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), Profiel Educatief Startbekwaam (STRT) or Profiel Educatief Professioneel (EDUP)
  • An International Baccalaureate: Dutch as Language A (higher or standard level) or Language B (higher level)
  • A European Baccalaureate: Dutch Language 1 or Language 2
  • United Kingdom: Nederlands or GCE A-level (from 1998)
  • 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 (check the exceptions)
  • Suriname: vwo diploma, propaedeutic degree programme Anton de Kom, Universiteit van Suriname
  • Belgium: Diploma van Secundair Onderwijs (for the Diplome d'Enseignement Secondair (Enseignement Secondaire Général) or the Abschlusszeugnis der Oberstufe des Sekundarunterrichts (Allgemeinbildende Unterricht) a language certificate is needed as proof of Dutch language proficiency)
  • Aruba, Sint Maarten and Curaçao: either vwo diploma with Dutch as a final examination subject or a higher education diploma


Exceptions for German students

  • For programmes at the Faculty of Science, Dutch needs to be part of the student’s curriculum until the end of the final year and the student needs to obtain a minimum grade of 8 out of 15 (for Leistungskurs and Grundkurs).
  • For programmes at the Faculty of Social Sciences, a minimum grade of 6 (for Leistungskurs) or 7 (for Grundkurs) out of 15 is required. This applies to the last half year of the Qualifikationsphase and to the Abiturprüfung. If the grade is lower, or in case Dutch is not part of the Abiturprüfung, a language certificate is needed as proof of Dutch language proficiency.


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 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 and passing the Radboud University exam Nederlands als Tweede Taal 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) by Radboud in'to Languages.