Admissions and Applications

Q: When do applications open for international students?

A: Undergraduate applications open on 1 March and close on 30 June. Please consult for a complete list of programmes - specific closing dates, some of which are earlier.

The closing date for most postgraduate programmes is 30 September.  Please note that some programmes have different closing dates. Please consult the website here.

Please note that international students are not eligible to apply for MBChB and Physiotherapy programmes (at undergraduate level); only South African citizens or international students with permanent residency are eligible to apply.


Q:  How do I apply to study at Stellenbosch University?

A: All you just need to do is apply online at the website here. This will ensure that you receive a unique student number immediately as well the ability to track the status of your application online.  With your student number as reference, you then submit certified copies of your school leaving / degree certificates and academic transcripts to Please be sure to submit your most recent results, evidence of what you are studying in your final year of school as well as predicted grades for these subjects.

Please note: places are limited in all Faculties and therefore, it is important to apply early and ensure that your application is 100% complete.

Currently enrolled students, who wish to pursue further degree studies at Stellenbosch University, can apply here.


Q: Who can I contact to find out more about requirements and programme selection?

A: Please see the Yearbook to find information on programmes and faculty contact details.


Q: Does getting a student number mean I have been accepted?

A: No. The assignment of a student number does not imply that the applicant has been accepted for the proposed programme. Acceptance into a programme will be confirmed in a separate letter of admission. Applicants are advised to quote the student number in all correspondence with the university.


Q: Do I need to supply translations of my academic information?

A: Yes, unless your documents are in English or Dutch, you should supply a certified translation with certified copies of your qualifications.


Q: How much are the application fees?

A: Please note, international students are exempt from paying application fees. South African citizens however pay an application fee of R100. Banking details can be found here.


Q: Are international students required to write NBTs?

A: Yes, all prospective undergraduate applicants are required to write NBT's. For more information please go to the website here.


Q: Do international undergraduate prospective students have to travel to South Africa to write NBT’s?

A: Not necessarily, international students who do not have NBT centres in their countries can write the NBT’s at Stellenbosch University before registration.  Booking and more information can be obtained from the Centre for Prospective Students: or by visiting this website.


Q: What is matriculation Exemption?

A: This prerequisite is applicable to undergraduate students who do not have the SA National Senior Certificate and intend to enrol for undergraduate studies at Stellenbosch University.  All students who fall into this category must meet the South African Matriculation Board's requirements (gain Matriculation Exemption) in order to enrol at Stellenbosch University. 

Stellenbosch University International (SUI) will however assess whether you meet the Matriculation Board's as well as the University's entrance requirements. If you do and you have been accepted into a programme, you will be allowed to register, but you are required still to formally apply for Matriculation Exemption and submit this Exemption Certificate to the University during the first year of your studies. 

The certificate is obtainable only from Universities South Africa (USAf).  Please visit USAf's website here for more information.


Q: In the application process, does SU take into consideration differences among various high schools'/ university academic programmes, the distinction among the different curricula, courses and grades?

A: Yes, to all of the above. The Postgraduate Admissions officers and staff members of the University’s Admissions Office understand that grading standards and courses-of-study differ from one school /curricula to another. It is critical that applicants include a notarised copy of their school/university certificate and academic transcript so that we can better understand and evaluate the different programmes and grading accordingly.


Q: Are there any special requirements for home schooled students?

A: There are no special requirements for home schooled students. Admission is based solely on academic performance. Depending on the curricula, the same evaluation process as mentioned above will apply.


Q: Do I need to submit letters of recommendation with my application?

A: Letters of recommendation are welcome, but are not compulsory. For doctoral candidates a draft research proposal (or an extensive statement of intent) is required. 


Q: When does the Stellenbosch academic year begin and end?

A: The academic year consists of two semesters. The first semester runs from February to June and the second semester runs from July to November.  To view the university’s academic calendar, please consult the website here.


Q: What programmes are offered at Stellenbosch University?

A: Stellenbosch University offers fully accredited undergraduate and postgraduate programmes (Honours, Masters and Doctoral programmes) across 10 faculties. We also offer students options to study or to do research for shorter periods.

  • For undergraduate programmes, visit the website here.
  • For postgraduate programmes, visit website here.
  • For non-degree (exchanges and summer schools), visit the website here.
  • For short courses, visit the website here.


Q: I would like to find out whether your institution offers second semester entry

A: Unfortunately, all undergraduate programmes commence in January of each year, there is no second semester intake. Postgraduate programmes that have second semester intake are limited to: LLM, M Engineering and M Theology programmes only.  PhD studies normally commence before 31 August of the current academic year.


