MSc in Spatial, Transport, and Environmental Economics (STREEM)


Program Description

The MSc in Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics is unique in the Netherlands and internationally, because it offers an integrated view of spatial issues, transport and the environment from an economic perspective. The Master’s program is built on input from the research program in Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics: a fundamental research program with a strong focus on practical implementation in policy. The spatial economics group is one of the world’s largest university-based research groups in its field.

Our teaching staff actively contribute to policy debates in the Netherlands and their expertise is regularly called upon to implement and evaluate public policy in their fields of specialization. One example is the Spitsmijden project, which studies the effects of rewarding travellers for not driving during the morning rush hour, a strategy which can result in better infrastructure utilization which enjoys greater public support than road pricing systems.


The program offers you the possibility to specialize in spatial, transport or environmental economics:

  • Spatial Economics: analyse how various forces contribute to spatial dynamics and network development from a mainly microeconomic perspective; explore the use and further development of various techniques, methods and tools in this field.
  • Transport Economics: focus on the causes and consequences of a growing demand for mobility from a microeconomic perspective; address problems such as congestion, reliability, safety and environmental externalities.
  • Environmental Economics: focus on economic aspects of environmental problems and policy; combine scientific and policy expertise; address the need to integrate economics with insights from other disciplines, notably the environmental sciences.

Why VU University Amsterdam

Renowned teaching staff
VU University Amsterdam’s Department of Spatial Economics boasts internationally renowned professors such as Peter Nijkamp (regional economics), Piet Rietveld (transport economics) and Erik Verhoef (transport economics). They all actively participate in the economic policy debate in the Netherlands and are often consulted on the implementation and evaluation of large-scale government initiatives.

Accessible supervision
The department is well-known for the intensive and accessible supervision it provides. This augments the faculty’s three study advisors, who can be consulted daily at set times and by appointment. In addition, experienced staff members are on hand to provide you with support and assistance during your practicals and when you are writing your thesis.

Direct policy feedback
Several members of our teaching staff have close contacts with economic policy-making in practice. Their experience as scientific researchers and policy advisors is fed back directly to the students in the program’s various specializations.

Career prospects

A Master’s in Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics offers excellent career prospects. Many graduates find jobs as policy economists with the government or consultancy firms such as KPMG and Ernst & Young. Opportunities also exist at organizations with an interest in economic subjects, spatial economics and transport such as KLM, Schiphol and Dutch Rail. Others opt for positions as economic researchers at institutes such as the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

You can also pursue your studies at a higher level. If your ambition is an academic career, you can opt for a research Master’s program in Economics (MPhil) or the Tinbergen Institute, a graduate school run by VU University Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam and Erasmus University.

Admission requirements and application

If you hold a Bachelor's degree in Economics, Business Administration or Econometrics you can gain direct admission to the Master in Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics as long as you have passed the advanced courses in Microeconomics, Econometrics and Research Methods for Economics and Finance. Applicants must have thorough knowledge of the standard literature listed below (or its equivalent).
Microeconomics Varian, H.R., Intermediate Microeconomics, Norton
Econometrics Stock, J.H. and M.W. Watson's Introduction to Econometrics Addison Wesley, New York
Regional Economics McCann, P. (2001) Urban and Regional Economics Oxford University Press, Oxford
Transport Economics Boyer, K.D. Principles of Transportation Economics Addison Wesley, Reading
Environmental Economics Kahn, J.R. (1998) The Economic Approach to Environmental and Natural Resources (2nd edition) The Dryden Press, Forth Worth. Parts I, II and III
Last updated Jan 2018

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About the School

With more than 50 Bachelor's degree programmes, one of which is taught in English, and almost 100 Master's degree programmes, of which over 70 are taught in English, VU University Amsterdam offers a w ... Read More

With more than 50 Bachelor's degree programmes, one of which is taught in English, and almost 100 Master's degree programmes, of which over 70 are taught in English, VU University Amsterdam offers a wide choice of study options. Read less