AskDefine | Define matriculate

Dictionary Definition

matriculate n : someone who has been admitted to a college or university v : enroll as a student

User Contributed Dictionary



matrix, list


  1. To enroll as a member of a body, esp. of a college or university
  2. To be enrolled as a member of a body, esp. of a college or university.

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Matriculation, in the broadest sense, means to be registered or added to a list, from the Latin matrix. In Scottish heraldry, for instance, a matriculation is a registration of armorial bearings. The most common meaning, however, refers to the formal process of entering a university, or of becoming eligible to enter by acquiring the meeting prerequisites.

Entrance exam

In England and Wales until the advent of the General Certificate of Education (GCE), Matriculation (usually abbreviated "matric") was the examination taken to earn the right to enter university. Unlike the GCE exam, it had a number of compulsory subjects and all had to be passed at a single sitting.
In some countries, for example Iceland and Malta, a matriculation exam (somewhere more like a degree nowadays rather than a single exam) is still obligatory to enter a university.
German-Speaking countries use the term "Immatrikulation" (Austrian: "Inskription") (Matriculation) for the process of signing up for the school.

By country

North American universities

In Canada, the term is used by some older universities to refer to orientation ("frosh") events, however some Universities, including University of King's College, still hold formal Matriculation ceremonies.
In the United States, "matriculation" generally simply refers to enrollment or registration as a student at a university or college by a student intending to earn a degree (a university might make a distinction between "matriculated students," who are actually accumulating credits toward a degree, and a relative few "non-matriculated students" who may be "auditing" courses or taking classes without receiving credits), an event which involves only paperwork and is often handled by mail or online. Formal matriculation ceremonies are an extreme rarity, with only a few colleges and universities holding any sort of formal event. Carnegie Mellon University, Rice University, Virginia Military Institute, Dartmouth College, Marietta College, Trinity College in Connecticut, Kalamazoo College in Michigan and Kenyon College, Mount Union College, Walsh University in Ohio are among the few with matriculation ceremonies.
Some medical schools highlight matriculation with a white coat ceremony. Ex. UAB School of Medicine

South Africa

In South Africa, "matriculation" (usually shortened to "matric") is a term commonly used to refer to the final year of high school and the qualification received on graduating from high school, although strictly speaking it refers to the minimum university entrance requirements.


In India, "matriculation" (sometimes referred to as "matric") is a term commonly used to refer to the final year of high school, which ends at tenth standard (tenth grade) and the qualification received on finishing the tenth standard (tenth grade) of high school and passing the national board exams or the state board exams, commonly called "matriculation exams". Most students who pass out of matriculation, or class 10, are 15-16 years old. Upon successfully passing, a student may continue onto junior college. The 11th and 12th standards (grades) are usually referred to as "first year junior college" and "second year junior college". Most students who pass out of class 12 are 17-18 years old. With the introduction of separate entrance examinations for entry into medicine, engineering and law courses, many students (especially those opting for science) tend to take their 12th exams lightly. Entrance exams usually comprise of multiple-choice-questions on physics, chemistry and biology (or mathematics) and are conducted separately on national and state levels. Additionally some highly coveted institutions hold their own entrance tests. These competitive exams are among the toughest in the world and competition is intense, for example over 300,000 students appear for the IIT-JEE exam, competing for 5,500 seats at the IITs. The CBSE and ICSE boards conduct twelfth standard courses nationally, while state boards operate at the state-level.

United Kingdom

In the English universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Durham, the term is used for the ceremony at which new students are entered into the register (in Latin matricula) of the university, at which point they become members of the university. Oxford requires matriculands to wear academic dress with sub-fusc during the ceremony. At Cambridge and Durham, policy regarding the wearing of academic dress varies amongst the colleges. Separate matriculation ceremonies are held by the colleges at Oxford, Cambridge and some of the colleges in Durham.
At the ancient universities of Scotland, Matriculation involves signing the Sponsio Academica, a pledge to abide by university rules and to support the institution.
At British universities where there is no formal ceremony, the terms matriculation and registration are often used interchangeably to describe the administrative process of becoming a member of the university.
At Oxford and Cambridge matriculation was formerly associated with entrance examinations taken before or shortly after matriculation, known as Responsions at Oxford and the Previous Examination at Cambridge, both abolished in 1960. University-wide entrance examinations were subsequently re-introduced at both universities, but abolished in 1995 . More limited subject-based tests have since been introduced.


Along with the act of becoming a member of a college or hall of the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge or of becoming a member of Trinity College, Dublin, becoming a member of the University is not termed matriculation but incorporation when the incorporand (the person to be incorporated) in question has already matriculated under the auspices of one of these three institutions (unless he is joining a college or hall of one of these three institutions into which he has been matriculated).


matriculate in Czech: Imatrikulace
matriculate in Danish: Immatrikulation
matriculate in German: Immatrikulation
matriculate in Esperanto: Enmatrikuligo
matriculate in Hebrew: תעודת בגרות
matriculate in Japanese: 入学
matriculate in Polish: Immatrykulacja
matriculate in Yiddish: תעודת בגרות
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