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Education The Faculty Graduate Schools Graduate School of Science and Engineering Admission

English language proficiency

An excellent command of the English language is a prerequisite for participation in the (research) Master's and PhD programmes at the Faculty of Science and Engineering. In principle, all applicants must include a proof of proficiency in English with their application. The following are exempt from proving proficiency in English:

  • applicants who are native English speakers;
  • applicants who followed at least three full years of secondary or post-secondary education in any of the following countries: Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia;
  • applicants who completed a Bachelor's or a Master's programme fully taught in English;
  • applicants who can provide proof that they have an excellent command of the English language (e.g., a letter from their prospective thesis advisor).
Accepted proof of English proficiency

For American English, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is the standard. It comes in three forms: the conventional paper-based version, the computer-based version, and the internet-based version. The TOEFL code of the University of Groningen is 7191. For British English, the relevant test the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). IELTS uses a nine-point numerical grading. Each of the following is considered evidence of sufficient proficiency in English:

  • an overall score of 6.5 or higher on the IELTS (Academic version)
  • a score of at least 580 on the paper-based form of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • a score of at least 237 on the computer-based form of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • a score of at least 92 on the internet-based test of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

A copy of an authentic test certificate, no more than two years old, must be produced. The tests can be taken in many locations worldwide.

If an applicant is unable to provide proof of English proficiency, the applicant's prospective supervisors may instead choose to send a letter to the GSSE in which they explain that they have verified that the English proficiency of the applicant is sufficient. If the candidate is admitted, his or her English competence will be an important criterion for the 'go/no-go' judgement at the 9-months R&D interview.

Last modified:06 March 2017 3.01 p.m.