Econometrics and Operations Research

Quantitative analysis for today and tomorrow

Management science, optimization problems, mathematical modelling. Economic analysis for today, quantitative forecasting for tomorrow.

Do you want to develop innovative software, forecast economic developments or be part of a national policy research department? The Master’s programme in Econometrics and Operations Research allows you to apply quantitative methods for analyzing economic issues in a broad sense. 

Regression
What is the best way to go about modelling the complex link between unemployment and inflation? Sophisticated statistical techniques are required for analysing the data derived from these relationships.

Production and inventory analysis
Efficient operations are key to profitable manufacturing processes. How can production be managed strategically to avoid having to disappoint customers by not delivering on time?

Programme in a nutshell
This master's programme is taught in English and takes one year. Throughout the programme, you follow several courses in the field of econometrics, logistics and game theory. At the beginning of the programme you can make a choice for a specialization, which is optional. There are two areas of specialization, namely ‘Econometrics and Mathematical Economics’ and ‘Operations Research and Business Econometrics’.

In the first semester, you will take two econometrics courses and two elective courses, which you can choose from a designated list. Besides this, the first semester is concluded with a case study, in which you can apply the theory studied to practical cases. In the second semester, you will take a third econometric course and you will write your master thesis while carrying out an independent research project.

Career prospects
As a graduate, you can find work in market research, finance, logistics, insurance and consultancy. The career prospects for employment are excellent and you will be able to choose from several career opportunities. This programme is a great preparation for a career where you will be involved in the innovation of software development, risk analysis and market development.

More information
Are you already excited, attracted by the information above, and do you want to know what more this Master’s programme can offer you? Please look for more information about the courses and for student testimonials at study programme or look for job market activities at career prospects.

The Master's programme in Econometrics and Operations Research is an academic programme focusing on the development and application of quantitative methods for analysing economic issues in a broad sense. The components of the Master's programme correspond closely with the department's research interests, which means that many of the latest scientific developments in areas like financial econometrics, logistics and game theory find their way directly into the teaching programme. 

The master's programme takes one year.
 
At the beginning of the programme, students can make a choice for a specialization. However, it is not mandatory to specialize; it is possible to combine courses from either specialization to allow students to pursue their own interests. In that case, no specialization will be mentioned on the degree. The two areas of specialization are:

  • Econometrics and Mathematical Economics: this stream focuses on econometric methods and techniques within finance and economics.
  • Operations Research and Business Econometrics: this stream is geared towards optimizing operational business processes.

First semester
In the first semester, students take the first two econometrics courses and two optional courses from a designated list. The first semester is concluded with a case study, in which students will apply the theory studied to practical cases in the field of the specialization chosen. Apart from honing the student's skills in practical application of advanced theory, the research project aims at strengthening the student's academic and professional skills such as writing, presenting and defending research. Students also receive further training in the use of quantitative and ICT-methods in solving problems.
 
Second semester
In the second semester the student attends his third econometrics course and has the possibility to choose his third and final optional course. The larger part of the second semester is devoted to writing the master's thesis. To this end the student carries out an independent academic research project and reports on this in his thesis. Carrying out the research project and writing the thesis takes about three months. The master's thesis is written individually. Students are, however, required to take part in the concomitant thesis seminar, in which the research findings of the students are periodically presented and critically discussed.
 
Econometrics & Operations Research courses in study guide.


Holding a Master’s degree in Econometrics and Operations Research will give you excellent prospects for employment. You will be able to choose from career opportunities that are both exciting and varied. Econometricians find employment in the national policy research departments at planning agencies and government ministries, at financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies, and at business consultancy firms. Operations Researchers can be found in a range of industries, including logistics, innovative software development, transport and distribution, manufacturing and consultancy.

Rather than taking up a career in industry, you might wish to indulge your academic ambitions further by applying to study for a PhD in Econometrics, Operations Research, Quantitative Economics, Finance or Applied Mathematics.


The Master’s Programme in Econometrics and Operations Research offers two specializations: Econometrics and Mathematical Economics and Operations Research and Business Econometrics.

Econometrics and Mathematical Economics
This specialization focuses on econometric methods and techniques within finance and economics. You will learn how to model a market with several players or 'agents'. The objective of this kind of modelling exercise is to investigate and analyse optimal strategies for the players.

Operations Research and Business Econometrics
This specialization is geared towards optimizing operational business processes. You will learn how to construct and analyse stochastic models of business decision problems. Discrete Event Simulation Studies play an important role in the design of complex models.


Each specialization consists of a required component and an optional one. The optional component consists of three elective modules. These modules include:

  • Advanced econometrics
  • Strategic and cooperative decision making
  • Computational econometrics
  • Simulation and stochastic systems
  • Combinatorial optimization
  • Case study
  • Thesis

You can compile your own curriculum by combining courses from the two specializations. In this case, you will write your thesis on a topic taken from mathematical economics.

