The Netherlands, also known as Holland, has become one of the best destinations for international students in recent years. It has several international universities listed among the best in the world for their quality performance in all areas. Since almost all recognized Dutch universities accept international students, they offer most of their programs in English.

Therefore, apart from having some knowledge about the local language and culture, you will also need to prove that you can communicate and learn in English. Every university prioritizes a certain language test while evaluating applications, but the main ones include IELTS and TOEFL.

If you are wondering how many points you need in these tests, we have solved that problem for you. In this article, we have compiled a list of the seven best Dutch universities and their respective IELTS band requirements.

What Is the Minimum IELTS Score to Study in the Netherlands?

The minimum IELTS score to study in the Netherlands is 6. There might be institutions in the Netherlands that might be accepting lower scores than 6, but please realize that your number of possible universities to apply to will get smaller if you decrease your IELTS score even further. 

IELTS Band Requirements for Dutch Universities

1. Free University of Amsterdam

  • Minimum IELTS Band Requirement: 7

Established in 1880, Free University Amsterdam has managed to maintain its high profile for over a century and is currently ranked among the top 150 universities worldwide. The word “Free” refers to the university’s independence from the State and not tuition-free, as some might interpret.

It has nearly 3,000 academic staff committed to providing the necessary services to over 23,000 students – both local and international. The university offers 210 undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the fields of business, engineering, computer science, and arts.

Since it is an international institution, some of its programs are taught in English. As such, applicants are expected to provide their English test results during application. In addition to the IELTS band requirement of 7, you will also need to provide your TOEFL scores as well as high school or previous university transcripts. Recommendation letters from at least two of your former teachers are an added advantage.

2. Delft University of Technology

Apart from being the oldest, Delft University of Technology is also the largest technological university in the country. It is located in Delft and admits students from within and outside the Netherlands. Over its 177 years of operation (since 1842), the university has been committed to offering high-quality education, and that is reflected in its overall annual rankings.

It is currently ranked among the top 20 engineering and technology universities in the world. If you are not a native English speaker or a former student in any of the major English-speaking countries, you will need to show your proficiency in the language.

This university in the Netherlands requires you to have an IELTS band of 6.0 for each section and an overall score of 6.5. As for TOEFL (internet-based), you will score at least 21 per section and an average score of 90.

3. Leiden University

  • Minimum IELTS Band Requirement: 6.5

Founded in 1575, Leiden University is one of the oldest institutions for higher education in the Netherlands. At the time of its establishment, the country’s intellectual tolerance attracted scholars from all over Europe. It has employed over 1,300 staff members to provide academic assistance to a student population of about 29,000 students.

Most programs at the university are offered in English and Dutch, which compels all applicants to have profound knowledge of both of these languages. If you are not a native English speaker, you will need to take the IELTS test and have a minimum average score of 6.5. Other requirements include TOEFL (90 and 575), Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (180), and a GPA of at least 3.2.

4. Wageningen University and Research

  • Minimum IELTS Band Requirement: 6.5

Initially founded as an agricultural college in 1876, Wageningen UR has grown to become one of the best multidisciplinary universities in the Netherlands. It has enrolled about 12,000 students from the Netherlands and over 100 countries worldwide.

The most popular field of study at the university is social sciences, with a lot of focus put on scientific research to solve social and economic problems. If you are an applicant from a non-native English country, you will need to complete IELTS and TOEFL tests and score a minimum of 6.5 (6 per section) and 90 (20 per section), respectively.

Other requirements include the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (minimum grade C) and the \]Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English.

5. University of Groningen

The University of Groningen was established in 1614, making it one of the oldest universities in the country. Since then, the institution has seen more than 200,000 students graduate with various degrees. Currently, it has a student population of about 30,000 students enrolled in eleven faculties.

To advance your studies at the universities, you will not only need to provide your academic papers but also proof of your knowledge in the English and Dutch languages. This Dutch university requires you to have at least an IELTS band of 6.5.

6. Utrecht University

  • Minimum IELTS Band Requirement: 6.0

On the 26th March of 1636, a new university was established in Utrecht, Netherlands, with the sole aim of improving access to higher education within the region. Utrecht University is subdivided into seven faculties and has enrolled about 30,000 students both in undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

In order to be part of this dynamic community, you will need to prove your academic prowess as well as English language literacy. The main accepted English tests are IELTS and TOEFL. To qualify for an undergraduate or postgraduate program at the university, you will need to score an overall band of 6 and at least 5.5 per section in IELTS. As for TOEFL (internet-based), a minimum score of 83 is required.

7. Maastricht University

  • Minimum IELTS Band Requirement: 6.0

With foreign students accounting for 47% of the school’s population, Maastricht University has one of the largest groups of international students in the country. Nearly half of its undergraduate courses are taught in English.

As such, it is compulsory for any non-native English-speaking applicant to pass all the required English tests. The minimum IELTS band requirement for joining this university in the Netherlands varies between 6.0 and 7.0 depending on the program chosen.


I hope that this article on IELTS band requirements for universities in the Netherlands was helpful. If you are interested in studying in Europe, make sure to check out Available Programs in Europe for International Students.