RSM's International Business Administration (IBA) programme takes a broad approach, yet offers specification as well. You will investigate the functional areas of business (sales, operations management, marketing, finance, strategic management, etc.) during at least two courses on each topic.
The first two years have a fixed curriculum but the third year is flexible. It offers the possibility of an international exchange, internship, or a minor elective during the first half of the year. In the second half of the third year, you can pick one of five specialized study tracks. The third year is also when the student works on a bachelor project.
For most courses, you will attend plenary lectures and work in small groups, allowing for lively interaction and tailored feedback. Many courses chose a distinctly international approach, both content-wise, but also valuing the diversity that exists within the IBA student population consisting of 60 different nationalities.
Upon successful completion of the IBA you will receive a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree.
The first year of the IBA bachelor programme consists of four blocks and provides you with an overview of the main processes in most companies: production, marketing, organisation, finance and information. You will learn about all the relevant dimensions of business administration and management.
You will also learn the communication skills needed to work in multicultural groups in the Professional Development track. And, you will benefit from our student mentor programme, designed to help you get used to student life at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
During the first year, students are introduced to international business through a combination of theoretical and skills-related courses that are the foundation for a career in management.
It can be tough to move from high school to university. That’s why the IBA Professional Development and Mentoring Programme helps you to settle in during your first year. You will also develop professional skills that you’ll need in today’s business world. As a first-year student, you will be guided by a mentor, an experienced and well-trained older student who has undergone arigorous selection process to support you in this role.
Right from the start, IBA students are expected to be able to write a real business plan. Working in groups of four and after meeting with employees from their chosen business, students make an internal and external analysis of the firm’s activities, check its financial position, analyse options and dangers from the outside market and devise a strategic plan to improve the firm’s chances of survival in the market – and even expand its activities. This project requires the ability to work in a team and communicate effectively – these are the skills honed in the Professional Development track. In the past, students have written plans for companies such as Bavaria and Rotterdam The Hague airport.
The binding study advice policy states the minimum number of credits you need in your first year of registration to be able to continue your studies. IBA students need to pass all their first-year courses during their first year to be able to continue into Year 2.
The second year of the IBA programme also consists of four blocks, but courses such as the research project or entrepreneurship will stretch over a longer time. In the Professional Development track your personal skills will be further enhanced.
The increasing importance of contributing to sustainable business is reflected in our course responsible business leadership’. By the end of year two, the fixed part of the programme is completed.
The second year of the IBA programme expands your knowledge and develops your research skills, with courses such as Quantitative Decision Making and Applied Business Methods. A wide array of topics are covered, with courses focusing on everything from strategy to marketing, finance, and cross-cultural management.
If you are prepared for a bigger academic challenge, you should know that Erasmus University Rotterdam offers two English-taught honours programmes on interdisciplinary subjects. They bring students from various programmes together to jointly work on a broad subject.
And, IBA students can also apply for RSM’s undergraduate honours programme on innovative entrepreneurship and a study trip to Silicon Valley. Honours programmes count as extra credit on top of the regular BSc programme.
The Erasmus School of Philosophy offers a unique Double Degree programme for students who wish to obtain a second degree in philosophy. This programme is highly flexible and can efficiently be combined with the International Business Administration programme offered at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. A degree in philosophy is an excellent complement to any other degree. In the current age of uncertainty and rapidly advancing technologies, knowledge of philosophical problems and skills remains relevant. In this programme, you will learn to express arguments clearly and to think critically and creatively.
Any academic business study has its foundations in technology and industry, so a good working knowledge of industry and industrial processes is essential. The IBA programme has formed a partnership with our neighbouring university, Technical University Delft, in which RSM’s IBA students work with students from Delft on an assignment which requires both groups of students to understand each other’s worlds of business and industry. This part of the programme encourages mutual understanding of business and industry, an essential skill for any manager.
In the first half of the 3rd Bachelor year you are required to create your own customized programme of 30 EC. In order to do so, you can choose from a diverse offering of minors, an internship, an exchange and/or elective courses. Depending on the amount of EC earned for the minor, internship or exchange, you will need to ‘fill up’ to at least 30 EC with elective courses. If you have not followed a minor, an intership or exchange, then you can fill up the total amount of 30 EC with elective courses.
In the second half of the 3rd Bachelor year (block 12, 13 and 14) students are required to choose one out of the five available ‘tracks’. A track is a combination of three 5 EC courses and the Bachelor Project, 20 EC in total, on a coherent field within the field of business administration. The Bachelor Project – the successor of the former Bachelor Thesis – clearly belongs to the chosen track and entails a mix of individual and group work. The execution of the Bachelor Project will vary from track to track.
Next to the different tracks, there are still two compulsory courses for all. Advanced Research Methods as a preparation for the Bachelor Project, and Digital Business (5 EC).
