Rhodes University Entry Requirements

Minimum Faculty Requirements:

Subject RequiredExtended StudiesDean’s DiscretionPoints
Commerce:   
Mathematics34 – 3738 – 4445+
Education:   
Two languages at level 4 (50 – 59%) Maths/Maths Lit  level 4 (50% – 59%) level 3 (40 – 49%)    32 – 39   40+
Humanities:   
 30 – 3434 – 4445+
Pharmacy:   
Mathematics, Life and Physical Sciences  40 – 44 45
Science:   
Mathematics, Physical Science or Life Science   38 – 44 45

Your application will only be considered for admission to the University if you qualify for Bachelor’s degree study AND you satisfy the faculty requirements. To qualify for with a Bachelor’s pass status, learners are required to take seven subjects, four of which are compulsory (two languages, Life Orientation and either Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy) and three of the learner’s own choice from the subjects on offer at the school.

To qualify for degree studies at Rhodes University, learners must pass:  

English language at an achievement rating of 4 (50 – 59%) or above.

At least four of the seven subjects must be from the list of recommended subject list set out below and sutdents must have obtained an achievement rating of 4 (50 – 59%) or above.

Meet Faculty requirements:  subject requirements and percentage required.

PLEASE NOTE:  Obtaining the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance!

Recommended subject list:

Accounting, Agricultural Science, Business Studies, Consumer Studies, Dramatic Arts, Engineering Graphics & Design, Economics, Geography, History, Information Technology, Languanges, Life Sciences, Mathematics / Mathematical Literacy, Music, Physical Science, Religion Studies, Visual Arts.

The minimum entry requirements for admission to Rhodes University in 2025 are set out in the following table below. Note (a) the point levels that are required (b) the differences in the achievement levels that are needed for Mathematical Literacy, (c) the need for Life and/or Physical Sciences for degrees in Science or Pharmacy.

HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR ADMISSION POINT SCORE (APS)

The percentages achieved in National Senior Certificate examinations (preliminary and final examinations) will be allocated an admissions score using the percentage obtained for each subject. The sum of six subject scores, excluding Life Orientation but including English and any other required subject(s) for the relevant programme is considered when deciding on admission. Results below 40% for any subject do not attract a score. Mathematics Paper 3 does not contribute to the APS score but the results will be captured for the Dean to note when making an admission decision.

EXAMPLES OF POINTS CALCULATIONS

English Home Language78%7.8 points
Afrikaans/isiXhosa first/Additional  Language73%7.3 points
Mathematics69%6.9 points
Life Sciences70%7.0 points
Dramatic Arts89%8.9 points
Accounting73%7.3 points
Life Orientation90%0 points
Additional Mathematics60%0 points
TOTAL POINTS 45.2 points

Apply online visit:  www.ru.ac.za/admissiongateway

Apply online visit:  https://ross.ru.ac.za

1.  Register on the online system at https://ross.ru.ac.za/ using your email address and creating a password

2.  You will then be sent an email with a link to activate you on the system.

3.  Click the link to activate your registration.

4.  This process will take you back to ROSS where you need to click the Admission/Other button (clicking the right button here is important)

5.  You will then be allowed to enter your login and password created in step one.

6.  Once you have completed your application you need to tick the button accepting the terms and conditions and submit.

7.  When you have submitted you are required to pay the R100 application fee.  Various options are provided by the system.

8.  If you pay your application fee to the bank you need to use your application number as the reference and email the deposit slip to us.

9.  Once you have completed the process above we will process the application and you are provided a student number and login.

DEANS DECISIONS

If you do not meet the APS score of 45 points for automatic acceptance, you may still be considered for a place at the Dean’s discretion. Such places are usually offered with some extra conditions. Some places are usually offered to students with an APS score of 38 – 44 with some extra conditions (see extended studies below).  It is therefore very important to give full information when completing the application form as this is the information that the Dean will use for making a decision.

Extended Studies Programme

As an alternative route to university studies at Rhodes, a limited number of students who show potential to succeed are exposed to a carefully designed and supportive learning environment which enhances their ability to succeed. This option is for students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds on condition that they take their degree over an extra year at University.  It is therefore, essential full information is provided when completing the application form as this forms part of the decision-making process by the Dean. 

NATIONAL BENCHMARK TESTS (NBT’S)

It is recommended that all first-time university entering South African applicants write the NBT’s. If the applicant does not meet the automatic entry requirements the NBT results will form part of the Dean’s decision-making on applications. These test results can also be used if a candidate does not meet the entrance requirements in their final examinations.

There are two tests which are written throughout the year at various centres:

*  The Academic and Quantitative literacy test (AQL) consists of two components, namely academic literacy and quantitative literacy. All applicants should write the AQL test.  

*  The Mathematics test (MAT), this test is for applicants who wish to enter the following faculties:  Commerce, Pharmacy and Science. 

For further information about the NBT, dates and venues, please visit: www.nbt.ac.za or call

021 650 3523.

