Language requirements

Language requirements

When applying for the International Management/CEMS programme, you are required to provide proof of proficiency in at least three languages.

These languages are:

  • Language 1: English
  • Language 2: CEMS language
  • Language 3: any language

The minimum required level upon admission and upon completion of the programme for each language according to the Common European Framework of References (CEFR) is:

 

Entry: Minimum required level upon admission

(oral & written)

Exit: Required level upon graduation (oral & written)

English

C1

C1

CEMS language

B1

B2

Third language

A2

B1

 

If you only meet the minimum requirement upon entry, you will need to take additional language courses during the programme to meet the exit level.

  • Applicants who have a higher level than the required minimum at the time of application for the CEMS or Third language, are given additional points during the selection process.

    Additional points are only given if you have taken a language course or a test. Using your native language for admission does not grant extra points.

  • In order to guarantee the required minimum level of English proficiency, an applicant must be able to show proof of proficiency on at least C1 level (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Language - CEFR). English proficiency can be proven in different ways:

      • Your secondary school was taught completely in the English language in one of the following countries: USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or within the EU/EEA. If it is not mentioned on the diploma, or on the website of the school that the programme was taught completely in the English language, an official statement provided by the school is required.
      • You have an International Baccalaureate (IB) English A Higher Level certificate with grade 4 or higher or IB English A Standard Level Certificate with grade 5 or higher.
      • You have obtained a European Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum grade of 7.0 for English (language 1 or 2).
    • Your degree programme was taught completely in the English language (equal to a minimum of 3 years or 180 EC) in one of the following countries: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or within the EU/EEA. If it is not mentioned on the diploma, or on the website of the university that the programme is taught completely in the English language, an official statement provided by the university is required.

       

    • Your master degree programme was taught completely in the English language in one of the following countries: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or within the EU/EEA. If it is not mentioned on the diploma, or on the website of the university that the programme is taught completely in the English language, an official statement provided by the university is required.

    • RSM accepts English course/test results at C1 level (CEFR) taken at any accredited applied science institute or research university institute within the EU/EEA.

      You must be able to provide proof of this in your application. The document must clearly indicate the obtained level. If the course or test was taken as a part of your study, this can also be included in your transcript of records. However the obtained level should still be indicated or additional documentation must be submitted.

      If you have only taken a language test, all aspects of the language must have been included (reading, writing, listening and oral skills).

      NOTE: Online tests (often done without supervision), such as the OLS (Online Linguistics Support for Erasmus+) or Oxford Online Placement test are not accepted.

      The Language & Training Centre (LTC) of Erasmus University, Rotterdam offers intake tests throughout the year, which will determine your current level of proficiency, as well as English courses from September onwards. 

    • Standardized tests accepted by RSM - CEMS specific requirements:

      • IELTS: Academic test minimum overall score of 7.0 and minimum sub scores 6.5
      • TOEFL (iBT): minimum overall score 100 with minimum sub scores of 22 for reading, listening and speaking and for writing 24. Please note that the ITP TOEFL test offered by the Erasmus University Language & Training Centre (LTC) is not accepted. (for other RSM MSc programmes the minimum overall score requirement is 94)
      • Cambridge:
        • Cambridge ESOL: Equal to CAE minimum grade of B or CPE with a minimum grade of C 
        • Cambridge BEC Higher: Minimum grade B

      Both overall and sub score requirements must be met! All sub scores must meet the minimum requirements within one exam, meaning that scores of two exams may not be combined to reach sufficient scores from different categories of the exam.

      Take into account that test dates at the test centres can fill up quickly, particularly during peak testing periods. Therefore we urge you to register to take the test as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Keep in mind that it can take several weeks to receive the results of your test. This means that you should plan to take the test 4-6 weeks before the application deadline. 

      Verification & Validity

      Always make sure to upload a copy of your score report in your application.  

      TOEFL scores can be verified online. Therefore you should request the tests center to send your score report to RSM. The institutional code of RSM is 0798 and for Erasmus University 7199 (you can use either). Scores are verifiable for 2 years.

      IELTS scores are verified online using the TRF code marked on the score report. Scores are verifiable for 5 years.

      In order for RSM to verify your Cambridge score, you need to add your Cambridge candidate ID number and secret number to your application with your score report. If you do not have the candidate ID and secret number, you must contact the authorized examination centre where the examination was originally taken. Please note that RSM can not verify test scores taken before 2005.

      Officially the CEMS does not allow standardized test results to be older than 2 years. You can submit an application to CEMS at RSM with a Cambridge or IELTS test result that is more than 2 years old. However, you should be prepared to take a new test in case your CEMS exchange university requires a test is less than 2 years old.

