Business Administration: International Management

Developing tomorrow’s global business leaders

Developing tomorrow’s global business leaders

The International Management specialization prepares you for global management careers by developing your understanding of how the international context affects businesses and their employees. Due to the increasing globalization of the last decades, the international context now affects all aspects of business. The International Management specialization combines the latest theory of international management with practical applications.

Under the supervision of world class researchers and teachers, you will complete advanced international management courses designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of how to manage different parts of a business and how to compete in different contexts. In addition to core courses, you can select from several interdisciplinary electives that will provide them knowledge in areas of personal interest. The programme also has a strong practical component. You need to apply the theoretical tools to a practical situation by developing an international expansion strategy for a real company or advise a company on an international management problem. Furthermore, you will work in different group projects to develop soft skills for working in multinational teams.

Some key questions of the programme include: How can companies compete in a global environment? How can companies take advantage of opportunities outside their borders and overcome potential threats? How can firms do business in emerging markets? What challenges do multinational teams face? How to make global teams work more effectively? How to improve the performance of individuals who work in global teams?

Who should join us?
Students who are interested in understanding how to use the global environment to make businesses succeed. You can have very diverse educational backgrounds with bachelor's degrees in business administration, economics, psychology, engineering, social sciences or natural sciences.

The specialization has the following learning goals:

Have the advanced and original academic and research skills to contribute to the body of knowledge
You will contribute to the body of knowledge on international management by writing a master thesis. By critically assessing the latest research on international management throughout the programme and by receiving workshops on research methodology, you will be in a strong position to develop theoretically forward and practically relevant research.

Have thorough knowledge of relevant theory and methods
Advanced courses on International Management, Culture, or Doing Business in Emerging Markets will expose you to the latest theory and methods used in international management research. To deepen your knowledge, you can additionally choose from several electives that each are strongly based on fostering your ability to act in response to strategic and organizational challenges. To broaden your horizon beyond the core of strategy and organization, you can also choose electives from other programmes such as Strategy & Organization, Leadership and Change Management, Management Consulting, and Human Resource Management. Several interdisciplinary electives offer an additional opportunity to deepen your knowledge of a topical issue in business and management beyond the boundaries of the International Management programme.

Have an academic approach to solving complex business problems
You will participate in team projects for a real life company in which they act as management consultants who need to solve an international business problem such as developing an international expansion strategy. In addition, you will develop their ability to solve complex business problems by working on business cases during workshops.

Have the professional social skills to interact with other professionals
First, you will present the outcome of your team project to the company for which they acted as management consultants. Second, you will develop presentation skills by preparing presentations for companies and fellow students. Third, you develop professional social skills by working on group projects with colleagues from different cultural backgrounds.

Have an horizon beyond the professional area
Through courses on Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility you develop the understanding of how your decisions influence communities and the environment. In addition, for the team consultancy project, you will have to discuss the social and environmental implications of your proposed solutions.

Are self-reflective professionals
Courses on Cross-cultural management and Ethics will allow you to reflect on your own personality and individual goals in order to understand opportunities for change and growth. In addition you will have access to SBE'S Career Services’ workshops to prepare you for the job market.

Download the Business Administration: International Management curriculum

Aspirational job (far future)
As tomorrows’ business leaders need to be able to manage in a global environment, the International Management specialization starts students on a career leading them to become global leaders. In the long term, this means our students will become the CEOs and COOs of the future.

Actual placement (near future)
With the International Management specialization you are well-positioned to start your leadership career in multinational enterprises with positions such as business analyst, management consultant, product manager, global brand manager, international sales manager, or business development manager.

Academic
Business happens in a global environment. The International Management specialization prepares you to work in multinational organizations by developing your understanding of how the international context affects different aspects of business. The programme achieves this by combining the latest academic research on international business, with practical experience, and personal skills development.

Professional
The programme places great emphasis on practical relevance as it employs case discussion in workshops and team projects for real companies engaged in international business or who wish to internationalize.

Citizen
Our programme develops global leaders with strong sustainability principles by providing you with courses on Ethics that allow you to understand the ethical and environmental consequences of managerial decisions.

The unifying characteristic of students pursuing the International Management specialization is an interest in understanding how to use the global environment to make businesses succeed. As such, students can have very diverse education backgrounds with bachelor degrees in business administration, economics, psychology, engineering, social sciences, or natural sciences.

