Admission to USM


USM offers various full-time study programmes to interested and qualified candidates. Programmes such as Science, Applied Science, Computer Science, Engineering, Technology, Arts, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Medicine, Health Sciences, Dentistry, Literature, Social Sciences, Music, Fine Arts, Education, Economics, Management and Accounting are frequently chosen by students in their pursuit of tertiary education.

Core Policy on Student Intake

USM receives a very high number of applications each academic session. Applications for each study programme offered far exceed the number of places available. Each application is assessed according to the specific entry regulations and criteria set by the Senate. The policy for USM student intake encompasses three (3) aspects as stated below:

i. Merit

According to the meritocracy system that is used in the selection of students, emphasis is placed on 90% academic performance and 10% co-curricular activities. The student’s academic performance contributes the biggest share in ranking. The combination of grade points at STPM/Matriculation/Diploma/ or equivalent level which represents 90% of academic ability is taken into account while contributions from the field of sports/games/clubs/societies/uniformed units/National service Programme represent 10%. The use of the Meritocracy System is far more competitive, fair, transparent and consistent.

ii. Potential

The ability of the student has to be viewed from several aspects. Apart from academic performance, the potential, talent and student interest need to be taken into account. Mental strength, character, interest, intelligence as well as personal values of the candidate are important factors when considering a particular study programme. Candidates with potential will be able to grow and develop and showcase their talent so that they will be much more successful in their study programme and in the university. In this way, these students will be able to contribute to society and the country.

iii. Diversity

It is vital to take into account the students’ academic background, ethnicity, culture, gender, occupation and place of origin during an intake for any study programme. The learning opportunity for students from various backgrounds will help to enhance the sense of unity and at the same time create a healthy competitive spirit. A good balance among the students from various backgrounds signifies the vision and integrity of a university.

Admission Channels comprise:

  1. Main Channel
  2. Alternative Channels
    1. International
    2. Special Admission
    3. Secondary Channel
    4. Lifelong Education Programme (Senior Citizens, Sports and Culture Personalities)
    5. Bottom 40% Households
    6. USM-KLE MD Programme
    7. USM-KPT (PPD) Architecture Programme
    8. Diploma in Nursing
  3. Distance Education Programme

01. Main Channel (STPM /Matriculation/Diploma/or Equivalent)

From the 2017/2018 Academic Session, student applications for entry into Bachelor’s Degree Programmes (Full-Time) have to go through the UPU system (Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia). Applications to pursue study programmes in USM are opened to the following categories:

i.Malaysian Higher School Certificate (STPM)
ii.Matriculation (BMKPM) / UiTM Foundation / UM Foundation (PASUM)
iii.Diploma / Equivalent [A-Levels / International Baccalaureate (IB) / Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT)

02. Alternative Channel


This channel is for non-citizens/international students to pursue their tertiary education full-time. A range of programmes are offered to international students such as Pure Science, Applied Science, Arts, Engineering and Health Sciences.

ii.Special Admission

The Special Admission channel is meant exclusively for government staff to pursue their education in any field that is offered. So far, USM offers the Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) (Planning and Management Development Programme) and the Bachelor of Social Work (Honours).

iii.Secondary Channel

This channel is meant exclusively for candidates who are working and who have not had the opportunity to pursue their studies at the tertiary level. Programmes that are offered include Civil Engineering, Technology, Special Education, HBP (Housing, Building and Planning) and Health Sciences

iv.Lifelong Education Programme (Senior Citizens, Sports and Culture Personalities)

The admission of students under the Lifelong Education programme is not only aimed at providing opportunities for individuals who wish to realise their dream of obtaining a degree but also to consolidate and enhance the quality of education while at the same time increasing the level of intellectualism in society. Students selected under this programme will be given a 50% discount on their tuition fees.

a.Sports Personalities

This channel is open to candidates who have STPM/ Matriculation/Pre-U/or Equivalent and who have a minimum of 3 years’ experience as a national athelete or who is still active in national sports.

b.Culture personalities

This channel is open to candidates with experience in the field of Arts or with a minimum of 5 years’ working experience in a related field and who are nationally recognised.

c.Senior Citizens

This channel is open to citizens who are 50 years old and above. They must have a minimum of 10 years’ working experience in the related field.

v.Bottom 40% Households

The intake of students under the Bottom 40% Households programme involves socio-economically disadvantaged students as well as those who were not able to receive the opportunities and facilities provided by the government. This new entrance mechanism is an initiative under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) USM agenda to assist students in the bottom 40% households to pursue their education at tertiary level.

vi.USM-KLE MD Programme

University Sains Malysia initiated its off-shore programme with Karnataka Lingayat Education (KLE) University in Belgaum, Bangalore, India with its first student intake during the 2010/2011 Academic Session. This is a five year study programme and upon completion of their studies, students will be conferred a Doctor of Medicine Degree from USM.

vii.USM-KPT Architecture (PPD) Programme

USM is collaborating with the Port Dickson Polytechnic through the offshore USM-KPT (PPD) programme for the Bachelor of Science Degree (Housing, Building and Planning)(Honours)(Architecture). This programme is aimed at expanding the educational opportunities across the campus while at the same time realising the motto of the university, “We Lead”. This programme is open to students with a Diploma in Architecture from Malaysian Polytechnics. The period of study is 3 years at the Port Dickson Polytechnic in Negeri Sembilan and upon completion of their studies, students will be conferred a Bachelor of Science Degree (Housing, Building and Planning) (Honours)(Architecture).

viii.Diploma in Nursing

The USM Diploma in Nursing Programme in a professional programme focusing on the academic education and clinical practise to train professional nurses skilled in modern, safe and effective clinical nursing practices and capable of contributing to the well-being of the community. This programme is open to all Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) holders.

03. Distance Education Programme

The Distance Education Programme (PPJJ), initiated by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in 1971, is the premier distance learning programme offered in Malaysia. 

The courses offered under this programme are equivalent to those pursued by full-time students in the university. The teaching materials consist of printed materials, tape recordings and a variety of other media paraphernalia. 

The period of study extends from a minimum of 5 years to a maximum of 12 years. Successful candidates will be conferred any of the following Bachelor’s Degrees: 

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Social Science (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Management (Honours)

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