Selection of students
To be accepted at UCU applicants must undergo a selection procedure. Each year UCU selects about 225 students from a considerably larger pool of applicants. Candidates must fit a general profile and meet a set of minimum requirements regarding their diploma and English proficiency to be accepted. The same assessment criteria hold for all students and are applied fairly and impartially.
Please note: for your application to be considered, all documents, including proof of your English proficiency and your reference letters, must be uploaded by the application deadline. Your English proficiency results need to be in form of an official certificate or you need to authorize UCU to verify your results online. Incomplete applications cannot be considered and will be rendered inactive.
UCU Student Profile
Applicants must demonstrate that they fit a general profile in line with UCU's educational philosophy:
- academic potential and curiosity
- ambition and motivation, academically as well as professionally
- broad intellectual orientation
- interest in contributing to campus life
- social engagement
- affinity with living and studying in an intercultural environment
Applicants must have a Dutch high school diploma at VWO level (any profile) or a foreign equivalent, such as the International Baccalaureate diploma or the British A-levels. You can check whether your diploma meets this requirement in the high school diploma list.
Proof of English Proficiency
Since English is the official language at UCU, applicants are required to demonstrate proof of proficiency. The following exemptions apply:
- For IB diploma students (following a full International Baccalaureate program with all courses (except foreign language courses) taught exclusively in English) there is no need to add additional proof of English proficiency.
- OIB (Option International du Baccalauréat) students are not exempt and need to provide a test score at the time of application.
- EB students are exempt if they have English as L1. All other EB students must submit test scores at the time of application.
- For students with American education (an American high school diploma + AP exam scores), no further proof of English proficiency is required if all secondary education is completed in English.
- Chinese students must apply for a Nuffic certificate before their visa application can be submitted, which includes taking an IELTS or TOEFL test. More information.
- German students are exempt from providing English test scores if their Abitur grade for English is 13 or higher. Please note that students following a combined Abitur/Baccalauréat programme are not exempt from this rule, and will need to submit English test scores at the time of application.
- Austrian students are exempt from providing English test scores if their grade for English is a 1.
- For VWO students, a grade of 8.0 or above on your grade list or diploma is sufficient evidence of English proficiency. If your English grade on your most recent VWO transcript, at the time of the submission of your application, is lower than 8.0, you must prove your English proficiency by submitting a certificate of one of the tests listed below. Please note, that the official test score must be included on the date of application, so do plan ahead. This also applies to TTO (bilingual education) students, and students who take IB English not as part of an IB diploma programme.
- Applicants from the Flemish school system are exempt from providing English test scores if their grade for English is 80% or above.
- For applicants who have completed all of their secondary schooling exclusively in English, except for foreign language courses, no further proof of proficiency is required.
- Having completed a full year of university with English as the sole language of instruction and communication might give you an exemption from providing proof of English proficiency, if you have achieved high results that year. Please contact us if you think you qualify for an exemption based on your year at university – however, be advised that, if we don’t accept your results as proof of English proficiency, you will still have to provide us with a valid English Proficiency test certificate before the application deadline.
If you do not meet the requirements listed above, one of the tests indicated below will provide proof of English proficiency. These tests will always be accepted by UCU as proof of English proficiency (provided that the minimum score was obtained). The tests cannot be more than 2 years old at the time of submitting the application.
Accepted are the IELTS test, TOEFL test, the CAE (Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English), which is now called C1 Advanced and the CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English), which is now called C2 Proficiency:
|IELTS Academic||A minimum of 7.0 for all components|
|TOEFL||Internet based 100|
Other English Proficiency tests (e.g. other Cambridge certificates like CFE/B2 First, Anglia, SAT, ACT, EF) are not accepted as proof of English proficiency.