Challenge to distinguish
The programme provides several opportunities for you to distinguish yourself. Top students can join the honours programmes, which provides additional learning opportunities. In addition, you can distinguish yourself through the practical project in which you advise a real company on an international management problem as you need to present your advice and provide the report to the company analyzed. Furthermore, you can distinguish yourself by tailoring the master programme to your interests when selecting specialized and generalized electives.

Community
Being part of a strong community is a key elements of students’ learning experience. In addition to the numerous events organized by the vibrant community of students at the Vrije Universiteit, the International Management specializations aims to stimulate strong relations between the members of the programme. There will be several student and student-teacher social events. In addition, you will be supported in your job-search by the Career Services.

Overview Business Administration: International Management

Language of instruction

English

Duration

1 year

Tuition fee

Application deadline

15 July via www.vu.studielink.nl (students with direct admission) / International degree students: 1 April (different deadlines may hold for other category students)

Start date

1 September

Study type

Full-time

Specializations

Specialization in Business Administration

Field of Interest

Economics, Business and Law

Study in Holland

Dutch students

We welcome and look for motivated and ambitious students who are actively developing themselves and are aware of their position and role in society. In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, (International) Business Administration, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, and other related disciplines. Typically, successful students in this programme have at least a 7 average grade (or an equivalent GPA score for international students) in the third year of their Bachelor’s programme, or a GMAT score of 600. Prior relevant work experience and experience with volunteering or other citizenship behaviours are encouraged.

Admission requirements Master's Business Administration, International Management programme:

The admission requirements are set by the Admissions Board, which also decides on individual applications.

  • Applicants who have gained a Bachelor's degree in (International) Business Administration at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are admitted directly to the Master's programme.
  • VU applicants who have gained a Bachelor's degree in Economics or Econometrics and Operations Research have access to the Master’s programme provided they meet the general criteria and have also successfully completed the following courses from the VU-curriculum:
    • Foundations of Strategic Management
    • Strategic management from a practice perspective: A day in the life of a CEO

    Alternatively, when they have sufficient relevant Business Administration courses during their Bachelor’s, the admission board can decide to admit them directly.
  • Applicants with at least a Bachelor's degree from another accredited university are admissible if they have a specialization in Business Administration, witnessed by thorough knowledge of the standard literature described below (or its equivalent).
  • Applicants with at least a (VU) Bachelor's degree in other relevant specializations (e.g., Psychology, Sociology) can be admitted to the Master if they have a sufficiently matching profile, which they can show by providing an overview of courses completed.
  • Applicants with at least a (VU) Bachelor's degree in other specializations that are not strongly related to International Management / Business Administration can be admitted in the Master. However, before they are admitted in the Master and depending on their degree, they will be required to take extra courses in business administration and/or in research methods courses to reach a minimum of 30 credits.


Applicants with a Dutch higher vocational (HBO) degree need to enroll in our premaster programme, which is specifically designed to bridge the gap between higher vocational education and university-level education. Please note that you will need to provide at least a score of 550 on the GMAT, and that the premaster programmes are taught in Dutch. Students who have successfully completed the VU premaster’s programme in Business Administration are automatically entitled to admission. More information regarding the premaster programme (in Dutch). Standard literature: students are assumed to be familiar with the titles below, or an equivalent:

International Management: C. Hill (2014). International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace. 10th edition, McGraw-Hill Education.

If you did not take your (International) Business Administration Bachelor’s degree at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you must submit a request for admission to the admission board. You have to fill out the Form Evaluation Admission Master and add to it the following documents: a description of the subjects you passed, your transcript, the study load and a list of the literature studied.

You can send your request per email until 15 June to toelating.sbe@vu.nl.

The Admission board will then decide whether you can be admitted directly to the Master's or whether you first need to compensate for any mismatches between your qualification and our admission requirements. Possible outcomes of your application are direct admission to the Master's programme, admission under the condition that you must also pass one or more Bachelor's courses, admission to one of the pre-Master's programmes, or admission to one of our Bachelor's programmes.

Students with (International) Business Administration Bachelor’s degree
Applicants who have gained a Bachelor’s degree in (International) Business Administration at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are admitted automatically to the Master’s programme. To be admitted you need a new enrollment in Studielink.

More information regarding registration WO-bachelors (in Dutch).

