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Application and admission

English language requirements

For English-taught Master's programmes

All students applying for an English-taught Master's programme must meet the language requirements of the Graduate School of Humanities. Please read more about these requirements below.

Applicants with a Bachelor's degree from a Dutch academic (non-hbo) university are exempt from providing an English language test report (see 'Exemptions' below).

  • English language test requirements

    Unless you are exempt, you will need to submit an English language test as part of your UvA application in MyInfo before the application deadline. Only submit your MyInfo application if you have obtained an English language test score report that meets our requirements. (for exemptions, see below).

    The Graduate School of Humanities only accepts English language tests taken within the past two years (if the application deadline is 1 March 2019, your test results cannot be older than 1 March 2017). English language test results that do not meet our requirements will not be considered, and will result in a rejection of your application. Submitting insufficient language test results or failing to upload a sufficient test score report when you submit your application in MyInfo will result in a rejection of your application.

    Please note that we only require a digital copy of your English language test report. We will be able to verify it online. We do not accept hard copies of English language test reports.

    English language tests and minimum scores we accept:

    IELTS Academic*

    Minimum 6.5 on each sub-score (6.5 overall)

    TOEFL iBT**

    92, with a minimum score of 23 for reading, 23 for listening, 22 for speaking and 24 for writing

    CAE/C1 Advanced & CPE/C2 Proficiency***


    *Chinese applicants are recommended to do the IELTS (academic) language test in order to apply for the NESO Certificate.
    Students are strongly encouraged to make early preparations for the test. Please refer to the contact details of test centres below.

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

    ***If you have taken a Cambridge Exam, please also include the secret code and Cambridge ID in your MyInfo application for verification purposes.

    IELTS website

    TOEFL website (9011 U Amsterdam)

    Cambridge exams website

  • Exemptions

    You do not need to upload an English language score report in your MyInfo application if, before the start of the programme on 1 September:

    • You will have obtained a Bachelor's degree at an accredited Dutch academic university. Students who have completed their degree at a Dutch university of applied sciences (hbo) are not exempt.
    • You will have obtained a Bachelor's degree at a university in one of the following countries: 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.
    • You have an English-taught International Baccalaureate diploma.
  • Formal exemption request

    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.

    Please note: you may only request a formal exemption from the Examinations Board after you have registered in Studielink for the correct Master’s programme and have gathered all your application documents. you have started your Humanities Master's application and have uploaded all the required application documents in MyInfo. Please include your UvA student number in the email to the Examinations Board.

    Deadline for formal exemption request:

    Non-EU nationals 16 January 2020
    EU nationals 19 March 2020

    Important to note: Your Master’s application will only be processed once you have received and uploaded a formal exemption letter to your MyInfo, and submitted your Master’s application. If you have not received a response from the Examinations Board by the application deadline, you are required to submit a copy of your exemption request to the Examination Board, showing the date you submitted this request. Please upload this email to your MyInfo page before submitting your application. If you submit an application in MyInfo without your proof of exemption letter proof of your exemption requestor an English language test report that meets our requirements, your application will not be considered. rejected.

    Please note that:

    • Exemption requests may take up to 6 weeks to process. Your MA 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.
    • You will need to submit a formal request for exemption to the Examinations Board, accompanied by formal and independent reports that may be considered equivalents of our English language admission requirements. Personal statements do not suffice.
    • 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 and notify the Admissions Office of the outcome. The Admissions Office will then proceed with your application.

    Submit your official exemption request

If you are looking to enrol in a Master's programme taught in Dutch and would like to find out about the accompanying Dutch language requirements, please follow the link below.

Dutch language requirements