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AU introduces a minimum grade requirement of 6.0 for quota 1 applicants

From now on, applicants will need a minimum average grade of 6.0 to be eligible for quota 1 admission to a degree programme at Aarhus University. This requirement has been introduced in order to improve the quality of the degree programmes and to make it easier for applicants to understand the requirements when they apply for admission.

2021.02.22 | Camilla Schrøder

Photo: Ida Jensen, AU Foto


Aarhus University is introducing a university-wide minimum grade requirement of 6.0 for quota 1 applications to all of the university’s degree programmes, with the exception of all of AU’s professional Bachelor's degree programmes and the business administration degree programmes in Herning.

The Ministry of Higher Education and Science will be notified of the new minimum grade requirement at the end of this month. The minimum grade requirement is expected to be introduced in 2021 at three faculties: Natural Sciences, Technical Sciences and Aarhus BSS. The requirement will take effect in 2022 at Arts and Health. Some faculties already have minimum grade requirements, which is why the university-wide grade requirement will be introduced in two phases.

Pro-rector Berit Eika is satisfied with the new university-wide minimum of 6.0 for quota 1. She believes that it will make it easier for the applicants to navigate the admission process, and that it will send an important message about the level of academic qualifications needed to study at university.

“We want to make it easier for applicants to understand our admission criteria. We also wish to make it clear that students need to have a pretty high academic level to study at Aarhus University. We know that a student’s average grade from upper secondary school plays a role in whether they complete their degree, and how well they do in their degree programme,” she says and emphasises that applicants with a average grade lower than 6.0 can still apply to Aarhus University.

“For some applicants, acceptance via quota 1 won’t be possible, but they can apply via quota 2, where other qualifications than grades play a role, and where the student’s motivation may be weighted more. Quota 2 is therefore still an important part of our admission system, because we want to make room for everyone with the ability, will and motivation to complete a university education – even though they haven’t received high grades in upper secondary school,” says Berit Eika.

The university’s five faculties will look into whether the new grade requirements for quota 1 might lead to a modification of the current criteria for quota 2 admissions, and whether the distribution between quota 1 and quota 2 admissions should be changed.

6.0 is a suitable level

At some faculties, a grade requirement of 6.0 will mean lowering the average grade necessary for admission, while it will raise the requirements for applicants at other faculties. At Aarhus BSS, Natural Sciences and Technical Sciences the minimum grade requirement has been 7.0 up until now. Yet it also makes sense to change the grade requirement to 6.0 at these faculties. Since the removal of the quick start bonus in 2020, applicants generally have had a lower average grade when applying for a post-secondary education, which is important to keep in mind, according to Berit Eika:

“We estimate that a grade requirement of 7.0 would be so high that we would risk preventing qualified and motivated applicants from applying to AU. And having basically the same minimum grade requirement for quota 1 across the university, will also simplify the application process for applicants.”

Professional Bachelor's degree programmes and Herning are exempted

For AU’s professional Bachelor's degree programmes, there will still be no minimum grade requirement for quota 1. This also includes the Bachelor of Engineering programme at Aarhus BSS and Technical Sciences and the dental hygienist degree programme at Health. This is primarily because these particular programmes have not found the same correlation between the applicants’ grades from their upper secondary school exams and their ability to finish their degree which has been found in standard university Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes. According to vice-dean at Technical Sciences Finn Borchsenius, the Bachelor of Engineering programme is a good example:

“In our experience there is a lower dropout rate on our Bachelor of Engineering programmes than on other Bachelor’s degree programmes. So the grade requirement isn’t of the same importance as on the university’s other degree programmes,” he says.

The degree programmes in Herning will also continue without a minimum grade requirement in quota 1.

Read more about the Bachelor's programmes at AU


  • AU has 95 Bachelor’s degree programmes.
  • From now on, there will be af minimum grade requirement of 6,0 in quota 1 to 70 degree programmes of which 29 degree programmes already had aa minimum grade requirement. 25 Bachelor's degree programmes are exempted.
  • AU currently admits approx. 15 per cent of its students via quota 2. However, the numbers vary greatly between degree programmes.

FACTS: Which requirements current apply?

  • ARTS: Until now, there has been no minimum grade requirement.
  • HEALTH: Until now, there has been no minimum grade requirement.
  • AARHUS BSS: The faculty had been planning to introduce a minimum grade requirement of 7.0 for quota 1 beginning in 2021.
  • NAT and TECH: In 2019, Nat and Tech introduced a grade requirement of 7.0 for quota 1.
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