SU International
Welcome to Stellenbosch University



​Admissions and applications

Q: When can international students apply?

A: Undergraduate applications open on 1 March and close on 30 June each year. Please go to for a complete list of programme-specific dates, as applications for some courses close earlier. Most postgraduate programme applications close on 30 September, but some courses’ application dates differ, so please consult the website here.

Please note that applications for undergraduate MBChB and Physiotherapy programmes are open to South African citizens or international students with permanent residency only. International students without residency are unfortunately not eligible to apply.


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

A: Simply apply online at You will immediately receive a unique student number and will be able to track the status of your application online. Using your student number as reference, you will then be required to submit certified copies of your school-leaving/degree certificates and academic transcripts. These need to be sent to Please be sure to submit your most recent results. If you’re still completing your schooling, kindly provide us with an outline of your subjects in your final school year and an official predicted-grades transcript.

As each faculty has only a limited number of spots available, it is vital to apply early and ensure that your application is 100% complete.

If you’re already enrolled and wish to pursue further degree studies at SU, click here to apply.


Q: Who can I contact about programme requirements and selection?

A: Please consult our Calendar for more information on programmes, as well as faculty contact details. Click here.


Q: If I have received a student number, does that mean I have been accepted?

A: No. The assignment of a student number does not mean that you have been accepted for your chosen programme. The number is simply meant to enable easier communication with us, so please remember to quote it in all further correspondence with SU. Once you have accepted into a programme, this will be confirmed it in a separate letter of admission.


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

A: Yes. Unless your documents are in English or Dutch, we kindly ask that you supply a certified translation, along with certified copies of your qualifications.


Q: How much are the application fees?

A: An application fee of R100 is payable by all international applicants applying to degree-seeking programmes for the 2025 intake year.

This application fee is also applicable to:

·        Holders of Permanent Residence in South Africa 

·        Holders of Refugee status in South Africa 

·        Holders of Asylum seeker status in South Africa 

·        Holders of Diplomatic status in South Africa  ​


Q: Are international students required to write National Benchmark Tests (NBTs)?

A: Yes, if you’re a prospective undergraduate, you will need to write the NBTs. For more information, please click here.


Q: Do international undergraduate applicants have to travel to South Africa to write the NBTs?

A: Not necessarily. International applicants who do not have NBT centres in their countries may complete the NBTs at SU before they register. For bookings and more information, e-mail the Centre for Prospective Students at or click here.​


Q: What is matriculation exemption?

A: By law, all students who wish to study for a first degree at a South African university require matriculation exemption. If you have not passed/completed the National Senior Certificate exam with endorsement, you will need to apply for matriculation exemption to the South African Matriculation Board, which is governed by Universities South Africa (USAf). 

However, SU International will assess whether you meet the admission requirements of the Matriculation Board and the University. If you do, and you have been accepted into a programme, you will be allowed to register. Yet you will still need to formally apply for matriculation exemption and submit the certificate to us during your first year of study. 

The certificate can be obtained from Universities South Africa (USAf) only.  Click here for more information.

​Q: When assessing applications, does SU consider differences among the academic programmes of various high schools/universities, as well as different curricula, courses and grades?

A:  Yes. SU’s admissions officers and staff understand that grading standards and study programmes differ from one school/university/curriculum to another. Therefore, please include a notarised copy of your school/university certificate and academic transcript so that we can better understand and evaluate your qualifications.​

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

A: No. Admission is based on academic performance, irrespective of whether you are home-schooled or not. The same evaluation process will apply.


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

A: Letters of recommendation are welcome, but not compulsory. Doctoral candidates must however submit a draft research proposal (or an extensive statement of intent). 

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 from July to November. To view the University’s exam, term and graduation dates, click here.

Q: What programmes does Stellenbosch University offer?

A: SU offers fully accredited undergraduate and postgraduate programmes (honours, master’s and doctoral) across ten faculties. We also offer options for non-degree studies, short courses and research.

  • For undergraduate programmes, click here.

  • For postgraduate programmes, click here.

  • For non-degree studies (exchanges and summer schools), click here.

  • For short courses, click here.

