University of free state Admission Requirements

For degree studies at the University of the Free State, we expect that:

  • You have an NSC or NCV with an endorsement that allows entrance to degree studies (Bachelor’s degree) or an equivalent qualification.
  • You meet all the minimum admission requirements for the programme you intend to study. Meeting the minimum admission requirements for your chosen/intended programme of study does not guarantee admission, as limited spaces are available in each programme.
  • You have a minimum level of 4 (50%) in the chosen UFS language of instruction: English or Afrikaans (only applicable to certain programmes).
  • You must pass certain school subjects with a minimum level of achievement in order to take a certain university module. For example, you must get a mark of 70% for Mathematics in Grade 12 if you plan to study BSc majoring in Physics with Engineering subjects. Please refer to the section on the faculty-specific admission requirements, which also includes the respective compulsory subjects and achievement levels required per programme.
  • Limited space: Keep in mind that all programmes have limited space available; therefore, you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. When we process your application for admission, we capture your details onto the UFS databases – if your details are not available, you will not be admitted or be able to register. For this reason, it is very important to stick to the closing dates. Meeting the minimum admission requirements for your chosen/intended programme of study does not guarantee admission, as limited space is available in each programme.
  • National Senior Certificate: If you already have a National Senior Certificate (NSC), you must include a copy with your application form.
  • Application: Make sure that you complete the application properly and attach all the required documents. An incomplete application, as well as outstanding documents, will delay your application process. Make sure that you complete the application form thoroughly, e.g. if you need on-campus residence accommodation and/or financial aid, indicate this in the relevant section.
  • Transferring students: If you transfer from another tertiary institution, you must include a certificate of conduct and an official study record from the previous tertiary institution with your application AND submit copies when you register.
  • International students: If you are from another country, you must attach your certified school-leaving certificate, diplomas, and proof of a conditional exemption certificate issued by the Matriculation Board, to your application. Apply to mb.usaf.ac.za for conditional exemption.


Academic excellence is what the UFS is about – the higher your AP score, the better your chances of being chosen and finally admitted to study. Meeting the minimum admission requirements for your chosen/intended programme of study does not guarantee selection and admission, as all programmes have a limited number of spaces available. Applicants with the highest AP scores are chosen first, and the admission continues until all spaces have been filled. If you do not meet the minimum admission requirements for your intended/chosen programme of study, you will not be selected. Consult the faculty-specific admission requirements for all the programmes you qualify for and apply for the two programmes that best fit your personality, purpose, and passion.

You will be CONDITIONALLY ADMITTED based on your Grade 11 or equivalent results, subject to you meeting all the minimum requirements for the intended programme of study. Please note that conditional admission is not applicable to all the selection programmes in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Your FINAL ADMISSION to the programme of your choice will depend on your final Grade 12 results. You will be notified immediately of the university’s admission decision after your Grade 12 results have been released by the Department of Education. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that your contact details are correct on your application form.


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.