Special courses
Each specialization provides you with the opportunity to examine a number of areas within the Econometrics or Operations Research programme in greater depth.

Optional component
The optional component gives you plenty of scope to acquire a broad perspective on areas relating to your chosen field.

Close links with research
The components that make up the Master’s programme correspond closely with the department’s research interests. This means that many of the latest scientific developments in areas such as financial econometrics, logistics and game theory find their way directly into the curriculum.

Small groups
Students also benefit from the opportunity to study in small groups and work closely with academic staff.

Discover a fascinating scientific discipline
Econometrics & Operations Research is a fascinating scientific discipline which develops quantitative resources and applies them to the analysis of economic problems in their broadest sense. VU University Amsterdam trains students by preparing them for a professional career in which mathematics, statistics and ICT are applied for the quantitative analysis of many kinds of problems, either from the world of business, finance, economics or of a more general nature. We employ a diversity of modelling and analytical techniques. This means that the programme is divided into two specializations: (I) Econometrics and Mathematical Economics and (II) Operations Research and Business Econometrics. These are usually referred to simply as Econometrics and Operations Research, respectively.

Bruna Rotondaro

Overview Econometrics & Operations Research

Language of instruction

English

Duration

1 year

Application deadline

1 June 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

Econometrics and Mathematical Economics/Operations Research and Business Econometrics

Field of Interest

Economics, Business and Law

Study in Holland

Regression
What is the best way to go about modelling the complex link between unemployment and inflation? Sophisticated statistical techniques are required for analysing the data derived from these relationships.

Time series
Forecasting the volatility of stocks and shares is a complex exercise. How does one go about analysing these elusive trends?

Game theory
In recent years, national and local governments around the world have been raising capital by auctioning radio frequencies for mobile telephony and contracts for infrastructure projects. How can game theory help to predict the behaviour of bidders and sellers?

Production and inventory analysis
Efficient operations are key to profitable manufacturing processes. How can production be managed strategically to avoid having to disappoint customers by not delivering on time?

Queuing theory
These days, households use their internet connections for telephony, e-mail, and downloading films and music. How can a provider streamline internet traffic so that someone placing a call is not subject to long waits and poor connections because of bandwidth-guzzling download traffic?

You can choose the elective modules that form the optional component of your programme from the other Econometrics & Operations Research specialization, or from a list of courses drawn from the other Master’s programmes taught in the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (Economics, Business and Finance), as well some from those taught by the Faculty of Sciences (Mathematics, Business Mathematics, Computer Science). Here are a number of examples.

Labour Economics
This course provides an analysis of recent theories in labour economics that focus on labour supply, involuntary unemployment, wage determination, and private and public investments in education. It also focuses on the impact of government policy such as unemployment benefits and the tax system.

Derivatives and Asset Management
The role of derivatives is becoming increasingly important. Banks use them to manage their balance sheet and trading activities, corporate treasuries need them to mitigate international trade risk, insurance companies apply them strategically to hedge long-term interest rate exposures, and pension funds use them as protection against funding shortfalls. A thorough understanding of all aspects of derivatives is indispensable for anyone pursuing a job in finance.

Data-mining Techniques
The course provides a survey of basic data-mining techniques and their applications in solving real-life problems. It includes an overview of the most common data-mining algorithms and techniques, a survey of interesting data mining applications and practical assignments to give you and your fellow students real hands-on experience. Course assignments encourage you to apply the relevant skills in a business environment.

Mathematical System Theory
Many phenomena can be described as dynamic behaviour and characterized in terms of input/output. Systems theory is concerned with modelling, estimating and controlling dynamic phenomena.

Spatial and Transport Economics
This course provides students with advanced knowledge of contemporary transport economics, considering both intra-city transport (e.g. urban transit, road traffic congestion) and inter-city transport (notably aviation).


For talented and ambitious students the master’s programme offers an extra opportunity to distinguish themselves with the MSc Honours Programme Operations Research. This Honours Programme allows master’s students to broaden and deepen their knowledge on state-of-the-art operations research techniques.

Admission
Students holding a bachelor’s degree from VU University can apply for admission to the honours programme if their average grade for their bachelor’s degree is at least 7.5. Students with a degree from another university should demonstrate that their degree is of an equivalent level. The admission will be based on an interview during which drive and motivation for research will be assessed.

>> More information

I want to send my application form to apply for a Master's programme before the first of April. I expect to graduate before the end of this academic year. Is it possible to apply without having my Bachelor's diploma yet?
Yes, that is possible. Your eligibility can be assessed without the actual diploma. After (conditional) admission to one of our MSc programmes, we will contact you and ask for the original and official documents for registration at the university. One of these documents is the official diploma (or certified copy of it).