    • The Erasmus University Language & Training Centre (LTC) offers intake tests throughout the year, which will determine your current level of proficiency, as well as English courses from September onwards. 

      RSM English test

      RSM together with the LTC also offers English tests free of charge with the following conditions:

      • The test will only be offered on two specific dates: Monday the 2nd of December, 2019 and Tuesday the 14th of April, 2020. You will indicate on which of the two possible dates you want to take the test when filling in the Online Applicaiton Form (OLAF).
      • In order to participate in one of these tests you first need to submit your application for the programme of your choice at least three weeks before the date of the test you want to particiate in.
      • The RSM Admissions Office will then evaluate your application, and if you meet the other minimum requirements, we will register you for the test with the EUR LTC.
      • It is not possible to re-schedule the test due to illness or any other reason.
      • You can only take the test once. If you fail to achieve a C1 level result, you can retake the test at your own cost.
      • On both dates the writing part of the test takes place in the morning and the verbal part in the afternoon. Therefore you need to be available throughout the day of the test.
      • Students with dyslexia or other personal circumstances can request for additional time to take the test. It’s required to notify the LTC by e-mail before the test date about any personal circumstances. In the email you should include your dyslexia statement or any other relevant statements.
      • After the test you will receive an overview of your results, but you will not receive an official language certificate.
      • The test results are only valid for your application for RSM.

       

      Regularly scheduled test/course

      You can always participate in a Language test at the EUR LTC on their regularly scheduled test dates at your own cost. You can check for the next possible test date on their website.

  • CEMS languages are the dominant national languages spoken in the countries of the CEMS partner universities, including a few other important languages from countries with large business communities.

    The minimum required level upon admission for the CEMS language is B1. The level needs to be brought up to B2 by graduation.

    The CEMS languages are: 

    Arabic

    Hebrew

    Portuguese

    Bengali

    Hindi/Urdu

    Romanian

    Cantonese

    Hungarian

    Russian

    Czech/Slovak

    Indonesian/Malay

    Serbo-Croat (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Montenegrin)

    Danish

    Irish

    Spanish

    Dutch/Afrikaans

    Italian

    Swedish

    Farsi/Tajik

    Japanese

    Tagalog

    Finnish

    Korean

    Tamil

    French

    Mandarin

    Thai

    German

    Norwegian

    Turkish

    Greek

    Polish

    Vietnamese

    You must submit sufficient proof of your proficiency in one of the CEMS languages by the application deadline of 31 January in the Online Application Form (OLAF).

    RSM accepts the following proof for the CEMS languages:

       > Test results from Commercial language tests accredited for CEMS

       > Formal proof of a Commercial language course at a CEMS accredited cultural institute

    • You can use your high school or university (bachelor) diploma as proof of your CEMS language, if you completed your studies in that language.

      The language of instruction should be evident based on the documents you upload in your application. If this is not the case, please add additional documentation regarding the language of instruction. 

      • The obtained level must be clearly indicated in your course certificate / transcript.
      • The proof must meet the validity requirements set by CEMS.
      • You need to have completed the B1 level and be ready to enter a B2 level class (for example B1.1 is NOT sufficient).
      • The Erasmus University Language & Training Centre (LTC)* offers test and courses throughout the year.

      *RSM accepts some forms of proof for entry that are NOT accepted as evidence for the CEMS exit requirements. Assessment tests from the Language & Training Centre (LTC) at Erasmus University, as well as LTC course certificates, are accepted by RSM for entry to the programme, but not necessarily by CEMS upon completion of the master.

  • The third language may be another CEMS language or any other language.

    The minimum required level upon admission for the CEMS language is A2. The level needs to be brought up to B1 by graduation.

    Dead/inactive languages such as Latin are not accepted. Also languages that are very similar to your chosen CEMS language, may not be submitted as third language.

    Thus, combinations such as the following are not accepted:

    • Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian/Montenegrin/Slovenian
    • Czech/Slovak
    • Danish/Swedish/Norwegian
    • Danish/Faroese
    • Dutch/Flemish/Frisian/Afrikaans
    • German/Luxembourgischer
    • Russian/Ukrainian/Belarusian
    • Russian/Kazak
    • Spanish/Catalan

    You must submit sufficient proof of your proficiency in one of the CEMS languages by the application deadline of 31 January in the Online Application Form (OLAF).

    RSM accepts the following proof for the CEMS languages:

       > Test results from Commercial language tests accredited for CEMS

       > Formal proof of a Commercial language course at a CEMS accredited cultural institute

    • You can use your high school or university (bachelor) diploma as proof of your CEMS language, if you completed your studies in that language.

      The language of instruction should be evident based on the documents you upload in your application. If this is not the case, please add additional documentation regarding the language of instruction. 

