English language requirements

For English-taught Master's programmes

All students applying for an English-taught Master's programme are required to be proficient users of academic English before being allowed to enroll.

English language proficiency

We strongly recommend new Master's students to speak, read, write and understand English at an advanced level, comparable to level C1 of the Common European Framework of References for Languages. They need to be able to read and comprehend textbooks, take part in classroom discussions and write essays and the final thesis at an advanced academic level. Students are responsible for being proficient users of academic English before starting their studies.

Meeting the English language requirements

Please carefully check whether you already meet the English language requirements or whether you may need to arrange to take an official English language test.

Do I meet the English language requirements?

You automatically meet our English language requirements if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • You completed a Bachelor's degree at an accredited Dutch academic university, including the University Colleges AUC, UCU, Roosevelt, EUC, UCG, ATLAS, LUC The Hague and UCM.

  • You completed a Bachelor's degree in the U.S.A., Canada (with the exception of Qu├ębec), U.K, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand. 

  • You have an International Baccalaureate diploma.

  • You successfully completed one the 'schakelprogramma's' offered at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam.

What if I do not automatically meet the requirements?

If you do not fall into one of the above categories, you will need to take an official English language test. You will need to organise and finance this test yourself. Please upload your test results onto your Personal Service Page under 'English language test'. Only upload a test that meets the requirements. The Graduate School of Humanities only accepts English language tests taken within the past two years. If you fail to meet the English language requirements you will not be allowed to start studying in September.

English language tests we accept:

  • IELTS Academic test: minimum score 6.5, at least 6.5 on each sub-score.
  • TOEFL Internet-based test: minimum score 92, at least 22 on each sub-score.
  • Cambridge International Examinations (CAE & CPE): minimum scores B, or C if test was taken after 1 January 2015.

Exemptions English language test

If you do not fit into any of the above categories, but have good reasons for believing you should be exempted from taking an official English language test, you will need to ask formal permission from the Examinations Board.

You may only request a formal exemption from the Examinations Board after you have applied for an MA programme in the Humanities and have uploaded the required application documents. Please include your UvA student number in the e-mail to the Examinations Board.

Please note that:

  • You will need to submit a formal request for exemption to the Examinations Board, accompanied by formal and independent reports that may be considered as equivalents of our English language admission requirements. Personal statements do not suffice.

  • No exemptions will be granted on the sole basis of English-taught university education.

  • If you have taken multiple English language tests, and on each of these tests you do not meet the required scores for different components, this will not be considered as sufficient basis to receive an exemption.

Additional information and links

Students studying a Bachelor's at the University of Amsterdam can sign up for the IELTS Academic test via the UvA website. Sign up early as there are always more students interested than places available.

Chinese applicants are recommended to do the IELTS (academic) language test in order to apply for the NESO Certificate.



The English language requirements are based on next year's programma's Teaching and Examination Regulations. The information as laid down in the original Dutch version of that document is binding.

Published by  Graduate School of Humanities

30 January 2018