English Language Requirements for PhD Students
International applicants to PhD level programmes must provide a proof of English language proficiency at a satisfactory level (B2 level according to Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
Note! An accepted English language test must be taken by the application deadline (on 15 May at the latest). The University of Tartu does not extend the deadline for submitting the required documents due to COVID-19 related problems.
If you take the test by the application deadline and you do not have your English test score at the time you submit your application, you must upload a proof of having registered for a language test to your online application. Taking the language test after the application deadline is not accepted. Applicants who are not able to submit the required documents by the given deadline are encouraged to apply in the coming application rounds.
Please note that these are the only tests and exemptions accepted by the University of Tartu. If you cannot prove your English language proficiency with one of the approved English tests described hereafter, and you do not belong to any of the listed exempt categories, your application will not qualify for admission.
The following tests with scores outlined are accepted (NB! Submit the score report by the application deadline):
- TOEFL iBT - the minimum required score is 75 for the internet based test. The TOEFL result must be sent directly to the University of Tartu by the Educational Testing Service. TOEFL institutional code for the University of Tartu is 0133. If a candidate has ordered his/her TOEFL test result to be sent directly to the University of Tartu, the score can be checked online before the paper reaches UT. TOEFL iBT test score is valid for 2 years. Please note that your TOEFL test score must be valid at least one month after the application deadline.
NB! The University of Tartu also accepts the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test result, see further information here. TOEFL Paper-delivered tests are not accepted.
- IELTS Academic - the minimum required overall score is 6.0 and no part can be below 5.5. Copy of the test result is accepted as it will be verified online by UT.
NB! The University of Tartu also accepts IELTS Indicator test results, see further information here. IELTS General Training tests are not accepted.
- Cambridge English: B2 First (former Cambridge English: First (FCE)) - minimum required result is 169. Applicants who have taken this Cambridge test must order their result to be sent to University of Tartu electronically through Candidate Results Online website.
- Cambridge English: C1 Advanced (former Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) - minimum required score is 169; applicants who have taken this Cambridge test must order their result to be sent to University of Tartu electronically through Candidate Results Online website.
- Cambridge English: C2 Proficiency (former Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)) - minimum required score is 169; applicants who have taken this Cambridge test must order their result to be sent to University of Tartu electronically through Candidate Results Online website;
- Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) - minimum required score is 59 and the score must be sent to the university electronically via Pearson portal;
- Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA);
- English language test offered by the University of Tartu. The test is for applicants who are already in Estonia and it has to be taken before applying. Minimum B2 level is required;
- Estonian state exam in English - minimum required result is B2 level (for exams taken in 1997-2013, 66 points or higher);
- Finnish ylioppilastutkinto In English, long course – graded at least magna cum laude approbatur (M) 5;
- Russian Federation state exam in English (edinõi gosudarstvennõi eksamen) - minimum required score is 75;
- Latvian state exam in English (centralizētais eksāmens) - minimum required score at least 70% (for exams taken before 2013 grades A or B);
- Completed International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme and a final exam in English (English A, English B, English Literature and Performance) - minimum required grade is 5;
- Received the European Baccalaureate Diploma and the final exam result for English as Language 1 or Language 2.
English language requirement may be waived if an applicant:
- has completed secondary or university-level higher education in English in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom or in any of the EU/EEA member states.
NB! The language of instruction must be written on educational documents (Canada, EU/EEA member states). If this information is not written there, you must ask an additional official document from the university. In the case of studies in an offshore campus or via online studies, a recognised English proficiency certificate is still required;
- has studied in English (with English as the medium of instruction), as a full-time student for at least one academic semester, in a higher education institution in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom or in any of the EU/EEA member states.
NB! The transcript of records must include information that the applicant was enrolled in a programme taught in English (Canada, EU/EEA member states). If this information is not written on the transcript, you must ask an additional official document from the university;
- has worked in an English-speaking research group for one academic semester in a higher education institution in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom or in any of the EU/EEA member states. The head of the research group must issue an official letter confirming the working language of the group, the work period and the tasks of the applicant.
Please note! These are the only exemptions. If your situation is not described here (including the country or region where you previously studied), you must take a recognised English language exam.