Undergraduate Domestic

There are several ways you can gain admission to degree study at the University of Waikato.

If you are studying or have studied at a New Zealand secondary school, it is likely that you will be accepted into a Waikato degree if you meet the entry requirements for either NCEA, CIE or IB qualifications.

If you haven’t achieved University Entrance you may still be eligible for entry with Discretionary Entrance or Special Admission.

If you are seeking entrance with an overseas qualification we provide equivalent entry qualifications for many countries.

If you’re living in Australia we have additional information to explain the transition to studying in New Zealand.

If you do not meet one of the entry criteria or need further preparation for degree study, we also offer a range of bridging and pathway programmes.

Entry criteria

There are five ways to gain admission to the University of Waikato.

  1. NCEA University Entrance
  2. Admission at entrance level
  3. Discretionary entrance
  4. University entrance prior to 2015
  5. Special admission

Please note, some degrees have additional entry requirements.

1. NCEA University Entrance

The pathway from NCEA Level 1 to Level 3 to achieve University Entrance, all four items are required.

Numeracy at Level 1 or higher

10 credits from specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects OR from a package of three numeracy unit standards (26623, 26626, 26627- all three required)

Literacy at Level 2 or higher

5 Reading AND 5 Writing from the specified list

Level 3

14 credits at Level 3 or higher in an approved subject
14 credits at Level 3 or higher in an approved subject
14 credits at Level 3 or higher in an approved subject

Achieve NCEA Level 3 Certificate

(60 credits at Level 3 or above and 20 credits from Level 2 or above)

University Entrance from NCEA

Congratulations! You have now achieved University Entrance and are eligible to apply for study at the University of Waikato.

2. Admission at entrance level

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) standard recognised by Universities New Zealand

Part A

A minimum of 120 points on the UCAS Tariff at A or AS level other than the General Paper, including at least three subjects (other than Thinking Skills) in which no grade is lower than D.

Part B

Literacy: An E grade or better in any one of AS English Language, Language and Literature in English, Literature in English; A D grade or better will satisfy one of the subject requirements of Part A; or as prescribed for university entrance with NCEA.

Numeracy: A D grade or better in IGCSE or GCSE mathematics, or any mathematics passed at AS level; A D grade or better will satisfy one of the subject requirements of Part A; or as prescribed for university entrance with NCEA.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Standard Recognised by Universities New Zealand

Award of the full IB Diploma (24 points or higher)

Other secondary or tertiary study

If you have studied to UE level at an overseas secondary school or at tertiary level (in New Zealand or overseas) or passed examinations that reach the standard for admission to university as recognised by Universities New Zealand, you should apply for admission at entrance level.
We will assess your study to determine whether it is an acceptable equivalent to the New Zealand University Entrance qualification.

If you do not meet one of the criteria above or need further preparation for degree study, check out Waikato's pathways programmes.

3. Discretionary entrance

Students under 20 without University Entrance

If you are over 16 years of age and a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, you may be eligible to apply for Discretionary Entrance (DE).

Discretionary Entrance is based on NCEA Level 2 results and you must also meet the literacy and numeracy requirements for University Entrance.

Year 13 students who leave school after 1 June are not eligible to be considered for Discretionary Entrance.

Students who have left school and did not achieve University Entrance from Level 3 NCEA are eligible to apply for DE following at least one semester break after completion of Year 13.

All students are assessed on the basis of their academic background and an adviser's recommendation. If you are still at school, or have left school recently, your school principal must be your adviser. If you have left school, a Student Recruitment Adviser at the University can help you.

4. University Entrance prior to 2015

For information regarding other forms of University Entrance including UE achieved from Bursary or NCEA please contact the Enrolment Office on 0800 WAIKATO (0800 924 528) or email

5. Special admission

Students over the age of 20

If you left school without University Entrance and will be 20 years of age or over by the first day of the semester, you may apply for Special Admission. Factors considered when granting Special Admission are:

Any other relevant study you might have undertaken.
Your general life experience and preparedness for university study.

Some qualifications have their own specific entry requirements and will outline this on the relevant webpage.

Our Future Student Advisers are here to assist you with your application. Please contact us to arrange a meeting.