​Q: Will I be allowed to start studying in the second semester?

A: Unfortunately, all undergraduate programmes at SU start in February of each year, so there is no second-semester intake. The few postgraduate courses that allow a second-semester intake are the programmes LLM, M in Engineering, and M in Theology. PhD studies normally start before 31 August each year.


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

A: Yes. We require a minimum TOEFL score of 550 for the paper-based assessment, or 213 for the computer-based assessment, or an IELTS score of 6.5. For more information, click here.

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

A: 0473.


Q: Once I have applied, how do I check on progress with my application?

A: Check by clicking here and entering your student number and password.  


Q: I am still completing my final year of school, so my final marks will only be available at the end of the year. Can I apply in the meantime, and present my results as soon as they are ready? 

A:  If your final school results are still pending, please submit your most recent results and an official predicted-grades transcript from your school.


Q: What is Stellenbosch University's language of instruction?

A: SU is located in the Western Cape province of South Africa, where the three official languages are English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa. As such, the University is a multilingual institution, using these three languages. English and Afrikaans are our languages of learning and teaching, while we contribute to the advancement of isiXhosa as an academic language, and also continue to expand it as an internal language of communication.​

Q: I am currently studying at another university. Can I apply for a transfer to Stellenbosch University?

A: In certain circumstances, you may transfer your credits earned elsewhere. However, the general rule is that at least 50% of your credits must be earned at SU to be able to obtain your degree here. And since many modules run over a full academic year, it is not as simple as completing half a course elsewhere and the rest here. Many factors need to be taken into account.

Should you be considering a transfer, please follow the normal application procedure. Only once you have been accepted, you may apply for a transfer of credits on completed courses. Also keep in mind that the decision to recognise credits earned elsewhere is up to the relevant faculty.


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

A: Unfortunately, you will need to reapply for the next academic year. Admission is not automatically deferred to the next intake.


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

A: This means that your admission will be final only once you have met the final requirements stated in your letter of admission. The requirements may include achieving the grades you need for your course, qualifying for matriculation exemption with your final results, etc. 


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

A: No higher education institution in South Africa may offer a programme unless it has been accredited by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC). This is to protect students against poor-quality programmes. Rest assured that all degrees awarded by SU are fully accredited by both the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the HEQC. This means SU itself is the awarding body.


Q: I want to apply for postgraduate studies at Stellenbosch University. Do I have to ratify my existing qualifications with the South African Qualifications Authority to be eligible to study at SU?

A:  If the institution that awarded your previous qualification(s) is accredited, you do not need to ratify your qualifications with SAQA. And since we have our own, internal qualification evaluation service at SU, we do not necessarily require a SAQA evaluation either. However, should we be uncertain about the status, recognition or accreditation of your qualification, we reserve the right to refer you to SAQA before we consider your application further. 


Q: What is an academic transcript?

A:   A transcript is also often called an “academic record”. It is a document that lists all the courses you have completed during your study programme, along with the grades you achieved in each subject.​

Q: Stellenbosch University has replied to my application, stating that my application is complete. What should I do next?

A: Nothing except checking your e-mails regularly, as we do at times request additional documents, especially from international applicants. In general, however, you should now wait for the outcome of your application. If you’re admitted, SU International will provide you with a letter of admission, which you will need for your study visa application. We will also facilitate your application for health insurance registered in South Africa.

Q: How does the South African grading system compare to those abroad?

Have a look at the table below. The following resources may also help you convert your grades: and

See our Admission requirements for undergraduate international curricula


SAUS GPUSA gradeGermanyUKNetherlands
80+4A 1 
78/793.9A- 1 
773.8A- 1 
763.7A- 1 
743.5B+ 2.17.75
733.4B+ 2.1 
723.3B+ 2.1 
713.2B 2.1 
693.0B 2.1 
682.9B 2.1 
662.7B- 2.2 
642.5C+ 2.26.75
632.4C+ 2.2 
612.2C 3 
592.0C 3 
581.9C 3 
561.7C- 3 
551.6C- 3 
541.5D 3 
521.3D 3 
511.2D 3 
49 (fail)FF5.0F