General information on honours degree programme

The honours degree programme is designed for students who have passed all their first-year Bachelor’s subjects by the end of that year, who have achieved an average grade of 7.5 and who are motivated to take on average extra subjects in the second and third years of their programme.

What does the honours degree programme entail?
You will earn an extra 30 credits in addition to the 180 credits in standard Bachelor’s degree programmes. The additional interdisciplinary coursework will take you more in depth into your studies while also broadening your perspectives.

Top professors from VU Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam and Amsterdam University College are responsible for the interdisciplinary courses, as are guest lecturers from the Netherlands and abroad. The classes are small and you will be expected to give presentations, write papers and actively contribute to discussions.

A prerequisite for obtaining your honours degree is that you complete your Bachelor's degree programme within the prescribed time frame (i.e. within three years). If you do not, the courses will be included on your diploma supplement as extracurricular courses and you will not receive an honours degree certificate.

Why take part in this programme?
The reasons for participating may vary: academic curiosity, intellectual challenge, deepening and expanding your studies, meeting like-minded students (also from other faculties), the appeal of a creative and interdisciplinary learning environment or the honours distinction on your Bachelor’s degree. Because most of the subjects are in English, the programme will benefit your English speaking, listening and writing skills. This distinction puts you a step ahead of others in applying for positions in academia, business or the government.

As an added bonus
The honours degree programme is about more than just taking extra courses:

  • Every year, we are allowed to select students for participation in The Netherlands-Asia Honours summer school, which means you will travel to the Chinese city of Shanghai to take part in a 7-week summer school programme;
  • You will be informed about prestigious scholarships, for example for doing Master’s degree programmes abroad;
  • You can become a member of Extensus (links to an external site), the study association for honours students. Extensus organizes study trips abroad, masterclasses and social activities;
  • Once you have completed your programme, you will be invited to the festive Graduation Event.


  • You can become a member of Extensus via the VU website;
  • The closing date for application is 1 May; 
  • You can find more detailed information on the application procedure at:
  • Specific details about applying can be found here.

After your application, the faculty honours coordinator will assess whether a supplementary interview is required. Based on the available information and, if deemed necessary, the interview, the coordinator will make a decision regarding admission.