Master in Mathematics
Mathematics is a vibrant, multifaceted and versatile field, in which the focus is on the study and development of techniques to tackle pure and applied mathematical questions. Often, the dividing line between theory and practice is merely an illusion. Mathematical theory, developed for a specific problem, often finds its way into unexpected applications. This is the strength and beauty of mathematics, a discipline which is by definition infinite, and where new paths are always waiting to be explored. The Master’s program in Mathematics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam provides you with an opportunity to specialize in one area while further deepening your mathematical knowledge in general.
The program in a nutshell
The Master’s program in Mathematics is a two-year program, divided in four semesters. The last semester is dedicated to the Master’s project, which is either a research project or an external internship.
The Master’s program in Mathematics consists of specialized courses, optional courses, and a Master's project. Courses can be taken throughout, culminating in the Master’s project in your second year. This project can be carried out under the supervision of a staff member from the mathematics institute, or externally at a company or research facility. In the latter case, you will have an on-location advisor and a supervisor from the institute. The Master's project is completed by writing a thesis and presenting your results in a colloquium.
The collaboration with the University of Amsterdam on the entire Master’s program and with all Dutch universities in MasterMath allows students to choose from a long and varied list of courses. Below a small selection:
- Asymptotic Statistics
- Financial Stochastics
- Measure Theoretical Probability
- Functional Analysis
- Partial Differential Equations
- Algebraic Topology
- Caput Homotopy Theory
- Mathematical Biology
Specialization research topics:
- Analysis and Dynamical Systems
- Algebra and Geometry
- Biomedical Mathematics
Mathematicians are to be found in industry, banking, technology, consultancy, service organizations and many other segments of the labor market. Your analytical training and your problem-solving skills will give you a head start in many work situations, even those in which your specialist knowledge may initially seem less relevant.
Mathematics is not a vocational course: it is so broad that your opportunities are almost limitless. One of our graduates now works in financial modeling at ABN AMRO and is in charge of an entire department. Another is employed in the Cryptography Section of the Dutch Ministry of Defence. Other potential careers include:
- Quantitative analyst
- Risk analyst
- corporate or institutional researcher, usually in a technical or financial environment
The requirements are split up into Masters’ specialization specific requirements and general requirements.
Specific requirements master’s program
Direct admission to the Master's program in Mathematics is possible with a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics or Engineering Mathematics from a university in the Netherlands. If you have a Bachelor's degree in another subject from a university or institute of higher education in The Netherlands or elsewhere, you require the approval of the Examination Board. The main admission criteria are:
- A Bachelor of Science.
- 90 EC (European credit points) or an equivalent of Mathematics courses at the BSc level, including some advanced courses.
- English language skills at the level of TOEFL score 580 or above.
Entrants from higher vocational education (HBO)
Holders of an HBO certificate generally have to follow a large part of the Bachelor's program before they can be admitted to the Master's program in Mathematics. Students who hold a teacher's degree mathematics ('tweedegraads bevoegdheid wiskunde') will likely be admitted to a premaster's program. For a specific question, please contact the program coordinator.
General language proficiency requirements
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam requires international applicants to take an English test and to submit their score as a part of the application. Exceptions are made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia or who have obtained an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma.