Honours Programme

Bsc Honours Programme at SBE

Are you a highly motivated, talented, top-performing bachelor’s student? If you have above average academic ability, creativity and commitment, you may have the opportunity to take the honours programme. This means you’ll be able to get closer to the academic community, carry out further academic research and develop a unique personal profile.

The honours programme takes place in years two and three of your bachelor’s programme. Selection of honours students will happen at the very beginning of year two. If you successfully complete the honours programme, you will receive an honour’s certificate. (and the honours programme will be mentioned on your official list of exam subjects)

To find out more, read the information about the topics below:

  • Key features
  • Personal development plan
  • Application and selection
  • Leaving the programme
  • Credits
  • More details on these activities

Key features

The key features of the honours programme include:

  • an academic advisor who can help you with your study plan;
  • a personal development plan outlining your goals and activities;
  • extra freedom to choose a third course in any one course period;
  • an honours colloquium;
  • a research project.
  • a joint core of activities with honours students form other faculties (honours+)
  • a research based major in year 3 (Marble or an equivalent like the bachelor thesis for econometrics students).

Personal development plan

As an honours student, you will be assigned an academic advisor, qualified as an assistant professor (or higher) with a strong academic record. Together with your advisor, you’ll put together a personal development plan. You agree in the beginning of year 2 with your academic advisor on a draft version of this plan, which will be adjusted in the course of the programme. The development plan translates into four individual semester plans which list courses and other activities planned for the respective semester. Thereby you agree with your academic advisor on the activities that you will take to fulfil the requirements of the programme.

Application and selection

If you wish to apply for the honours programme, please send your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a letter of motivation (including an initial sketch for a personal development plan) to bahonours-sbe@maastrichtuniversity.nl. Only students with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 8.0 or higher, based on the 7 best first chance exams of courses (no skills!) in year 1, will be considered for selection. The Admission Board selects a maximum of 35 students.

Admission procedure:

  • You must apply to: bahonours-sbe@maastrichtuniversity.nl  before 15 July.
  • Selection is made by the start of September of your second year.
  • You should calculate your GPA yourself based on your top seven results of first-opportunity exams in your first year (this is also recorded on the My UM Portal).
  • The Admission Board may invite you for interview before making a final decision.

Leaving the programme

If you do not earn the extra credits for the honour’s programme within the agreed period (i.e. if you do not pass all courses on the second sitting of an exam, at the latest), you may have to leave the honours programme. You may also choose to leave the programme and continue as a regular student. However, credits from the honours programme can be used within the regular programme, as long as these courses are part of that study programme. If not, they may be used for an Open Programme, or the courses can be mentioned as extracurricular activities on the list of grades (you must send a request for approval of the latter to the Board of Examiners). In order to exit the programme you have to write a motivated request to the Board of Examiners.

(Extra) Credits

Participating in the honours programme means earning 30 extra credits for your degree as well as following the research based honours major (see also Marble programme). Notice the latter is part of the regular credits to be obtained. The extra credits are obtained as follows:

  • Extra courses in addition to the regular bachelor study programme: you may choose one extra course per block period. Within SBE, you are allowed to choose courses in years 2 or 3. Outside SBE you can also choose extra courses in year 1.
  • An obligatory honours colloquium during year two (6.5 credits).
  • An obligatory joint core of activities with other faculties (Honours +) (5 credits).
  • A (voluntary) research project (6.5 credits). This can either be done in year 2 or year 3.
  • You may also earn extra credits while studying abroad (at most 6.5 on top of the required 26).
  • Membership of the case competition team (4 credits).
  • An extra skills training (4 credits, though you are not allowed to participate in two skills trainings in parallel).

More details on these activities

The following regulations apply to the activities mentioned above:

  • You may follow a maximum of three courses in each course period, starting with course period two of year two of the bachelor’s programme. You may choose courses from other faculties and schools within the Maastricht University (bsc years 1, 2 and 3).
  • Registration for a third course should be done via Special Course Approval in the Student Portal. Please make sure to mention that you are an Honours student requesting an extra course related to your Honours Programme.
  • If written exams of your three courses take place at the same time, you can either take the exam in quarantine during the first sit or you can take the second sitting of the exam for one of the courses. If you fail in this case, you will have the opportunity to re-take the exam in the same academic year.
  • The honours colloquium comprises at least 28 contact hours during year two. The colloquium is organized by students, assisted by the director of the honours programme. You can invite speakers from SBE or external speakers to give presentations and lead interactive discussions. This colloquium counts for 6.5 credits. You must attend at least 80% of the colloquium meetings. The colloquium will be arranged so that it doesn’t overlap with regular teaching, which means it is scheduled in the evening.
  • The research project will be supervised and graded by your academic advisor, or he or she will assist you in finding another SBE staff member as supervisor. You can earn 6.5 credits for this project and will receive a numerical grade.
  • As a student in the honours programme you choose your preferred study abroad destinations in consultation with your academic advisor and the International Relations Office (IRO). You will participate in the regular allocation procedure and confirm to the outcome within the general rules for study abroad.
  • You must obtain a minimum of 26 credits while studying abroad, and may use max. 30 credits obtained abroad to fulfil the 180 ECTS required in your regular bachelor programme. Credits on top of the minimum of 26 credits may also be used as part of your honours programme. You are also allowed to use credits beyond the limit of 30 credits as part of your honours programme. However you need to make yourself the necessary arrangements in order to register for additional courses at the host university. Please know that IRO cannot provide you support in doing this.