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Assessing International Grades for Otago Postgraduate Scholarships


The World Education Service provides an online grade conversion guide which translates grades from a wide range of countries into equivalent US grades. Although this does not provide conversions to New Zealand grades, it can be useful for prospective students and staff in determining whether an applicant may be likely to receive an Otago postgraduate scholarship.

As a general rule, most successful applicants for University of Otago postgraduate scholarships will have most relevant grades and/or a grade average in the US equivalent A range.

Where the applicant’s qualifying degree for postgraduate study at Otago is at undergraduate level or postgraduate level below a master’s degree, we recommend looking mainly at the last year of study and secondarily at the second to last year of study. Where the applicant’s qualifying degree is a master’s degree or equivalent, we recommend looking at all papers.

Note that the grade conversion should be treated as indicative only; relevant papers at A level do not guarantee a scholarship, but do suggest that applying for an Otago Scholarships may be worthwhile. Conversely, an applicant with a US equivalent B average in the relevant years of their qualifying degree is unlikely to receive a University of Otago postgraduate scholarship. For qualifications older than ten years, subsequent experience is also very important, and the grade can be discounted somewhat.

Note also, that as US grades are not very fine grained, it obviously increases an applicant’s chance of receiving a scholarship the higher they average in the US equivalent A range.  For example, if the World Education Service deem a grade range of 60-100 [from another country] to be equivalent to a US A grade, then an applicant with an average of 90 is more likely to receive a scholarship than an applicant with an average of 60.

International applicants and staff may also wish to refer to the English language requirements for postgraduate study at Otago, available elsewhere on this website.