The matriculation ceremony at Oxford

Matriculation, in the broadest sense, means to be registered or added to a list, from the Latin matricula – little list. In Scottish heraldry, for instance, a matriculation is a registration of armorial bearings. The most common meaning, however, refers to the formal process of entering a university, or of becoming eligible to enter by acquiring the meeting prerequisites.


By place


Up until the 1960s and 1970s, "matriculation", often shortened to "matric", was used (as in other Commonwealth countries) to refer to the successful completion of Form 6 (Year 12), the final year of high school. As such it was a prerequisite for entry into tertiary education.


In Bangladesh, the shortened term "Matric" refers to the Secondary School Examination (SSC) taken at year 10, before Intermediate Exams taken in subsequent two years prior to university entry. Bangladesh like the rest of Indian sub-continent continued to use terms such as Matriculation Exams and Intermediate Exams taken from the days of the British Raj although these terms were replaced in England itself with O' or Ordinary Level Examinations (now called GCSE) and A' or Advanced Level Examinations respectively.


In Brazilian Portuguese, the word "matricula" 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 (usually shortened to "matric") ceremonies. The ceremony at King's is quite similar to the matriculation ceremonies held in universities such as Oxford or Cambridge. In Ontario during the era with grade 13, satisfactory completion of grade 12 was considered junior matriculation. 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) of the Carolinum in Prague. The ceremony is attended by students commencing their studies at Charles University in Prague. 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.


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 university.


In India, is a term commonly used to refer to the final year of high school, which ends at tenth standard (tenth grade), and the qualification consequently received by passing the national board exams or the state board exams, commonly called "matriculation exams".

India continued to use terms such as Matriculation Exams and Intermediate Exams taken from the days of the British Raj although these terms were replaced in England itself with O' or Ordinary Level Examinations (now called GCSE) 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 out of matriculation, or class 10, are 15–16 years old. Upon successfully passing, a student may continue onto junior college. The 11th and 12th standards are usually referred to as "first year junior college" and "second year junior college". Most students who pass out of 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, quality of education varies according to the school and region.


In Malaysia, Matriculation programs are run by public university and Ministry of Education. Matriculation programs offered by public universities have less choices upon completion of Matriculation Programs; limited to further study in that particular university. MOE Matriculation program is a one year pre-U program, and it is sponsored by the Malaysian Government. SPM holders can apply for MOE Matriculation during their SPM at Form 5. Students that are offered matriculation program will be posted to several Matriculation College within Malaysia. After MOE Matriculation, they can further study into local universities within Malaysia. Several universities in New Zealand and UK recognize the MOE Matriculation as a pre-U.

This program has been criticized by many because they claim it is much easier than STPM, and is said to help bumiputera students' public universities entrance. Matriculation introduced after the public university admission quotas based on race repealed. 70% students in critical courses such as medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and law are the matriculation students. Instead, many courses such as Bachelors of Science which are less popular taken by the STPM students. Some claim that Form 6 is different from the matriculation program. However, matriculation and Form Six play the same role of university entrance qualification.


In Pakistan, (usually shortened to "matric") is a term that refers to the final examinations of 9th and 10th grades. It results in the issuance of SSC (Secondary School Certificate) or TSC (Technical School Certificate). After the SSC (or TSC) students may proceed for 11th year of education at College. After successful completion of the 11th and the 12th years in college they get the Intermediate certification (HSSC – Higher Secondary School Certificate), and become eligible to enter universities in Pakistan or abroad. Pakistan like the rest of Indian sub-continent continued to use terms such as Matriculation Exams and Intermediate Exams taken from the days of the British Raj although these terms were replaced in England itself with O' or Ordinary Level Examinations (now called GCSE) and A' or Advanced Level Examinations respectively.

South Africa

In South Africa, "matriculation" (usually shortened to "matric") is a term commonly used to refer to the final year of high school and the qualification received on graduating from high school, although strictly speaking it refers to the minimum university entrance requirements.

United Kingdom

In the English universities of Oxford, Cambridge,[1] Bristol and Durham, 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 matriculands to wear academic dress with subfusc during the ceremony. 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.

At the ancient universities of Scotland, particularly the University of St Andrews, matriculation involves signing the Sponsio Academica, a pledge to abide by university rules and to support the institution.

At British universities where there is no formal ceremony, the terms "matriculation", "enrolment" and "registration" are often used interchangeably by different institutions 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.


Along with the act of becoming a member of a college or hall of the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge, or of becoming a member of Trinity College, Dublin; becoming a member of the University is not termed matriculation but incorporation when the incorporand (the person to be incorporated) in question has already matriculated under the auspices of one of these three institutions (unless he or she is joining a college or hall of one of these three institutions into which they have been matriculated).

United States

In the United States, universities and colleges that have a formal matriculation ceremony include: Anna Maria College, [Asbury University], Assumption College, Belmont Abbey College, Boston College,[2] Carnegie Mellon University, Rice University, Saint Leo University, Tufts University, Randolph-Macon College,[3] Virginia Military Institute, Mount Holyoke College, Dartmouth College, Kenyon College, Harvard University, University of Wisconsin–Baraboo/Sauk County, Marietta College,[4] Trinity College, Kalamazoo College, Lyon College, Albion College, Kenyon College,[5] Mount Union College,[6] Hamline University,[7] Lyndon State College,[8] The University of Saint Mary (Kansas) and Walsh University. At other universities and colleges, "matriculation" can refer 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 only paperwork and is often handled by mail or online.[citation needed] A university might make a distinction between "matriculated students," who are actually accumulating credits toward a degree, and a relative few "non-matriculated students" who may be "auditing" courses or taking classes without receiving credits.[citation needed]

Some medical schools highlight matriculation with a white coat ceremony. For example, UAB School of Medicine[9] does so.

In Super Bowl IV, American football coach Hank Stram wore a microphone on the sidelines as part of the television broadcast, and was caught telling his Kansas City Chiefs, "Just keep matriculatin' the ball down the field, boys," referring to the process of moving the football toward a score. Since that time, and especially after Stram's death in 2005, sports commentators have used the phrase "matriculate the ball down the field" in this sense. However, this use of the word is unrelated to any other known use of the word.


  1. ^ Newton,Sir Isaac in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958. As an example of the continual use of the term matriculation in the ACAD database for any student entering any of the Colleges at Cambridge
  2. ^ "Conversations in the First Year - Boston College". 2010-08-25. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "URL retrieved 2007-August-26.". Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ URL retrieved 2008-April-11
  7. ^ admin. "Hamline University | Saint Paul, Minnesota". Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  8. ^ "Lyndon - A Vermont State College". Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  9. ^

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