Welcome to Stellenbosch University

More info on SciMathUS

​​​​​​​​​About us

This programme offers learners, who have already passed Grade 12 (with an average of at least 60%) but who do not qualify for higher education, a second opportunity to improve their NSC results in  specific subjects to enable them to re-apply for university programmes. 

SciMathUS  is the acronym for the words Science (and) Mathematics (at) Stellenbosch University.  

​​​​​As the name suggests, its focus is on Mathematics and (Physical) Sciences and therefore also prepares students to enter science related fields of study.​​

This programme is offered in line with Stellenbosch University's commitment to diversify its student corps. During the application and selection process, preference has traditionally been given to students from educationally disadvantaged circumstances who were not able to demonstrate their academic potential to access higher education. In 2021, however, we have an opportunity also to consider students that are able to pay for their own academic fees within the programme. 


​The programme offers students a choice between a Science and Accounting stream. Students therefore take either:

  • Mathematics and Physical Sciences. These students rewrite the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination in both subjects; or

  • Mathematics and Introduction into Financial Accounting and Introduction in Economics. These students rewrite the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination only in Mathematics. The other two subjects are offered and assessed by Stellenbosch University as part of the Extended degree programme in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.​

​​​​​The programme follows an active learning ap​proach where students learn to take responsibility for their own learning.

Apart from the core academic programme, students have the opportunity to develop reasoning, interpersonal and problem solving skills in the Academic Literacy course. Students also do a Computer skills course. 

Students are assisted to make informed career choices. 

The programme is presented in Afrikaans and English. ​

​​​​Qualifying criteria

To be considered for this programme in 2021, prospective students should:

  • ​​have matriculated in 2019 or 2020. Only students who matriculated within two years of attending the programme will be considered;

  • ​​​have at least four subjects from the group of subjects designated for university admission;

  • have a Grade 12 average of at least 60% (excluding Life Orientation) and​

  • ​have obtained a minimum of 50% in Afrikaans or English (Home Language or First Additional Language).​

  • ​For the Science stream, students should have obtained a minimum of 45% in Mathematics and 45% in Physical Sciences.

  • For the Accountancy stream, students should have obtained a minimum of 45% in Mathematics and 45% in Accounting.

​​​​History, stats and performance of former SciMathUS students

  • Since this programme's inception in 2001, students on average managed to improve their NSC Mathematics and Physical Sciences results with 15 percentage points after completing the programme. This afforded them the opportunity to reapply for higher education and for programmes with specific entry requirements.

    ​​1697 students have successfully completed the programme.

  • 98% of SciMathUS  students have enrolled at SU over the past six years. Students also enrol at other higher education institutions.

  • 348 former SciMathUS students obtained degrees at Stellenbosch University between December 2005 and December 2019. They are now qualified medical doctors, physiotherapists, speech therapists, teachers, engineers, agriculturists, accountants, food scientists, etc.

  • 106 of these students obtained second qualifications (degrees or diplomas) at this institution and more than 10 a third qualification.

  • Two former SciMathUS students received PhD degrees.