English Proficiency

We require all applicants to provide us with an English language test score that meets the required minimum set for the programme of choice. If you cannot yet provide us with a positive score yet, please register for a recognized English language test. We will accept IELTS tests, Cambridge tests, and TOEFL tests. The minimum English language proficiency requirements for admission to our PPE programme is:

  • IELTS 7.0 (with at least 6.5 for each of the four components)
  • TOEFL iBT 100 (min. 22 for each component)
  • TOEFL paper-based test (including ITP as offered by VU Taalloket): 600
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): grade A or B
  • Cambridge Certificate for Proficiency in English (CPE) Grade C or higher

For TOEFL and IELTS, the test must have been completed no more than two years before 1 September of the year in which you start the PPE programme. For TOEFL and IELTS, the Test Institute can forward the results directly to our office. The institutional TOEFL code of VU is 7947.

Applicants who have completed their education in Canada, the USA, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia are exempt from this requirement, as are those who have obtained an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma (English-taught programs only). Candidates with an exemption for the English test need to upload proof of their specific diploma or an official statement from their educational institute about finishing one of the specific diplomas.

Please note that students who need visa must submit their English test results before June 1. Students who don’t need visa must submit their test results before August 30 but preferably sooner. Your acceptance to the PPE programme will remain conditional until we have received your test results.

Be aware of the fact that it can take a long time before you get the results of the English tests, so plan your test in time! It is also not uncommon for people to fail the test, so you would like to have the possibility to re-take it at a later moment.

VU University reserves the right to request an original copy of the test result.

Useful links

Students living in the Netherlands can also register for a TOEFL-ITP exam offered by the VU Taalloket. The test costs €80 and is only valid for admission to VU Amsterdam. The last opportunity to take this test is in the first week of August in the year before you start with the PPE programme.