Elective space

Students may request permission to follow a course from another faculty or university and let it count towards the 'Elective space' for the bachelor 3 programme (for more information see Appendix Elective space B3’ of the BA/IBA Teaching and Examination Regulations) or the 6 EC free elective for the master programmes.

Counting towards curriculum

The general policy of the Examination Board regarding elective courses from another faculty or university is as follows:


  1. The course must be part of an accredited programme at a Dutch university or a foreign research-driven university;
  2. The course must have a level equivalent to the RSM course;
  3. In terms of content, skills, attitude and testing, the course must sufficiently fit the specified exit qualifications for the programme;
  4. The course must have added value for the programme, which is why there should not be too much overlap with mandatory parts of the RSM programme concerned;
  5. The course is not used for another programme being taken by the student in question;
  6. The student must take the course and sit the examination while he or she is enrolled at RSM as student.

Important: If you want to follow an elective outside of RSM, you always need to ask for permission from the Examination Board before the start of the course, even if the course is on the list of approved elective courses. Permission will only be granted if all of the above mentioned requirements are met.

Bachelor minor

Taking a bachelor minor in accordance with the EUR minor admissions matrices does not, in principle, require separate approval from the Examination Board. This includes the LDE minors (Leiden, Delft, Erasmus). 

Partially completed minor programs are not automatically inserted into the curriculum. You can submit a request at the Examination Board for approval of separate electives.

Bachelor projects

Board memberships at study or student associations are of great value to the students CV. However, due to the lack of academic character and guidance, students will not, in principle, gain EC for it. In order to include approved projects, such as IRP or BRP depending on the BA, IBA or master’s curriculum, explicit approval of the Examination Board is required prior to the start of the project. 

Bachelor "freemover exchange"/electives abroad

If you would you like to follow elective courses at another institution abroad on your own initiative, you need explicit approval from the Examination Board. The Examination Board assesses the institution and the courses chosen according to the policy above. Once completed, the courses are not regarded as exchange courses on your transcript.

Requests to take external courses via an RSM Exchange Programme are handled by the International Office

Summer course

The Examination Board only considers permission for a summer course counting towards the elective space if it is offered by a research-driven accredited institution. The course should offer enough quality content and will be assessed according to the policy above. Note: it may be that the Examination Board grants less EC than the facilitating institution, due to the fact that the number of EC can sometimes be unrealistic in terms of hours spent on study (e.g. 6 EC = 128 hours in two weeks’ time). 

Master free elective

Students that want to follow a master free elective outside RSM or a core course of another master programme as master free elective should submit a request at the Examination Board prior to the start of the course. The Academic Director must support your request. Please add an e-mail of approval to your request.

Submitting your request

A request should always be submitted via the Online Request Form. The request must be provided with all relevant documents (such as course description, list of literature, etc.). Keep in mind that the summer period might cause a delay in process time; file your request as soon as possible. Otherwise there is a chance that your request has not been processed before the start of the new academic year.  

Grade list

Once you have completed the approved external elective, the official grade given by the external institution will be recorded on your RSM transcript as well, unless the course is taken at a foreign (research driven) university. Foreign institutions usually apply different grading methods, therefore we will record a ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’ on the RSM transcript. This also applies to grades obtained for an Exchange programme and language courses.


For the bachelor, no more than 30 EC will count towards the elective space (or 20 EC in the old-style programme) (and 180 credits for the entire curriculum), unless there is an indivisible course. Until the full 180 EC have been gained and the degree will be automatically issued, students may submit a request to change the elective course(s) they want to include in the curriculum and count towards the GPA. This request must be submitted at the Student Administration (located in Sanders Building, room L3-033) in good time: at least 6 weeks before the last remaining grade is published, on the basis of which the degree is to be issued.