This information applies for students who wish to start their pre-Master’s programme in September 2019

A pre-Master's Programme is only available for students with a Dutch educational background who do not need housing, and who do not have or require a residence permit for study purposes. When in doubt about your residence permit, you can send an email to Utrecht University's Admissions Office, including a copy of both sides of the permit. Do not forget to state clearly that you are referring to a pre-Master’s programme.

The Master’s programme in Business Development and Entrepreneurship has the following pre-Master’s programmes:

  1. Pre-Master’s Economics for students from Dutch Research Universities ('WO')
  2. Pre-Master’s Economics for students from Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences ('HBO')
1. Pre-master's Economics for students from Dutch Research Universities ('WO')

Students with a non-Economics university Bachelor’s degree can qualify for a Master's programme at the Utrecht University School of Economics (U.S.E.) through a pre-Master’s programme. The pre-Master’s programme starts in the first week of September and must be concluded in one year. Please note that you cannot receive a refund of (a part of) the tuition fee if you decide to discontinue the pre-Master once you have started. If the Board of Studies however decides that you need to discontinue your studies due to insufficient progress you will be proportionally refunded.

Entry requirements

1. A ‘WO’ diploma

2. Demonstrable knowledge of Mathematics A or B at 6-VWO level

You can demonstrate your knowledge of Mathematics by submitting a certified copy of your VWO diploma or international equivalent (see https://www.uu.nl/bachelors/en/economics-and-business-economics/entry-requirements/int).

If you do not have a VWO diploma (or international equivalent) you may submit one of the following tests (at your own expense):

The structure of the pre-Master's programme

The pre-Master's programme is a 30 ECTS programme spread over period 1 and 2. It is English taught and includes 4 courses.

If you are a current ‘WO’ student, it is also possible to follow these courses during your Bachelor's programme.

Tuition Fees pre-Master’s programme

More information on the tuition fees for pre-Master students.

Application procedure

To register for the pre-Master’s programme, you must first apply for the Master’s programme Business Development and Entrepreneurship. The Admissions Committee will then decide whether you will be admitted to the pre-Master’s programme and inform you about any further steps.

The final deadline for application is 1 June.

More information

If you have questions about the pre-Master’s programme, please contact the Graduate School of Economics by e-mail.

2. Pre-master's Economics for students from Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences ('HBO')

Students who have completed a relevant ‘HBO’-programme in Economics can be considered for the pre-Master’s programme for ‘HBO’ students.

The pre-Master’s programme starts in the first week of September and must be concluded in one year. Please note that you cannot receive a refund of (a part of) the tuition fee if you decide to discontinue the pre-Master once you have started. If the Board of Studies however decides that you need to discontinue your studies due to insufficient progress you will be proportionally refunded.

Educational background

The pre-Master’s programme was developed for highly motivated students with a Dutch ‘HBO’ (college) degree in Economics or another relevant ‘HBO’-programme with a substantial link to Economics. Further, you have a clear interest in issues pertaining to product and service development as well as entrepreneurial marketing that uses co-creation with customers and design thinking, and obtaining and managing venture capital. For most ‘HBO’ students this will be a new focus of study, meaning that it is not directly aligned with the courses you have already completed, in terms of either content or working methods. You will need to bridge some gaps in a number of different areas in terms of methodology, knowledge and academic orientation (research elective)

Entry requirements

1. A relevant ‘HBO’ programme

 A relevant HBO programme includes sufficient quantitative methods courses (e.g., statistics, econometrics, market research), plus courses in economics (e.g., microeconomics, macroeconomics) and/or business economics (e.g., strategy, marketing, entrepreneurship, organization, finance, accounting).

2. An average grade of at least 7.5 (non-rounded off)

Your average grade must be shown in your official transcript.

If your average grade is lower than 7.5 you may demonstrate your excellence by submitting one of the following standardized tests (at your own expense):

  • GMAT total score of at least 600 (verbal + quantitative scores ), or;
  • GRE score of at least 315 (verbal + quantitative reasoning). 
    The GRE institution code for Utrecht University is 7946.​

3. Demonstrable knowledge of Mathematics A or B at 6-VWO level

You can demonstrate your knowledge of Mathematics by submitting a certified copy of your VWO diploma or international equivalent (see https://www.uu.nl/bachelors/en/economics-and-business-economics/entry-requirements/int).

If you do not have a VWO diploma (or international equivalent) you may submit one of the following tests (at your own expense):

4. A good command of English (level B2 or higher of the CEF)

You will be considered to be proficient in English if you:

  • Have a VWO diploma, or international equivalent (see https://www.uu.nl/bachelors/en/economics-and-business-economics/entry-requirements/int), or;
  • Obtained your secondary school diploma in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, USA or South Africa, or;
  • Obtained an IB diploma or EB diploma (taught in English), or;
  • Have a German Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife (Abitur) with English, or a Belgian Diploma van Secundair Onderwijs with English, or;
  • Have followed at least 60 ECTS of your HBO programme in English.

You may also submit one of the following standardized tests (at your own expense):

  • IELTS, Academic Module. Minimum score: 7.0 overall band, with at least a 6.0 for each component (writing, reading, speaking, listening). IELTS is the test preferred by Utrecht University.
  • TOEFL, Internet based. Minimum score: 92, with at least 23 for writing, and at least 20 for the other sections (reading, speaking, listening). Institutional scores are not accepted. The TOEFL institution code for Utrecht University is 9062.
  • Cambridge Certificates
    • Cambridge English C1 Advanced (CAE). Minimum score: 185 total, 169 writing.
    • Cambridge English C2 Proficiency (CPE). Minimum score: 185 total, 169 writing.
    • Cambridge Michigan Language Assessment ECPE, C2 Certificate.
  • GMAT total score of at least 600 (verbal + quantitative scores ), or;
  • GRE score of at least 315 (verbal + quantitative reasoning). 
    The GRE institution code for Utrecht University is 7946.​

The final decision on all applications will be made by the Admissions Committee.

The structure of the pre-Master's programme

The pre-Master's programme is a 45 ECTS programme spread over period 1, 2 and 3. It is English taught and includes 5 courses.

Insufficient progress

Students who, even after retake, have not passed the two period 1 courses will be excluded  from the programme. 

Tuition Fees pre-Master’s programme

More information on the tuition fees for pre-Master students.

Application procedure

To enroll for the pre-Master’s programme you must first apply for the Master Business Development and Entrepreneurship. The Admissions Committee will then decide whether you will be admitted to the Pre-Master’s programme.

The final deadline for application is 1 June. Please submit your application with all required documents well before the deadline. If your file is incomplete we will be unable to consider your application.

Required documents

  • A scan of your certified transcript including your GPA or average grade;
  • A scan of your certified diploma or graduation statement. If you have not yet graduated you can send this document later;
  • Motivation letter;
  • Resume / Curriculum Vitae;
  • The name of two recommenders.

In addition to the documents mentioned above, you will need to demonstrate your proficiency in English and that you fulfill the Mathematics requirements. You must be able to show your original diploma and transcripts if requested.

More information

If you have questions about the pre-Master’s programme, please contact the Graduate School of Economics by e-mail.