RSM students can choose one of the following tracks:
- Analytical Decision-makers (data, operations)
- Performance Analysts (finance, accounting)
- Behavioural Experts (marketing, diversity, behaviour)
- Global Thinkers (international business, strategy)
- Business Developers (entrepreneurship, innovation)
The third year of the IBA programme offers students a range of options.
During the first half of the third year, ending 1 February, you need to earn 30 EC in total.
You can choose:
- To do an international exchange at one of RSM’s partner schools, for 20 EC minimum and 30 EC maximum
- To conduct an international internship, for 15 EC minimum and 20 EC maximum
- To do a minor (mostly broadening, sometimes deepening), of 15 EC, or 30 EC if you choose the one jointly offered with Leiden and Delft University
If you do not exactly end up with 30 EC, you can take one or more electives – either at RSM or elsewhere.
The second half of the third year is comprised of 30 EC. Next to the compulsory Advanced research training and the Digital business course, you can choose from five different tracks consisting of three modules, allowing you to follow your interests and deepen your knowledge. You will write a Bachelor thesis which will fall within your chosen track.
For many students, spending an exchange semester abroad at one our partner universities is a valuable opportunity to make an early investment in their future international career, and widen their professional network. Our partner universities are all of high repute and well-ranked. They all have similar accreditations to ours. Students study at the partner university from the end of the summer term until January, and must obtain at least 20 ECTS during the exchange. Click here for a list of our partner universities.
For students who would like to go on a short-term programme in the summer, we also have agreements with a number of schools in Europe, Asia and the USA for our students to have priority access to their summer programmes.
There is no substitute for real working experience. The IBA programme gives you the opportunity to complete an international internship lasting at least 10 weeks and worth 15 ECTS. Although academic in approach, the international internship gives you in-depth knowledge and practical experience in a company of your choice. Non-Dutch students can do this in the Netherlands or abroad. Dutch students must choose a destination outside of the Netherlands for a truly international experience.
Your IBA programme concludes with your Bachelor thesis. For this, your knowledge from Advanced Research Methods is crucial as it provides you with the research methodology knowledge and training necessary for the Bachelor project. The Bachelor Project is used to measure your ability to present research and opinions – about management of businesses and organisations – in a well-structured, coherent, and academic document.
You’ll join a group of four students to write your Bachelor Project, which will be based on a theme offered by one of RSM’s departments, and you’ll be closely supervised by an experienced member of academic staff.
Extracurricular Activities & Events
Chicago, New York, Paris, Shanghai – not just a list of international destinations, but places our IBA students have actually visited during their annual IBA Study Trip, organised each year by STAR, RSM’s largest study association. These fascinating destinations are chosen because of their business environment, their universities, and their impressive attractions for international visitors. If you are selected as one of the 40 IBA students to join the trip, you’ll also discover the local shops and party scene!
Erasmus Consultancy Project (ECP), is a research project organized by STAR. Every year, ECP offers companies and non-profit organizations tailor-made research and consultancy services in an emerging market on a non-profit basis. ECP is carried out by approximately 25 carefully selected students at RSM Erasmus University, with the support of two professors. The consultancy adds sustainable value and high quality due to desk and field research which results in well considered decision-making for companies. In previous years, ECP has successfully completed projects in countries such as Mexico, India, Vietnam, Chile, Brazil, South-Korea and Thailand. Check out their website for more information on the Erasmus Consultancy Project.
The International Consultancy Project (ICP) is the most exciting and notable project organized by the Marketing Association EUR. Students are offered the possibility to put theory into practice, by conducting market research while gaining international experience and consultancy experience. Each year, roughly five teams of five student consultants are created. The students will start off with the acquisition of projects, to in this way define the projects that the teams are going to work with themselves. After that, the writing of research proposals and desk research will follow. The project will continue with 3 – 6 weeks of doing field research abroad, and finally pitching the solutions to the company. They will be actively involved in the entire process – from acquiring the projects they will work on, to doing field research abroad, and pitching their ideas to the company. Among previous destinations were Australia, India, China, Vietnam, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the USA and more.
The official graduation ceremony for students who have completed their BSc IBA studies is held in the fall. IBA graduates reunite for this special occasion, and are joined by friends and family from all over the world. The ceremony is always an enjoyable highlight for students and RSM staff.
Bachelor in International Business Administration
Bachelor of Science BSc
Dutch CROHO code
AACSB, EQUIS, AMBA
NVAO certificate on internationalisation, excellent
Language of instruction
3 years (36 months)
Required graduation credits
September each year, once a year
Programme offered since
Applications vs. Admissions
2,644 vs 562 (2021/2022)
|Percentage of international students||65%|
|Number of nationalities||60 (2021/2022)|
15 January (registration deadline in Studielink)
31 January (submission deadline Online Application Form)
The 2023-2024 tuition fee for the BSc in International Business Administration programme is approximately €11,100. The Dutch government contributes towards this cost for students from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA). These students therefore pay only the statutory fee of €2,314 in 2023/2024.
