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FAQ

Below we've listed the most common questions from applicants to the program. Specific issues related to the Covid-19 outbreak and the implications it may have for your situation are adressed. If you can not find the information you need, please contact the admissions office.


How are Tinbergen Institute and the research master Business Data Science connected

  • How are Tinbergen Institute research master program and BDS connected?

    How are Tinbergen Institute research master program and BDS connected?

    The Business Data Science research master program is initiated and organized by the Amsterdam-Rotterdam Consortium for Graduate Education (ARC). ARC offers doctorate education for the schools of Business and Economics of Erasmus University Rotterdam, University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Currently, ARC hosts the Tinbergen Institute research master program in Economics as well as the Business Data Science program. The two programs have a common design and share facilities and some courses. BDS students benefit from the TI reputation and experience (since 1987). See the Tinbergen Institute website for more information.

Application procedures

  • When are the application deadlines?

    When are the application deadlines?

    The application deadlines for enrolment in September 2022 are:
    - Early deadline December 1 - for students who are interested in applying for University of AmsterdamVU Amsterdam or, Erasmus university scholarships *
    - Priority deadline February 1, 2022
    - Rolling admissions non-EEA students until April 15, 2022
    - Rolling admissions open for EEA students and students who are already studying in the Netherlands until full capacity has been reached

    All applicants are advised to submit their application early, because slots in the program and funding opportunities are limited.

  • Do I have to wait for the official test score reports before I can complete my application file?

    Do I have to wait for the official test score reports before I can complete my application file?

    Unless you are exempted from the requirement to submit additional test results, your file is not complete without the required GMAT/GRE and/or English proficiency scores. In the event that you risk to miss the submission deadline because you did not yet receive your official test score report, you may upload a screen shot of the page that shows your scores. 

  • Does the program charge a fee for the application?

    Does the program charge a fee for the application?

    Yes, the application fee is $ 50 (non-refundable). Applicants from countries on the OECD DAC list pay a reduced application fee ($ 10, non-refundable). Payment is by creditcard only. Applicants holding a Dutch degree are exempted from the application fee. 

  • How do I complete my application package?

    How do I complete my application package?

    Important note: We fully understand that you may encouter difficulties to complete your application package due to obstacles in Corona times. Please submit what you have and enclose a statement listing what is missing for what reason. 

    By uploading the following documents: 

    • if applicable: GRE/GMAT score report (or screen shot showing the score)
    • if applicable: TOEFL or IELTS test results (or screen shot showing the score)
    • Curriculum vitae;
    • Certified transcripts of coursework or copies of diplomas of bachelor and master programs (certified English translations should be uploaded of transcripts and diplomas that are not in Dutch or English);
    • Statement of Academic Interests and Purpose of Study, including (short) research proposal;
    • Writing sample (optional).
    • You will also need to provide names and email addresses of two references.

    Incomplete files will not be considered. GRE/GMAT and Toefl/IELTS scores must meet the minimum requirements. Go to Documentation and References for further details. 

  • Do I need to upload my files in one session?

    Do I need to upload my files in one session?

    It is possible to fill out the application form and upload your documents in multiple sessions. Do not forget to save before you close the form. Once you have submitted your file, you can no longer make any changes. For necessary changes after submission, you need to contact the admissions officer at bds-admissions@tinbergen.nl.

  • How do I find out whether my application is complete?

    How do I find out whether my application is complete?

    You can use ‘Review Application’ at the end of your application form in Embark to check if you have answered all the required questions and uploaded the required documents. We advise you to double check your entire application for completeness. Please note that it is your responsibilty to remind your referees to submit their reference letters on your behalf before the admission deadline. You can check the status of your recommendation letters when you log in to your application in Embark. You will also be notified by (automated) email if your recommender has submitted your online recommendation in Embark. Files that are not complete (incl. reference letters) at the deadline will not be reviewed.

  • What is a certified copy of a diploma?

    What is a certified copy of a diploma?

    After you have received a preliminary acceptance, you are asked  to submit certified copies of grade transcripts and diplomas (never send the originals). A certified copy is a photocopy with an endorsement or stamp that states that it is a true copy of the original document. You can certify copies of your documents at your school or sometimes at the municipality or notary.

  • I applied last year; do I need to submit a new application?

    I applied last year; do I need to submit a new application?

    Yes, you will need to submit a new application and upload all of the required documents.

  • When can I expect a decision on my application?

    When can I expect a decision on my application?

    Complete files submitted will typically be reviewed within 5 weeks.  

  • I have specific questions about the application procedure. Whom can I address?

    I have specific questions about the application procedure. Whom can I address?

    The website and the online admission program provide detailed information. If you still have questions, please send them to this address: admissions@businessdatascience.nl. Using any other address will cause delay.