Services for international (IBA) students / Residence permit
If you are planning to continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam after your IBA, please contact the Central Admission’s Support Team of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for further information and specific questions about the offered services for international students like extending your residence permit. You will need to apply for extension of your residence permit if you continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Depending on your higher vocational qualifications (Dutch HBO or equivalent) you can gain admission to one of our Pre-master's programmes. In order to do so, you also have to score at least 550 on the GMAT. These Pre-master’s programmes are designed to bridge the gap between higher vocational education and university level.

Please note: these Pre-master's programmes are taught in Dutch only. For more information about the Pre-master's programmes see 'Master na HBO'.

Students who have successfully completed the VU premaster’s programme in Business Administration are automatically entitled to admission to the master’s programme.

More information regarding registration HBO-bachelors (in Dutch).

Deadline for an admission request is 15 June.

Visit our information day

Master's Day

Information days and activities
contact@vu.nl
Admission requests, admission requirements and admission questions
toelating.sbe@vu.nl
(can only be reached by e-mail)
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International students

We welcome and look for motivated and ambitious students who are actively developing themselves and are aware of their position and role in society. In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, (International) Business Administration, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, and other related disciplines. Typically, successful students in this programme have at least a 7 average grade (or an equivalent GPA score for international students) in the third year of their Bachelor’s programme, or a GMAT score of 600. Prior relevant work experience and experience with volunteering or other citizenship behaviours are encouraged.

The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application. If you have read the admission criteria below and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required.

Please note: Applicants who have gained a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are admitted automatically to the Master’s programme. To be admitted you need a new enrollment in Studielink.

Step 1: Meet admission criteria
In order to gain admission to our Master’s programmes, you will need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 EC or equivalent.

Admission requirements for the MSc programme Business Administration specialization International Management:

Applicants need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, consisting of (or equivalents of):

International Management: C. Hill (2014). International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace. 10th edition, McGraw-Hill Education.

English language proficiency

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam requires all applicants to take an English test. You can already apply online without having the test results. We do advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Below you will find the minimum English test scores:

IELTS (academic)

  • Minimum general score 6,5
  • Minimum score writing 6,0


TOEFL

  • Paper based test 580
  • Internet based test 92-93


Cambridge English

  • Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C
  • Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers the TOEFL ITP English-language proficiency test. The test is offered by the VU Taalloket. You can find more information and register for this test at www.taalloket.nl.

Please refer to the language requirement page for the general requirements regarding the English language test.

Step 2: Prepare documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents and arrange the payment of the application fee, a non-refundable €100 application fee applies. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English.

  • Copy of your valid passport or ID (only for EU residents)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Transcript of records
  • Thesis (or another sample of academic writing)
  • A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education
  • A list of all the main literature used during your previous higher education


After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. In Studielink you can apply for the Master in Business Administration and in VUnet you can select your choice of specific programme. After you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via e-mail.

Step 3: Await decision on admission
The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about four weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you gain admission, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email. You can start planning your move to Amsterdam!

Step 4: Finalize your registration and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your registration as a student before the start of the programme. What to do after admission. When all conditions are met you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!

Further information about:
Accommodation
Visa
Tuition fees

As an international student planning to study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries.

Detailed information about scholarships and deadlines can be found on www.vu.nl/scholarships or www.grantfinder.nl

Contact a student ambassador

Some international students are happy to tell you about their experiences with living and studying in Amsterdam. These Student Ambassadors come from all over the world and have attended various bachelor's and master's programmes.

Our student ambassadors are listed on the webpage below. Reach out to them and get their stories about being a student at VU Amsterdam!

Information for international students > International degree holders > Contact our student ambassadors


Visit our information days
More information about Master's programmes
Visit our information days

Central International Office
For detailed questions about the Master’s programmes or the application procedure contact your International Student Advisor at the International Office:

Foto Leanne Schrijver Leanne Schrijver
Tel +31 20 59 83032
E Admissionsfeba@vu.nl


 

 

 

Foto Paul SteemanPaul Steeman
Tel +31 20 59 88739
E Admissionsfeba@vu.nl
 

 

 

 


Foto Floris KorbeeFloris Korbee
Tel + 31 (0)20 598 3944
E Admissionsfeba@vu.nl       


 

 

For general information about VU Amsterdam:
Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 10:00 to 12:00).
You may also e-mail us at study@vu.nl.

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