Admission Framework

The admission policy of Wageningen University & Research is described in terms of the VSNU Admission Framework. In this document the various steps in determing the admission requirements for Master's programmes at Wageningen University are explained. Detailed information about the application procedure or programme specific requirements can be found on the website.

In order to be admitted to a master's programme at Wageningen University & Research, the applicant needs to meet three types of criteria:

  • Previous education is of a sufficiently high level
  • English proficiency is of a sufficiently high level
  • Previous knowledge and skills of the applicant match the requirements for the particular master's programme for which the student wishes to apply

We admit students who can demonstrate that their (a) previous education, (b) English proficiency and (c) previous knowledge and skills are such that they can successfully complete the master's programme within two years. The minimum norm for each of these criteria is therefore set at:

  • Previous education: Bachelor level
  • English proficiency: CEF B1/B2 or CEF B2/C1 (depending on the master's programme)
  • Previous knowledge and skills: these are programme-specific

There are different methods for applicants to demonstrate that they meet requirements a, b and c:

  1. A bachelor's degree in a field of science related to the applicant's selected programme
  2. A bachelor's degree in a field of science not related to the applicant's selected programme, supplemented with other documentation
  3. A bachelor's degree in a field of science not related to the applicant's selected programme, supplemented with other documentation AND an individual pre-master's programme.

Depending on which method applies to a particular applicant, the admission file is either handled automatically (in the case of related bachelors), or assessed by the relevant admission committee, on an individual basis.

1. A bachelor's degree in a field of science related to applicant's selected programme

Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree that is stated as being related to the master's programme for which they wish to apply, are granted unconditional admission. Their bachelor's degree is sufficient evidence that they meet all of the three admission criteria a, b and c.

criterion norm method
a Previous education Bachelor level Related bachelor degree
b English proficiency CEFR B1/B2 or B2/C1 Related bachelor degree
c Previous knowledge and skills these are programme-specific Related bachelor degree

In Appendix 3 of the Education and Examination Regulations the so-called doorstroomtabel stipulates which bachelor degrees are defined as being related to a particular master's programme.

2. A bachelor's degree in a field of science not related to the applicant's selected programme, supplemented with other documentation

Applicants who do not hold a related bachelor's degree can still apply; they can compensate for the fact that their previous education does not entirely match the master's programme (requirement a) by having an average grade of 7. In addition, they need to provide extra evidence to show that they meet admission requirements b and c.

criterion norm method
a Previous education Bachelor level Non-related bachelor degree with an average grade of 7
b English proficiency CEFR B1/B2 or B2/C1 1. English-taught Bachelor 2. OR havo- or vwo-grade for English (Dutch students only) 3. OR Native speaker of English 4. OR English language certificate
c Previous knowledge and skills these are programme-specific Detailed information about the applicant's knowledge and skills, e.g. study programme of bachelor programme

a. Previous education / Bachelor level

More specifically: an average unweighted mark of at least 7 (Dutch system) is required, or the international equivalent as determined in the International credentials evaluation guideline.

When the applicant's average mark or GPA is slightly lower than a 7, the admission committee may decide to allow the applicant to compensate for this failure to comply with the admission criterion of previous education. The applicant may be requested to submit documentation for compensation purposes in the form of one or more of the following:

  • Thesis result;
  • Scores for the courses that are of particular relevance to the MSc programme applied for;
  • Indisputable upward trend of course grades;
  • A declaration of the educational institute of the applicant on a deviating GPA policy;
  • Achievements in postgraduate education;
  • Multiple studies;
  • Scores for WU courses (by exchange students or students taking a minor);
  • Quality of the degree awarding institution thesis result.

b. English proficiency / CEFR B1/B2 or B2/C1

The admission requirements for English language proficiency are described in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference. For some master's programmes at Wageningen University a minimum of B1/B2 is required; other programmes require level B2/C1.

There are four ways in which an applicant can demonstrate s/he complies with this requirement.

