Which course requires the lowest ATAR?

The first thing we need to clarify here is the difference between ‘being eligible’ and actually getting into the course.

Many courses have a minimum ATAR that students are required to achieve in order to be eligible for entry. In Australia, the lowest minimum ATAR required by a medical program is an ATAR of 90 (Monash University) or adjusted ATAR of 90 (University of Adelaide). If you’re a rural student, you could also apply to La Trobe’s medical program, which has a minimum unadjusted ATAR requirement of 80. As for dentistry, the lowest minimum ATAR required by an Australian program is an ATAR of 90 (Charles Sturt University), an adjusted ATAR of 90 (University of Adelaide), or an adjusted ATAR of 70 for the University of Adelaide’s Bachelor of Oral Health.

(If you’re really looking for the absolute lowest threshold possible, some courses don’t even have a minimum ATAR requirement at all, like James Cook University).

However, since a lot of students applying for medicine and dentistry will definitely meet this minimum ATAR threshold, a much higher ATAR would be needed in order to actually get in. In practice, the ATAR required to actually get into a course will fluctuate every year depending on the scores achieved by the people who apply. For example, if a lot more students with 99.9+ ATARs apply for Monash in a particular year, the ATAR you need to get into Monash could be extremely high, as you need to outcompete most other applicants in order to secure a place.

So in practice, the programs that require the lowest ATAR to actually get in would be the Joint Medical Program (Newcastle & UNE) and the Joint Program in Medicine (WSU & CSU), as they don’t rank candidates by ATAR: instead, all candidates who meet their minimum ATAR requirement (around 94.3 and 95.5 respectively) are ranked for course offers purely based on their UCAT and interview results.

(However, students who qualify as rural applicants or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants may be subject to different criteria, including lower ATAR requirements.)

For more information on minimum ATAR requirements, refer to the entry criteria here.

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