Matriculation is the formal process of entering a university, or of becoming eligible to enter by fulfilling certain academic requirements such as a matriculation examination.


In Australia, the term "matriculation" is seldom used now. In the late 60s and early 70s, all states replaced the matriculation examination with either a certificate, such as the Higher School Certificate (HSC) in Victoria and NSW, or a university entrance exam such as the Tertiary Entrance Exam in Western Australia. These have all been renamed (except in NSW) as a state-based certificate, such as the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE).


In Bangladesh, the "Matriculation" is the Secondary School Examination (SSC) taken at year 10, and the Intermediate Exams is the Higher Secondary Examination (HSC) taken at year 12. Bangladesh, like the rest of Indian sub-continent, still uses terms such as Matriculation Exams and Intermediate Exams taken from the days of the British Raj although in England itself these terms were replaced by 'O' or Ordinary Level Examinations (now called GCSEs) and 'A' or Advanced Level Examinations respectively.


In Brazilian Portuguese, the word "matrícula" refers to the act of enrolling in an educational course, whether it be elementary, high school, college or post-graduate education.


In Canada, the term is used by some older universities to refer to orientation ("frosh") events, however some universities, including University of King's College, still hold formal Matriculation (usually shortened to "matric") ceremonies. Trinity College at the University of Toronto also holds formal matriculation ceremonies, during which time incoming students are required to sign a matriculation register, making the practice the closest in format to that conducted by Oxford and Cambridge colleges of any university in North America. The ceremony at King's is quite similar to the matriculation ceremonies held in universities such as Oxford or Cambridge. In Ontario during the era with grade 13, satisfactory completion of grade 12 was considered junior matriculation and satisfactory completion of grade 13 was senior matriculation. In Nova Scotia, at the present time, Junior matriculation is grade 11 and senior matriculation is completion of grade 12.

Czech Republic

At Charles University in Prague, the oldest and most prestigious university in the Czech Republic, matriculation is held at the Great Hall (Magna Aula). The ceremony is attended by students commencing their studies. It is intended as a demonstration of the adoption of student's duties and obtaining of student's rights. The ceremony itself involves students taking the Matriculation Oath of the University and symbolically touching the Faculty mace and shaking the Dean's hand.

Other Czech universities hold ceremonies similar to the one just described.


In Denmark, the University of Copenhagen holds a matriculation ceremony each year. The ceremony is held in the Hall of Ceremony in the main building of the University. The ceremony begins with a procession with the rector and the deans in academic dress and other regalia. The ceremony continues with the rector listing the different faculties, after which the different student, shouts when their respective faculty is mentioned. The rector then delivers a speech, after which the rector and the deans leave the ceremony again in procession, after which a party is held on university grounds, to mark the admission of the new students.


In Finland, Matriculation (Finnish: Ylioppilastutkinto, Swedish: Studentexamen) is the examination taken at the end of Secondary education to qualify for entry into University. The test also constitutes the high school's final exam(s), in other words it is a high school graduation exam. Since 1919, the test has been arranged by a national body, the Matriculation Examination Board. Before that, the administration of the test was the responsibility of the University of Helsinki.


The German term Immatrikulation describes the administrative process of enrolling at university as a student. This can happen for winter semester and, depending on the degree program, also for summer semester. It does not involve a ceremony. A prerequisite for matriculation is generally the Abitur, which is the standard matriculation examination in Germany, for regular universities and Fachhochschulreife for Fachhochschulen (Universities of Applied Sciences). Both Abitur and Fachhochschulreife are school leaving certificates which students receive after passing their final examinations at some types of German secondary schools.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the term is used interchangeably with the completion of sixth-form. After sitting for the Certificate of Education examinations, eligible students receive two years of sixth-form education, upon completion, they sit for the A-level examinations. Most secondary schools offer the sixth-form programme, and there are also a few sixth-form colleges. Students obtaining good grades in the A-level examinations will be admitted to a university. The education reforms of Hong Kong in the 2000s have replaced the fourth- and fifth-form education, which prepared students for the HKCEE, and the sixth-form education with a three-year senior secondary education, which leads to the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination. The last sixth-form students graduated and took the A-level examinations in 2012; in the same year the first students studying the new senior secondary curriculum graduated and took the first HKDSE examinations.


