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Liberal Arts and Sciences (Amsterdam University College)

English proficiency requirements

It is essential that you enter AUC with a very good level of written and spoken English. English is the language of interaction at AUC and you will be expected to study, write and express yourself in English at an academic level.

English is important

You must meet our English proficiency requirements before you start your studies at AUC in order to follow the programme successfully. You can apply to AUC while you are still working on improving your English or before you have received your test result or final grade. If you are offered a place at AUC it will be on condition that you meet the requirements before your intended start date.

Meeting the English requirements

You will meet our English proficiency requirements if you are in one of the following categories:

  • You have taken/are taking the Dutch VWO diploma and achieved/will achieve a final (rounded) grade of 8 or higher in English.
  • You have been educated entirely in English in a country where English is considered the first language and language of instruction (for example, you are from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand and have been educated in one of these countries).
  • Your diploma that qualifies you to enter higher education was completely taught in English (please note that this does not include the European Baccalaureate or French OIB [British or American version]).
  • You have a recent TOEFL score (internet-based) of 100 or higher (with minimum scores of at least a 24 for Reading, at least a 22 for Listening, at least a 25 for Speaking and at least 24 for Writing). Please note that you will have to score higher than the listed minimum in at least one of the components in order to meet the minimum overall score of 100.
  • You have a recent IELTS score of at least 7.0 overall (with at least 6.5 in each of the four components).
  • You have a score of 190 or higher on the Cambridge English Scale (obtained via CAE [Certificate of Advanced English] or CPE [Certificate for Proficiency in English])

For a September start at AUC, you need to send us proof that you meet the requirements by 1 July at the latest.

If you need to take a separate test, such as TOEFL or IELTS, you must make your own arrangements and pay any fee required. It takes some time for the results to be made available, so make sure you book a test date well in advance of your intended starting date at AUC. Allow enough time for the results to reach AUC, for you to retake the test if the results are disappointing, and for those new results to reach AUC, all before your intended start date. For TOEFL, the institutional code for AUC is 5209.

Alternative proofs

AUC may accept other, alternative, proofs of proficiency. For example:

  • grade of 13 (sehr gut) in English on a German Abitur when taken as an achievement/main/intensive course;
  • English Language GCSE, IGCSE or O-level at grade B (6 or higher in new grading scheme);
  • International Baccalaureate Standard level English at grade 5;
  • European Baccalaureate English at grade 70%.

If you wish to submit an alternative proof, you must state this on your application, so that the Admissions Committee can decide if it can be accepted. However, you must be prepared to take, for example, the TOEFL or IELTS if the Committee decides it cannot be accepted.

Please note that if your proof of proficiency in English is more than two years old, the Admissions Committee will require you to provide new proof.

Offered a place? You still have to take the test!

If you are offered a place at AUC please pay close attention to the conditions. In most cases, you will still have to take the test/achieve the grade to prove you meet our English proficiency requirements!

Tutoring by Students4You

If you are taking your final secondary school exams this summer and want to get the best possible grades, you may be interested in the services of Students4You. This is an organisation set up and run by AUC students (completely independently of AUC) which offers personalised support for exam preparations. Created with prospective AUC students in mind, current AUC students offer tuition in a range of subjects including mathematics, sciences and languages – including English. Follow the link below for more information.