Master in Econometrics and Operations Research: Econometric Theory


Program Description

Application deadline update

  • Non-EU/EEA students: 1 May (the original deadline of 1 April has been extended due to COVID-19)
  • EU/EEA students and students who do not need a study visa/residence permit through VU Amsterdam*: 1 June (the original deadline of 1 May has been extended due to COVID-19)


Econometric Theory is a specialization of the Econometrics and Operations Research master's program. This in-depth study into the foundations of econometric methods offers you the challenge to explore and master an active research field that will place you first in any academic or professional career.

Econometrics connects to many academic disciplines including mathematics, statistics, economics, finance, and business studies, and is primarily concerned with the science and art of using economic theory and statistical techniques to analyse economic/finance/marketing data. This principle can be used in so many directions that econometrics can be regarded as a very general study.

Study Program

Three core 6 EC courses (compulsory):

  • Advanced Econometrics
  • Multivariate Econometrics
  • Time Series Models

Five specialization courses (of which one is compulsory and 2 or 3 elective):

  • Asymptotic Statistics
  • Measure Theoretic Probability
  • Stochastic Processes: The Fundamentals
  • Stochastic Processes for Finance and Derivatives Markets
  • Econometrics Research (compulsory)

One elective 6 EC course (or additional specialization course):

  • Functional Analysis
  • Dynamical Systems
  • Evolutionary Computing
  • Large Scale Data Engineering
  • Web Data Processing Systems
  • Time Series
  • Stochastic Integration
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Computational Finance

Thesis (18 EC): an in-depth study on a challenging topic in econometrics with emphasis an on theory, methodology or computing.

Career Prospects

Typical placements include:

PhD student, Data analyst, Risk analyst, Quantitative Risk analyst, Risk Modeler, Investment analyst, Consultant Data Analytics, Predictive Modeler, Modeling analyst, Systematic Quant, Systematic Trader, Financial Risk analyst, Financial Stability analyst, Capital Market analyst, Statistical researcher, Quantitative financial analyst, Junior Economist, Marketing Data analyst, Quantitative researcher, Quantitative methods instructor, Data scientist, Capital Management consultant, Statistician, Statistical officer, Policy analyst, Customer Intelligence analyst, Quant Fund analyst, Macro Structure analyst, and many more.

Why VU Amsterdam?

The program can be characterized as follows:

A program that will enhance your analytical skills, will invest in your quantitative insights, will introduce you to a scientific approach of analytical thinking and will generally broaden your quantitative horizons.

A program that will teach you how to analyse and model economic data, how to carry out statistical hypothesis tests, how to investigate theoretical properties of estimators and predictors, how to design an empirical study, how to interpret quantitative results, how to present the results of an econometric analysis, how to deduct conclusions and policy advice from a quantitative analysis.

A program that will learn you to be a leading person in helping others to understand and work with quantitative methods.

We welcome motivated and ambitious students who are interested in advancing their knowledge in Econometrics and related subjects and are aware of their role in society. In order to be successful in this program, you will need a solid basis in mathematics, statistics and econometrics. In particular, we expect that you have passed courses in mathematics (calculus, analysis), probability, mathematical statistics, and econometrics. Basic knowledge in computer programming is also required.

Admission requirements with an international degree

The track Econometrics of the Master's program Econometrics and Operations Research, with specializations Econometric Theory, Financial Econometrics, Empirical Marketing, and Quantitative Economics, is open to students with a university Bachelor's degree that provides a thorough knowledge in mathematics (analysis, calculus), probability, (mathematical) statistics, econometrics and computer programming. You need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this program, which is based on the following books.


  • Calculus Early Transcendentals, James Stewart, Cengage Learning, International Metric Edition - 7th Edition, 2011.
  • Linear Algebra and its Applications, David C. Lay, Steven R. Lay and Judi J. McDonald, Pearson Education, 5th Edition, 2016.


  • A First Course in Probability, Seldon M. Ross, Pearson Education, 9th Edition, 2013.
  • Fundamentals of Probability, with stochastic processes, Saeed Ghahramani, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, 3rd Edition, 2016.

Mathematical Statistics:

  • Statistical Inference, George Casella and Roger L. Berger, Cengage Learning, 2008.

Introductory Econometrics:

  • Introduction to Econometrics, James H. Stock and Mark W. Watson, Pearson Education, 3rd Edition, 2014.
  • Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach, Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, Cengage Learning, 2013.

Intermediate Econometrics:

  • A Guide To Modern Econometrics, Marco Verbeek, Wiley, 5th Edition, 2017.

Basic skills in Computer Programming in Python, R, Matlab, Ox or Java.

If you can show certified exam results for courses that are related to the subjects and are of a comparable level (each course with a workload of 6 EC or close to it), this is satisfactory. The equivalence will be evaluated by the Examination Board and its approval determines the admission.

English language proficiency

The admission board wants to stress the intensity of the program: reading scientific articles and writing papers will be a key part, all in a very high pace. Your English language skills, both oral and written, are extremely important in this program. As you will have to communicate frequently with your fellow students and you will be working with and for international companies.

VU 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 for the program:

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


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

Cambridge English:

  • Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C
  • Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C
Last updated Feb 2020

About the School

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 150 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to 23,00 ... Read More

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 150 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to 23,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff of 122 nationalities create a dynamic international academic community. The University distinguishes itself in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes: Human Health and Life Sciences, Science for Sustainability, Connected World and Governance for Society. Curious about student life at VU Amsterdam? Click here to ask our International Student Ambassadors. Read less