Language requirements for Dutch-taught programmes

A sufficient level of Dutch proficiency is required for meeting the admission requirements for Dutch-taught programmes.

Whether you are planning to start a Dutch-taught Bachelor's, pre-Master's or Master's programme, the Dutch language requirements are the same. Language proficiency can be demonstrated through certain diplomas, or by passing a recognised language test.

Diplomas and certificates that meet the Dutch language requirements

Dutch language proficiency may be demonstrated through one of the following diplomas:

  • A Dutch Pre-university Secondary Education diploma (VWO)
  • The diploma Staatsexamen Nederlands als tweede taal, programme II (NT2-II)
  • The Radboud University exam Nederlands als tweede taal (Radboud University -NT2)
  • The Certificaat Nederlands als Vreemde Taal (CNaVT), subject cluster Educatief Startbekwaam (STRT) or subject cluster Educatief Professioneel (EDUP)
  • An International Baccalaureate: Nederlands als Language A or Language B (higher level)
  • A European Baccalaureate: Nederlands als tweede taal
  • United Kingdom: Nederlands or GCE A-level (from 1998)
  • International GCSE First Language
  • Germany: Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife with Dutch as Leistung- or Grundkurs or Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife with Dutch in a subject combination that is equivalent to Leistungs- or Grundkurs
  • Suriname: vwo diploma, propaedeutic degree programme Anton de Kom, Universiteit van Suriname
  • Belgium: Diploma van Secundair Onderwijs
  • Aruba, Sint Maarten and Curaçao: either vwo diploma with Dutch as a final examination subject or a higher education diploma


Dutch Language courses

For most students it usually takes one preparatory year to learn Dutch and pass the Dutch language state exam (Staatsexamen NT2 Programma II). Make sure that you allow enough time for your Dutch language course and the visa application process. 

If you need a visa to study in the Netherlands, you can obtain a visa which grants you permission to prepare for a university programme. This is usually valid for a 12-month period only. The best month to start a Dutch language course is in September. 

For more information on learning the Dutch language, visit Radboud In’to Languages.

For students whose first language is German, there is a Dutch language course to prepare for the Dutch-taught study programme. After finishing this five-week course during the summer, you will meet the Dutch language requirements. Please find out more information and how to apply for the course via this page (in German).