Admission criteria

University admission criteria

Your entry into most courses will be assessed on the basis of your academic qualifications and results. Some courses also have additional selection criteria such as a personal statement, questionnaire, portfolio, audition, interview or test, which are considered either instead of, or together with, your academic qualifications.

Each institution sets its own admission requirements and most offer pathway options to applicants who don't meet these general requirements. Be sure to read the individual institution pages for details.

Selection is a competitive process and depends on how well you meet the selection criteria for each course.

Some institutions may offer you a place in a lower-level course if you’re not eligible or competitive enough to receive an offer to the course to which you’ve applied. 

I am a 2019 Year 12 student completing the NSW HSC or interstate equivalent, or a non-standard Year 12 program


Admission to most tertiary courses is based on your selection rank. If you are eligible for an ATAR, your selection rank will be your ATAR + adjustment factors. If adjustment factors are taken into consideration (eg your achievement in an HSC course related to your preferred degree or as a result of equity considerations), these will be combined with your ATAR to adjust your selection rank and make it higher than your ATAR. These adjustments used to be called ‘bonus points’. 

If you complete the IB or the Queensland Certificate of Education you do not receive an ATAR but an equivalent rank is calculated for you. If you complete a non-standard Year 12 program you need to discuss your options with each institution.

The interaction of three factors determines the lowest selection rank required for a course each year:

  • the number of places available in the course
  • the number of applicants for the course
  • the quality of those applicants.

These three factors mean that the lowest selection ranks required can change from year to year and are not known before applicants are selected for a particular course in a particular year.

The lowest selection rank does not represent the average ability of the students accepted for the course and does not reflect the difficulty or quality of the course.

Find out:


You may be also required to have completed (or to have achieved a specified standard in) an HSC course before you can be considered for an offer – these are called prerequisites. Some courses also have additional selection criteria such as a personal statement, questionnaire, portfolio, audition, interview or test, which are considered either instead of, or together with, your selection rank. Where relevant, prerequisites and additional selection criteria will be listed in the course descriptions (which you can access via the course search).

Explore your options as a Year 12 applicant.

I am a 2019 Year 12 student completing the International Baccalaureate

UAC's participating institutions accept the IB Diploma and Bilingual Diploma as equivalent to an Australian Year 12 qualification. If you are attempting the IB Diploma overseas, you may also have to provide proof of English language proficiency.

If you've been awarded the IB Diploma or Bilingual Diploma you'll receive a UAC rank based on your total score; you are not eligible to receive an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

If you’re attempting the IB Diploma with another secondary qualification (eg NSW HSC, ACT Year 12 Certificate), you must declare details of both qualifications in your UAC application. Where appropriate, UAC will calculate a rank for both qualifications. If both qualifications are completed in the same year, you'll be considered on the basis of the higher of your ATAR or ATAR equivalent and your IB Diploma UAC rank.

An ATAR is only calculated for students sitting an Australian Year 12 qualification in NSW, ACT, South Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia who satisfy requirements. Students who sit an Australian Year 12 in Queensland and satisfy requirements will receive an ATAR equivalent.

If you have only completed a DP course (ie part of the IB Diploma Programme rather than the required number of courses and subjects to be awarded the IB Diploma), you won't be eligible for a UAC rank. You may, however, be considered for an offer through UAC where offers are based solely on other selection criteria. Note that this applies to only a very small number of courses. Check with the admissions officers of participating institutions for further information about pathways.

Read more about applying for uni with an IB Diploma (and view the IB/UAC rank conversion table).

I finished school before 2019 and I haven’t done further study

If you completed Year 12 before 2019, most institutions will consider factors in addition to your ATAR when assessing your application for tertiary study. Institutions will usually take into account one or more of the following:

  • secondary studies
  • tertiary studies
  • other relevant factors such as employment experience.

Explore your options as a post-school applicant.

Find out how we assess different types of Year 12 qualifications.

I didn’t do well at school and have no other qualifications

Most institutions offer pathway options for applicants who don't meet the entry requirements for their degree courses, or need further support and preparation before studying at degree level. These generally include non-degree courses such as foundation studies, preparatory courses and certificate, diploma or associate degree courses.

If you successfully complete a pathway course, an institution may guarantee you entry into a particular degree course. Otherwise, you can use your non-degree studies to apply and compete for admission to other degree courses. You may also be awarded credit for some studies undertaken in your non-degree course.

