English requirements

English Proficiency Requirements

If English is not your native language, you are required to take an English proficiency test. You will be eligible only if your test score is sufficient. Please note that Dutch students and PhD candidates at a Dutch university are not required to take such a test.

The score of only three official English proficiency tests are accepted: either IELTS (International English Testing System), TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), or Cambridge Proficiency. The minimum IELTS score is 6.5 (minimum score subsection: 6.0). The minimum TOEFL scores are:

  • 575 for the paper based test (minimum score subsection: 57);
  • 232 for the computer based test (minimum score subsection: 23);
  • 90 for the internet based test (minimum score subsection: 22).

NIHES accepts TOEFL MyBest certificates as proof of English proficiency. Make sure to enter the TOEFL Institutional Code 8462 when taking your test.

The minimum Cambridge Proficiency score is C1.

An English proficiency test is not required, when you can prove with written, official certificates that English was the instruction language at your secondary school and at your university.

If you have the Chinese nationality, you will need to have your diplomas (and IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge test score) assessed by the Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education (Nuffic). If your documents have been approved, you will receive a confirmation from Nuffic. NIHES needs this confirmation email to start the application procedure for your visa. For up-to-date information, please visit the Nuffic website. Note that you need to reapply for a Nuffic certificate for every higher education institute you apply to.