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Meet the language requirements

For English-taught Master's programmes

Students applying for an English-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 Dutch-taught programme? Check the Dutch language requirements.

Automatic exemptions

You automatically meet the English language requirements if you possess one of the following diplomas before the start of the programme on 1 September. In this case you do not need to upload and English language score report in your MyInfo application.

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited Dutch academic university.
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited Dutch university of applied sciences (hbo) combined with a havo diploma with at least a grade of 8 for Engels.
  • Bachelor's degree from a university located in the USA, Canada (with the exception of Québec), the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand.
    If you completed a Master's degree in one of these countries but obtained your Bachelor's degree elsewhere, you are not automatically exempt.
    If you have completed a double degree at Bachelor’s level in one of the above-mentioned countries, please make sure to contact the Admissions Office.
  • International Baccalaureate diploma taught in English.

English language test requirements

Unless your previous education exempts you (see above), you will need to submit an English language test as part of your application in MyInfo before the application deadline.

The Graduate School of Humanities only accepts English language tests taken within the past two years, counted from the moment that you submit your application. English language test results that do not meet our requirements will not be considered, and will result in a rejection of your application. 

English language tests and minimum scores we accept:


    Minimum overall score: 100, with a minimum score of:

    • Reading: 24
    • Listening: 22
    • Speaking: 25
    • Writing: 24

    The TOEFL institution code for the University of Amsterdam is 9011. Students will need to enter this code on their answer sheets when taking the exam. If asked for a department code, please indicate none, or 99 (any department not listed).

Formal exemption request

If you have good reasons to believe you should be exempted from taking an official English language test, you will need to file an official exemption request at the UvA Examinations Board. For instance, when English is the language of instruction of your previous education and you do not meet the requirement to become automatically exempt. If this applies to you, make sure to add a statement about the language of instruction from your educational institution.

You may only request a formal exemption after you have submitted a complete application dossier with all required application documents. After submitting your application, upload the confirmation of your exemption request as an extra document in MyInfo by clicking on the paperclip. Such confirmation will prevent us from closing your application as incomplete.

Deadline for formal exemption request:

Applicants for a 1 March deadline
1 February

Applicants for a 15 May deadline
15 April

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

  • If you are applying for more than one programme, one exemption request is valid for all programmes at the Graduate School of Humanities.
  • Your Master's 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.
  • Not all English-taught university education will lead to an exemption.
  • 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.
  • If you are granted a formal exemption, upload the email on your MyInfo page as soon as possible.
  • If you are granted a formal exemption, this will remain valid for two years.
  • Submitting an exemption request does not mean that the Examinations Board will decide to grant the request. The Board’s decisions are final.