Sorry! De informatie die je zoekt, is enkel beschikbaar in het Engels.

Meeting language proficiency requirements

If you are applying for one of our English-taught Bachelor's degree programmes you will have to demonstrate English language proficiency.
If you are applying for a Dutch-taught programme you will also have to prove that you are sufficiently proficient in Dutch.

English language proficiency

If you are applying with a non-Dutch diploma you will be asked to take an English language proficiency test to prove you meet the language requirements of our programmes. You can already begin and submit your application before you have completed the test and then submit your passing score once you have been conditionally admitted. In case you gain admission to the programme you will have until the below-mentioned deadlines to submit your English test results. For any questions about the language requirement you can contact your International Student Advisor(s) by email.

You can find all accepted language tests, deadlines and exemption options below.

Please note: Different requirements and deadlines apply for the Liberal Arts and Sciences (Amsterdam University College) and Mechanical Engineering. Check the AUC page and Mechanical Engineering page for more information.

Dutch language proficiency for Dutch-taught Bachelor's programmes

This language proficiency requirement is applicable solely to Dutch-taught Bachelor's degree programmes. Do you have a Dutch previous education and do you need to meet the Dutch proficiency requirement for your Bachelor's degree programme? Then read the information below or read the information in Dutch.

When you have a non-Dutch previous education you will have to submit proof of your Dutch language proficiency level, even when you are a native speaker.  You can find out more information about the different options by reading the information in the table below.

English language requirement

  • Exemptions

    All international applicants are asked to  provide a valid English language proficiency test with a sufficient score to prove that they meet the English language requirement for admission to a Bachelor's programme.

    Only applicants who have obtained or will obtain the following qualifications prior to the start of their university enrolment are exempt from the English test:

    • (Pre-university) diploma obtained after successfully completing English-taught education in Canada, the USA, the UK, New Zealand, Ireland, or Australia 
    • International Baccalaureate Diploma (English-taught)
    • European Baccalaureate (English as L1 or L2, minimum grade 6)
    • Advanced Placement (AP) Collegeboard exam: English Language and Composition or English Literature and Composition with minimum grade 3 (PPE: minimum grade 4) 
    • GCE or International A-level in English Language or English Language & Literature with minimum grade C (PPE: minimum grade B)  
    •  International Option Baccalaureate (OIB) - British or American section
    •  Surinam VWO diploma
    • A Bachelor's diploma obtained after completing an English-taught programme

    Students applying with a Dutch diploma can meet the language requirements by means of a VWO diploma.

    If you qualify for an exemption you can choose the 'submit later' option of the English language test. We will manually process your exemption when we review your file.

  • Accepted English language tests

    VU Amsterdam only accepts the following recognised English proficiency tests, with these minimal requirements:

    • IELTS (academic): 6.5 overall
    • TOEFL internet-based test: 92
      Note: for 2020-2021 we have also accepted the TOEFL iBT special home edition: 92. It is not yet decided if the TOEFL online test will be accepted for 2021-2022.
    • TOEFL paper-based test: 580
    • Cambridge Advanced English (CAE)/C1 Advanced: grade A, B or C
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)/C2 Proficiency: grade A, B or C
    • VU English proficiency test: TOEFL ITP: 580  (only the TOEFL ITP test from VU Amsterdam is accepted)
      Note: the VU TOEFL ITP  is not accepted for students who require a study visa/residence permit to study at VU Amsterdam. For international EU/EEA students it is not decided yet if the TOEFL ITP online test will be accepted for 2021-2022.
    • State exam vo (information only in Dutch): pre-university school-leaving examination level (VWO) in English language and literature

    For the selective Bachelor's programmes Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and Law in Society the English language requirements are higher! 

  • Accepted English language tests PPE

    VU Amsterdam only accepts the following recognised English proficiency tests, with these minimal requirements:

    • IELTS (academic): 7.0 with at least 6.5 for each of the four components 
    • TOEFL iBT: 100 with minimum scores of 22 for each component
      Note: for 2020-2021 we have also accepted the TOEFL iBT special home edition: 100.  It is not yet decided if the TOEFL online test will be accepted for 2021-2022.
    • TOEFL paper-based test: 600
    • VU English proficiency test: TOEFL ITP:  600 (only the TOEFL ITP test from VU Amsterdam is accepted)
      Note: the VU TOEFL ITP  is not accepted for students who require a study visa/residence permit to study at VU Amsterdam. For international EU/EEA students it is not decided yet if the TOEFL ITP online test will be accepted for 2021-2022.
    • Cambridge English Qualifications C1 Advanced (CAE): grade A or B
    • Cambridge English Qualifications C2 Proficiency (CPE): grade C or higher
  • Accepted English language tests Law in Society

    VU Amsterdam only accepts the following recognised English proficiency tests, with these minimal requirements:

    • IELTS (academic): 6.5  (with at least 7.0 for reading)
    • TOEFL internet-based test: 92 (with at least 24 for reading)
      Note: for 2020-2021 we have also accepted the TOEFL iBT special home edition: 92 (with at least 24 for reading).It is not yet decided if the TOEFL online test will be accepted for 2021-2022.
    • TOEFL paper-based test: 580 (with at least 64 for reading)
    • Cambridge Advanced English (CAE)/C1 Advanced: grade A, B or C
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)/C2 Proficiency: grade A, B or C
    • VU English proficiency test: TOEFL ITP: 580 (with at least 64 for reading)  (only the TOEFL ITP test from VU Amsterdam is accepted)
      Note: the VU TOEFL ITP  is not accepted for students who require a study visa/residence permit to study at VU Amsterdam. For international EU/EEA students it is not decided yet if the TOEFL ITP online test will be accepted for 2021-2022.
  • Test Validity

    TOEFL and IELTS tests must have been completed no more than two years before September 1st of the year in which your course starts. Note that the TOEFL MyBestScore is not accepted.

