English proficiency requirements

It is essential that you enter AUC with very good written and spoken English. English is the language of interaction at AUC, and you will be expected to do all of your studying in English and to be able to write in English at an academic level. You must meet our English proficiency requirements before you start your studies at AUC, so that we know you will be able to follow the programme successfully from the very first day of class.

You can apply to AUC while you are still working on improving your English, or before you have got 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 starting date.

Meeting the requirements

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

  • You are an English native speaker who has been educated in English (from, for example, UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand and educated in one of these countries).
  • Your diploma that qualifies you to enter higher education was completely taught in English (please note this does not include the European Baccalaureate or French OIB (British or American version).
  • 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 a recent TOEFL score (internet-based) of 100 or higher.
  • You have a recent IELTS score of at least 7.0 overall (with at least 7 in each of the four components).
  • You have a Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) at grade A.
  • You have a Cambridge Certificate for Proficiency in English (CPE) at grade C or higher.

For a September start at AUC, you need to send us the proof you meet the requirements by 15 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 published, 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 starting date.

For TOEFL, the institutional code for AUC is 5209.

Alternative proofs, changing 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;
  • International Baccalaureate Standard level English at grade 5;
  • European Baccalaureate English at grade 70%.

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

If you want to change the way in which you will prove you meet the requirements, you must check with the Admissions Committee in advance that they accept the change. For example, if you say on your application that you will take the TOEFL, but you then achieve a very high grade in English on your secondary school diploma, you cannot simply cancel your TOEFL and submit your secondary school diploma instead. The Admissions Committee may insist that you take the TOEFL as you originally planned.

Please note that if your proof of proficiency in English is more than two years old, and you cannot demonstrate that you have been maintaining your proficiency since then (e.g. by studying or working in English), the Admissions Committee may 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!


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.

12 August 2014