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You're a domestic student if you are:

  • a citizen of Australia or New Zealand,
  • an Australian permanent resident, or
  • a holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.

You're an international student if you are:

  • intending to study on a student visa,
  • not a citizen of Australia or New Zealand,
  • not an Australian permanent resident, or
  • a temporary resident (visa status) of Australia.

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Rural Background Sub-quota

If you've lived in an Australian rural area, our Rural Background Sub-quota may help you gain entry into the Doctor of Medicine.

Rural and remote areas of Australia often have restricted or limited access to educational opportunities and medical services.

To help address the challenges rural students face, 28 per cent of all domestic places in each year’s Doctor of Medicine (MD) intake are assigned to applicants from an Australian rural background.

If you're eligible for the sub-quota as a:

  • Provisional Entry applicant (school leavers), you'll have 2 adjustments added onto your selection rank through the Rural Access Scheme.
  • Direct Entry applicant (university graduates), you'll have 2 adjustments added to your overall GAMSAT score. 

Who is eligible

To be eligible for this scheme, you must have lived in a geographic region classified as one of–

  • Remoteness Area 2 (RA2)
  • Remoteness Area 3 (RA3)
  • Remoteness Area 4 (RA4)
  • Remoteness Area 5 (RA5) –

for at least 5 consecutive years, or for 10 years cumulatively.

Remoteness Areas are defined by the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) system.

There is a searchable map of Australia that allows you to view the ASGS Remoteness Area classification of the region where you live.

It doesn't matter when you lived in a rural area – you're eligible for any period of your life from when you were born.

A rural residential property must have been your principal home address. Holiday homes, secondary residences and investment properties don't qualify.

If you attended boarding school, you can use your family's primary residence as your qualifying address.

How to apply

Provisional Entry applicants (school leavers)

When you list the Doctor of Medicine as a preference on your QTAC application, QTAC will contact you about applying for the Rural Access Scheme.

If you're approved for the Rural Access Scheme, you'll automatically be considered for the Rural Background Sub-quota.

QTAC will ask you to check your eligibility and your ASGS Remoteness Area (ASGS-RA) category. You'll then have to submit a cover sheet and supporting documentation.

Contact QTAC for more information.

Direct Entry applicants (university graduates)

You'll need to indicate your rural background on the relevant section of your GEMSAS application. You must also send supporting documentation to:

GEMSAS Processing
PO Box 522
Ferny Hills DC
Queensland 4055

Contact GEMSAS for further information.

Supporting documentation

When you apply, you'll need to provide documents that prove your rural background.

Each document must clearly display the: 

  • date, and
  • relevant residential address at the time of issue.

Acceptable supporting evidence might include:

  • school reports
  • university transcripts
  • signed official letters on original letterhead from a school, university or workplace
  • other documents that prove the duration of your residency, such as utility invoices, rates notices, or bank statements. These proof of residency documents can be in your parents' names.

For each nominated address you only need to provide:

  • 1 document from the start of your residency, and
  • 1 document from the end of your residency.

Documents do not need to be certified. We prefer low-resolution files when you submit your supporting evidence.

International students aren't eligible for the Rural Background Sub-quota.

If you're studying high school from Australia, you may be eligible for other admission schemes.

See admission schemes