Skip navigation

Policy: Higher Degree by Research Admissions


To articulate the University’s standards for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) admissions, and support efficient, effective and transparent application processes.


Admit term means a specified period of the academic year for which an applicant is approved to commence their program.

Applicant means a prospective candidate who has lodged an application for an HDR program.

Candidate means an applicant who has accepted an offer from and enrolled at the University.

Delegated Authority: in relation to a program offered by an ANU College for a research award, means a person who is appointed under the Research Awards Rule section 105 (Appointment etc. of Delegated Authorities) as a Delegated Authority for the program.

Domestic applicants are Australian or New Zealand citizens (including dual citizenship holders of either country); Australian Permanent Residents; and holders of an Australian Humanitarian Visa.

Graduate Research Office (GRO) means the office responsible for the central administration of Higher Degree Research programs at the University.

GTE: The genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement is an integrity measure used by the Department of Home Affairs to ensure the student visa program is used as intended and not as a way for international students to maintain ongoing residency in Australia.

GTE Criterion: GTE Criterion as stated in the Migration Regulations 1994 Schedule 2 clauses 500.212, 500.312, and 590.215

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Programs: A program of study leading to the award of a Doctor of Philosophy or Master of Philosophy.

International applicants: For the purposes of admission to the University, international applicants are applicants who are not Domestic applicants.

Prospective candidate means a person who is considering lodging an application to study an ANU HDR program but who has not yet submitted an application.

Referee means a person nominated by the prospective candidate to provide an academic and/or professional referee report.


This policy sets out principles for admission to HDR programs at the University.


This policy applies to the University’s HDR programs only. This policy should be read in conjunction with the HDR Admissions Procedure and Research Awards Rule.

Policy statement


  1. The University has admission standards that:
  1. build on a culture of research excellence;
  2. are clear, concise, equitable and transparent;
  3. ensure that only the best candidates are selected from a pool of applicants who have adequate prior knowledge and skills, including English language proficiency, to succeed in the program;
  4. are consistent with the Australian Qualifications Framework, and take account of external benchmarking;
  5. support the University in achieving strategic goals in provision of a world class student experience and diversity of student body.

Offer of place in programs

  1. An Offer of place into any HDR program will only be made if registered supervisors with the relevant experience, and adequate facilities and resources to support the applicant’s proposed research project are available.

Admissions standards accreditation

  1. Higher Degree Research Committee (HDRC) endorses, and Academic Board approves admissions standards for a maximum period of five years. HDR Admissions standards include:
  1. minimum English language requirements; and
  2. minimum academic qualifications
  1. For PhD applicants,
  2. For Master’s by Research program applicants.
  1. Minimum eligibility requirements apply to all HDR programs, however individual programs may be subject to additional program-specific eligibility criteria and prerequisites, which are endorsed by HDRC and approved by Academic Board.
  2. Admissions standards for each of the University’s HDR programs are reviewed at least every five years, although HDRC or Academic Board may trigger a shorter review cycle on the basis of evidence relating to student outcomes, breaches, conflicts of interest or quality assurance.
  3. The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Graduate Research) may determine that international applicants from a particular country or region must apply for admission through a registered ANU education agent.

Admission outcomes

  1. Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements for admission into their proposed program of study may be offered a place in the program. Eligibility for admission does not guarantee an offer for a place in the program.
  2. Applicants who submit a complete application will receive formal notification of an outcome, which can be:
  1. a full offer; or
  2. a conditional offer that outlines the conditions that must be met; or
  3. a letter indicating an unsuccessful outcome.
  1. Any communication other than a formal notification of outcome cannot be accepted or taken as formal advice on an application.
  2. Review of HDR admissions decisions and appeals are undertaken in accordance with the ANU Research Awards Rule.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Higher Degree Research- Admissions
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_7869061
Purpose To articulate the University’s standards for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) admissions, and support efficient, effective and transparent application processes.
Audience Students-Graduate-Coursework, Staff-Academic-Research, Prospective Students, Staff-Academic, Students, Students-Graduate-Research
Category Academic
Topic/ SubTopic Students - Higher Research Degrees
Effective Date 20 Mar 2024
Next Review Date 19 Mar 2025
Responsible Officer: Pro Vice-Chancellor (Graduate Research)
Approved By: Academic Board
Contact Area Graduate Research Office
Authority: Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 : NHMRC
Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000
Australian National University (Governance) Statute 2023
Academic Integrity Rule 2021
Research Awards Rule 2021
Delegations 71,75,96,43

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.

Related Content

Higher Degree Research- Admissions