Politics and Society

Educational podcast Politics & Society

Language requirements

A good command of English is essential. Therefore you will have to submit proof of English proficiency in your application.

  • You have obtained a bachelor diploma from a university in the Netherlands; or
  • You have obtained a pre-university education (VWO) diploma and English was one of the subjects included in the assessment conferring that diploma and graded a 7.0 or higher; or
  • You have obtained a diploma of International Baccalaureate (valid for 5 years); or
  • You are a native speaker of English (i.e. a national of one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America) and you have obtained a diploma of secondary education in English for at least 2,5 years in one of the above countries; or
  • You have obtained your diploma of higher education in English (the entire programme) in one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom or the United States of America.
    • We usually deem the level of English Bachelor programmes at West European or Scandinavian universities sufficient as well.

Please mind that in case you meet one or more of the above-mentioned English language requirements, you need to present a proof thereof. For example, if you have obtained your diploma of higher education in English, we need to see a written proof of it in the form of either a passage in the diploma, grade list, or a letter from the university stating that the language of instruction was English for the entire program. 

If you do not meet our requirements, you can demonstrate your proficiency in English with a language test.

Please note that the test may not be older than two years at the time of application. Also note that it takes several weeks before the results of the tests are known.

Language Test

Minimum Score

Minimum Sub-scores

Internet based (iBT) TOEFL (our TOEFL ID Code 5971)*

90 (internet based)


IELTS Academic



CEF (Common European Framework)



Cambridge EFL (English as a Foreign Language) Examinations

CAE level B
CPE level C


* Please note that Institutional (ITP) TOEFL tests are not accepted.

Would you like to take a language test at Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)? The language test, based on CEF, is organised by the Language & Training Centre of EUR and tailored specially for our applicants. More information can be found on the website of the language centre.

If you do not meet our language requirements for the academic year 2023-2024, but already study at ESSB as a pre-master student (in 2022-2023), we offer a special arrangement: you can take the English assessment at the Language & Training Centre of EUR at our expense once.

If you wish to do so, please send an e-mail to (subject “English assessment for pre-master students”) and mention your name, student number, the master programme and specialization you want to apply for. We will inform you on how to register for the English assessment.

The English assessment test rounds will take place in March, April and May. So make sure you email us in time.

This test is only valid for our master programmes and you will therefore not receive a certificate for other purposes.

*If you decide to take a TOEFL or IELTS test instead, this will be at your own risk and expense, meaning you will receive refund with a maximum of €85,-. This refund is based on the cost of the English assessment at the Language & Training Centre of EUR (see above).

Academic performance 

In addition to the credentials mentioned above, the Admissions Board will also take into account your academic performance, i.e. your grades, to assess whether you are eligible for admission. There is no minimum score or average grade mentioned; your application will be assessed against the pool of applicants of the given year. 

* (this paragraph is only relevant for the specialisation Governance of Migration and Diversity.) Please note that based on experience, for the specialisation Governance of Migration and Diversity the guideline is a minimum average grade of at least 7.0 out of 10.0 (based on a Dutch grading system), but slightly lower average grades can be compensated through excellence in other credentials, for example relevant working experience (CV) or an excellent motivation (motivation letter).” 

Contributing aspects

You may choose to provide the Admissions Board with additional information about yourself by uploading additional documents that you think might contribute to your profile. An example of such documents could be motivation and/ or reference letter.

Additional information

Should the admissions criteria mentioned above be too concise, please refer to additional information on this topic

Prior education

Bachelor’s/undergraduate research university are meant as opposed to diplomas of university of applied sciences or vocational programmes. Diplomas will be carefully evaluated to determine whether they qualify as degrees from research universities (as opposed to universities of applied sciences). An evaluation can only be done after the submission of the on-line application form and all required supporting documents. 

In order to be eligible for admission to the programme, you must have fulfilled all the requirements for your Bachelor’s degree by August 20 at the very latest. In case it does not happen, candidates have to account with the fact that this will result in a denial of admission. 

If you have not yet completed your Bachelor’s degree but expect to before August 20, please send us an official copy of your academic record(s) at the moment of application. In case the transcript of records does not contain any of the following:

  • The name of the programme you are enrolled in;
  • The kind of degree you are studying for;
  • The date of enrollment;
  • The amount of credits you have obtained so far,

you must also provide a statement of your university (please read more information about this) mentioning the date you expect to fulfil all the requirements necessary for graduation. Until we have your documents you might receive a conditional offer, which might become unconditional if we receive the missing documents. 

Proof of English proficiency 

  • If you have obtained your diploma of higher education in English we need to see a written proof of it in the form of either a passage in the diploma, grade list, or a letter from the university stating that the language of instruction was English.
  • Institutional TOEFL tests are not accepted. 
  • The Examination Board makes the final decision on granting you an exemption for English language proficiency. 
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam does not offer any preparatory English courses.
  • Information of the language test, based on CEF, organized by the Language & Training Centre of Erasmus University Rotterdam and tailored specially for our applicants, can be found here.    

The eligibility of your prior education can only be determined after you have submitted an application and only after we have received all requested documents. Prior inquiries will be purely hypothetical. For this reason, we encourage you to officially apply for admission. You can also assess your eligibility yourself by taking a look at the detailed admissions criteria on this page. We have tried to make the criteria as transparent as possible.  

    No, it is a full-time programme. 

    No, the programme starts only once a year, in September.

    A transfer of grades is not possible. Due to the special educational build-up of the curriculum, which mainly consists of obligatory as opposed to optional courses, we, unfortunately, cannot accept transfer students.

    Our programme is an English-taught programme. All lectures and all literature are in English. This requires that you can read, write, speak and understand English at an academic level and thus we need proof thereof from our applicants. This applies to our Dutch and non-Dutch applicants.

    No, you cannot. You will need to do the official TOEFL test at a TOEFL-certified institute. In both cases please visit for more information.

    Yes, in some cases you might be exempted from presenting the results of an English proficiency test. Please have a look on the admission page to find out if you are eligible for exemption. Keep in mind that in case you believe that you qualify for exemption you need to present a proof thereof.

    No, you cannot apply directly to our programme, you will first need to do a transition year/ pre-master (Dutch: schakeljaar). Passing the transition programme makes you eligible to apply but it is no guarantee for admission. Please keep in mind that the transition year/ pre-master is taught completely in Dutch. 

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