Q: Do I need a TOEFL score or similar score for admission purposes?

A: Yes. Minimum requirements: TOEFL - 550 (paper based) or 213 (computer based) or IELTS 6.5. For more information see English Proficiency Requirements.  More details are available on the website here.


Q: What is Stellenbosch University's institution code for TOEFL purposes?

A: 0473


Q: I am an international student who has applied to your university.  I want to enquire about the progress of my application.

A: You can check the progress of your application using your student number and password via the link here


Q: I am in my last year of high school and will be seating for my final examinations at the end of this year, thus my results will only be available at the end of year. Is it possible for me to apply for the upcoming academic year then present my results as soon as they are ready? 

A: If your final school leaving results are still pending, you must submit your latest school results and an official predicted grades transcript from your school.


Q: I see that most undergraduate studies are partly done in Afrikaans. Am I required to take up classes in Afrikaans Language?

A: It is not compulsory to learn Afrikaans but some knowledge of the language will prove useful. Many undergraduate courses are offered in parallel medium (English and Afrikaans classes) or in dual medium (where English and Afrikaans are used in one lesson). Notes, hand-outs, and texts are generally available in both languages. Students are welcome to engage with lecturers in Afrikaans or English and may write their tests, assignments and exams in either language. Many non-Afrikaans speaking students succeed at Stellenbosch University.


Q: I am studying at another university. I want to inquire if I can apply for a transfer to your university?

A: Under certain circumstances, you may transfer your credits earned at a foreign university, but as a general rule, it should be borne in mind that at least 50% of your credits must be earned at this institution in order to obtain your degree from Stellenbosch University. Because many modules run over an academic year and as a result of pre-requisites, it is seldom possible to only take half the amount of the normal time to finish off the degree.  Applicants are advised to note that they must follow the normal university application procedure and only when they have been accepted they could then apply for transfer of credits on the courses they completed.  However, it must be noted that the decision to recognise credits is at discretion of the relevant faculty.


Q: I have been admitted to the university for the coming year but unfortunately will not be able to make it.  How do I defer my admission to the following year?

A: Unfortunately, you have to reapply for the next academic year. Deferment of admission to the next intake is not automatic.


Q: My admission letter states that I have been conditionally/provisionally accepted, what does that mean?

A: This means that your admission is final only on if you meet the final requirements stated in the letter of admission sent to you (e.g. you achieve the grades you needed for the course, you qualify for Matriculation Exemption with your final results, etc). 


Q: Who accredits Stellenbosch University’s degrees and who is the awarding body?

A: All higher education institutions in South Africa may not offer a programme unless such a programme has been accredited by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC).  Accreditation refers to a recognition status granted to an institution after an HEQC evaluation indicates that it meets minimum standards of quality in its programmes.  This is to protect students against poor quality programmes. All degrees awarded by Stellenbosch University are fully accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC). Thus, the university is the awarding body.


Q: I have searched the departmental web site and I cannot find more information about subjects and course descriptions

A: Detailed information can be found in the various faculty yearbooks.  The year book enables you to read information about the programmes in the relevant faculty. At the end of every programme description you will find the contact detail of the programme manager whom you can contact for any uncertainties or information regarding scheduling, content and nature of the programme.  To access our year books,

  1. Please visit our website.
  2. Make choice of language.
  3. Click on ‘Students’ in the top menu
  4. Click on ‘Calendar’ at the bottom right hand corner of the page, and then the relevant Faculty.


Q: I want to apply for postgraduate studies at Stellenbosch University.  Do I have to ratify my qualifications with SAQA to be eligible to study as your university?

A: If the institution that awarded your qualification is accredited, you are not required to ratify your qualifications with SAQA. We also do not necessarily require a SAQA evaluation as we have an internal qualification evaluation service operating here at Stellenbosch University. If we are ever uncertain about the status, authenticity, recognition or accreditation of a qualification, we reserve the right to refer a candidate to SAQA before we will consider their application further. 


Q: What is an academic transcript?

A: A transcript also known as an academic record is a document that shows all the courses that you have studied over the duration of your study programme and the grades/marks that you achieved for each subject.


Q: I have applied to your university and I have received an email saying that my application is complete.  What should I do next?

A: Always be alert to emails which you receive from the University. As an international applicant, we do at time request additional documentation. However, in general, you should wait for the outcome of your application.  Should you be admitted to Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch University International will issue a Letter of Admission that will help you with your study visa application.  The Office will also facilitate your application for a health insurance registered in South Africa.

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