Amsterdam University College (AUC) is a study programme of both the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). During the UvA Open House, we invite you to join us in discovering what it means to study liberal arts and sciences, be part of a diverse community where all students live on campus, and explore how our interdisciplinary approach to contemporary issues equips you with the academic skills and knowledge necessary to make your vision a reality, whether that be by following a Master's degree, founding your own start-up or pursuing a career at companies and organisations around the world.
A liberal arts and sciences programme is traditionally a course of studies that provides a well-rounded education by combining subjects and fields of knowledge from the humanities, social sciences and sciences. The emphasis is on acquiring the academic skills, knowledge and intellectual tools that will allow you to apply what you learn in order to be successful in any career that you choose. A liberal arts and sciences programme provides you with a broad academic orientation while challenging you to develop an independent, critical way of thinking and writing that serves as a basis for further specialisation both in the AUC programme and at the graduate level.
How do you develop critical thinking, reasoning and academic skills? The fundamental soft skills gained from a liberal arts and sciences education at AUC are developed through the methods of teaching, small class sizes, types of assignments and in the Academic Core, which are courses that all students must take. Classroom didactics focus on frequent discussion, questioning and analysing not only the source materials, but methods used in producing those materials, the context in which they were conceived and the ways in which texts, theories, data and other academic information relate to each other. In the Academic Core, you'll learn and practice the basis for these skills and techniques in courses that include languages, interdisciplinary 'big question' courses, fundamental methodologies such as statistics, maths, and visual and qualitative analyses, logic and rhetoric, academic writing and cultural awareness in Global Identity. This course work forms the basis for becoming a well-rounded, engaged learner no matter your future major or career.
While the LAS programme is commonly associated with being 'broad', students at AUC do specialise in certain areas or fields of knowledge within their majors with an eye on also being qualified to follow Master's programmes in their area of interest upon graduating. What makes a liberal arts and sciences programme different from a more traditional Dutch Bachelor's programme is that as a student at AUC, you're encouraged to approach topics from an interdisciplinary perspective, meaning that you'll combine study fields from various subject areas to develop reasoned, nuanced methods of analysing, interpreting, understanding and arguing certain perspectives on intricate societal issues.
For example, say you were to study climate change and environmental sustainability. During a liberal arts and sciences programme, you may combine courses about the hard sciences causing changes to the climate (environmental sciences, ecology, atmospheric sciences), how these findings influence international policy through courses in the social sciences (environmental governance, European institutions, economic regulation), and also the social impact of how these findings turn into narratives when being communicated to and received by the general public through courses found in the humanities (journalism, cultural analysis, literary ecologies, rethinking protest). As you can see, the interdisciplinary approach and flexible nature of a liberal arts and sciences programme provides you with the opportunity to have a more well-rounded understanding of the various perspectives and issues surrounding increasingly complex topics before choosing to focus on a single aspect or discipline related to that subject.
AUC offers majors in Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities. When you apply to AUC, you choose one of these majors as your prospective major, and you confirm your choice at the end of your first year.
Within, the Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities, there are a variety of tracks (combinations of courses) through which you gain expertise in more specific areas of knowledge. These concentrations make the programme cohesive and ensure that you attain a certain level of knowledge in a specific field.
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Economics & Policy
Together with your AUC tutor, you will put together a coherent package of courses in your major to follow during your second and third years, focusing on the subjects that interest you most. Your tutor will help to ensure that your study programme will meet all graduation requirements.
Your tutor will also help to make sure your major and study programme fit with your future ambitions. If you want to go on to study a particular Master's programme, for example, you may need to include specific courses in your major.
Yes, all AUC students live in guaranteed on-campus housing in the DUWO-managed student residences located at Amsterdam Science Park along the Carolina MacGillavrylaan in Amsterdam East. It is mandatory for students to live in on-campus housing for their three years of study at AUC.
The rooms in the student residences are a mixture of single units (one student studios) and shared units (two or four students). Some shared units are two- or three-room apartments, while others are large open-plan spaces. All units have a kitchen corner and their own bathroom (toilet and shower). All rooms are self-furnished and students will need to supply their own furniture, kitchen equipment/appliances and any other home goods needed. Additionally, there is a small laundrette on the ground floor of the middle block of the residences, accessible only to residents.