  • Is it possible to apply to BDS for direct admission to a PhD research position?

    Is it possible to apply to BDS for direct admission to a PhD research position?

    No, this is not possible. The research master program is a gateway to PhD positions at the participating schools.  For PhD positions, please check job openings at the universities. 

Admission criteria

  • Are there any special admission criteria for Chinese nationals?

    Are there any special admission criteria for Chinese nationals?

    When you have been admitted to the program and are a Chinese national, you will need a NUFFIC Certificate to be eligible for a Dutch entry visa. Please note that this requirement does not apply to Chinese nationals already studying in the Netherlands, but does apply to all other Chinese nationals, even when living outside China. 

    One of the documents required for a NUFFIC certificate is an English proficiency test report. Only IELTS (academic) or TOEFL iBT (Internet-based) tests are accepted by NUFFIC. Important notice: Meeting the BDS admissions criteria does not automatically mean that you meet the criteria for the NUFFIC certificate.

  • How can I best prepare for the admission during my Bachelor or Master program?

    How can I best prepare for the admission during my Bachelor or Master program?

    The research master is a challenging program building upon the quantitative and analytical paradigms developed in the discipline.
    Students in more business oriented undergraduate programs can improve their admission possibilities by extending their curriculum with some quantitative course work (e.g., linear algebra, mathematical statistics and probability theory, calculus). Students from more quantitative programs benefit from some initial coursework in micro- or macroeconomics.
    Students opting for the more challenging Advanced Econometrics track in their first year, should have completed a solid Econometrics course at the level of a graduate economics program.

  • Am I qualified to apply?

    Am I qualified to apply?

    Due to the number of applications we receive it is not possible to offer individual feedback on your chances of being accepted to the BDS program. The admissions board will evaluate your application as a whole. You are advised to check the admission requirements and to read the academic preparations to see whether you feel comfortable with the content of the textbooks there.

Coursework exemptions

  • There is some overlap in the BDS program with my earlier coursework. Can I get exemptions?

    There is some overlap in the BDS program with my earlier coursework. Can I get exemptions?

    Exemptions will be discussed in an intake interview with the Director of Graduate Studies at the start of the academic year.

Covid-19 outbreak and the application procedures

  • I cannot complete my application package on time due to Covid-19 related issues.

    I cannot complete my application package on time due to Covid-19 related issues.

    We fully understand that you may encounter difficulties to complete your application package due to obstacles in Corona times. Please submit what you have and enclose a statement listing what is missing for what reason. 

  • Is there any flexibility when I cannot complete my BA program before the start of the BDS program?

    Is there any flexibility when I cannot complete my BA program before the start of the BDS program?

    In case you are not able to finish your bachelor program before September 1, please include a statement giving the reasons why you were not able to finish on time and how much work still needs to be done after September 1.

GRE, GMAT, TOEFL and IELTS

  • Which tests do I take?

    Which tests do I take?

    Applicants holding a Dutch degree before the start of the program are exempted from the requirement to submit additional test results. From all others test scores are required.

    To demonstrate general aptitude and quantitative skills: GRE General Test or GMAT test
    To demonstrate proficiency in English: IELTS or TOEFL

    Important note for Chinese national: check the requirements for the NUFFIC certificate

  • Can I be exempted from the GRE or GMAT test?

    Can I be exempted from the GRE or GMAT test?

    Valid GRE or GMAT test results are required from all applicants not holding a Dutch degree.

  • What is the minimum GRE or GMAT score required?

    What is the minimum GRE or GMAT score required?

    Applicants with a GMAT score below 700 or a GRE Quantitative score below 160 will not be considered. Successful applicants typically rank among the top 10% of examinees on the quantitative section of the GMAT or GRE.

  • Which language test do I take, Toefl or IELTS?

    Which language test do I take, Toefl or IELTS?

    Both language tests are accepted. The Nuffic certificate (for Chinese nationals) requires an IELTS academic or TOEFL iBT score.

  • Can I be exempted from the TOEFL or IELTS test?

    Can I be exempted from the TOEFL or IELTS test?

    Yes, you can if you hold a degree from an institution at which English is the language of instruction, or hold a degree from a Dutch university. For Chinese nationals an IELTS academic or TOEFL iBT score report is always required for the NUFFIC certificate. See also the FAQ about special admission criteria for Chinese nationals.

  • What is the minimum Toefl/IELTS score required?

    What is the minimum Toefl/IELTS score required?

    Minimum scores required: 100 on the TOEFL iBT test and 7 on the IELTS test. If your score is lower than the minimum requirement, we recommend that you improve your English level and retake the test. Chinese nationals should also read the requirements for the NUFFIC certificate.

