Practical Information

This page contains everything you need to know before you can start your studies. We look forward to seeing you in September!

Track the status of your application in VUnet 
Make sure that you have completed your registration for your programme by 31 August at the latest. See your status overview on VUnet for any requirements you still need to meet to complete your registration. Your registration is only complete once you see the indication ‘registered’ in the ‘my programmes’ field in Studielink. If you change anything in relation to your application or registration in Studielink or VUnet, it will be shown the next day in your status overview. Once your registration is complete, you will receive a Proof of Registration document within two to four weeks.

Where will you find the status of your registration?

  1. Log in to VUnet.
  2. Under ‘Complete Application’, go to the relevant programme.
  3. Under ‘Status’, click on ‘Check status’.
  4. For each requirement, you can see if you still need to take any action.

If you have questions about the status of your application or about your individual situation in September, please contact our International Study Advisor Rosa Vijftigschild on (if you are applying with an international diploma) or our Admissions Officer Lisa Bibbe on (if you’re applying with a Dutch diploma). 

Student Desk
Many answers to questions about your degree programme can be found on VUnet. For questions about registration for courses, enrolment, tuition fees, student cards, transcripts, etc. you can visit the Student Desk

Location: Main Building (HG), central hall, VU campus

International Service Desk
The International Service Desk (ISD) deals with general questions of international students.
Location: Main Building (HG), central hall, VU campus

Academic advisors
You can contact PPE’s Academic Advisor for any questions or advice regarding personal circumstances that are interfering in your studies, a delay in your study progress, or study skills or choices within your degree programme. There is a walk-in session for shorter questions. If you have a question that needs more time, you can also make an appointment.

Studying with a disability
If you suffer from a disability, a chronic illness, dyslexia, or a mental disability, this does not mean that you will be unable to successfully complete your studies. If you need help with your studies because of your disability, there are a number of people you can turn to. Firstly, you can see an Academic Advisor. You can find more information on Studying with a disability on VUnet.

Negative Recommendation on Continuation of Studies (BSA)
The John Stuart Mill College makes every effort to help students to complete their studies successfully. Your study progress will therefore be closely monitored from the very start of your programme.

If your results continue to be below the expected standard during the first year, there is a high probability that these problems will get worse during the rest of the programme. To prevent you wasting your valuable study time, the college will issue a Negative Recommendation on Continuation of Studies (BSA) at the end of the first year of your Bachelor's programme based on your results. If you have not made sufficient progress, you may be required to discontinue the programme.

You are expected to achieve 54 credits – in other words, pass at least 9 out of 10 courses - in your first year of study. If you are ill or if there are exceptional circumstances and you are unable to achieve 54 credits, you must contact your academic advisor as soon as possible.

You can register for courses in period 1 starting on 15 July up to the first week of the teaching period (no later than 9 September). Please note: for the remaining periods, registration closes three weeks prior to the start of each teaching period.

You can plan your courses by adding them to your schedule in the registration module in VUnet even before the course is open for registration. Please note: planning is not the same as registering! If you have planned courses, you must still register for them, the related teaching activities, and exams. Registration is not automatic. Further information about Registration for Courses and Exams is available on VUnet.

Once you register for a course, you also register for the first exam opportunity for that course, but not for a resit, should that become necessary. If you need to take a written resit, you must register for this separately. You can take care of the registration up to 14 days prior to the resit.

Set the deadlines in your calendar or as a reminder in your phone so that you are on time. If you don't sign up in time for courses and exams, you won't be able to participate!

If you encounter problems with your course registration, you can contact the Educational Office of the Faculty of Humanities through VUnet by filing a substantiated request.

VUnet-ID and VUnet
The VUnet-ID is your username and password that gives you access to all kinds of digital services such as VUnet and Canvas. VUnet will be an important source of information during your studies at the university. Through this portal you will find all relevant information such as your e-mail, your personal schedule, exam grades, important announcements and a link to the study guide. The VUnet homepage provides news from the university and the world of academia. Log in using your VUnet-ID, which you should already have received. If you have lost your VUnet-ID, please visit the Student Desk. Take your university registration card or other form of identification for identification purposes.

VU Amsterdam e-mail
Each student is assigned a personal VU Amsterdam e-mail address, with the following format: You can read and send e-mails by logging in to VUnet with your VUnet-ID. The university uses this e-mail address exclusively when corresponding with you about your studies. It is essential that you check your inbox regularly to ensure that you do not miss any important information about your degree programme. If you would like to avoid having to log in to check your e-mails, you can have your VU Amsterdam e-mail automatically forwarded to your personal e-mail address.

