University of Cape Town Courses

You are required to maintain a full-time course load through your time in South Africa. A full-time course load as defined by Arcadia University is 15-17 U.S. credits per semester. All students are required to participate in the 3-credit core course, Introducing South Africa: History, Politics and Culture, which is intended to provide a forum for reflection and analysis on current issues and challenges facing South Africans. The remainder of your courses will be taken at UCT.

  • Make sure your credits transfer back for credit with your home school – this is your responsibility.
  • Please be flexible about courses – we can’t guarantee placement in specific courses.
  • Please review your course choices with your academic or study abroad advisor, and submit the online course registration form to The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University.

The Course Selection Process

In order to proceed with your application at the University of Cape Town, you will need to propose a preliminary course schedule for your semester. Your course selections should be made in consultation with your academic advisor, so if you have not previously done so, please meet with your academic advisor to ensure that the courses that you plan to take overseas will transfer back to your degree program.

In addition to your proposed course schedule, you should choose a series of alternate courses. Your first choice selections may not be available due to scheduling changes, time conflicts, prerequisites or cancellations. Your flexibility is very important to the process. Therefore, please indicate a total of 7-9 courses that suit your academic needs.

Please note: in addition to the challenges to course availability listed above, certain courses at UCT may have a cap on the number of international students who can enroll in the course in any given semester. Because of this, and as students will only register for courses upon arrival at UCT, you must be flexible about the exact courses you take abroad.

If your enrollment is conditional upon entry into a specific course or courses, it is very important that you indicate these requirements at the bottom of the course selection form so that we can make UCT aware of your needs. While every effort will be made to accommodate your selections, neither the University of Cape Town nor Arcadia University can guarantee placement in any specific course.

Official course registration will take place once you have arrived on campus at UCT. You will be able to make changes to your course selections up until the point of registration.

Core Course

In addition to your coursework at the university, all students are required to participate in a 3-credit core course, "Introducing South Africa: History, Politics and Culture," which is intended to provide a forum for reflection and analysis on current issues and challenges facing South Africans.

Core Course
Course IDTitleCreditsTermSyllabus
CAPE SMCI 310 Introducing South Africa: History, Politics and Culture 3 Spring/Fall PDF

Selecting Courses at UCT

When selecting your courses from the overseas university’s website, you should be aware of some differences in terminology. In South Africa, the largest academic unit, typically referred to as a school or college at a US university, is the faculty. UCT features courses on its website per faculty.

Students may select semester courses offered by the five Faculties of Commerce, Engineering and the Built Environment, Humanities, Law and Science. Please note that faculty handbooks are updated every year and it is important that students choose courses only from the most updated faculty handbooks. If, however, handbooks are not yet available for the year in which you intend to study abroad, use the most recent available handbooks instead.

When selecting courses, please remember that the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. As such, if you will be studying at UCT in the fall in the U.S. (July – November), this will be considered the second semester at UCT. In this case you should be sure to select courses with an "S" at the end of the course code. The spring in the U.S. will be the first semester in South Africa, so for this period (January – June) you should select courses with an "F" at the end of the course code. Courses ending in "W" or "H" are full year (January - November) courses and may only be taken by students who will be studying at UCT for the Academic Year Southern Hemisphere. These courses are not available to semester-only students.

Begin the course selection process.

Select the faculty(ies) in which you are interested in taking courses. Each faculty link will open a separate pdf and you will be able to scroll down to course descriptions in each department within that faculty.


Students must maintain a full-time course load throughout their period of study in South Africa. A full-time course load is defined by Arcadia University as 15-17 US semester hours of credit. This is equivalent to at least 54 NQF credits per semester at UCT, plus the required 3-credit Arcadia core course.

Credits for UCT’s classes are calculated as follows:

UCT NQF CreditsU.S. Semester Hour Credits
18 4
24 5
36 8

Depending on the credit-weighting of each class, most students must take 2-3 UCT classes per semester to total at least 54 NQF credits.