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  • Locations: Sydney, Australia
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Calendar Year, Fall, Spring
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Fact Sheet:
Program Description:

Sydney Central Lawn

About the University of Sydney

The University of Sydney is Australia’s first university, established 1850.  It is a member of Australia's prestigious Group of Eight organization which is sometimes compared to the US Ivy League.

The University distinguished itself early on by acting on Australia's egalitarian ideals; from the start, it has admitted students on the basis of academic merit rather than on religion or social class, and it began admitting women earlier than many universities in Europe and North America.  Click here to read about the history of the institution.
The University of Sydney has a current enrollment of about 49,000.  It has a very international outlook, with 286 exchange agreements in 30 countries, and many international students.

Sydney researchers and graduates include medical pioneers, prime ministers, Aboriginal community leaders, Oscar winners and Australia's first astronaut.
The University of Sydney has a number of campuses spread across greater Sydney, but most faculties and student support services are based at the Camperdown/Darlington Campus.  This campus is like a small, self-contained town within the city, a 15-minute bus ride from central Sydney (or a 10-minute walk from Redfern train station).

Click here to access campus maps.

The city

Sydney is the largest city in Australia (pop. 5 million).  It is very much a multi-ethnic city, and it offers many different atmospheres and neighborhoods.  The general feel of the city will be familiar to people who know New York or Chicago.


  • Junior or Senior class standing
  • GPA of 3.00 for most majors; 3.50 required for Media & Journalism
  • Sydney is quite strict about requiring a 3.00.  Students should not apply to this program unless they have a solid cumulative GPA at this level and are highly confident that it will stay at that level between the time they apply to go abroad and the start of their semester at Sydney.
  • Note:  Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the University to study abroad. Each applicant’s disciplinary record will be reviewed, and students must be cleared by the Office of the Dean of Richmond College or Westhampton College. Students on conduct probation will not be able to study abroad if their probationary period extends beyond the start date of their intended program.  Situations of housing probation and honor probation will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
  • Participation may be denied, or acceptance may be revoked, if a student's conduct prior to departure raises doubts as to his or her suitability for the program.


Course load at the University of Sydney

Classes ("units of study") at Sydney are worth 6 credit points each.
  • The minimum full-time course load is 18 credit points per semester. 
  • The average course load is 24 credit points per semester.
  • The maximum course load is 30 credit points per semester.

Sydney credit points and UR units
Sydney credit points UR units       
6 1.2
12 2.4
18 3.6
24 4.8
Course selection

Sydney is a large university, offering a very comprehensive range of subjects.  In addition to Humanities, Business and Science subjects, it has a School of Law, and offers art and music classes through its Sydney College of Arts and a music conservatorium; Richmond students will have no shortage of rewarding choices.  Click here to see an online course catalogue.

The Australian academic year begins in February.  Students going there for UR's spring semester should look for classes offered in Sydney's Semester One.  Students going there for UR's fall semester should look for classes offered in Sydney's Semester Two.

Business is a demanding program at Sydney; International Office staff recommend that if students have not had two years of Business classes before coming to Sydney, they should plan to take only 1st or 2nd year Business courses there.

The U. of Sydney Business School has AACSB and EQUIS accreditation.

Students who have applied to Sydney and been accepted as study abroad participants (as opposed to exchange participants) are eligible to apply for internships.  See Chris Klein for details on this possibility.

Credit transfer

In order to earn Richmond credit for classes taken abroad, you must take all classes for a grade, not pass-fail, and you must earn a "C" or above. In order to receive credit toward a major, minor or field of studies, you must submit the appropriate completed study abroad course approval form(s).  Click here for details. 

Credit conversion to units. Please see this page on the website of the Registrar for an explanation of how academic credit earned abroad is converted to UR units.

Grading scale
Sydney letter grade Sydney numerical grade UR equivalency
HD (High Distinction) 85 - 100 A+
D (Distinction) 75 - 84 A
CR (Credit) 65 - 74 B
PS (Pass) 50 - 64 C
FA (Fail) less than 50 No credit
 Dates and Costs
Click here for Dates and Costs for Sydney.

Click here to read about scholarships for study abroad.

NOTE:  Travel allowances, reimbursements, health insurance premiums and other payments above tuition costs paid by Richmond on behalf of its semester and year abroad students are available only to Richmond degree-seeking students accepted to participate on UR-affiliated abroad programs.


Syd Urb
                                            Urbanest, a popular housing option for students at Sydney
Students taking part in the program will have multiple options for housing, such as apartments or residential colleges; many are not affiliated with University, which is typical in Australia. 

Sydney offers airport pick-up to students who arrive without housing; they are taken to a hostel for a couple of days so they have a place to stay while finding long-term housing.

Click here to visit Sydney's housing page.

Immigration requirements

The government of Australia assigns different "Assessment Levels" to different countries, and requires visa applicants to follow specific procedures according to their countries of citizenship.

Citizens of the US, Canada, most of the European Union, and some other countries (Assessment Level 1) can usually apply for an Australian visa online, and the process takes less than a month. (Note: Even if you have permanent residency in the US but are not a citizen, you cannot follow the procedure for US citizens).

Citizens of other countries (Assessment Levels 2, 3 or 4) may need to have medical exams, submit test results showing English proficiency, and file their applications in person at an Australian embassy or consulate. The process involves substantial cost to the student (which cannot be reimbursed by UR) and may take three months.

For details, please read Australian Visa Information.


Contact Chris Klein in the Office of International Education.
This document represents the most accurate information available at the time of publication. Statements contained herein are not contractual obligations, and verbal or other representations that are inconsistent with or not contained within the document are not binding. The University of Richmond reserves the right to change without specific notice programs and the conditions under which they are offered.
Updated March 2017