Canvas is the digital learning environment of VU Amsterdam. Each course also has a course in Canvas, to which you automatically have access when you have signed up for the course. On Canvas you will find the course's study manual and examples of exam questions, the teacher will keep you informed about your progress and you will sometimes have to submit assignments via Canvas. Also, after a lecture, teachers often put the lecture sheets on Canvas, so that you can study them again at home.

Study guide and timetable
In the online study guide you will find information about the content of your courses, method of assessment and which literature you need. Here you will also find the Teaching and Examination Regulations of your study programme. The timetable of your study programme can be found at

If you think you might be eligible for one or more exemptions, based, for example, on your prior education, please submit a request well in advance of commencing the course in question to the Examination Board for your programme. You can do this via VUnet.

The John Stuart Mill College is a so-called Honours college. All students have been selected because of their talents and ambitions, the academic standards are high, and we offer lots of opportunities for personal development and support. We therefore expect you to flourish during your time at the college. There are several ways to distinguish yourself: 

Good grades & Honours programme
Achieving good marks is perhaps the most useful way of distinguishing yourself. It will help you to develop academically, but will also bring your additional opportunities. Research master programs often select applicants on the basis of the grades they obtain during the Bachelor’s phase. 

If you have a GPA of 7.5 or higher, you are eligible for the internal or external Honours programme. The John Stuart Mill College offers talented and motivated bachelor’s students the opportunity to study PPE in greater depth by taking courses in all three tracks (instead of two). Alternatively, students with good grades and a strong motivation can also be admitted to one of the other VU Honours Programmes, particularly those at the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Social Sciences, or the School for Business and Economics. More information about these possibilities will be given during the first year.

High-level athletes and forms of outstanding performance
If you participate in top-level sports or other high-level activities, you may have difficulty combining these with a busy degree programme. For that reason, VU Amsterdam has a High Achievers Scheme (in Dutch) for students who are involved with these kinds of extra-curricular activities in the areas of sports or culture. The scheme includes financial assistance in the event of delays to study progress and features that can help to reduce such delays.

Of course, there are also other ways to distinguish yourself as an excellent student. One way to do so is to participate actively in our extracurricular programme and gain valuable experience as a result. You can become a member of the Student Council of the John Stuart Mill College or of the PPE Education Committee, join the board or one of the committees of PPE’s study association KallioPPE, or apply for a grant from our PPE Incubator Fund for a project you have designed yourself, in collaboration with fellow students. Read more about this fund and the student-led initiatives that have already been set up under Community.

Sports & Culture
At the Griffioen, the VU cultural centre in Uilenstede, you can go to the theatre to see the latest comedy shows or you can follow a creative course. VU is great for sports as well. At the VU sports centre you can take part in all kinds of sports, from bodyshape to Zumba, for student prices.

As you know, a sufficient level of Mathematics is a requirement for admission into the programme. Facts and numbers will improve your understanding about economics and politics, and will help you make better and viable strategic choices. For these reasons, the first semester of the programme starts with the course ‘Methods of PPE I’ in which mathematics plays a crucial role.

In order to help you prepare for the expected level of Mathematics, VU Amsterdam has developed a self-assessment test. This diagnostic test is free of charge and its only purpose is to give you an idea of your proficiency in the subject. It lets you know how your current quantitative skills fit with the topics that will be covered in the methods course. If your current skills are lower than advised, the diagnostic test will also provide suggestions on how to improve. In case you require further preparation, you can enroll for the online VU Summer Course 2020. For those of you who already have the required level but want to be extra well prepared, we also offer the online VU Advanced Summer Course 2020.

For those of you that still have to meet the mathematics requirement (if this was mentioned as a condition in your admission letter): the online course does not in any case replace the Mathematics A or OMPT-A exam. The self-assessment test and online courses are for preparation purposes only.

Save the date for the VU Introduction days which will take place from the 24th until the 26th of August! During the introduction, you will meet your fellow students, our staff and get to know our study association KallioPPE. We have a cultural programme, a (digital) campus tour and an exciting workshop programme in store for you. The Introduction days will mainly take place online. However, we are investigating if certain PPE-specific parts can take place on campus. More information will follow during the summer.