Admission and application

Your profile

The Master Cardiovascular Research aims to train Bio-medically oriented Bachelors and related Bachelors in Life Sciences to become independent researchers with in depth knowledge in the field of Cardiovascular Research.

  • Are you interested in Cardiovascular disease and doing patient-oriented research?
  • Are you interested in working in a multidisciplinary environment?
  • Do you enjoy working with people who challenge each other to attain the best results?

If so, the Master program in Cardiovascular Research was made for you!

Every year 20 talented students from the Netherlands, Europe or outside Europe are admitted to the Master program.

Admission requirements

This is a selective Master's program. You will be considered for admission to the Master's program Cardiovascular Research if you hold a Bachelor's degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score. For a bachelor’s degree from an institute of higher education (HBO/HLO) you need a minimum of 240 ECTS (4 years of study).
To be considered for admission to the Master’s program in Cardiovascular Research you must meet the requirements listed below.
  • Academic Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Life Sciences or comparable. If you hold a BSc degree in a closely related discipline (e.g. Biochemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Movement Sciences, Artificial Intelligence or Medicine or another relevant science program) you are also eligible to apply
  • Preferably a minimum grade-point average of 7.5 (or international equivalent, e.g. a B+, or a GPA of 3.4); and a minimum grade of 8 (or international equivalent, e.g. an A, or a GPA of 4.0), for the Bachelor’s thesis. If you have lower grades, you are also welcome to apply for the program.
  • A clear motivation and talent for participation in the program.
  • High level of academic and professional ability and oral and written proficiency in English at an advanced level
  • Basic knowledge of Cardiovascular Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
  • Pass the admission test of the master program (more information and test-dates below)
Students who obtained their Bachelor's degree outside The Netherlands will be asked to provide extra documentation such as a bachelor thesis and course descriptions.
We will also take into account your marks for relevant courses, study progress and extracurricular activities.
The Admission Board of the master Cardiovascular Research will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application. If you have read the admission criteria below and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required.
In all cases, decisions will be made within 6 weeks after the application deadline.
English language proficiency
International degree holders

VU Amsterdam requires international students to pass an English language proficiency test. 
Exceptions are made for students: 
 -  who have obtained an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma. 
 -  who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia.

Deadlines for submitting the test results are as follows:
Students who require a visa: June 1
Students who do not require a visa: August 30

Below you will find the minimum English test scores for this master program:
  • IELTS: 6.5 - please note that candidates must take the Academic test and not the General one!
  • TOEFL paper-based test: 580
  • TOEFL-ITP: 580
  • TOEFL Internet-based test: 92
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): C
VU-test English-language proficiency: TOEFL ITP (for students living in The Netherlands)
If you have an equivalent English language proficiency certificate, ask the program if it is valid by sending an email to

For TOEFL and IELTS, the test must have been completed no more than two years before 1 September of the year in which your course starts.

A copy of your English test result can be send to your international student advisor.

Dutch degree holders

You must have passed the English courses in your previous education. In case the admission board decides that the level of English proficiency is not clear based on de previous education and/or admission assessment test, students will be asked to provide a VU-test English-language proficiency: TOEFL ITP certificate with a minimum score of 580.

A copy of your English test result can be send to

Selection procedure

The Admissions Board of the master Cardiovascular Research reviews all requests for admission and selects students that meet the entry requirements. The Admissions Board also assesses whether you will be able to successfully complete the Master’s program within the set time frame. This means the decision on your application is based on a thorough analysis.
The program admits on average 20 students each year. If the number of selected candidates exceeds the number of available places, the Admissions Board will select only the highest ranking candidates. Ranking takes place based on the requirements mentioned above.
You will receive a written notification of the decision of the Admissions Board. You will also be notified when you are placed on a waiting list and/or if you still have to fulfil certain conditions.

You can contact the program coordinator with questions about your eligibility. However, only with the “admission email” you will be officially notified about your conditional or unconditional admission.

Admission procedure

Online admission
We will begin accepting applications from October 1. You should complete an admission request through Studielink. You will receive a confirmation of your request as well as login details for VUnet. Complete the application and upload all required documents relating to the admission requirements in the VUnet portal before the application deadline (April 1 for non-EU students and June 1 for EU students). EU/EEA students with an international degree who do not need housing services through Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam can still apply until the 1st June. 

Complete your application in time!
In addition to applying online, you are asked to submit a number of forms and documents (all in English). Please submit your application with all required documents before the latest date of application. If your file is incomplete at that time, we will be unable to consider your application.

We will inform you of our decision within six weeks after the application deadline.

Application procedure: Prepare documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents. Please note that all documents must be submitted in English.

    • Copy of your valid passport or ID (only for EU residents)
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Letter of Motivation including at least:
        o why you want to pursue a career in Cardiovascular Research;
        o Why you choose to study this master program at VU Amsterdam – VUMC School of Medical Sciences.
    • Transcript of records (provide a certified translation if it is not in English).
    • A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education.
    • 2 Letters of Recommendation
        o Your recommendation letters must be written by qualified persons; for instance the supervisor of your Bachelor thesis or coordinator of major Bachelor courses.

After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure.
International students: Once you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via email.

Assessment test

The assessment test is part of the admission procedure. You can participate in the assessment test by completing the application form. The assessment test consists of two parts: a knowledge part and an academic skills part and you need to pass both parts of the test. The first part in the morning takes one hour and consists of 45 multiple choice questions on Cardiovascular physiology. You need to answer at least 55% of the questions correctly to pass this test. Suggested learning material for this test is: Cardiovascular Physiological Concepts, 2nd edition by R.E. Klabunde, but comparable basic Cardiovascular physiology books are also sufficient. The second part in the afternoon is based on a recent scientific article on Cardiovascular Research. This article will be presented to you at the test. You need to summarize (part 2.1) and critically discuss (part 2.2) the article. You will have three hours to complete this test. The test is graded by the Admission Board and the results will be announced two weeks after the test date.

Test dates

  • Friday 17 April 2020 (application deadline: 1 April 2020)
  • Friday 15 May 2020 (application deadline: 1 May 2020)
  • Friday 5 June 2020 (application deadline: 19 May 2020)

Time: 11.00 - 16.00 hr 

Place: VU University 

International students will get the possibility to do the assessment test through a Skype interview with the Admission Board on an alternative date. To request a Skype interview, simply provide us with your Skype information. After we have received your contact information, we will invite you to connect on Skype. Make sure that sound and camera are working on your computer. Keep a passport or ID card nearby.

Final decision of admission will be communicated before the 1st of July 2020.


After being admitted to the Master Cardiovascular Research, students need to complete their registration and pay tuition fee. Information about tuition fees can be found on the central student administration website of the VU University Amsterdam.

More Information

For more information, you can contact the program coordinator by sending an email to: