Language requirements

Language requirements

 

All IM/CEMS applicants must be competent in English and 2 additional languages. 

During the application process all applicants are required to show proof of their language proficiency. The accepted forms of proof are listed on this page. Note that RSM does not accept the so called 'CEMS mother tongue statement' as proof.

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

Second language (mothertongue or any other language)

B1

B2

Third language (mothertongue or any other language)

A2

B1

 

If you only meet the entry requirement upon starting this master, you will need to take additional language courses during the IM/CEMS programme to meet the required exit level before graduation.

  • When applying for the IM/CEMS programme, you will fill in the RSM Online Application Form. In this form you will be asked to indicate how you want to prove your proficiency in English and your second and third languages. You will also be asked to submit documentation such as academic transcripts or language course certificates as proof.

    All proof must be submitted by the 31st of January.

  • In order to guarantee the required minimum level of English proficiency, you 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).

      NOTE: This form of proof is accepted for admission by RSM, but may not be accepted towards the CEMS Exit requirements. Applicants accepted to the programme using this form of English proof, may be required to obtain additional form of proof during the master. 

    • You can use your bachelor degree as proof of english proficiency if:

      • the degree programme was taught completely in English in one of the following countries: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or within the EU/EEA.
      • If the programme was taught in 2 languages (for example Dutch and English) you must show proof that at least 120 EC were taught in English. This equals 2 full study years if the bachelor is a 3 year programme. 

      If it is not mentioned on the diploma, or on the website of the university that the programme is taught in English, an official statement provided by the university is required.

       

    • You can use your master degree as proof of English proficiency if:

      • 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
      • and you have completed this degree at the time of applying to RSM.

      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 university of applied science or research university within the EU/EEA. All aspects of the language must have been included in the test (reading, writing, listening and speaking skills).

      You must be able to provide proof of this in your application. Accepted forms of proof are:

      • a course certificate clearly indicating the the obtained level
      • an official statement, filled in and signed by your university (you can also have your university fill in the RSM provided English Proficiency form)

      NOTE: Online tests, 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. 

      Current RSM BA students are strongly recommended to consider the BA English courses in trimester 7 as this option is (eventually) free of charge.

      The accepted RSM courses are:

      • Language course English level C1.1 (BKB1035-C)
      • English business speaking and writing skills (BKB1035-D)

      NOTE: This form of proof is accepted for admission by RSM, but may not be accepted towards the CEMS Exit requirements. Applicants accepted to the programme using this form of English proof, may be required to obtain additional form of proof during the master. 

    • 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.

    • Regularly scheduled test/course

      Intake tests and courses are offered by The Erasmus University Language & Training Centre (LTC) throughout the year. 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. Please note that the ITP TOEFL test offered by the EUR LTC is not accepted as it does not test the speaking abilities of the candidate.

      RSM English test (only available to students from Dutch educational institutions; HBO/WO)

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

      Test dates and times: The tests will only be offered on two specific moments of the year:

      • The first test will be given on week 49 (30 november – 4 december 2020) - registration for this test date has closed

      • The second test will be given on week 15 (12 – 16 april 2021)

      You can only take the test once free of charge. It is not possible to re-schedule the test due to illness or any other reason. 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.

      Registering for the test: You can register for the test when applying to RSM and filling in the Online Application Form (OLAF). You must submit your application for the programme of your choice at least three weeks before the date of the test you want to participate 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. 

      Results of the test:  After the test you will receive an overview of your results, but you will not receive an official language certificate. RSM will only accept your resutls if the minimum obtained overall level as well as individual components meet the C1 requirement.The test results are only valid for your application for RSM. The results of the 1st test will be availabe by mid January. The results of the 2nd test will be available in the beginning of May. Keep this in mind especially when applying for the programmes with a maximum capacity. 

      Personal circumstances: 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.

       

      NOTE: This form of proof is accepted for admission by RSM, but may not be accepted towards the CEMS Exit requirements. Applicants accepted to the programme using this form of English proof, may be required to obtain additional form of proof during the master. 

  • Any language is accepted as your second and third language with the following exceptions:

    • Dead/inactive languages such as Latin are not accepted.
    • Languages which are too similiar to each other are not allowed to be combined as the second and third language:
      • 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 by the application deadline of 31 January in the Online Application Form (OLAF).

    RSM accepts the following proof for the second and third 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 studies as language proof. For example if your mother tongue is Dutch, and you completed your high school or bachelor studies in Dutch, this is sufficient proof.

      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. 

      • Elementary level language courses (A1, A2, B1) must have a minimum of 5 ECTS or 60 contact hours.
      • 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 level and be ready to enter the next level (for example an A2.1 course result is not sufficient for the third language, if the course also consists of a A2.2 course).
      • The Erasmus University Language & Training Centre (LTC)* offers test and courses throughout the year.
      • You can also use results of an intake test
      • RSM also accepts the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) results for the application process.

      *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 only be used as proof for the Third language, but only if they were taken until the last year of study / were a part of your final exams. 

      For example: If your entire secondary education was in Dutch, but you also studied French and took this a part of your final high school (VWO) exams, you can use this as proof of French proficiency at A2 level at the time of application. 

      This form of 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, 2021):

    • 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 2016)
    • B1 - 2 years (may not be older than 1 September 2019)
    • A2 - 2 years (may not be older than 1 September 2019)

    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 second language and third 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

    Second 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)