James Cook University



James Cook University (JCU) is a public university in North Queensland, Australia. The second oldest university in Queensland, JCU is a teaching and research institution. The University’s main campuses are located in the tropical cities of Cairns, Singapore and Townsville. JCU also has study centres in Mount Isa, Mackay and Thursday Island. A Brisbane campus, operated by Russo Higher Education, delivers undergraduate and postgraduate courses to international students. The University’s main fields of research include marine sciences, biodiversity, sustainable management of tropical ecosystems, genetics and genomics, tropical health care, tourism and engineering.

JCU offers a range of undergraduate courses that can be completed on or off-campus. For off-campus study, courses are delivered using a combination of online resources, printed material or other technologies. Students can pursuit their interests through a variety of study areas which include arts and social sciences, business, creative arts, education, engineering, health and medicine and languages.

There are two pathways for undergraduate studies at JCU, bachelor degrees and diplomas. As for entry requirements, Year 12 applicants need to gain a Queensland Overall Position (OP) or equivalent interstate rank (TER, UAI, ENTER) that meets the entry requirements for the course they are interested in.

James Cook University offers well-planned support services for international students who wish to study in the university. Support starts prior to arrival through guidance on matter such as booking arrival service and temporary accommodation, student visa processing, things to pack, Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and the requirements and procedures if students plan to bring family members along with them. Upon arrival, JCU assists students with settling in by providing them with accommodation options.

Once settled, the university provides international students with a welcome session which will allow them to meet other students and faculty member. Overseas students are oriented accordingly about important dates such as orientations, international student activities and events. International support volunteers, learning advisers, student assistance helplines and student mentoring programs are available to students. Aside from all these, JCU also grants scholarships for international students.

The annual undergraduate tuition fees are $27,000 for business courses, $27,000 for Arts/Education, and $32,500for Engineering/Science.

Scholarships at JCU are available in the undergraduate, honours, postgraduate and research levels. These scholarships are given to students who are able to pass the eligibility requirements on the basis of academic performance or financial need. University-funded scholarships are available for both full-time and part-time students.

JCU also has many external scholarships made available by government departments, business and industry groups that students may be eligible to apply for. These scholarships are available in all study areas. International student scholarships are also awarded to eligible foreign students.

#18 in Australia by QS National Rankings
Type Public University
Size Large
20,421 Students
Cairns, Townsville


Courses Available

  • Arts
  • Business and Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Health and Nursing
  • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Natural Sciences
  • Arts
  • Biology and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business and Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Environment
  • Health and Nursing
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Law and Legal Studies
  • Natural Sciences
  • Veterinary, Agricultural and Food Sciences


How to Apply?

Apply College's Own Application Portal

For International Students

5.5 Minimum IELTS Score
TOEFL, PTE-Academic, ISLPR, OET, JCUCEAP, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE), Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) Other English Language Tests Accepted
(in lieu of IELTS)
Deadlines and Important Dates
Semester 1 Application Deadlines
Semester 2 Application Deadline

Cost and Scholarships

AUD 26,500
Median Tuition Fee

Types of Scholarships Available

Academic Scholarships
International Students' Scholarships
Commonwealth Scholarships
JCU Access Fund
External Scholarships


JCU Deans' Scholarship
Total Worth $10,000 per year
Eligibility and Requirements Undergraduate first year (school leaver), High academic achiever, domestic student. If all the below statements describe you and your current situation, you can apply for this scholarship: Be an Australian Citizen or Australian Permanent Humanitarian Visa Holder, or Australian Permanent Resident or New Zealand Citizen; Be likely to achieve a Queensland Overall Position (OP) of 1-3 or the equivalent Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranking (ATAR) or International Baccalaureate (IB) score (bonus rank points or OP adjustments will not apply); and Have applied through the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) and nominated a JCU course as your first or second preference. Enrolling in Study Period 1 in the year immediately following the completion of Year 12 on a full time basis (normally 12 credit points per teaching period) in an undergraduate course at the Cairns or Townsville campus
Application Deadline November 30
Other Details James Cook University’s Strategic Intent is to create a brighter future for life in the tropics through discoveries and graduates that make a difference. The Deans’ Scholarship seeks to support eligible students committed to making a difference in their chosen profession in tropical or underserved communities. The Deans’ Scholarship provides financial support to high achieving students for the length of their degree in order to allow students to fully commit to their studies.
JCU Academic Merit Scholarship
Total Worth $5,000 paid over 3 years
Eligibility and Requirements Undergraduate, school leaver, High academic achiever.To be eligible you will need to meet all of the following criteria: Be an Australian Citizen or Australian Permanent Humanitarian Visa Holder, or Australian Permanent Resident or New Zealand Citizen; Achieve a Queensland Overall Position (OP) of between 1 and 5, or the equivalent Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranking (ATAR) or International Baccalaureate (IB) score; Have applied through the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre and nominated a JCU course as their first preference; Be offered a place in an Eligible JCU course as a domestic student; Have completed Year 12 in the year prior to commencing study at JCU; and Commence in Study Period 1 of the year immediately after completing Year 12.
Application Deadline No separate application needed
Other Details The JCU Merit Scholarships are offered to high achieving school leavers commencing an Eligible course* at the Cairns or Townsville campuses as a domestic student. The value of the Scholarship is $5,000 (paid in two instalments per year over three years). Sixty Scholarships will be offered each year. Students who are required to relocate to study at JCU may be eligible for an additional accommodation “top up” of $1,500 paid in the first year of study. This Scholarship is subject to the provisions of James Cook University’s Coursework Scholarships, Bursaries and Grants Policy. *An Eligible course is all undergraduate bachelor and joint degrees offered by JCU at the Townsville and Cairns campuses excluding the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelor of Dental Surgery and Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences.
JCU Access Scholarship
Total Worth $4,000 for 1 year
Eligibility and Requirements Undergraduate, first year, full time. If all the below statements describe you and your current situation, you can apply for the JCU Access Fund: I am an Australian citizen, New Zealand citizen or Permanent or Humanitarian Visa holder I am in need of financial support, (i.e. receiving Centrelink payments or low earnings threshold) I am a new commencing student enrolled as a first year student* in an undergraduate diploma or bachelor course; I am enrolled as a second year student* in an undergraduate bachelor course; I have not previously completed a bachelor degree. I am or will be enrolled full-time, i.e. in a minimum of 9 credit points per semester (any study mode) If I am applying in my second semester (as a first year), or as a second year, then my first semester GPA must be 4.0 or higher.
Application Deadline February 28
Other Details The JCU Access Fund could be the answer if money problems stand between you and a higher education at James Cook University (JCU). Your financial circumstances are taken into consideration when awarding these scholarships and bursaries. The JCU Access Fund consists of three awards as below, you only need to submit one application which will be assessed for all awards you may be eligible for.