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Students arriving for a matriculation ceremony at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford Oxford Matriculation 2003.jpg
Students arriving for a matriculation ceremony at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

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 1960s and early 1970s, 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,[ citation needed ] however some universities, including University of King's College, still hold formal Matriculation ceremonies. The ceremony at King's is quite similar to the matriculation ceremonies held in universities such as Oxford or Cambridge. 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. "F!rosh Week" at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering also begins with a distinct Matriculation ceremony held at the University's Convocation Hall; [1] though, there is no matriculation register to be signed, and the event is held by the student-run University of Toronto Engineering Society (through their Orientation Committee) rather than officially by the Faculty. [2] It is also where first-year engineering students take the "Hardhat Oath," a modified version of the Rifleman's Creed. [3] At McGill University in Montreal, matriculation ceremonies have been substantially stripped down since the 1990s, although a speech by the Principal, typically held at Molson Stadium, to the incoming class is still a ritualized annual tradition. 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. In practice the test also constitutes the high school's final exams, although there is a separate diploma on graduating from high school, based not on the exam, but on the grades of individual courses. 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 (which until 1918 was the only university in Finland).


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, matriculation is a term commonly used to refer to the final year of the 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 for Class 10th and Class 12th Board Exams respectively, taken from the days of British rule although in England these terms have been 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 & almost all the competitive exams for entering in various universities in India are based on CBSE syllabus,[ citation needed ] various scholarships are also provided to students appearing for matriculation exams like NTSE, [4] NSO, NSTSC etc.


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.[ citation needed ]

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.[ citation needed ]


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 referred to as “matric”) is the term that refers to the final examinations that take place at the end of 9th and 10th grades. [5] 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 a higher secondary school. After successful completion of 11th (HSSC-1) and 12th (HSSC-2) years in college, they get the 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.

South Africa

In South Africa, matriculation (or matric) is the final year of high school and the qualification received on graduating from high school, and the minimum university entrance requirements. The first formal examination was conducted in South Africa under the University of the Cape of Good Hope in 1858. [6]

South African universities do not set their own entrance examinations, although many use standardized entrance tests of linguistic, numerical and mathematical ability, called the National Benchmark Tests, [7] split into the AQL Test (Academic and Quantitative Literacy) and the Mathematics Test.

United Kingdom

In the British universities of Oxford, [8] Cambridge, [9] [10] St Andrews, [11] Edinburgh, [12] Durham, [13] and the New College of the Humanities, [14] 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. [8] 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, [15] Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, Columbia University, Culver-Stockton College, Dartmouth College, Duquesne University, Hamline University, [16] Harvard University, Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, FL, Kalamazoo College, Kenyon College, [17] Lawrence University, Lyndon State College, [18] Lyon College, Marietta College, [19] McKendree University, [20] Mount Holyoke College, Mount Union College, [21] Moravian College, Muhlenberg College, Occidental College, Randolph-Macon College, Rice University, [22] 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, [23] 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 [24] 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, [25] [26] [27] non-matriculated students [28] [29] or non-matriculating students. [30] 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.

See also

Related Research Articles

The General Certificate of Education (GCE) is a subject-specific family of academic qualifications used in awarding bodies in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Crown dependencies and a few Commonwealth countries. For some time, the Scottish education system has been different from those in the other countries of the United Kingdom.

The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) or Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC), Matriculation examination, is a public examination in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan conducted by educational boards for the successful completion of the secondary education exam in these countries. Students of 10th grade/class ten can appear in these. It is equivalent to the year 10 of the GCSE in England or the first two years of high schools in United States.

An examination board is small board organization that sets examinations, is responsible for marking them, and distributes results. Some are run by governmental entities; some are run as not-for-profit organizations.

Tenth grade or grade 10 is the tenth year of school post-kindergarten or the tenth year after the first introductory year upon entering compulsory schooling. In many parts of the world, the students are 15 or 16 years of age, depending on when their birthday occurs. The variants of 10th grade in various countries are described below.