I have graduated from a Dutch HBO. Is it possible for me to get admission to one of the Master's programmes?
Unfortunately, if you hold a HBO BSc diploma you cannot get direct admission to one of our Master's programmes. We have a specific Premaster’s programme for some of our Master’s programmes. The Premaster’s programmes are entirely Dutch taught, you need a NT2-2 certificate to get admission and your GMAT score has to be at least 550. Some Master’s programmes have other entry requirements if you hold a Dutch HBO. Please check ‘admission and application’ on the Master’s page to see if there is a specific Premaster’s programme available.

Is it possible to study one of the Master's programmes part-time?
All Master's programmes open to international students are full time programmes, which means that you are expected to spend at least 4 days a week at the university. There are two part-time Master's programmes both taught in Dutch.

Can I apply for a MSc programme starting in February?
No, all our Master's programmes start in September.

Can I apply online?
International students can apply online. See the webpage "Admission and application" of your respective master's programme for more information.

Application deadline
International degree students: 1 April (different deadlines may hold for other category students). Dutch degree students: Admission request before 1 May, application in Studielink before 1 June.

Do you require work experience to get admission to one of the Master's programmes?
No, we do not require work experience. Sometimes it might help to have some work experience to get admission if your Bachelor's diploma does not cover all the academic requirements (see admission requirements in the left menu).

Do you require GMAT or GRE to get admission to one of the Master's programmes?       
In some cases we might require a GRE or GMAT. For the Master’s programmes in Economics and Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics a GRE might be required. The admission board will let you know if a GRE is required. At other Master’s programmes a GMAT or GRE is not required. This does not mean that we do not pay any attention to your grades. If you have obtained a good GMAT or GRE score it is recommended to mention this in your application and to enclose a copy of the results. 
 
Please note: To be admitted to one of our specific Dutch taught pre-master's programmes you have to score at least 550 on the GMAT. 

Is it possible to pay the tuition fee in installments?
Yes, that is possible. The registration period is in August after your arrival in the Netherlands. You can pay the tuition fee either at once before 1 September or you can choose to sign a contract that you will pay it in installments during the academic year.

Ay May

Alumna

Econometrics Ay May Master student

"This is real science - science with the special accent that can only come from economics. Science that requires the broad-bases knowledge derived from informatics and econometrics."

Dutch students

Students with a Bachelor's degree Econometrics and Operations from one of the Dutch universities are admitted directly to the Master's programme.  

The admission criteria are set by the Admissions Board, which also decides on individual applications. The requirements are split up into Master specific requirements and general requirements (faculty website). Please read them both carefully.

If you have direct admission to the Master's programme of your choice you need to re-register yourself at VU University Amsterdam. If this is not the case, then you must fulfill the following requirements. 

Specific admission requirements Master's programme Econometrics and Operations Research:

  • Students with a Bachelor's degree that provides a thorough knowledge in mathematics and statistics (such as Econometrics, Mathematics, Management Science, Operations Research, Computer Science, Physics, Industrial Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Quantitative Economics) should have passed courses on Linear Algebra, Mathematical Analysis, Probability Theory and Statistics at the level mentioned on the prerequisites page of the faculty's website (Masterprogrammes>Econometrics>entry requirements).
  • Furthermore, the candidate should have sufficient knowledge of the specific topics of the selected subprogramme Econometrics or Operations Research respectively. The required level is indicated by the listed books on the prerequisites page. In case of deficiencies it is your responsibility to acquire this knowledge, a possibility being to follow the relevant core courses from the Bachelor Econometrics and Operations Research before commencing the master's programme.
  • Experience in programming in C/C++, Java, Matlab, Ox, Python or a similar computer language.
  • An excellent command of English. If English is not the student's native language, there are two acceptable ways to demonstrate English proficiency:
    1. hold a degree from an institution at which English is the language of instruction
    2. score of at least 580 on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test (237 on the computer-based test) (with a TWE score of 4.5), or an average of 6.5 on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test.

Core requirements
 
Mathematics, Probability and Statistics
The minimum requirement is to have sufficient knowledge of the following topics. 