    The TOEFL-ITP exam is offered by the VU Taalloket and takes place at the university. The test costs €90 and is only valid for admission to VU Amsterdam. 

  • Verification of your test scores
    • For verification of your IELTS or TOEFL test results, please upload your results in VUnet or send the report to your International Student Advisor(s) by email.
    • For verification of the TOEFL iBT special home edition please add our institution code before sending the report: 7947.
    • For an online verification of your Cambridge test result please share your results with us through the Candidate Results Online website and send us an email to confirm you have done so.
    • For verification of your diploma you can send the certified copy by post or bring the diploma to the Student Desk.

    We do not need to receive the hard copy test results via postal mail if you share your results digitally.

  • Deadlines

    Be aware of the fact that it can take a few weeks before you get the results of the English tests, so plan your test in time! 
    Deadline for submission: 

    • 1 June - for students who require a study visa/residence permit
    • 15 August (preferred submission date) - for PPE students who do not require a study visa/residence permit 
    • 31 August  - final deadline for students with the EU/EEA nationality and other students who do not require a study visa/residence permit  

    Deadline for submission for Numerus Fixus programmes:

    • 1 June - for students who require a study visa/residence permit
    • 15 July - final deadline for students with the EU/EEA nationality and other students who do not require a study visa/residence permit  

Dutch language requirement

  • Dutch previous education

    Students with a Dutch previous education can proof Dutch language proficiency by submitting a VWO diploma.

    When applying with other Dutch diplomas (such as the HBO-P) students will need to sit the State exam vo pre-university level examination in Dutch language and literature.

  • Non-Dutch previous education School leaving exams

    VU Amsterdam accepts the following subjects and school-leaving Dutch examinations for students with a non-Dutch previous education:

    Education Courses and final exams
    European BaccalaureateDutch as first or second language
    International BaccalaureateDutch as language A (Higher Level or Subsidiary Level) or language B (Higher Level))
    UK education systemDutch GCE A level or Dutch International GCSE, both as first language
    German education systemAbitur: Dutch as Leistungskurs or Grundkurs or Reifeprüfung Ordnung (only when Abitur was awarded outside Germany)
    French education systemBaccalauréat Général of the Dutch department of the Lycée  Internationale Saint-Germain-en-Laye or Lycée Internationale of Ferney Voltaire (Dutch must be a school-leaving subject)
    Belgian education systemDiploma van Algemeen Secundair Onderwijs (ASO)
    Surinamese education system   Surinamese pre-university school-leaving examination diploma
  • Other accepted proofs of proficiency in the Dutch language

    When you have a non-Dutch previous education and have not followed one of the aforementioned school subjects then you can sit one of the following two examinations:

    •  State exam in Dutch as a second language, programme II (NT2-II) (information and application via DUO).
    • Certificate of Dutch as Foreign Language (CNaVT), with Educatief Professioneel (EDUP) C1 (academic and professional language proficiency) or Educatief Startbekwaam (STRT) B2 (higher education language proficiency) profile. This examination is also held outside the Netherlands. (Information and application via www.cnavt.org).

    Exception: NT2 II (Dutch as a second language) and Educatief Startbekwaam (STRT) B2 certificates will not be accepted for the Rechtsgeleerdheid (law) and Notarieel Recht (notarial civil law) Bachelor's degree programmes.

    You send the certified copies to us by post, or bring them to the Student Desk. Certified test certificates bear a stamp and signature from an official institute to attest that the copy is the same as the original. The certificates can be certified by the administration of the institute that awarded the diploma or at the Student Desk. Bring the original and copy with you when you wish to have them certified by us.

    State exam in Dutch as a second language, programme II (NT2-II)

    This examination consists of four parts: reading, listening, speaking and writing skills. The examinations are held weekly (registration 6 weeks in advance, results 6 weeks after the exam).

    If you consider applying to a selection-based Bachelor’s degree programme, then the NT2-II examination must be completed before June. This is because the department CBAP of DUO needs the results before 15 July, in order to keep you in the selection procedure.

    If you have to take other entrance examinatios, you will have to fulfill all the requirements before 15 July.

    More information about the NT2-II exam (in Dutch).

    CNaVT Certificate

    The CNaVT (Certificaat Nederlands als Vreemde Taal) with the profiles ‘Educatief Startbekwaam’ (before called PTHO) or ‘Educatief Professioneel’ (before called PAT) are also accepted. The examinations can also be taken outside the Netherlands.

  • VU-NT2 Department - Dutch course

    VU Amsterdam’s own department that will help you to prepare for the Dutch language proficiency examination.

    The courses start late August and end in July the following year, progressing from beginner’s level courses through three or four follow-up courses of increasing difficulty. These Dutch language courses are meant primarily for prospective students who want to prepare themselves for a Bachelor's or Master's programme at VU Amsterdam. If you wish to take this course, you must contact the VU-NT2 Department.

    For the beginner’s courses in particular there are usually more applicants than places available. Therefore we cannot guarantee a place if you apply late. You should bear in mind that it takes at least one year to learn Dutch.

    More information about NT2 VU’s Dutch course.

  • VASVU

    VASVU is a programme for international students who want to study a Dutch Bachelor’s or Premaster’s programme but cannot be admitted directly. This preparatory year will prepare you for the entrance examinations of VU Amsterdam. Check the VASVU page for more information.

Contact

For questions please contact the International Office

Send your questions to international@vu.nl.