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How to get into the University of Melbourne

How to get into the University of Melbourne

Located in one of the most liveable cities in the world, the University of Melbourne in Australia offers academic rigor and several programs of interest to international students.

Kevin Newton
Kevin Newton
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Why Study at the University of Melbourne?

For those looking at studying at the University of Melbourne, perhaps the biggest draw is the city of Melbourne itself. Melbourne is, simply put, one of the best cities in the world. Continually ranked in the top three of “Most Liveable Cities” by The Economist, Melbourne combines all the appeal of a big city with moderate temperatures and enough cultural attractions to routinely be considered Australia’s cultural capital.

But that’s just the city; the university, also called UniMelb, is located on its own campus, but just a few public transit stops away from the Central Business District. The university is linked to business in the city, with plenty of internships on offer, but still maintains its own separate collegiate life.

University of Melbourne Ranking

Best of all are the University’s rankings. Melbourne typically ranks between 14 (QS Rankings) and 37 (Times Higher Education Supplement) in the world. Even US News and World Report, which consistently undervalues international universities, places Melbourne at a healthy 29. As such, UniMelb is a member of the Group of Eight, the top eight research universities in Australia which gain much of the country’s research funding.

University of Melbourne vs University of Sydney

In a lot of ways, the choice between the universities of Melbourne and Sydney is a great one to have! Both are among the best universities in the world, and they typically top the league tables in Australia. Melbourne is typically more highly ranked, but the University of Sydney does have greater name recognition. Additionally, Sydney has more job opportunities, but it is really like comparing New York and San Francisco; there are plenty to go around. Instead, it might be worth considering questions of climate. Melbourne feels more like San Francisco, whereas Sydney is considerably warmer.

University of Melbourne Programs for International Students

The University of Melbourne routinely attracts top students from around the world. Students are drawn to living in Melbourne, the university’s top academic programs, or the fact that undergraduate degrees from Melbourne take only 3 years to complete.

Something worth noting is that, unlike other Australian universities, professional degrees like law, medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine are only offered at the graduate level at Melbourne. While you can often study these as an undergrad elsewhere, Melbourne only offers these to those who already have a bachelor’s degree.

University of Melbourne Exchange Programs

Melbourne maintains exchange programs with more than 200 universities around the world. While registered students at Melbourne can take advantage of all of these, students pursuing degrees in the US can enjoy formal partnerships with Melbourne if they attend Carnegie Mellon, George Washington, Georgetown, Michigan, Penn, or USC, as well as dozens of others.

Additionally, because of similar approaches used for classes, many American universities accept transfer credit from UniMelb.

University of Melbourne Admission Requirements for International Students

UniMelb uses an entirely quantitative approach to admissions. Students from the US have their admission calculated solely by their GPA and one of a number of test scores. These scores can include the SAT, ACT, or a selection of AP Exams. Some departments will have a requirement for AP classes, typically in the sciences.

Admissions requirements differ by program. Most students will apply to Arts or Sciences, which has a 3.2 GPA requirement, and a 1320 on the SAT, 28 on the ACT, or a total sum of AP scores of 13 (from four AP exams, with no score below a three accepted).

Other departments have higher requirements. Commerce requires a 3.5 GPA, as well as one of the following: a 1380 on the SAT, 29 on the ACT, or a combined AP sum of 17. Meanwhile, Biomedicine, the hardest degree field, requires a 3.7 GPA, as well as either a 1400 on the SAT, 30 on the ACT, or AP sum of 18.

University of Melbourne Acceptance Rate for International Students

Many may think that Melbourne must have incredibly low acceptance rates, given its relatively low admissions requirements. However, Melbourne, and Australian universities in general, take a different philosophy to American universities. With a handful of exceptions, if a student can do the work as demonstrated by their exams and coursework, they have a strong likelihood of being accepted.

Please note that certain subjects do have specific subject requirements. For example, many Science subjects require relevant AP exams, and some of these can be rather high.

This is definitely a different approach when compared to other global universities, but should not be taken of an indication of a lack of quality. Instead, UniMelb puts a high premium on taking students who meet the requirements and getting them to a global-leading level.

University of Melbourne Tuition Fees for International Students

As if all this wasn’t reason enough, UniMelb is quite affordable. While costs differ between degree options, typically students should expect to spend around $32,000 a year on tuition. Australian and New Zealand citizens pay significantly less. Living expenses and health insurance typically add another $17,000 US to this number

Additionally, students almost always receive right to work during term time, and with an Australian minimum wage of A$23 per hour, there is considerable opportunity to further subsidize living expenses.

University of Melbourne Scholarships for International Students

Unlike many international universities, Melbourne does offer merit aid. Students who have above a 3.9 GPA, as well as a 1500 on the SAT or a 31 on the ACT, can typically earn a one-time scholarship of between AUS $5,000 and $10,000. Additionally, different residential colleges offer scholarships for room and board. Scholarships on a need-based on athletic-ability basis are not available.

UniMelb also participates in American federal student loan programs, so Direct Loans and 529 plans can easily apply to tuition.

How to Apply for the University of Melbourne from the US?

Applying to UniMelb is quite straightforward; there is a proprietary online aplication for international students. The application process itself is relatively straightforward  with all documentation uploaded directly to the application itself. In fact, the hardest part of the application is choosing the type of degree (Arts, Sciences, etc) and the degree field (or major).  Upon acceptance, official copies of transcripts and test scores are required to matriculate. An application fee of 130 Australian dollars typically applies for each application.

Students may choose to apply to multiple degrees at the university, but each requires a separate fee. Typically, however, students only apply to one degree.

Of particular note is that UniMelb does not require a personal statement or a letter of recommendation. Instead, the decision is largely driven by a student’s quantitative measures.

University of Melbourne Application Deadline

Melbourne has two distinct deadlines for most degrees; after all, it is in the Southern Hemisphere and therefore has an academic year that runs from February to December. Therefore, most students apply for semester one entry, which has a deadline of November 30. Students not applying for fine or performing arts degrees can apply for semester two intake, which has a deadline of May 31.

Because of its quantitative admissions approach, Melbourne is able to turn around decisions relatively quickly. Given the emphasis that UniMelb places on test prep, it only makes sense to maximize your options by performing well on tests like the ACT, SAT, or AP exams. Ivy Tutors has experts in both the ACT and the SAT, as well as across all AP subjects, and is able to help you make the most of your applications, whether they are to UniMelb or elsewhere.


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