John Stuart Mill College

The John Stuart Mill College (JSMC) was founded in 2016 with the ambition to position VU Amsterdam as the centre on the European continent of excellent Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) research and education.

Mission and Values

This ambition determined the choice of the accommodation (at the heart of VU Amsterdam), the content of the Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) Bachelor's degree programme (excellence, intensive and small scale education), the construction of an international network and the organizational structure (involvement of faculty staff and PhD students as seminar-lecturers).

Professionals in business, politics and academia have to deal ever more with complex societal questions that cannot be solved from one angle. Within our programme PPE, undergraduates learn to understand complex and important social problems by looking at them from different perspectives. We facilitate this by having students make use of the analytical tools of the three disciplines. In this way, PPE offers the necessary skills and knowledge for students to play a defining role in shaping the world of tomorrow.

Since the start of the programme, we have distinguished ourselves through our focused nature, the inclusion of disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses, and our analytical profile.

JSMC on VU Campus

The John Stuart Mill College is part of VU Amsterdam, a campus-based university that is only a 15 minute train ride from the historical centre of Amsterdam. VU Amsterdam is an internationally recognized research university with ± 25,000 students and 2,500 academic staff. Our college is a joint initiative of three VU Amsterdam faculties: Humanities, Social Sciences and the School of Business and Economics. Every member of the core PPE teaching staff is connected to one of these faculties. Our advisory board consists of people in political and economic leading positions, such as Herman Van Rompuy and Gerrit Zalm.

The college has its own floor within VU Amsterdam's main building. This allows students to experience the vibrant VU campus life while taking advantage of the college’s private spaces available to PPE students only. Our college provides spaces for social activities (mostly organized by PPE’s study association) extracurricular events, such as those organized by student-led initiatives (PPE Incubator Projects), and private spaces for learning and group work. Studying PPE at our college means becoming part of an active intellectual and social community!


NSE is the leading national student survey with an extensive benchmark. PPE received the label ‘Top Rated Programme’ for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019. Students are most content with the student counselling services, group size, content and teaching skill sets. Moreover, our programme stands out because of the college facilities, its international character and the training of critical thinking.