Admision requirements Associate degree

To be admitted to one of our international Associate degree programmes you have to meet certain admission requirements.


To be admitted to one of our associate degrees, you will need to meet the admission requirements as outlined in Dutch Higher Education law. For an associate degree programme at NHL Stenden, you need a diploma* that is at least equivalent to an NLQF 4/EQF 4 level (Dutch/ European Qualifications Framework )* and comparable to the required Dutch diploma.

About the European Qualifications Framework
The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a tool for understanding and comparing qualifications awarded in different countries and by different education and training systems. Its eight levels are described in terms of learning outcomes: knowledge, skills and competences. The levels of the Dutch Qualification Framework (NLQF) are linked to the levels of the EQF.

The Central Student Administration at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences carries out an assessment on every individual application to our associate degrees programmes. It generally recognises the international qualifications listed here .

All applications are assessed on an individual basis by the Central Student Administration (CSA) even if your diploma is listed as a recognised qualification. Although this document has been composed carefully by NHL Stenden, rights cannot be derived from this overview.

Eligible to study at NHL Stenden
If the qualification you will obtain or have obtained is not listed as a recognised qualification , you may still be eligible to study at NHL Stenden and should also apply for the programme through Studielink. Your qualifications will be assessed by an Admissions Officer at the Central Student Administration (CSA) department at NHL Stenden once you have submitted your application.

If it is unclear what the equivalent level of your secondary school diploma is within the Dutch education system, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences will have your diploma evaluated by Nuffic, a Dutch organisation specialised in the assessment of international qualifications. For an indication of how your educational system compares to the Dutch system, please visit the  Nuffic website .

*Graduation Statement
In case you will not receive your official diploma before the application deadline of NHL Stenden (please check deadlines below) and you are graduated already, you can use a statement of graduation which serves as a provisional replacement for your diploma (click here). Please check the important conditions in the gradation statement in order to check whether you can use this statement. The graduation statement should be filled in and signed by your educational institution. Note: the graduation statement is not a replacement of the official diploma. This means that you must submit your official diploma as soon as you receive your diploma from the issuing institution.

After your graduation statement is signed by your educational institution, you will need to upload the statement in the IGO portal.

Deadline NON-EU students
NON-EU students should submit the graduation statement before the visa deadline of 1 July (September intake) / 1 December (February intake).

Deadline EU students
EU students should submit the graduation statement before the application deadline of 1 September / 1 February.

All non-EU/EEA applicants are required to submit an English proficiency test with their application to show that their English language skills are at a high enough level to succeed in their studies.

Exceptions can be made for students who have had their preparatory education in a country where English is the only official educational language.

If you are applying for a bachelor degree and hold a diploma from a European institution listed here, and English was included as part of the final exam curriculum, then the additional English language test is not required. The same applies to students who have attained General Certificates of Secondary Education (enough O and A/AS levels with the sufficient score), the European Baccalaureate Certificate, International Baccalaureate Diploma, or an IB career-related programme taught fully in English.

All other applicants need to submit a valid and adequate English language test result with their application.

NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences accepts four kinds of official language tests in accordance with the Code of Conduct International Student in Dutch Higher Education:
• Academic IELTS ** 6.0 (with an advised minimum of 5.0 for each skill) 
• TOEFL 550 ** (paper-based), 213 (computer-based) or 80 (internet-based). Original test results must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to NHL Stenden. The TOEFL institution code for NHL Stenden is C652. 
• Cambridge ESOL score FCE-C (169, or higher). 
• TOEIC * 670 (Listening and Reading) and 290 (Speaking and Writing).

*We only accept TOEIC® certificates from public programs and not from institutional programs. Public programs are organized in public centers and delivers an official score report which is recognized worldwide.
** IELTS, TOEFL and TOEIC certificates more than 2 years old (at the start date of the study), will not be accepted. 

View the comparison of the different scores.

Please note: If you do not yet have the necessary level in English, you may enrol in our Preparatory English Language Course.