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International students

How to apply for a course as an international student
Follow these steps to ensure you meet the criteria to apply for an undergraduate or postgraduate coursework degree.

Am I an international student?

You are an international student if you are not an Australian or New Zealand citizen (or dual citizen of Australia or New Zealand), a permanent resident of Australia or a holder of a permanent Australian humanitarian visa. 

1. Choose your course

Search our degrees to find a course you like or by browsing your area of interest.

The course page will give you background information on what qualification you need to get into the course, how much the fees will be, and what kind of structure the course will have.

2. Check the admission criteria for the course

Every course has a set of requirements you need to meet. These are specified on the course information page. These may include:

  • Required qualifications such as a secondary school completion (eg, International Baccalaureate), a diploma, a bridging course or tertiary (college or university) course completion. Check our page for the recognised qualifications that we accept from countries around the world.
  • We accept Australian and New Zealand university foundations programs and some overseas programs for admission. More than 80 percent of students who complete the University of Sydney Preparation Programs (USPP) consisting of the University of Sydney Foundation Program (USFP) and the High Achievers Preparation Program (HAPP) are accepted into one of our undergraduate courses.
  • Assumed knowledge, where we assume you have reached a certain level of knowledge or have passed a relevant subject at Australian Year 12 level or equivalent.
  • Prerequisites, including mathematics prerequisites.
  • English language requirements: If you do not meet these requirements you may still be able to apply for your course and complete an English language course with an organisation such as the Centre for English Teaching.
  • Additional admission criteria: For some courses, including medicine, dentistry, education, music, oral health, visual arts and veterinary medicine, there may be additional admission criteria, such as an audition, interview, portfolio or personal statement.
  • Any supporting documents that may be required.
  • Paying a fee to submit your application. This applies to all international applicants but you may be eligible for a waiver.

Credit for previous studies

If you have completed previous studies in a related area or relevant work experience, you may be able to fast track your degree. This is called recognition of prior learning and means you won’t have to repeat similar units and could graduate sooner.

The University has credit articulation agreements with overseas institutions such as the Singapore Polytechnics where completion of a 2-3 year diploma in a relevant field will make you eligible for credit of up to one year or more, in many cases allowing you to skip one year in your degree at the University of Sydney. It may also reduce your visa duration. Read our credit for previous studies page for more information.

Double degrees

Double degrees, such as those combined with the Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, have progression requirements that must be satisfied before students can be admitted to the second degree. Find out more about progression rules in the relevant faculty handbook.

3. Gather your required documents

Some courses require supplementary application forms. These will be listed on the course page. These must be true and complete records. You can scan these documents and upload them online.

Documents submitted in a language other than English must be accompanied by a complete English translation made by an accredited translator with a government body or the Registrar of the issuing institution.

Applicants from the People's Republic of China may be required to provide a China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center (CHESICC) verification of their academic documents.

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) criterion 

The University reserves the right to request additional information if you are a student visa applicant on the basis of a Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) criterion as prescribed by the Australian government. This may involve the submission of an additional application form seeking clarification about your personal circumstances, and may also involve an interview. Further information may be requested by the University or by your education agent after you have applied.

4. Understand the fees you need to pay

The course page will explain the fees for starting next year or the year after. There are other fees and costs you need to know about too. Find out more about fees and costs, including living costs.

5. Financial support options: loans, bursaries and scholarships

Some countries provide education loans to their citizens. You may also be eligible for a merit-based or country-specific scholarship from the University of Sydney. Find out about scholarships for international students.

6. Submit your application

Apply directly to the University if you are:

  • an applicant not covered in the UAC categories

  • applying for a Sciences-Po dual degree (even if you are applying through UAC for other degrees).

To apply directly to the University, search for your course, then click on the "Apply now" button on the course page. All postgraduate and most undergraduate students apply directly. International students who apply to study onshore need to pay an application processing fee of AUD$125. 

Application deadlines vary by course. Check the specific closing date for your course on the course information page. As an international student, you should apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements.

Apply through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) if you are an undergraduate student studying:

  • a current Australian Year 12 qualification (eg, NSW Higher School Certificate, Victorian Certificate of Education, Queensland Certificate of Education) in or outside Australia, or
  • a current International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma in Australia.

The University generally participates in all the UAC international offer rounds. Refer to the UAC website for key dates.

If you are applying for a Sciences Po Dual Degree, you need to apply directly to the University of Sydney, even if you are applying through UAC for your other preferences.

7. What happens next?

Depending on your application method, you may get an offer from the University directly or via UAC.

If you receive a conditional offer, you may need to satisfy certain criteria such as academic and English language conditions before you can be issued with an unconditional offer. If you receive an unconditional offer, your next step is to accept your offer.

  • To accept your unconditional offer log onto the Sydney Student Portal.
  • UAC applicants will also receive a confirmation email from us with instructions on how to accept your offer online.
  • Once you confirm your place at the University of Sydney, you must pay your fees, which includes the semester tuition fee and overseas students health cover (OSHC). The type of health cover you need will depend on your visa type.
  • You will then receive an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE), which can be used to apply for your student visa. 
  • Most international students come to Australia on a student visa, but it is also possible to study here on a temporary resident visa, a 457 visa, a partner or business visa and an under-18 student visa. Read our visa page for more information, or talk to an authorised University of Sydney agent

After this, it's time to prepare yourself for life in Sydney! Plan your arrival, find accommodation, understand your living costs, and get ready for your first semester of study.