University of the Western Cape Courses

Most students take 4-5 courses for a total of 16 credits per semester. All students participate in the required, 3-credit Arcadia core course: Introducing South Africa: History, Politics and Culture.

  • Please review your courses with your academic or study abroad advisor to ensure they will transfer back to your home school and that you are following your home school’s policies.
  • Please be flexible – we can’t guarantee specific courses. If your participation in the program depends on a particular course, be sure to make a note on your online preferences form.

Special Considerations for UWC

Honors Level Courses and Master’s level courses:

  • taught at the Institute for Social Development
  • must meet prerequisites
  • each 24-32 credit class = 6 U.S. credits

Choosing Your Courses

When completing your Academic Preferences Form:

  • List and secure approval from your homeschool for 7 UWC courses.
  • Required 3-credit Arcadia core course will automatically populate on the form.

Required Cornerstone Course

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

University of the Western Cape Courses

Through the UWC course catalog:

  • departments are arranged within faculties.
  • level 1 courses = introductory
  • level 3 courses = final year
  • course availability at UWC varies widely
  • indicate very generally what courses you would like to take at UWC
  • Should meet prerequisites
  • final course registration at orientation.

Choosing the Correct Semester

Seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere:

  • Fall in the U.S. (July – November) = Semester 2 at UWC
  • Spring in the U.S. (January - June) = Semester 1 at UWC
  • Academic Year in US = Whole Year at UWC (January - November).
  • Whole Year courses may only be taken by students who will be studying at UWC for the Academic Year Southern Hemisphere.
  • Whole Year courses are not available to Semester-only students.

Most South African Universities typically award degrees after a three-year program of study. 300-level courses are completed in the final year, and so therefore do not correspond precisely to junior-level courses in the US. If you enroll in 300 level courses, please be aware that these courses are advanced.

Courses should be chosen according to the following guide:

  • 100 level = beginner
  • 200 level = intermediate
  • 300 level=  advanced 


  • 10 credit UWC courses = 3 U.S. credits
  • 15 credit UWC courses = 4 U.S. credits

Special Nomenclature

The largest academic unit, typically referred to as a school or college at a US university, is the faculty. UWC features courses on its website by faculty.

Enrollment Process

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

Grade Scale for South Africa - AACRAO EDGE

The following information is vetted and provided by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) on the Electronic Database for Global Education (EDGE).

Percentage Description Suggested U.S. Equivalent
75 – 100% 1st Class A
70 – 74% 2nd Class/Division 1 B+
60 – 69% 2nd Class/Division 2 B
50 – 59% 3rd Class C
0 – 49% Fail F
Intellectual property copyright AACRAO EDGE.