Twelfth grade, 12th grade, senior year, or grade 12 is the final year of secondary school in most of the world. It may also be referred to as class 12 or Year 13. In most countries, students are usually between the ages of 17 and 18 years old. Some countries have a thirteenth grade, while other countries do not have a 12th grade/year at all. Twelfth grade is typically the last year of high school.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Malaysian Higher School Certificate</span>

The Malaysian Higher School Certificate, commonly abbreviated as STPM, is a pre-university examination in Malaysia. It was formerly known as the Higher School Certificate (HSC). Since 1982, STPM has been administered by the Malaysian Examinations Council (MEC), a statutory council under the Ministry of Education.

A school leaving qualification is an academic qualification awarded for the completion of high school. Depending on the country or region, it may alternatively be known as a high school diploma, senior secondary leaving certificate, high school general certificate or school certificate.

The West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) is a type of standardized test in West Africa. Students who pass the exam receive a certificate confirming their graduation from secondary education. It is administered by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC). It is only offered to candidates residing in Anglophone West African countries. The academic school-leaving qualification awarded upon successful completion of the exams is the West African Senior School Certificate.

The Higher Secondary School Certificate is a secondary qualification in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">A-Level</span> British educational certification

The A-Level is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education, as well as a school leaving qualification offered by the educational bodies in the United Kingdom and the educational authorities of British Crown dependencies to students completing secondary or pre-university education. They were introduced in England and Wales in 1951 to replace the Higher School Certificate.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">GCE Ordinary Level</span> British educational certification

The O-Level is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education. It began in the United Kingdom and has been adopted, often with modifications, in several other countries.

In South Africa, matriculation is the final year of high school and the qualification received on graduating from high school, and the minimum university entrance requirements. The first formal examination was conducted in South Africa under the University of the Cape of Good Hope in 1858. In general usage, the school-leaving exams, which are government-administered, are known as the "matric exams"; by extension, students in the final year of high school are known as "matriculants" or, more commonly, "matrics". Once the Matric year has been passed, students are said to have "matriculated". See List of secondary education systems by country § South Africa.

A matriculation examination or matriculation exam is a university entrance examination, which is typically held towards the end of secondary school. After passing the examination, a student receives a school leaving certificate recognising academic qualifications from secondary-level education. Depending on scores or grades achieved, a student may then matriculate to university to take up further studies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education</span>

The Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education commonly known as FBISE) is a Government of Pakistan board for examining the intermediate and secondary education in Pakistan and abroad for Pakistan International School. It is authorized with financial and administrative authority to organize, manage, regulate, develop and control intermediate and secondary education in general and accomplish examinations in the institutions affiliated with it.

All India Secondary School Examination, commonly known as board exams, is a centralized public examination that students in schools affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education in India take after class 10. The board conducts the examination during the period of February every year even after implementing the ambitious project of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation. Now that the board has ended the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation pattern as a result Joint Employment Test, NEET, etc., the exam is conducted by the National Testing Agency instead. In this exam, Mathematics, Science and Social Science are compulsory with any two languages. Students can also opt skill subject such as information technology, painting, yoga, music or artificial intelligence. Successful candidates are awarded the Secondary School Completion Certificate, a Statement of Marks, and a Migration Certificate stating that the candidate has completed Secondary Schooling and can pursue higher education. For the 2016-17 academic year, the Central Board of Secondary Education has revived the old system of syllabus and marking scheme (complete syllabus for All India Secondary School Examination and marks out of 500 India has state exams and central exams.

The education system in Lahore is formulated along specific modern, religious, cultural, social, psychological, commerce and scientific injunctions. Lahore is Pakistan’s largest producer of professionals in the fields of science, technology, IT, engineering, medicine, nuclear sciences, pharmacology, telecommunication, biotechnology and microelectronics. Most of the reputable universities are public, but in recent years there has also been an upsurge in the number of private universities. The current literacy rate of Lahore is 64%. The standard national system of education is mainly inspired from the British system. The system also aims to imbibe a secular outlook among the students with the awareness of the rich cultural heritage of Pakistan. Lahore has a wide range of schools, colleges and universities that caters to diverse streams.

A high school diploma is a diploma awarded upon graduation of high school. A high school diploma is awarded after completion of courses of studies lasting four years, typically from grade 9 to grade 12. It is the school leaving qualification in the United States and Canada.


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