In India, it is a term commonly used to refer to the final year of 10th class, which ends at tenth Board (tenth grade), and the qualification consequently received by passing the national board exams or the state board exams, commonly called "matriculation exams".

India still uses terms such as Matriculation Exams and Intermediate Exams taken from the days of British rule although in England itself these terms were replaced by 'O' or Ordinary Level Examinations (now called GCSEs) and 'A' or Advanced Level Examinations.

English is the standard language for matriculation for science subjects, while regional languages are also an option. Most students who pass matriculation, or class 10, are 15–16 years old. Upon successfully passing, a student may continue onto the Higher secondary school. Most students who pass class 12 are 17–18 years old. The CBSE and ICSE boards conduct twelfth standard courses nationally, while state boards operate at the state-level. Although the basic curriculum is prescribed by the CBSE.


In Malaysia, Matriculation programmes are run by public universities and the Ministry of Education (MoE). Matriculation programmes offered by public universities offer fewer options for further study upon completion of the said program as they are limited to that particular university.

The matriculation programme provided by the MoE is a one-year pre-U program sponsored by the Malaysian government. SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia or the Malaysian Certificate of Education) holders can apply for MoE Matriculation during their SPM year [Form 5]. Students that are offered the matriculation programme will be posted to several Matriculation Colleges within Malaysia.

After MoE Matriculation, they can further their studies in local universities within Malaysia. Several universities in United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand recognize the MoE Matriculation as a pre-U qualification.

Apart from the matriculation programmes, there is the STPM programme ([Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia] or Malaysian Higher School Certificate), the standardised national examinations taken by Form 6 students. STPM is different from the matriculation programme in terms of its duration (2 years vs. 1 year), syllabus (breadth and depth), marking method (standardised assessment nationwide vs. assessment by matriculation college itself) and passing rate.


In Nepal, it refers to the School Leaving Certificate (SLC) before now it is known as Secondary education examination (SEE) (As per new education act 2016) taken at year 10, before Intermediate Exams (Higher Secondary or 10+2) taken in subsequent two years prior to university entry. School leaving certificate (SLC) or Secondary education examination (SEE) is the main examination which is also called "Iron gate" in Nepal. Although SLC and 10+2 are widely used, some educational institutions follow the British system with O' or Ordinary Level Examinations (now called GCSE) and A' or Advanced Level Examinations respectively.


In the Netherlands high school is vertically segregated into several levels of education. Most students enter university after a specific high-school track, the Pre-university education (Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs). This track is concluded by the Central Exam (Matriculation examination) regulated by Dutch law. After three years of the Pre-university education program, high-school students select one of four directions (roughly corresponding to languages, humanities and economics, biology and medicine, and hard sciences), the last 3 years of the pre-university education program is meant to prepare for University education within that direction.


In Pakistan, "matriculation" (usually shortened to “matric”) is the term that refers to the final examinations that take place at the end of 9th and 10th grades. These Examinations are usually taken up by students aged 14 to 16 years.

It results in the issuance of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) or Technical School Certificate (TSC). After the SSC (or TSC), students may proceed for 11th year of education at College. After successful completion of the 11th (HSSC-1) and the 12th (HSSC-2) years in college, they get the Intermediate certificate Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) and become eligible to enter universities in Pakistan or in other countries. Pakistan still uses terms such as Matriculation Exams and Intermediate Exams taken from the days of British rule, although in England itself these terms were replaced with 'O' or Ordinary Level Examinations (now called GCSEx) and 'A' or Advanced Level Examination.Pakistan student named Rai AbdulRehman topped in matriculation throughout the world in 2019.

South Africa

In South Africa, "matriculation" (usually shortened to "matric") is a term commonly used to refer to the final year of high school and the qualification received on graduating from high school (now officially the National Senior Certificate or NSC). Strictly speaking "matriculation" refers to the minimum university entrance requirements (usually called a matric exemption as it provides an exemption from writing entrance exams when applying for University entrance).

