early September - December
  • Spring Semester - Early February - June
  • Summer 2 Semester - Early July to late July

Application Deadline

  • Fall Semester - March 15
  • Spring Semester - October 1
  • Summer 2 Semester - March 1


Study Abroad Coordinator: Mike Miller (

Since its founding in 1880, VU University Amsterdam has been known for its distinctive approach to knowledge. VU is an open organization, strongly linked to people and society. What matters is not just the acquisition of a greater depth of knowledge, but also a wider one.

Academic research and education at VU is characterized by a high level of ambition, and encourages free and open communications and ideas. VU stands for universal university values such as academic freedom and independence, which is reflected in our name (‘VU’ is the Dutch abbreviation for ‘free university’): free from the church, state and any commercial interest. The basic philosophy of VU is expressed in three core values:

  • responsible
  • open
  • personally engaged



The academic year at VU is divided into two semesters, which each consist of three periods. The first semester runs from September until February; the second semester runs from February until July. The university is aware that this academic schedule often clashes with the academic calendar for students coming from the U.S., and as a result allows students to pick only courses in periods 1 and 2. For example, 3 courses in period 1 and 2 courses in period 2, with last exams just before the winter break.

International students can choose from most courses taught in English at the undergraduate level. Vrije offers courses in ten Faculties-Arts, Earth and Life Sciences, Economics and Business Administration, Human Movement Sciences, Law, Philosophy, Psychology and Education, Sciences, Social Sciences, and Theology. Students must take the majority of their courses from 1 faculty.

The selected courses must add up to a minimum of 24 ECTS credits and preferably 30 ECTS credits for one semester which is a full workload. Students can choose to pick courses that together form a complete minor (1 semester worth of courses) from one specialty, or from varying specialties.

Additionally, please be aware that Master's and undergraduate level courses are available within the faculty of Criminology and Law, while most courses offered in the other faculties are strictly at the Bachelor level.

*Please note that Criminal Justice students should not enroll in Danger, Risk and Law in International Society or Current Migration Issues to ensure they are back at NU to start the January semester.

Summer: Students will enroll in 2 courses for a total of 8 NU credits. Students must choose one course from "block one" and a second course from "block two" on Vrije's summer course catalog. Please note that Northeastern students must enroll in courses that are listed as 45 contact hours or higher.

Information on Fall or Spring courses:

Summer courses:

View Evaluated Courses

If you are interested in enrolling in a course not in our database, please send this course for evaluation.

Policies and Process for Evaluations

Host University

Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, has been a renowned cultural, scientific and commercial centre for many centuries. It was here, in 1880, that Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam first opened its doors to students. 'Vrije Universiteit' means 'Free University'. Here, 'free' refers to freedom of state and church interference. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam was established in 1880 by orthodox protestants. Nowadays it aims to be inspiring, innovative and involved. Throughout the past century, the university has continued to expand. It now comprises twelve faculties and has teaching facilities for 18,000 students.

Summer School Information

Eligibility Requirements

  • Students must be a junior or senior CJ major if they wish to take classes in the Vrije Faculty of Law
  • GPA of at least 3.0
  • Students preferably will have completed 2 years worth of academic study in the field of their choice
  • Transfer students and spring admits, please contact OISP for eligibility
  • For students applying to the summer program: Your year at Northeastern will determine the level of courses open to you. Please contact Liz McClanahan for eligibility.

Application Procedure

    For Criminal Justice Students applying to the Faculty of Law:

    • Completed OISP online application
    • Formal nomination from OISP (see Coordinator)
    • Vrije Faculty of Law application forms
    • Photocopy of Passport ID Page
    • 1 letter of recommendation
    • Official Transcript
    • Digital photo (headshot on white background emailed to

    For all other students:

    • Completed OISP online application
    • Vrije application form. Vrije will email you after nomination from OISP with a link to the online application and a list of required documents that you must upload to their online form. These documents include a copy of your passport ID page, a passport sized photo, the learning agreement, and an official transcript.

    For Summer 2 Applicants:

Schedule Appointment →


Fall 2015 or Spring 2016: $22,660

Includes: Northeastern University (NU) tuition for 16 NU credits ($22,310), and International Security and Emergency Support ($350). Students are responsible for all other expenses, including housing and other non-academic costs for which they will be billed directly by the program provider or host institution. Students are also responsible for arranging and purchasing their own flights.

Summer 2 2015: $10,909

Includes: Northeastern University (NU) tuition for 8 NU credits ($10,634) and International Security and Emergency Support ($275). Students are responsible for all other expenses, including housing and other non-academic costs for which they will be billed directly by the program provider or host institution. Students are also responsible for arranging and purchasing their own flights.


Student housing is a 10 minute bike ride (5 minutes by metro) from the campus, based in the south side of the city of Amsterdam. University housing is ensured as long as students apply on time.

Please visit the Vrije Accommodation website for more detailed information on housing options.

Summer Housing: Most students will be placed at the student housing campus Uilenstede. However, if the number of applications for the Amsterdam Summer School exceeds the number of rooms available at the student housing campus Uilenstede, alternative student housing of similar quality will be offered in other parts of Amsterdam.


Vrije University's central campus in Amsterdam's commercial centre on the south side of the city features all facilities for teaching and research. It is also an easily accessible metropolitan meeting place thanks to its location in the immediate vicinity of Schiphol Airport and the WTC, Amsterdam. Being a true part of Amsterdam, VU is an international community that works together with knowledge partners, civil society and business.

The urban campus is under development and is being designed to meet the demands and needs of the modern day. New teaching and working styles are taking shape now and in the future in the foyers, open-plan offices and coffee corners. With the arrival of on-campus student housing and an extensive sports and cultural programme, the campus is somewhat of a city within the city.