      • The obtained level must be clearly indicated in your course certificate / transcript.
      • The proof must meet the validity requirements set by CEMS.
      • You need to have completed the A2 level and be ready to enter a B1 level class (for example A2.1 is NOT sufficient).
      • The Erasmus University Language & Training Centre (LTC)* offers test and courses throughout the year.

      *RSM accepts some forms of proof for entry that are NOT accepted as evidence for the CEMS exit requirements. Assessment tests from the Language & Training Centre (LTC) at Erasmus University, as well as LTC course certificates, are accepted by RSM for entry to the programme, but not necessarily by CEMS upon completion of the master.

    • Language courses taken as a part of your secondary education can be used as proof for the Third language, but only if they were a part of your final exams. 

      NOTE: This proof is only accepted by RSM upon admission and considered to be comparable to A2 level, but it is not accepted towards the CEMS exit requirement.

      When filling in your application form, upload a copy of the final transcript of your secondary education as proof. 

  • The following periods of validity apply for accredited language certificates and exams. The reference date for these periods of validity is the first day of the beginning of the programme (1 September, 2019):

    • C2 - (language evidence at C-level remains valid in perpetuity)
    • C1 - (language evidence at C-level remains valid in perpetuity)
    • B2 - 5 years (may not be older than 1 September 2014)
    • B1 - 2 years (may not be older than 1 September 2017)
    • A2 - 2 years (may not be older than 1 September 2017)

    Example: in order for a student to be able to use an accredited B2 language certificate towards CEMS graduation, that certificate may not be older than 5 years calculating from the first day of the start of the IM/CEMS programme. 

  • My proof will not be in time for the 31 January deadline.

    All language proof must be included in your application by the deadline – 31 January. Exemptions on this are not possible.

    I’m not sure if my proof is ok. How will I know for sure?

    Submit your application early – this way the RSM admissions office can notify you if any documents are missing or insufficient. Applications can be submitted from 1 October onwards.

    I don’t have any of the accepted forms of proof. What can I do?

    Contact a university language center (such as the EUR Language & Training Centre) to check wether they can give you an intake test to determine your current level.

    In a few cases it may happen you wish to choose a language, which cannot be proven by an accredited language institution, simply because these institutions or exams are not available. This means that you cannot use this language for your application.

    For example, if your secondary or university education was completely taught in Hindi, then you can claim Hindi as your third language. But if you did not have secondary or university education in Hindi, you cannot claim this language as your third language, because there are no accepted methods of proving your level. A passport alone is not proof of proficiency of a language.

    What is not accepted as proof of proficiency?

    You must always show sufficient proof for your language proficiency with a course certificate or previous education.

    The following is not accepted as proof:

    X passport

    X having lived in a country

    X speaking a language at home with your parents/ relatives

    X having completed an exchange semester

    X mother tongue statements

    More information can be found on the IM/CEMS category in our general FAQ.

  • The entry and exit requirements for English are nearly identical. In order to qualify for the exit requirements for the CEMS language you may need to improve the language level with which you entered the programme (e.g. B1 -> B2).

    Certain tests (such as intake tests and university language centre placement tests) are accepted by RSM for entry, but are NOT accepted by CEMS for exit. Therefore in some cases you may need to take a course or a higher-level exam simply to provide formal evidence that you meet the CEMS exit requirement.

    Important note about the third language: Officially, students may meet the third language CEMS exit requirement in the form of a "CEMS-accredited elementary-level language course." RSM also abides by the same rule, bearing in mind that CEMS defines an "elementary level" as A1, A2, and B1. As RSM requires proficiency at A2 level for the third language upon admission, we require a minimum B1 oral and written level for the third language towards CEMS graduation.

    Please refer to the table below for full details on acceptable forms of language evidence for CEMS exit requirements:

    Language

    CEMS exit requirement

    Evidence accepted 

    English

    C1 (oral&written)

    Entry requirement, successful completion of the compulsory Business Communication Skill Seminar (BCSS) during Term 1, and successful completion of the MSc International Management home degree

    CEMS language

    B2 (oral&written)

     
    • Secondary or university education completely taught in that language
    • Test for Management and Business Communication (MBC) (B2 oral/B1 written)
    • CEMS-accredited language course and/or test at a CEMS school (B2 or higher, oral and written)
    • CEMS-accredited commercial tests (B2 or higher, oral and written)
     

    Third language

    B1 (oral&written)

     
    • Secondary or university education completely taught in that language
    • Test for Management and Business Communication (MBC) (B1 or higher, oral/written)
    • CEMS-accredited language course and/or test at a CEMS school (B1 or higher, oral/written)
    • CEMS-accredited commercial tests (B1 or higher, oral/written)