Studying at RSM
Student life at RSM is lively, cosmopolitan and multicultural, which is why students from all over the world consider it to be a great place to study. They enjoy the full range of activities associated with RSM and the university, from concerts and sports events to full-scale professional conferences attended by captains of international industry. For more information, check out the information below.
Curious about what it’s like to be an RSM student? Watch the video below to discover what a typical day in the life of an RSM student is like.
There are lots of ways to get engaged and become a part of the RSM and EUR community. Many students join student associations or study associations to meet new people, participate in social events, network with prospective employers, or put into practice what they learn in the classroom. Fulfilling a leadership role in one of RSM’s numerous clubs, student associations and student-managed conferences will enrich your time at RSM both socially and professionally, while giving you extra credentials to add to your CV. There are both student associations and study associations at EUR:
Student associations are for students from RSM, EUR and other universities. They focus on socialising and networking. In addition to organising social meetings, many of them are also active in reaching out into the community. Most are for Dutch speakers, but there are plenty of international associations. They provide an opportunity for you to get to know lots of other students from different programmes and different backgrounds. For more information about international student associations in Rotterdam visit the student life at EUR website from the Erasmus Student Service Centre.
- You can join international associations such as ESN Rotterdam (Erasmus Student Network) or ISR (International Students Rotterdam).
- If you’re feeling homesick or would just like to chat in your native language, then cultural associations like the Chinese Student Association (CSA), Italian Erasmus Society (IES), or African Students Association Heritage (ASAH) are the place to go.
- You can also discuss hot topics in today’s society by exploring the associations that match your values, such as the Erasmus Sustainability Hub, Vegan Student Association Rotterdam, UNICEF Student Team Rotterdam, or Erasmus Pride.
Study associations are linked to each school or programme. They may have a social element, but primarily provide pre-professional and study activities. The study association for RSM students is STAR. Study associations bridge the gap between theory and practice. They organise activities for all students interested in a specific field of study and can be a great first experience in the professional field that interests you. RSM’s study association, STAR, is the largest student-organised study association in Europe. STAR provides academic support to students, and offers them the opportunity to develop themselves professionally through training or competitions. It supports early career goals by setting up recruitment events with top companies.
With more than 6,500 members and 1,000 overseas members, STAR is the largest study association in the Netherlands and one of the largest in Europe. There are no language barriers for international students because English and Dutch are both used. STAR gives you unique opportunities to practice turning your ideas into commercial realities through active involvement in numerous committees which organise events such as the International Business Project or STAR Management Week.
STUDENT REPRESENTATION (SR)
RSM’s Student Representation organisation looks after the interests of students by representing them at the faculty and university level. It serves as an intermediary between students and faculty and ensures an exchange of information and feedback between students and programme managers.
Rotterdam is a metropolitan city, a true melting pot with approximately 170 nationalities among its 600,000 inhabitants. In such a diverse setting there are many arts, cultural, musical and entertainment events to participate in. It is also a major hub of international trade because it is Europe's largest commercial port, making it a great city for business students.
Rotterdam is an easy city to get around with most people living, working or studying within a 20-minute bike ride of RSM’s campus. The city also has good connections to the rest of the Netherlands and other European countries; for example, an express train from Rotterdam to Schiphol International Airport is 25 minutes, and a direct train from Rotterdam to Paris takes only 2 hours and 40 minutes.
RSM is located on the Woudestein campus in Rotterdam, which is about a 15-20 minute bike ride from the centre of Rotterdam. RSM shares the Woudestein campus with six other schools at Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) and is practically a self-contained city with food courts, a grocery store, a bike repair shop and even a hairdresser. Campus facilities such as the library and sports centre (including tennis courts) are open to all students to enjoy, but don’t take our word for it, check out the virtual tour below and discover our vibrant and bustling campus for yourself.
Bachelor students can participate in an exchange programme at one of valued academic partners worldwide – there are almost 200 of them. This is a great opportunity take exciting electives at a different institution where you can further develop your personal and professional international experience by immersing yourself in a different environment. What you’ll learn inside and outside of the classroom will be indispensable to your development as an international business leader.
Exchanges at a glance:
- Every year, RSM’s International Office sends more than 400 bachelor students to renowned business schools all over the world.
- Most popular schools for exchange semesters include: Marshall Business School, University of Southern California (USA); The National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University (both Singapore).
- Most popular schools in Europe: Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi (Italy), ESADE (Spain) and Nova School of Business and Economics (Portugal).
Students from other faculties and Dutch universities can follow a limited selection of additional courses from RSM’s Bachelor in International Business Administration. You can only follow the specific courses listed on the application form.
