• This information is for domestic prospective students. View "Admission information" for more information.


Admission terms and definitions


In 2017, the Australian Government asked all public universities to change how we explain admissions to domestic undergraduate students.

If you're thinking about studying at UQ from May 2018 and beyond, you'll notice changes in how we communicate across our websites, emails and other publications.

To help you get a better understanding of what these new words mean and how they apply to you, we've put together a list of new terms and their definitions.

You can also find further information on these changes on the TEQSA website.

New admissions terminology explained

Previous term and definition New term

Alternative pathways—
A way of showing preparedness for tertiary study. Applicants apply on the basis of life skills and employment experience instead of previous academic achievement. Alternative pathways include sitting the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) and applying on the basis of paid employment experience, bridging programs and/or a tertiary study pathway.

Admission pathway

Upgrading pathways—
The process of undertaking further study to meet eligibility requirements and transfer into a desired program. 

Tertiary study pathway
Special entry schemes—
UQ has a range of admission schemes to encourage students from specified backgrounds. They can also encourage students to apply for specific programs. 
Admission schemes
UQ Bonus Rank Scheme—
All Year 12 students are eligible to apply for the UQ Subject Incentive Scheme, which provides up to five adjustments toward their entry rank. 
Subject Incentive Scheme
Special Admission Scheme for Undergraduate Law—
If an applicant is from an educationally disadvantaged and/or culturally diverse background, they may be eligible for this special entry scheme into the Bachelor of Laws program.
Undergraduate Law Admission Scheme
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Alternative Entry Scheme—
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people are eligible to gain admission to the University through an alternative entry scheme.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Admission Pathway

Bonus points—
Equity schemes, such as QTAC's Educational Access Scheme, distribute bonus points to OP scores or ranks, depending on the severity of an applicant's financial or educational disadvantage.

Bonus ranks—
Subject-based bonus schemes, such as the UQ Bonus Rank Scheme, distribute bonus ranks to a student's entry rank if they have studied certain Year 12 subjects: Languages other than English (LOTE), Mathematics C and university enrichment subjects.

Adjustment factors

Future student—
A person who is considering attending a university and/or lodging an application.

Prospective student

A person who has lodged an application through a Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) or UQ's online application service.

We will continue using this term. The definition hasn't changed – it has been highlighted to point out the difference between an 'applicant' and 'prospective student'.


Bridging studies—
Students undertake bridging studies to meet program requirements through a number of approved providers, including but not limited to Unilearn, QUT bridging courses, TAFE (Certificate IV in Adult Tertiary Preparation), and UQ College (Tertiary Preparation Program) bridging programs.

Bridging program

Bridging course

Direct application through UQ online application service (OLA)—
An application submitted to The University of Queensland, rather than through a tertiary admissions centre.

Direct application

Early offer schemes (i.e. Aerospace Gateway Scheme)—
Not to be confused with Early offer rounds through QTAC.

Early offer

Principal's recommendation / Nominee's recommendation—
A recommendation written by a school principal about the abilities of a particular student.

School recommendation

No direct translation in new terminology. Previously, the cut off was the entry score of the last person to receive an offer in a program, based on the merit order of applicants. There are now several terms that apply, depending on your educational background (e.g. if you have recent secondary education or higher education study).


Minimum selection threshold or lowest OP/Rank to receive an offer

Graduation hat icon

Learn to see the potential of the world. Gain the knowledge to make it better.

Need help button