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English language proficiency

Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS)

In order to demonstrate this English proficiency, you must submit an English test score meeting our minimum test score requirements (see below for the tests and scores) at the time of applying. Inability to do so means that your application cannot be processed. Your test score may not be more than 2 years old.

The following tests are accepted:
  • TOEFL International - internet-based test (IBT)

    We only accept the TOEFL iBT test (please note that we do not accept the TOEFL institutional test). 

    We do not accept TOEFL's MyBest Scores: to demonstrate that you meet the required level of English proficiency, you must achieve the minimum component scores and the minimum overall score in a single test.

    Scores

    Internet-based test and Paper-based test: minimum total score 100; minimum score for the reading test 24, listening test 22, writing test 24 and speaking test 25. 

    • TOEFL reporting code: the TOEFL reporting 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). 

    Costs

    The TOEFL test costs approximately € 225. The fee varies per country.

    More information

    For more information, please visit the TOEFL website.

  • IELTS Academic

    The IELTS examination is organised by the British Council. Students can contact the nearest British Council centre in their home country to register for this test.

    IELTS is available in two formats: Academic and General Training. The GSSS only accepts Academic test scores.

    Please note that the GSSS does not accept IELTS One Skill Retake. To demonstrate that you meet the required level of English proficiency, you must achieve the minimum component scores and the minimum overall score in a single test.

    Scores

    A minimum of 7.0 for the test, with a minimum of 6.5 for each test component. 

    Costs

    The IELTS test currently costs approximately € 235. The fee varies per country. The University of Amsterdam offers its third year Bachelor's students a reimbursement.

    More information

    For more information, students in the Netherlands can contact the British Language Training Centre (BLTC).

    Students in the rest of the world can contact The British Council.

  • Cambridge: C1 Advanced, formerly known as Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) and C2 Proficiency, formerly known as Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

    Students can also take one of the English exams of Cambridge Assessment English, whose examinations are available in more than 150 countries.

    We accept the following Cambridge exams: C1 Advanced, formerly known as Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) and C2 Proficiency, formerly known as Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). We do not accept the B2 First (FCE) test.

    Scores

    C1 Advanced: minimum score of 190, and C2 Proficiency (passing the test suffices).

    Costs

    The Cambridge test costs approximately € 260 for C1 Advanced/CAE and € 275 for C2 Proficiency/CPE. The fee varies per country.

    More information

    For more information, students in the Netherlands can contact the British Language Training Centre (BLTC).

    Students in the rest of the world can contact: Cambridge Assessment English.

Way of submitting score

You must upload a digital copy of your test score report to your application file in MyInfo.

Note for Chinese students

Chinese students are strongly recommended to take either the IELTS test or the TOEFL iBT, as one of these test is required for their visa application.

Exemptions

If you have serious reasons to believe you should be exempted from taking an official English language test, or if you took the test more than 2 years ago, you will need to file a strongly motivated, official waiver request at the Graduate School of Social Sciences by sending an e-mail (including relevant experience with the English language, your CV, a sample of your best written work in English, and any other official evidence of your English proficiency) to apply-gsss@uva.nl . Please note that we need to receive this official request at least 1 month before the official Master’s programme application deadline (please see our website for the actual deadlines) to allow the admissions committee enough time to review your request (a waiver requests may take up to 4 weeks to process). It is the student’s own responsibility to arrange a timely waiver request.

We will communicate the admissions committee’s decision regarding your waiver request via e-mail. In the case your waiver request has been granted, please submit your MyInfo application including proof of your granted waiver request before the Master’s application deadline (please see website for the actual deadlines). Incomplete application files cannot be processed.

The following applicants are automatically exempted from the requirement to submit an English test score:

  • Applicants who have obtained their English taught Bachelor’s degree in the USA, Australia, UK, Canada (English speaking part), Ireland or New Zealand.
  • Applicants who have obtained their Bachelor’s degree at a Dutch university (Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs – academic Bachelor’s degree).

Applicants can request a waiver from the requirement to submit an English test score if:

  • they have completed an entirely English-taught Bachelor’s degree from a country other than those stipulated above;
  • they have been raised and/or educated in the USA, Australia, UK, Canada (English speaking part), Ireland or New Zealand, but do not have the country’s nationality;
  • they have a sufficient test score which is more than two years old and can submit proof that they have actively maintained their English since taking the test.

As stated before, the waiver request will be evaluated by the admissions committee. Please note that the admissions committee will not evaluate waiver requests from applicants who have submitted an English test score that does not meet our minimum test score requirements, as stipulated above (including the scores for the individual test components).

Please also note that submitting a waiver request does not mean that the admissions committee will decide to grant the request, and that the committee’s decisions are final.