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Undergraduate entry requirements

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Check the academic entry requirements for your undergraduate course before submitting your application.

Select from the options below to see what entry requirements you can expect for your course.

Also, don't forget about other pathways to study, such as alternative entry schemes (for domestic students) and foundation programs (for international students).

Maths course prerequisite

From 2019, students need to complete the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) Mathematics (not General Mathematics) or equivalent interstate or IB subjects in order to meet the requirements for admission into a number of our courses, including economics, commerce, engineering and IT, psychology, pharmacy, veterinary science and science. Learn more about the new mathematics entry requirement.

Assumed knowledge

For some courses or units of study, we assume you have reached a certain level of knowledge or have passed a relevant subject at Australian Year 12 level or equivalent. Visit Find a course to check if your course has any assumed knowledge - it often refers to a New South Wales Higher School Certificate (HSC) subject. To learn more about the HSC subjects and gain an understanding of the expected level of study in other qualifications visit the HSC subjects webpage.

Students are generally advised against taking a unit of study or course for which they do not have the assumed knowledge. If you do not have the assumed knowledge for your course the University strongly recommends that you undertake bridging studies. For more information visit the bridging courses webpage. 

Are you a domestic student? 

You are a domestic student if you are: an Australian or New Zealand citizen (including dual citizens), a permanent resident of Australia or a holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.

Are you an international student?

Find out more information about applying at Sydney and everything else you need to know about studying in Australia.

Domestic students

Applying with a secondary qualification

Entry to our courses is assessed on the basis of your academic results, as well as your performance in any additional selection criteria for your course, such as an interview, audition or portfolio.

Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR)

For most applicants, your academic ranking will be the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). This is the mark of overall achievement given to Year 12 students in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. You obtain an ATAR by completing your Higher School Certificate (HSC).

When considering applications, the University moves down the ranking list for each course and makes offers until no more places are left. This process establishes our ATAR cutoffs for that year.

When all the places have been filled and enrolments finalised, we publish a list of the ATAR and equivalent International Baccalaureate (IB) cutoffs. You can review this list to get an idea of the results you'll need to gain entry to your preferred course in the next intake.


Other Australian states use rankings other than the ATAR, such as:

  • Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER) in South Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Western Australia
  • Equivalent National Tertiary Entrance Rank (ENTER) in Victoria
  • Overall Position (OP) in Queensland.

Interstate applicants have the same chance of being selected as a student from NSW with an equivalent overall result. An ATAR of 81.00 equals a TER of 81.00 and an ENTER of 81.00. To see how the OP compares, check the OP-ATAR conversion table published by UAC.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

The Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) offers a table that shows – for each IB diploma subject – the comparable subject in the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC). To download this table, go to the UAC website.

New Zealand NCEA Level 3

If you completed the NCEA Level 3, an Interstate Transfer Index (ITI) will be calculated by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), and provided to UAC. This will be used in the selection process, provided you have fulfilled university entrance requirements as set by NZQA.

Other recognised secondary qualifications

Even if you completed your Year 12 qualification years ago, you can still use it to apply for entry.

If you completed high school before 2009, your rank may have a different name. In Australia, you may have acquired a Universities Admission Index (UAI).

If you completed the HSC at TAFE, this is considered to be a secondary qualification and you will still be eligible for an ATAR.

If you completed your secondary studies in another country, check to see if it's on our list of recognised secondary qualifications.

Applying with tertiary studies

To be eligible for admission into an undergraduate degree on the basis of tertiary studies, you need to have completed at least one year of full-time study (or the part-time equivalent) at a bachelor’s degree level or higher.

If you have not completed a full year, you will be assessed on your secondary results.

If you're applying for a course with additional selection criteria, such as an interview, audition or portfolio, these factors will also be taken into account.

The success of your application will be determined by the best result in a tertiary or secondary qualification, regardless of the order in which you completed them. This means that if your ATAR or other secondary result is higher than your tertiary result, your application will be considered on the ATAR/secondary result only.

Applying with a diploma

We may consider the results of a completed diploma or advanced diploma if it was accredited by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) or equivalent at the time you were enrolled, and is accepted by your faculty.

You can check AQF accreditation with the provider, or look for an AQF accreditation symbol on your transcript of results or award certificate.

  • Faculties that accept any AQF diploma are Agriculture and Environment; the Business School; Dentistry; Science and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

  • Faculties that accept relevant AQF diplomas only are Architecture, Design and Planning; Arts and Social Sciences; Education and Social Work; Engineering and Information Technologies; Health Sciences; Sydney Nursing School; Sydney College of the Arts and Veterinary Science.

  • Faculties that do not accept AQF diplomas are Sydney Law School; Sydney Medical School and Pharmacy.

If you will be younger than 21 at the first census date of your prospective admission, you will also need to have a completed the HSC or an equivalent acceptable secondary qualification before your diploma will be considered.

Contact us for more details.

If you're applying for a course with additional selection criteria, such as an interview, audition or portfolio, these factors will also be taken into account.

Applying as a mature-age student

If you’re 21 years of age or older and meet certain other criteria, you may be able to gain admission through an approved preparation program.

For more information refer to the mature-age entry pathways.

Download our student guides

International Guide 2017 (PDF 2.8MB)