United Kingdom

In the British universities of Oxford, Cambridge,[1] St Andrews, Edinburgh, Durham, and the New College of the Humanities, the term is used for the ceremony at which new students are entered into the register (in Latin matricula) of the university, at which point they become members of the university. Oxford requires matriculants to wear academic dress with subfusc during the ceremony. At Cambridge and Durham, policy regarding the wearing of academic dress varies amongst the colleges. Separate matriculation ceremonies are held by some of the colleges in Durham. Also at Durham, not all students are entered into the register, but one person from each college is selected to sign their own name for the whole college. At the University of St Andrews as well as the other ancient universities of Scotland, matriculation involves signing the Sponsio Academica, a pledge to abide by university rules and to support the institution. In 2015, Bishop Grosseteste University Lincoln introduced a Matriculation event for all new students.

At most British universities there is no formal ceremony. The term "matriculation" is not used by many, with the terms "enrolment" and "registration" being more commonly employed to describe the administrative process of becoming a member of the university.

At Oxford and Cambridge, matriculation was formerly associated with entrance examinations taken before or shortly after matriculation, known as Responsions at Oxford and the Previous Examination at Cambridge, both abolished in 1960. University-wide entrance examinations were subsequently re-introduced at both universities, but abolished in 1995. More limited subject-based tests have since been introduced.

United States

In the United States, universities and colleges that have a formal matriculation ceremony include: Adrian College, Albion College, Anna Maria College, Asbury University, Assumption College, Belmont Abbey College, Belmont University, Boston College,[2] Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, Columbia University, Culver-Stockton College, Dartmouth College, Duquesne University, Hamline University,[3] Harvard University, Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, FL, Kalamazoo College, Kenyon College,[4] Lawrence University,, Lyndon State College,[5] Lyon College, Marietta College,[6] McKendree University,[7] Mount Holyoke College, Mount Union College,[8] Moravian College, Muhlenberg College, Occidental College, Randolph-Macon College, Rice University,[9] Saint Leo University, Scripps College, Trinity College, Tufts University, The University of Saint Mary (Kansas), University of Wisconsin–Baraboo/Sauk County, Virginia Military Institute, Wabash College,[10] Walsh University, Washington and Jefferson College, and Willamette University. Some medical schools highlight matriculation with a white coat ceremony. For example, UAB School of Medicine[11] does so.

At most universities and colleges in the United States, "matriculation" refers to mere enrollment or registration as a student at a university or college by a student intending to earn a degree, an event which involves no special ceremony.

Special student

Universities and colleges in the United States commonly have a category of students known as special students,[12][13][14] non-matriculated students[15][16] or non-matriculating students.[17] Generally these are students who are not merely auditing a class, but receive credit which is potentially transferable, pay full tuition, and often receive benefits that other students receive such as access to facilities and health care. These students typically are enrolled as matriculated students at other institutions and are visiting scholars of some type. However, sometimes students attend classes for the purpose of a standalone non-degree education.


  1. "Newton, Sir Isaac (NWTN661I)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. As an example of the continual use of the term matriculation in the ACAD database for any student entering any of the Colleges at Cambridge
  2. "Conversations in the First Year — Boston College". 2010-08-25. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
  3. "Hamline University | Saint Paul, Minnesota". Retrieved 2010-09-14.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-09-01. Retrieved 2007-05-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "Lyndon — A Vermont State College". Retrieved 2010-09-14.
  6. "URL retrieved 2007-August-26". Archived from the original on 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
  7. Class of 2016 Matriculates at McKendree Retrieved 2012-August-25.
  8. "URL retrieved 2008-April-11".
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-05. Retrieved 2010-12-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. "Ringing in the new – a special time at Wabash | Dear Old Wabash". Retrieved 2017-04-12.
  11. "UAB - The University of Alabama at Birmingham - Home". Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  12. "Special Students: Admissions". Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on November 28, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  13. "University Special Students". University of Wisconsin – Madison Continuing Education. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  14. "Undergraduate Special Student Admissions". MIT Graduate Admissions. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  15. "Non-Matriculated Graduate Student Status". Stonybrook University School of Professional Development. Archived from the original on December 31, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  16. "Graduate Non-Matriculated Students". University of Washington. Archived from the original on November 15, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  17. "Nonmatriculating Students". Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 7, 2016.

See also

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