Probability Theory S.M. Ross, A First Course in Probability, Pearson, 2013
(Mathematical) StatisticsJ.A. Rice, Mathematical Statistics and Data Analysis, Duxbury Press, 2006 or
G. Casella and R.L. Berger, Statistical Inference, Cengage Learning, 2008
Linear AlgebraD.C. Lay, Linear Algebra and Its Applications, Addison-Wesley, 2013
(Mathematical) AnalysisJ.M. Howie, Real Analysis, Springer, 2001
CalculusC. Edwards and D. Penney, Calculus, Prentice-Hall, 2002

Additional requirements for the Econometrics subprogramme
Besides the basic mathematics of the previous section, the requirements of admission are that the applicant has obtained knowledge of econometrics at the level of our Bachelor. The level and content are indicated by the following books:

Econometrics J. Johnston & J. Dinardo, Econometric Methods, McGraw-Hill, 1997 or
J.H. Stock and M.W. Watson, Introduction to Econometrics, Pearson Education, 2012

If you can show certified exam results for courses in econometrics with a comparable level (usually with a workload of a minimum of 12 EC), this is satisfactory. The equivalence will be evaluated by the examencommissie. Furthermore, it is important that students have experience with empirical econometric work and programming in a matrix-oriented programming language like Matlab or Ox.

Additional requirements for the Operations Research subprogramme
Besides the basic mathematics of the previous section, the requirements of admission are that the applicant has obtained knowledge of stochastic modelling and deterministic optimization at the level of our Bachelor. The level and content are indicated by the following books: 

Stochastic modellingS.M. Ross, Introduction to Probability Models, Academic Press, 2009
Operations research and deterministic optimizationH.A. Taha, Operations Research: An Introduction, Prentice Hall, 2010, Ch. 1-12

If you can show certified exam results for courses in operations research with a comparable level (usually with a workload of a minimum of 12 EC) this is satisfactory. The equivalence will be evaluated by the examencommissie. Furthermore, it is important that students have experience with optimization and numerical programming in Matlab, Java or C/C++.empty

When you fulfill the requirements, you must submit a request for admission to the examination 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.

The examination 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.

You could send your request per email until May 1st

For information regarding registration WO-bachelors, see the VU website (in Dutch).


Deadline for an admission request is May 1st.

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International students

Admission is based on a strict selection procedure. The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application. 

In order to gain admission to one of or 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. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score.

Specific admission requirements for the MSc programme Econometrics and Operations Research:

Applicants need to have successfully completed the following courses and studied the corresponding literature (or its equivalent):

  • Statistics 
    J.A. Rice, Mathematical Statistics and Data Analysis, second edition, Duxbury Press, 1995
  • Probability Theory 
    S.M. Ross, A First Course in Probability, Prentice-Hall, 2002
  • Linear Algebra 
    D.C. Lay, Linear Algebra and Its Applications, Addison-Wesley, 1997
  • (Mathematical) Analysis 
    J.M. Howie, Real Analysis, Springer, 2001
  • Calculus 
    C. Edwards and D. Penny, Calculus, Prentice-Hall, sixth edition, 2002

For the Econometrics subprogramme 
Besides the basic mathematics of the previous section, the requirements of admission are that the applicant has obtained knowledge of econometrics, statistics, and mathematical economics at the level
of the final year of our Bachelor year. The level and content are indicated by the following books and courses.

  • Econometrics 
    C. Heij, P.M.C. de Boer, P.H. Franses, T. Kloek and H.K. van Dijk, Econometric Methods with Applications in Business and Economics, Oxford University Press, 2004 or
    J. Johnson & J. Dinardo, Econometric Methods, McGraw-Hill, fourth edition, 1997
  • Mathematical economics 
    Mas-Colell, M. Whinston, J. Green, Microeconomic Theory, Oxford University Press, 1995. Chapters 6-9
  • Programming language 
    Knowledge of Ox, Matlab or another matrix-oriented language for implementation of econometric estimators and tests.

For the Operations Research subprogram 
Besides the basic mathematics of the previous section, the requirements of admission are that the applicant has obtained knowledge of stochastic modelling, deterministic optimization, and mathematical economics at the level of the final year of our Bachelor year. The level and content are indicated by the following books and courses.

  • Stochastic modelling 
    H.C. Tijms, A First Course in Stochastic Models, Wiley, 2003
  • Operations research 
    F.S. Hillier and G.J. Lieberman, Introduction to Operations Research, McGraw-Hill, 2005 (8-th ed.). Chapters 1-12
  • Deterministic optimization 
    See Operations Research
  • Mathematical economics 
    Mas-Colell, M. Whinston, J. Green, Microeconomic Theory, Oxford University Press, 1995. Chapters 1-12
  • Programming language 
    Knowledge of Matlab, Java, Python and/or C/C++

VU University 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:

IELTS (academic):

  • Minimum general score 6,5
  • Minimum score speaking 6,5
  • Minimum score listening 6,5
  • Minimum score writing 6,0
  • Minimum score reading 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

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

If you have read the admission criteria 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.

Step 1: Meet admission criteria

Step 2: Prepare documents and apply online

Please prepare the following documents. 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. After you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via email. 

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. Here you will find an explanation what to do after admission. When all conditions are met you will be ready to start your programme at VU University Amsterdam!

Further information about: 
Accommodation 
Visa 
Tuition fees

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


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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 University 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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