1. The applicant holds a Bachelor degree for an English-taught bachelor's programme.

This applies to the following three situations:

  • All Dutch bachelor programmes at an academic university (Dutch: wetenschappelijk onderwijs) are considered English-taught. Applicants who hold a Dutch wo-bachelor degree do not need to provide any extra evidence of their English proficiency.
  • Dutch applicants with a bachelor degree from a university of applied sciences (Dutch: hbo) need to provide a signed statement from their institution that the medium of instruction during the complete Bachelor’s programme was English.
  • International students with a bachelor degree obtained in one of the countries under item 4 in the document on Exemptions (see Sufficient English Language Proficiency), do not need to provide any extra evidence of their English proficiency.

2. havo- or vwo-grade for English (Dutch students only)

The required level of English language proficiency to be able to be admitted to a master's programme differs per programme; for this method applicants therefore go through two steps:

  • Check which level of English proficiency is required for the master's programme the candidate wishes to apply for; this information can be found in appendix 1 of this document;
  • Determine which of the following English language scores give sufficient evidence of proficiency in English to comply with admission requirement b.
CEF B1/B2 CEF B2/C1
havo Final grade for English of minimum 7 Final grade for English of minimal 8
vwo Final grade for English of minimal 6 Final grade for English of minimal 7

3. Native speaker of English

Applicants who have completed their bachelor's or master's degree in one of the following countries are considered native speakers of English. They no not need to provide any further evidence of their English language proficiency.

  • Australia
  • Ireland
  • Canada (except universities in Quebec)
  • New Zealand
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States of America

4. English language certificate

The required level of the English language proficiency to be able to be admitted to a master's programme differs per programme; some programmes require level CEF B1/B2, others require level CEF B2/C1.

The following English language certificates (including the required minimum scores) give sufficient evidence of proficiency in English to comply with admission requirement b.

CEF B1/B2 CEF B2/C1
RATEr Listening pass, Reading pass, Writing borderline, Speaking borderline Listening pass, Reading pass, Writing pass, Speaking pass
IELTS* Overall grade 6.0 (with a minimum sub-score of 6.0 for speaking) Overall grade 6.5 (with a minimum sub-score of 6.0 for speaking)
TOEFL* internet-based 80 (with a minumum sub-score of 20 for speaking) internet-based 92 (with a minimum sub-score of 23 for speaking)
Cambridge FCE/B2 First score between 169-190 score between 176-190
Cambridge CAE/C1 Advanced score between 169-210 score between 176-210
Cambridge CPE/C2 Proficiency score between 180-230 score between 180-230

*IELTS and TOEFL certificates are valid only for two years after the test-date.

c. Previous knowledge and skills

Information about the programme-specific requirements regarding previous knowledge and skills (requirement c) can be found on the websites of the individual master's programmes (in Dutch or in English).

3. A bachelor's degree not related to the applicant's selected programme, supplemented with other documentation AND an individual pre-master's programme

Applicants who do meet the admission requirements for previous education (criterion a) and English proficiency (criterion b), and who also have gaps (i.e. deficiencies) in the previous knowledge and skills that are required for the master's programme of their choice (criterion c) may in some cases eliminate these deficiencies by following an individual pre-master's programme.

criterion norm method and score
a Previous education Bachelor level Non-related bachelor degree with an average grade of 7
b English proficiency CEFR B1/B2 or B2/C1 5. English-taught bachelor 6. OR havo- or vwo-grade for English (Dutch students only) 7. OR Native speaker of English 8. OR English language certificate
c Previous knowledge and skills these are programme-specific Detailed information about the applicant's knowledge and skills, e.g. study programme of bachelor programme, supplemented with an individual pre-master's programme.

For compliance with criteria a and b, see above under 2. A bachelor's degree in a field of science not related to the applicant's selected programme, supplemented with other documentation.

c. Previous knowledge and skills

An individual pre-master's programme at Wageningen University consists of a maximum of 30 credits and is determined individually. It has to be obtained within one academic year. If the applicant's deficiencies in previous knowledge and skills cannot be eliminated within those boundaries (i.e. a programme of maximum 30 credits to be obtained within one academic year), the applicant will not be admitted to the master's programme.

Note: The application for a pre-master's programme is part of the application process for the master's programme; prospective students cannot apply for a separate pre-master's programme.