IACI offers UNISA degrees, Distance Learning University, School, College of Distance Education
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Entry Requirements

Many candidates from foreign countries who are in possession of foreign school leaving certificates are not eligible for university admission in their own countries of origin, or in South Africa due to benchmark differences. In view of different international school leaving benchmarks, the Registrars of universities are required to apply on behalf of candidates for foreign exemption certificates or mature age exemption. As result of practical problems experienced by institutions in handling foreign qualifications and the legal implications thereof, institutions requested the Matriculation Board to compile a guideline document for the handling of applications of exemption.

The minimum qualification required is a certificate of full matriculation or conditional matriculation endorsement. However, should you want to study towards a specialized degree, it is suggested that you read the entry requirements in the faculty brochure of the intended degree.

If you do not have the required qualifications for the your chosen degree, Unisa offers access courses in such cases. Once you pass the access course, you will be able to register for your chosen degree.

Admission Requirements

Bachelor’s degree
To be registered for a degree, a student must hold one of the following certificates:
  1. A senior certificate with matriculation or university admission endorsement (exemption)
  2. A certificate of full or conditional exemption issued by the Matriculation Board of Higher Education South Africa (HESA);or
  3. Comply with any other requirements as stipulated under‘Admission’ to the specific qualification in the College Calendar.
Honors, Master's, and Doctoral degrees

In general our Bachelors degrees are three year degrees with two majors on third year level. The Honours degree represents a fourth year where the student specialises in one of his majors - the curriculum typically comprising 4-6 papers.


The Master's Degree a student must hold:
(a) an Honours Bachelor's degree
(b) Note that, on the recommendation of the Head of the Department, an oral or a written examination may be prescribed as an additional requirement for

The curriculum comprises either:
(a) a dissertation on an approved topic, or
(b) papers and a dissertation of limited scope on approved topics

The curriculum for the Doctoral degree consist of a research thesis on an approved topic in the specific field of study of the student.  The only criteria for re-registration is that a student must proof to his/her promoter that he/she did make sufficient progress with her/his research during an academic year.

The sequence of degrees that Unisa follows is:  a Bachelor's degree with two major subjects, an Honour's degree with a specialisation in one of the major subjects, the Master's degree in the same major subject and then the Doctoral degree in the same major subject. South Africa University follow the guide lines that prescribed by the South African Higher Education Committee.  The student's academic record and curriculum are evaluated and compared to UNISA own degrees.
Exemption Certificates
Requirements for Exemption Certificates

Candidates who did not follow the formal secondary school route in the South African schooling system need to qualify for a certificate of complete or conditional exemption from the matriculation endorsement requirements in terms of the provisions regulations.


United States of America

Type of Exemption
  • High School Graduation Diploma accompanied by certificate of eligibility for admission to study at any US university with a valid senior college accreditation issued by any of the following accreditation bodies: ACICS, MSA, NASC, NCA, NEASC,-CIHE, SACS-CC, WASC-Sr
  • American High School Diploma with at least two subjects passed on grades 3, 4 or 5 for the Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations of American College Board.
  • Candidates unable to submit letters of eligibility for degree purposes at appropriately accredited US university: SAT score of 1050 with Sub minimum of 500 for either the verbal or mathematics scores.or
  • English and one of Physics or Chemistry with sub minimum of 500 for the English and the Physics/Chemistry score ;or
  • As from March 2005 a New SAT score of 1600 with a sub-minimum of 550 for Critical Reading and 500 for Mathematics and 500 for the Writing section.;or
  • An ACT mean of 22 with 22 sub minimum in English and 21 in Mathematics.
  • General Education Diploma (GED) accompanied by letter of admission from an accredited US university or SAT scores as indicated above
  • Mature Age*
  • Schooling system totally decentralized, hence universities generally require Standardized Aptitude Test (SAT) score to determine eligibility for admission
  • Not a formal school qualification
General Education Diploma (GED) accompanied by letter of admission from an accredited US university or SAT scores as indicated above





Type of Exemption

Six 50% + subjects passes in Ontario Academic Courses (OAC's)
Province Qualification
Alberta Passes of 50% + in five acceptable Grade 12 courses
British Columbia Passes of 50% + in five acceptable Grade 12 courses  + Passes in Senior Secondary Graduation Diploma
Manitoba Five 300 Level credits in at least four subject areas in High School Graduation Diploma
New Brunswick Five 50% + subject passes in Grade 12 High School Diploma
Nova Scotia Five 50% + passes in Grade 12 Subjects in High School Completion Certificate
Ontario Diploma d`Etudes Secondaires de` l Ontario. Honour Graduation Diploma (Previously only Ontario Grade XIII diploma was acceptable). Ontario Secondary School Diploma, Six 50% + subject passes in OAC.
Prince Edward Island Five 50% + Grade 12 Subject passes in High School Graduation Diploma
Quebec Diploma d`Etudes Collegiales (DEC), Diploma of Collegial Studies after two years of study at a college  (CEGEP).
Saskatchewan Five 50% + subject passes of Division IV (Grade 12) standing
Yukon Territory Five 50% + passes in Grade 12 level Subjects in High School Completion Certificate

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