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Dutch language requirements

Students applying for a Dutch-taught Master's programme must show proof of the language requirements of the Graduate School of Humanities. You can meet the requirements either automatically (based on your previous education), by taking an officially approved language test or by being granted a formal exemption.

Applying for a English-taught programme? Check the English language requirements.

Automatic exemptions

The following documents are accepted as proof of sufficient proficiency of Dutch language. If you have obtained any of these documents, please upload these in MyInfo.

  • Dutch as Second Language state examination (NT2-II); 
  • CNaVT (Certificaat Nederlands als Vreemde Taal) examen Educatief Startbekwaam (B2);
  • CNaVT (Certificaat Nederlands als Vreemde Taal) examen Educatief Professioneel (C1);
The Netherlands
  • havo diploma with at least a grade of 6 for Nederlands or a vwo diploma
  • Dutch-taught hbo propedeuse combined with a havo diploma with at least a grade of 6 for Nederlands
  • Dutch-taught hbo Bachelor's programme
  • Dutch-taught Bachelor’s degree from a Dutch academic university
  • Flemish Community’s Diploma van Secundair Onderwijs
  • Abitur with Niederländisch as Prüfungsfach or Leistungsfach
  • University Zwischenprüfung Niederländisch
  • vwo diploma from Suriname, 
  • propedeuse diploma (Anton de Kom Universiteit)
  • havo with a hbo propedeuse
The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba
  • vwo diploma or any diploma from a Dutch institute of higher education
United Kingdom
  • British General Certificate of Education (GCE) with an advanced level (A-level) in Dutch
  • International GCE with First Language Dutch
Other diplomas

If you do not possess any of the documents above you must take the Dutch as Second Language (NT2-II) state examination or file a formal exemption request (see below).

Dutch as Second Language (NT2-II) state examination

Dutch language courses are offered at the Institute for Dutch Language Education (INTT) of the UvA.

Students who have completed an English-taught Bachelor's programme (or the first year thereof) at a Dutch university of applied sciences (hbo) can take an intensive Dutch language course at the Institute for Dutch Language Education (INTT) of the UvA in order to prepare for the NT2-II exam.

Formal exemption request

If you do not fit any of the categories listed above, but you have good reasons to believe you should be exempted from taking an official Dutch language test, you will need to file an official exemption request at the UvA Examinations Board. This formal request for exemption must be accompanied by formal and independent reports that may be considered equivalents of our Dutch language proficiency requirements. Personal statements do not suffice.

You may only request a formal exemption after you have submitted a complete application dossier with all required application documents, except for proof of Dutch language proficiency. After submitting your application, submit an exemption request within one day. If you request your exemption at a later date, you risk having your application closed as incomplete. 

Deadline for formal exemption request:

Applicants for a 1 March deadline
1 February

Applicants for a 15 May deadline
15 April

This means that for the academic year 2023-2024, the deadlines to submit an exemption request for the Dutch language proficiency requirement have passed.

Exemption requests may take up to 4 weeks to process.  Please note that:

  • Your Master application will not be processed until the exemption request has been finalised. It is the student’s own responsibility to arrange a timely exemption request.
  • If you have taken multiple Dutch 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 proof of language proficiency.
  • If you are granted a formal exemption, upload the email on your MyInfo page as soon as possible.

Preparing abroad

To find information about preparing for the NT2-II Dutch language proficiency exam in your own country, please visit the Study in Holland website.