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Undergraduate entry requirements

Are you eligible to apply for undergraduate study?

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).

Another important factor to consider is assumed knowledge. Visit Find a course to check if there is any assumed knowledge for your course. If you need to upskill in mathematics or science subjects, you could consider taking a bridging course.

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.

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 Baccaleaureate (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, and scroll down to the paragraph: How does UAC calculate the UAC rank from my IB results?

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) 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.

We may also consider results from periods of enrolment in award courses offered at Australian post-secondary institutions such as TAFE colleges and private providers. If your qualification was acquired before 1996 it may have been awarded under the RATE accreditation system.

Generally, results from enrolment in RATE certificates, advanced certificates and AQF certificate I-IV courses offered by universities, TAFE and private providers are not acceptable for admission to undergraduate courses. 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.

International students

Applying with a secondary qualification

As an international student, you may be eligible to apply for an undergraduate course on the basis of a secondary qualification you completed in Australia or overseas.

Check our list of recognised secondary qualifications to confirm that your qualification is acceptable. If it is not listed here, contact us for advice.

To be offered a place, you need to have achieved the minimum academic requirements (also known as 'cutoffs') for entry into your preferred course.

View the most recent table of entry requirements for international students to get an indication of the results you'll need to gain entry in the next intake.

If you are a student from China, you can apply for entry to an undergraduate course based on your Gao Kao examination 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.

You may also need to demonstrate your English-language proficiency.

Enroling in the University of Sydney Foundation Program

If your qualification does not meet the academic entry requirements for your preferred course, another option is to enrol in a foundation program, such as the University of Sydney Foundation Program (USFP).

More than 80 percent of students who complete the USFP gain entry into one of our undergraduate courses.

We also accept other Australian and New Zealand university foundations programs and some overseas programs.

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 with tertiary study

You may also be considered for admission by completing tertiary studies – bachelor's degree, TAFE or polytechnic diploma – in Australia or overseas.

For example, you may be eligible based on one full-time year of an Australian bachelor’s degree (or overseas equivalent at a recognised institution) with the required grades.

We also recognise some diplomas. These need to be accredited under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), or be an overseas equivalent assessed to be at the same level.

For advice on whether your tertiary study is recognised, please contact us.

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.

Download our student guides

Undergraduate Guide 2016 (PDF 3.7MB)  

International Guide 2016 (PDF 2.8MB)