Read more about pathways to university.

I have completed/partially completed a tertiary course

Each institution sets its own admission criteria, including the qualifications it will accept. If you've completed or partially completed a tertiary course, institutions may take any or all of the following into account when considering your application:

  • tertiary studies
  • secondary studies
  • post-secondary studies.

Find out how we assess and grade your qualifications.

If you'd like your qualifications assessed before you apply for study, our Qualifications Assessment Service (QAS) can provide you with a qualifications assessment statement.

If you've partially completed a tertiary course and want to transfer to another course at a different institution, you must apply through UAC. If you want to transfer to another course at the same institution, check with your institution to see if you need to apply though UAC. In either case, you may be eligible for advanced standing/academic credit.

For some courses you may need to satisfy additional selection criteria – such as a portfolio, an interview, an audition, a questionnaire, a personal statement or a test – in addition to submitting a UAC application. Read the relevant institution entries for their admission policy and selection criteria.


The following courses aren't assessed by UAC:

  • Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Certificates I and II
  • Statements of Attainment
  • TAFE Statements
  • courses delivered by Australian private providers that are not accredited. Only those courses accredited under the AQF, or by the relevant state/territory accreditation authority, will be taken into account. Qualifications undertaken with private providers will not be assessed without proof of accreditation for the particular course
  • short courses run by a university (eg Project Management Essentials)
  • other short courses such as first aid certificates.
I have an overseas qualification

If you're applying on the basis of overseas secondary or tertiary qualifications, contact the relevant institution/s to discuss your eligibility for admission before you apply through UAC. There are commonly accepted overseas secondary qualifications that institutions may take into consideration and some non-assessable overseas secondary qualifications. Check if your qualification is one of these.

If you have an assessable qualification and would like UAC to assess it before you submit an application, you can use our Qualifications Assessment Service

If you have qualifications from countries where English is not the standard language of instruction, you must provide evidence of English language proficiency.

For some courses you may need to satisfy additional selection criteria – such as a portfolio, an interview, an audition, a questionnaire, a personal statement or a test – in addition to submitting a UAC application. Read the relevant institution entries for their admission policy and selection criteria.


If you have completed the New Zealand National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 3, an Interstate Transfer Index (ITI) will be calculated by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and provided to UAC in early January. This will be used in the selection process, provided that you've fulfilled NZQA's university entrance requirements. NZQA does not report the ITI to applicants. 

Ensure you tell your school that you allow your results information to be released to tertiary institutions, otherwise it won't be provided to UAC and we won't be able to assess your application.

Applying to Australian universities with NCEA Level 3 results

I have employment experience

Some institutions take employment experience into account when considering an application. All employment experience must be fully documented – in your application you will be asked to provide a statement of service for each of your jobs.

Download a sample statement of service.

Generally, only paid employment of one year or more will be considered. This includes continuous employment with one employer, or periods undertaking the same job with different employers. Unpaid and voluntary work experience will not be considered. Therefore, if you are a 2019 Year 12 student, your employment experience will generally not be taken into consideration.

The institutions listed below have previously used employment experience as part of the selection criteria for some or all of their courses. Check with the institutions for details before applying.



Australian Catholic University

all courses for applicants over 21 years of age. ACU will consider paid employment of six months' full-time.

Australian Maritime College

all courses

Australian National University

not considered for all courses. ANU will consider work experience that meets the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) scale, with a minimum skill level of 2 and with a minimum duration of five years’ work experience or higher.

Charles Sturt University

relevant industry experience of at least two years for most courses


all courses except B Hospitality Management, B Science (Psychology), B Logistics

Griffith University

most courses

International College of Management, Sydney

all courses

La Trobe University

most courses for applicants 21 years of age or older in the year they intend to start tertiary study

Macleay College

all courses for applicants over 20 years of age (by Monday 3 February 2020)


most courses


all courses for applicants over 21 years of age

Southern Cross University

all courses

Top Education Institute

all courses

Torrens University Australia

all courses

University of Canberra

all courses

University of New England

most courses

University of Newcastle

not considered for all programs. For more information call (02) 4921 5000 (Newcastle – Callaghan campus) or (02) 4348 4030 (Central Coast – Ourimbah campus).

Western Sydney University

most courses

I have professional/paraprofessional qualifications

Institutions may take into account professional or paraprofessional qualifications such as hospital-based nursing certificates or professional body awards that require examination.