Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Regional Rural Admission Scheme

Places in undergraduate programmes in medicine, optometry and pharmacy are allocated for students of regional or rural origin. These places are to ensure equitable access for such students. Workforce shortages in both professions are apparent in regional and rural New Zealand. Evidence shows that students identifying with regional or rural backgrounds are more likely to work outside urban areas.


As defined by the University of Auckland, you qualify under the Regional Rural Admission Scheme if you meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Undertaken your whole pre-secondary education (Year 1 – Year 8) in a regional/rural area; or
  2. Spent at least three years at a secondary school which is located in a regional/rural area;

A regional/rural area is defined as any part of New Zealand that does not fall within the local authority boundaries of the

  • Auckland City Council
  • Hamilton City Council
  • Tauranga City Council
  • Wellington City Council
  • Porirua City Council
  • Hutt City Council
  • Upper Hutt City Council
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Dunedin City Council

Applying under the Regional Rural Admission Scheme

You must indicate your desire to be considered under this scheme, provide a personal supporting statement on your application and an official letter from the regional/rural education institution you attended must be received by the Faculty Student Centre by the application closing date. The letter should be signed by the principal or nominee, sent by the regional/rural education institution and needs to outline:

(a) your full legal name

(b) the duration of your study, e.g. “31 January 2012 to 31 November 2016 (Yr 9-13)”

(c) the physical location of the institute and the name of the local district council

(d) the programme(s) that you are applying for, i.e. MBChB, BOptom, and/or BPharm

Please visit the Guidelines for Schools Submissions page.


Selection under the Regional Rural Admission Scheme

The selection processes and minimum requirements for RRAS applicants are identical to the general MBChB, BOptom, or BPharm admissions. However, RRAS applicants are ranked separately for interview consideration and final offer of place.

If you indicate that you wish to be considered for the Regional Rural Admission Scheme but are not accepted in the dedicated places, you still qualify for entrance via the general admissions pool. This ensures that no candidate will be disadvantaged by applying for the Regional Rural Admission Scheme.

For more information on the Regional Rural Admission Scheme entry eligibility and selection contact the faculty's Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 84888


Meet our students

Grassroots is student regional rural health club. This club supports tertiary health students from rural areas, provides advice on careers in rural health, runs related teaching and skills workshops, and holds legendary social events.

More information on Grassroots