If you are an EUR-student, you can use this application form.
Students from other universities can follow the steps in this document
After your bachelor
During our studies, we obtained an immense amount of business knowledge that is transferable to work but I think the degree itself is a result of diligence, open-mindedness, being collaborative and supportive. Your degree might help get the job you want but the traits we all developed during our studies are what enable us to succeed.
Leo Machana - BSc IBA Alumnus, Class of 2018
Your bachelor studies at RSM will add to your knowledge in subjects like data science, marketing, consulting or finance, and you will gain new skills in collaborating, presenting and critical thinking. This will open doors to a wide range of career paths. Below you can find out more about some of the most common steps RSM bachelor alumni take.
Over half of our IBA graduates choose to continue their studies at RSM directly after graduation by joining one of our 12–18-month specialised master programmes:
- Accounting & Financial Management
- Business Analytics & Management
- Business Information Management
- Finance & Investments
- Global Business & Sustainability
- Human Resource Management
- International Management / CEMS
- Management of Innovation
- Masters in Management
- Part-time Master in Management (in Dutch)
- Marketing Management
- Medical Business & Innovation
- Strategic Entrepreneurship
- Strategic Management
- Supply Chain Management
International experience embedded within the IBA programme gives you a competitive advantage when it comes to taking the first step in your career. Many of our graduates find positions in multinational firms soon after graduation. Some find a position even before they graduate, thanks to relationships developed during their international internships and other networking experiences throughout their time at RSM.
One way to obtain such experiences is through RSM's dedicated Career Centre that helps current students with:
- Looking for internships, full or part-time jobs in the Career Portal
- Thinking about their ideal career and finding their motivation and strenghts in the ‘Your Future Career’ online study module
- Workshops to develop your CV writing, application writing, and interviewing skills
- Recruitment and career events attended by recruiters from international companies, speed interviews, and career workshops
- Strengthening their career path with mentoring from our 40,000-strong alumni network in the MentorMe platform
- Note that non-EEA students with a Dutch higher education diploma are eligible for a one-year orientation visa called a zoekjaar to help you find a job after you graduate.
94% of graduates are employed within 6 months after graduation. The image below give a broad idea of the different sectors RSM alumni tend to end up after their studies:
A quarter of IBA graduates take a gap year after their studies to travel or to gain more experience through internships, exchanges, board years, or other personal projects.
Tuition & Scholarships
The 2023-2024 tuition fee for the BSc in International Business Administration programme is approximately € 11,100. The Dutch government contributes towards this cost for students who hold nationality from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA). These students therefore pay only the statutory fee of €2,314 per year for 2023/2024.
NOTE: These tuition fees are subject to change. Prior to the start of the academic year, tuition fees may be modified by the Dutch government. Erasmus University Rotterdam reserves the right to make changes affecting policies, fees, curricula, or any other matter announced in this publication without further notice.
The number of scholarships is limited and mainly merit based. If a scholarship covers only the tuition fees, be aware that you need to finance your own living expenses (rent, food and insurances) for the duration of your studies.
Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) offers scholarships to prospective students from non-EEA countries who are not entitled to pay the EEA tuition fee, provided their grades are considered ‘excellent’.
Besides scholarships awarded by RSM, there are also scholarships awarded by the Dutch government or other organisations that are available if you meet certain criteria such as nationality, age, etc We have listed one of them below but we encourage you to use resources such as Grantfinder or the Scholarship Portal to find additional scholarships.
- Contact the Ministry for Higher Education in your home country to see whether there are scholarship options.
- We have virtual information session covering all you need to know about scholarships and financial aid. Register here.
You will need a budget each year to cover your living expenses, your study materials and, if applicable, residence permit and health insurance. This is in addition to paying your tuition fee. How much money you will actually need also depends on your life style. The costs for housing, for example, may differ considerably. Also, if you plan to travel during your stay, you will obviously need more money.
For a reasonable standard of living in the Netherlands, you should have an income of between €1,000-€1,600 per month depending on your lifestyle. Further information about the costs of living in the Netherlands and related subjects can be found on this website. Below is an example of monthly expenditures:
|Furnished accommodation, including gas and electricity||€ 500-900|
|Medical insurance||€ 50|
|Food||€ 200 - 300|
|Books, recreation, clothing||€ 200 - 300|
|Public Transportation||€ 50|
|Total||€ average 1000 - 1625|
|Other potential expenses:|
|Buying or renting a bike||€ 100 - 250 (for the full 3 years)|
|In private residence (not student housing) yearly municipal and water taxes||€ 100 - 300 (per year)|
The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of the member states of the European Union, including Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. See the overview of EEA member states below. Please note: The EEA tuition fee is also applicable for students with Swiss or Surinamese nationality.