  • What is the school's code for GRE and GMAT?

    What is the school's code for GRE and GMAT?

    For GRE: the institutional code is 3811 (shared with Tinbergen Institute, partner of the Business Data Science program).

    For GMAT: program code is QK8-4B-73 (shared with Erasmus School of Economics)

  • Do I have to wait for the official test score reports before I can complete my application file?

    Do I have to wait for the official test score reports before I can complete my application file?

    In case you risk to miss the submission deadline because you did not yet receive the official test score reports, you could use the print functionality in your GMAT or ETS account and upload this (preliminary) document in stead.

  • Will my application be reviewed if my GRE/GMAT or Toefl/IELTS scores do not meet the required minimum?

    Will my application be reviewed if my GRE/GMAT or Toefl/IELTS scores do not meet the required minimum?

    No. We advise you to re-take the test and participate in the next admission round.

  • How long are my GRE/GMAT, TOEFL and IELTS test scores valid?

    How long are my GRE/GMAT, TOEFL and IELTS test scores valid?

    GRE and GMATscores are valid for five years after the test date. TOEFL and IELTS scores have a two-year validity period.

Financial support

  • How much is the tuition fee for me?

    How much is the tuition fee for me?

    In the master phase of the program a tuition fee is charged to all students. Tuition fees are due until all examinations, including the final thesis, are passed. The tuition fees are determined annually by the Dutch government and the universities.

    The annual tuition fee for the academic year 2022-2023 is:

    EEA national € 2,209
    non-EEA national € 15,900
    students holding a Dutch Master's degree € 15,900

    Qualifying students holding a Dutch master degree are encouraged to apply for a tuition waiver. 

    In the PhD phase no tuition fees are charged.

  • Am I eligible for a scholarship?

    Am I eligible for a scholarship?

    BDS awards scholarships based on merit. Applicants who wish to compete for a scholarship should indicate this on the online application form. For more information, please visit the scholarships section of our website.

  • I intend to apply for external funding and need help from the school. How to proceed?

    I intend to apply for external funding and need help from the school. How to proceed?

    Contact bds-admissions@tinbergen.nl and explain your case. The school will provide the necessary documents.

  • Is it possible to have a job while following the BDS program?

    Is it possible to have a job while following the BDS program?

    The first year of the program leaves little or no time for any jobs. For second-year students the school offers teaching assistantships. Research assistantships connected to research masters' thesis research are available at the affiliated departments. 

    Also see the Nuffic pages on working while studying.

Practical matters after acceptance

  • What is a certified copy of a diploma?

    What is a certified copy of a diploma?

    After preliminary acceptance you will need to submit certified copies of grade transcripts and diplomas (never send us the original documents). A certified copy is a photocopy with an endorsement or stamp that states that it is a true copy of the primary document. You can certify copies of your documents at your school or sometimes at the municipality or notary.

  • I intend to apply for external funding and need help from the school. How to proceed?

    I intend to apply for external funding and need help from the school. How to proceed?

    Contact admissions@businessdatascience.nl and explain your case. The school will provide the necessary documents.

  • Is it possible to have a job while following the research master program?

    Is it possible to have a job while following the research master program?

    The first year of the program leaves little or no time for any jobs. For second-year students the school offers teaching assistantships. Research assistantships connected to research masters' thesis research are available at the affiliated departments. 

    Also see the Nuffic pages on working while studying.

  • How can I prepare for the program?

    How can I prepare for the program?

    Depending on your educational background, you may want to prepare academically for one or more core sequences before coming to BDS. Please check here.

Miscellaneous

  • What is a certified copy of a diploma?

    What is a certified copy of a diploma?

    After preliminary acceptance you will need to submit certified copies of grade transcripts and diplomas (never send us the original documents). A certified copy is a photocopy with an endorsement or stamp that states that it is a true copy of the primary document. You can certify copies of your documents at your school or sometimes at the municipality or notary.

  • I have specific questions about the application procedure. Whom can I address?

    I have specific questions about the application procedure. Whom can I address?

    The website and our online admission program provide detailed information. If you still have questions, please send them to this address: admissions@businessdatascience.nl. Using any other address will cause delay.

  • Is it possible to apply to BDS for direct admission to a PhD research position?

    Is it possible to apply to BDS for direct admission to a PhD research position?

    No, this is not possible. The BDS program is a gateway to PhD positions at the affiliated schools. For PhD positions check job openings at the universities.

  • Is it possible to have a job while following the research master program?

    Is it possible to have a job while following the research master program?

    The first year of the program leaves little or no time for any jobs. For second-year students the school offers teaching assistantships. Research assistantships connected to research masters' thesis research are available at the affiliated departments. 

    Also see the Nuffic pages on working while studying.