Students rent their rooms from housing association DUWO, meaning that it is an apartment rental and students do not need to leave the residences during the summer. Students can also choose to stay in the same room for all three years, or change their room at the end of their first year.
Single units, before receiving a rent benefit (huurtoeslag), are more expensive than shared units. These are on average around 518 EUR per month. However, most students living in a single unit will be eligible to receive a rent benefit, making the total cost of a single unit around 319 EUR per month.
The rent for a two-person shared room is an average of approximately 392 EUR per month. For a four-person shared unit (two bedrooms, two people per room with a large shared living room), the costs are typically around 248 EUR per month. These costs can slightly vary depending on the exact dimensions of the room in square meters.
The rent includes an advance towards service costs, e.g. utilities such as electricity and water (collective and individual), cleaning of public spaces, rubbish collection and contents insurance.
In order to be eligible for admission to AUC, you will need to have:
AUC students have on average a secondary school GPA of ≥ 3.0 (≥7.5 in the Dutch system, ≥ 5 for IB, ≥ 10 for Abitur).
In addition, the AUC Admissions Committee looks for students with the following characteristics:
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To be considered for admission to AUC, you must first complete and submit our online application form together with all the required documentation. Please read the Application Guidelines carefully before completing your application. You will need digital/scanned versions of certain documents in order to upload and submit them.
You must apply using our online application form hosted by Embark. You can use the application guidelines to help you fill it in.
If your application package is complete and your previous education meets the general minimum entry requirements, we will then review your application package. Small deficiencies in meeting our English and/or maths requirements will not prevent your application from being reviewed, and you may be able to work toward rectifying these deficiencies before your intended start date at AUC.
If you successfully pass the review stage, you will be invited to an Admissions Day at AUC. The Admissions Day allows us to get to know the person behind the application, as well as extend a warm welcome to you and other aspiring AUC students that have reached this stage of the application process. The Admissions Day programme consists of several activities specially designed to let you experience AUC’s academic and social scene in addition to meeting AUC staff members and current students. This is combined with a personal meeting with a member of the AUC faculty. Admissions Days are held at the AUC academic building in Amsterdam, but an online meet-and-greet can be scheduled as an alternative for applicants who live outside of the Netherlands and cannot travel to Amsterdam.
After the application review and Admissions Day, the AUC Admissions Committee sends letters offering a place at AUC. The offer of a place may be conditional on your meeting, for example, specific English and/or maths requirements. In other words, you may have to send us proof that you will meet the English and/or maths requirements in order to begin your studies at AUC. You must also successfully obtain your secondary school diploma if you have not already done so. As soon as you accept your offer, we start the procedures to complete your enrolment at AUC as part of both the University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
After completing the AUC programme, you’ll be qualified to apply for Master’s programmes at the UvA, VU Amsterdam, other Dutch research universities and at prestigious institutions throughout Europe, the US and around the globe. The field of study for which you apply will typically correspond to the tracks or concentrations in which you completed most of your coursework. Additionally, your tutor will assist you in making sure you choose courses that not only meet the AUC graduation requirements, but also ensure that you will have the prerequisites and coursework necessary to qualify for relevant Master's degree programmes.
Upon graduating, and possibly after completing future graduate studies, our alumni enter the workforce at internationally known companies, research institutes and organisations, or start their own businesses/initiatives. AUC graduates tend to be highly sought after as they combine a high level of academic knowledge with the ability to solve problems, contribute to debates and exhibit an awareness of the social, cultural and personal perspectives that equip them for success, leadership and global challenges.
In the summer of 2020, we surveyed where our alumni ended up studying after graduating from AUC. Using LinkedIn data as a source, there were 1219 alumni with a profile containing sufficient information to be counted in the survey out of a total of 1690 alumni, meaning approximately 72% of all alumni are accounted for in the most recent analysis.
While these statistics offer an indication of the types of careers and range of fields where AUC alumni work, it is by no means exhaustive. Throughout their time at AUC, students are encouraged to discuss their individual career ambitions with their tutor and academic advisors in order to pursue careers and jobs in fields that deal with issues they’re passionate about.
However, the exact jobs and career paths that AUC students follow tend to be as diverse as the students and personal study plans that they create.
Below you can download a summary of a large-scale survey sent to graduates of all University Colleges in the Netherlands in 2017. The results give valuable insight into not only where AUC students end up studying and working upon graduating, but also the value of a liberal arts and sciences degree both in the Netherlands and abroad.