International requirements

An APS score of 40 points and above will receive a firm offer, 37-39 points will remain on hold until the end of September to be considered by the Dean if space is available.  Candidates who offer a combination of Advanced level (A), Advanced Subsidiary level (AS), Ordinary level (O), Higher International General Certificate of Secondary Education (HIGCSE) and International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), five (5) different subjects are counted.  The basic minimum requirements for admission to the University is a certificate of Full Exemption or Foreign Conditional Exemption from the Matriculation Board.

(visit: https://mbit-application.usaf.ac.za/assessment/). 

Applicants who have passed A levels are eligilble for full exemption provided the passes in approved subjects meet the following requirements:

A-level:  symbols A-E (minimum of 2 subjects)

AS-level: symbols A-D (4 subjects and 1 at O-level)

O-level:  symbols A-C (maximum of 3 subjects)

At least 2 subjects at A-level and 3 different subjects at O-level or 3 subjects at A-level and 2 at O-level

HIGCSE/IGCSE qualification:

HIGCSE:  symbols 1-3 (4 subjects)

IGCSE:  symbols A-C (1 subject)

International Baccalaureate (B)

3 High level (HL) subjects:  Grade 4

4 Standard Level (SL) subjects:  Grade 5

Points rating

Symbol/Result/ GradePoints Awarded
A, O & IGCSEHIGCEIBA LevelAS LevelHIGCSEO Level & IGCSE      IBHL     SL
 A 1 7 10 9 8 10
 B 2 6 9 8 7 4 9 6
 C 3 5 8 7 3 8 5
 D 4 4 7 6   7 4
 E  3 6    3

If you are applying for Pharmacy your A Levels or AS Levels must include Mathematics, Science and Biology. If you are applying for Science your A Levels, AS Levels or O Levels should include Mathematics, Science and Biology.

For candidates who offer A and O levels and HIGCSE and IGCSEs five different subjects are counted.  An additional one fifth of the total is added to this total.  Zimsec students only deduct three points for a final count.

With at least 1 subject from each of the following groups:

Group IEnglish
Group IIAfrikaans, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Nederlands, Portuguese orany other language approved by HESA
Group IIIBiology, Botany, Chemistry, General Science, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Physics & Chemistry, Zoology or any of the following if not offered under Group II – Afrikaans, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Nederlands or any other language approved by HESA

Please note that Psychology, Sociology, Physical Education, General Paper and Thinking Skills are not recognised subjects for entry to a South African University.


Overview of Public Universities in South Africa

Here's an overview of some public universities in South Africa, including general admissions requirements and estimated application periods. Keep in mind, specific program requirements and dates can vary significantly, so it's important to check each university's official website for the most current information.

University of Pretoria

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with minimum scores in specific subjects related to the chosen program; for international students, equivalent qualifications.
  • Application Period: Usually opens in March and closes at the end of July for most programs.

University of Cape Town

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with pass levels required for degree study; subject-specific requirements depending on the program.
  • Application Period: Application opens in April and closes at the end of July.

Stellenbosch University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required marks; some programs have additional testing.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and typically closes at the end of June.

University of the Witwatersrand

  • Admissions Requirements: Matriculation certificate with university exemption; required scores vary by faculty.
  • Application Period: Begins in March and ends on the 30th of September.

University of Johannesburg

  • Admissions Requirements: Matric exemption with a minimum APS score; specific subject requirements based on the faculty.
  • Application Period: Opens in April and generally closes by the 30th of September.

University of the Free State

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific marks for the program applied to; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Typically opens in April and closes at the end of August.

University of Venda

  • Admissions Requirements: Completion of the National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for diploma or degree studies; specific APS scores needed.
  • Application Period: Usually from May to September.

University of Fort Hare

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; certain programs may have specific requirements.
  • Application Period: Opens around May and closes at the end of September.

University of the Western Cape

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific performance levels; additional requirements for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Generally from May to September.

North-West University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; program-specific requirements may apply.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and usually closes by the end of August.

Rhodes University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate or equivalent; minimum academic performance in certain subjects.
  • Application Period: Applications open in April and close at the end of September.

Nelson Mandela University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; portfolio or additional tests for some faculties.
  • Application Period: Opens in April, with a deadline at the end of August for most programs.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Opens in May and typically closes by the end of September.

University of Limpopo

  • Admissions Requirements: Senior Certificate with endorsement for diploma or degree courses; specific APS scores for different programs.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

University of Zululand

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for bachelor’s degree studies; specific score requirements for various programs.
  • Application Period: Usually between April and November.

Central University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores for the chosen field of study; additional criteria for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Application period generally starts in May and ends in October.

Vaal University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with a pass that qualifies for admission to bachelor’s degree, diploma, or higher certificate programs.
  • Application Period: Typically from May to September.

Walter Sisulu University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; additional criteria for certain faculties.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

This list provides a starting point for understanding the admissions landscape across South Africa's diverse higher education institutions. Given the variability in programs and requirements, it's crucial to consult each university's website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.