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FAQ

Below we've listed the most common questions from applicants to the program. If you can not find the information you need, please contact the admissions office.


What are the implications of the fact that the accreditation for the BDS program is pending?

  • What does accreditation mean?

    What does accreditation mean?

    In the Netherlands, new education programs are subject to an initial accreditation, which assesses the program's quality. This is a two-step procedure:

    1. application for the macro efficiency of the higher education to the CDHO (in Dutch: Commissie Doelmatigheid Hoger Onderwijs). BDS passed this first step.

    2.  application for NVAO accreditation. NVAO (in Dutch:  Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatieorganisatie), the Accreditation Organization for the Netherlands and Flanders, is an independent accreditation body. The NVAO conclusions justify the recognition of higher education programs and ensure that the students receive worthy degrees. After the initial accreditation, all university programs in the Netherlands are assessed every 6 years. For more information, we refer to the NVAO website. NVAO will assess the BDS program on June 13, 2019.

     

  • How will BDS deal with student registrations until accreditation occurs?

    How will BDS deal with student registrations until accreditation occurs?

    Tinbergen Institute research master program (accredited since 2003 and lately in 2015) will host a separate track in Business Data Science, offering the full BDS curriculum. Students will be enrolled in this track until NVAO accreditation for the BDS program occurs. The full curriculum as described in the Study Guide, will be offered.

  • What about my degree?

    What about my degree?

    Presuming that the accreditation is awarded before August, students' registration will be transferred from the Tinbergen Institute research master program to the BDS research master program before the start of the program (i.e. before September 1). Students who complete the program will get the acknowledged BDS research master degree.

    In case the accreditation is awarded after August 1st, students' registration will be transferred from the Tinbergen Institute research master program to the BDS program before the start of the second year. Students who complete the program will get the acknowledged BDS research master degree.

    In the unlikely case the accreditation is not awarded, students will continue their studies in the accredited Tinbergen Institute research master program. Students who complete the program will get the acknowledged Tinbergen Institute research master degree, clearly stating that they have completed the track Business Data Science and listing the individual courses. 

    To conclude, all students, including the students starting in August 2019, will get an acknowledged research master degree that gives access to PhD opportunities within academia as well as to research positions elsewhere.  

  • 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?

    Deadline for EEA nationals and students already studying in the Netherlands is June 1. 

    If you want to apply for admission for the academic year 2019-2020 after the deadline, contact the admissions office.

  • 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 BDS charge a fee for the application?

    Does BDS 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?

    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 before the February 1 deadline will be reviewed within 8 weeks after February 1. You will be notified within this 8 weeks period. After February 1 BDS works with rolling admissions. You will be notified within 8 weeks after the submission date. 

  • 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: bds-admissions@tinbergen.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. 

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.

Chinese nationals

  • 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.

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 2019-2020 is:

    EEA national € 2,078
    non-EEA national € 15,450
    students holding a Dutch MSc degree € 15,450

    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 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 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.

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: bds-admissions@tinbergen.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.