James Cook University




University Location Townsville or Cairns, Queensland
City Population 194,000
Student Population 22,000
Int'l Student Population 6,640
Main Campus Townsville
Program Campus Townsville or Cairns
Program Duration 4 years
Semester Intake February & July
Application Deadline No set deadline*

Studying STEM at James Cook University

Located in Australia’s wet tropics, James Cook University teaches across two main campuses, in Townsville and Cairns. Each location a mix of small-town charm and bustling city, nestled in a thriving coastal landscape.

Here you’ll enjoy smaller class sizes, opportunities for one-on-one learning and positive interpersonal relationships with your educators and fellow students alike—honestly, some of the friendliest, most passionate educators we’ve ever met!

As part of the Division of Tropical Environments and Societies, the College of Science and Engineering champions the study of STEM. The college is a comprehensive provider of world-class research and undergraduate and postgraduate programs in a range of science, technology, and engineering disciplines.

As a student at James Cook University, you will be situated in one of the most biologically diverse locations in the world. The Great Barrier Reef is right at your doorstep! Studying here will allow you to develop and utilize your skills across a broad range of fields in the STEM world.

JCU practices what they preach! The recently upgraded Science Place facility was designed with innovation and a minimal impact footprint in mind.

JCU is the university for the Tropics. Your studies will equip you with the knowledge and skills to promote the conservation of most of the world’s biodiversity. Gain in-depth experience through field trips, laboratory-based classes, research projects and professional internship opportunities through JCU’s unique access to learning environments:

  • JCU Orpheus Island Research Station
  • Bebegu Yumba campus, Douglas
  • Marine and Aquaculture Research Facility (MARF)
  • Advanced Analytical Centre (AAC) and high-performance supercomputer
  • Brand-new Engineering & Innovation Place (EIP) in Townsville

On this page you’ll find a list of available study areas for international students. Because we can’t highlight all available programs, we have chosen a few popular programs for Canadians. If what you’re looking for isn’t shown, please reach out to study@oztrekk.com.

STEM Study Areas

Sciences / Environmental Sciences
Nothing beats hands-on learning, which is why JCU provides as many opportunities for professional work experience as possible. You can undertake professional placements in regional, rural and remote areas, or even overseas.

Science programs at James Cook University focus on empowering students to grow and reach their full potential. You will enhance both your practical technical knowledge and analytical capabilities while being encouraged to employ new-found skills in real world settings, affecting change on a local and global scale.

Access to living laboratories such as the world-renowned Orpheus Island Research Station allows you to move from theoretical to tangible results.

Bachelor of Science
Duration: 4 years
Campus: Townsville, Cairns
Intakes: February & July
Majors: Aquaculture science and technology, biomedical sciences, chemistry, data science, earth science, environmental practice, geology, global development, marine biology, mathematics, molecular and cell biology, physics, zoology and ecology.

Undertake real-world research in unrivalled locations including the World-Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest, and dry savannahs. Tailor your degree to suit your interests right from the start of your studies, with nine majors to choose from when you enroll in the Bachelor of Science at JCU.

You can tailor your degree to suit your interests and goals. Learn the fundamentals of science in your first year, then select one or two specializations to continue to build knowledge and skills in your chosen discipline.


Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management
Duration: 4 years
Campus: Townsville, Cairns
Intakes: February & July

Pursue a career in environmental conservation, research, communication, and management. Learn how the biological, physical, social, economic, and political spheres interact with and impact on our environment. Gain practical experience through laboratory classes, field trips, work experience and research-based assessments as you investigate environmental issues and develop potential solutions.

JCU’s environmental science and management students develop an understanding of how to manage the interactions between people and the environment to find solutions to complex environmental problems. In your final year, you’ll build connections through professional placement and work experience.

This unique course offers the opportunity to specialize in one or two of the following three majors:

  • Biodiversity Assessment and Management
  • Environmental Practice
  • Land and Water Management


Information Technology & Engineering
Information technology is an ever-evolving discipline and a degree at James Cook University will allow you to thrive in this dynamic industry. Programs are designed to create agile thinkers and innovative developers. You can be assured that an education at JCU will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to impress future employers.

Study areas include data science and information technology.

Engineering gives you the opportunity to bring your own creativity to the table. When research becomes daunting, take comfort in the opportunities that you will be given to demonstrate your skills in a real-world setting. Go beyond the books with a degree that encourages innovation, creative thinking and problem-solving.

Designed based on feedback from industry leaders, you will develop the necessary abilities to enter the world of engineering and delve into the issues that are being addressed today and in the future.

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) – Bachelor of Information Technology
Duration: 4 years
Campus: Townsville, Cairns
Intakes: February & July
Majors: Chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, internet of things (IoT) engineering, mechanical engineering

In your engineering (honours) course, experience industry-based teaching and learn from leading rngineering specialists. Build a thorough understanding of engineering fundamentals in your first year with theoretical and practical learning. You will study a specialized major, with honours-level content integrated throughout.

Choose from five different engineering majors to suit your interests. Participate in 12 weeks of industry-based practical placement—you may even be paid for your work. In your final year, you will complete a major engineering project and thesis.

In your information technology degree, combine an in-depth basis of computing theory with practical knowledge and skills in software engineering, multimedia, databases, and networking. Gain industry experience through internships with local businesses and organizations. The electronic systems and internet of things major is only available at the Cairns campus while all other majors are only available at the Townsville campus.

Connect with Us

If you’re interested in applying to an undergraduate STEM program at James Cook University, please reach out to the OzTREKK student advisor listed below. Together, we’ll find a program that fits!

Admission Timeline

*While there is no set application deadline, you are encouraged to submit your application a minimum of 6 months prior to the program start date.


Here are some of the most frequently asked STEM questions we receive. Of course, if you don’t see your question listed here, please feel free to email us!

Can my partner or family come to Australia with me if I get an offer? 

Many Canadians wish to fulfill their career goals after getting married, having kids, or both! We’ve had plenty of students who have taken their partner and/or children with them.

If you want to take your partner or family with you, you’ll need to add them as a secondary applicant or dependents to your student visa application. Even if you don’t plan on taking them with you, we suggest you add them to your application anyway because it can be complex, expensive, and time-consuming to add them afterwards. You’ll then need to provide additional documentation to support your claims of a relationship or your children’s dependency status.

In addition to looking after the visa, you’ll also need to ensure they’re included on your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), you have appropriate accommodation, and if you’re bringing children, you’ll need to enroll them in school.

Visit our Health Insurance page for more information.

When should I apply?

We recommend you begin your OzTREKK application about a year before your program would start. Most programs in Australia start between January and March, so that means you would start your OzTREKK application between January and March the year prior.

Here’s how the typical “cycle” works if your program starts January – March:

March – May: You gather all required documents like passport photo page, transcripts, résumé, personal statement, and send them to our office. Don’t worry, we’ll tell you exactly what we need!

June – August: Interviews (if your program requires one)

September – December: Offer time! If you get an offer, we’ll walk you through the acceptance (or decline) process and give you all the help you need to get ready to go.

January – March: Time to head Down Under!

Can I apply if I’m only 17?

Yes, but you’ll require parental or guardian consent (signature). OzTREKK will provide the necessary documentation for this signature.

If you won’t be 18 when your program starts, you’ll be required to show that you’ll be living with an approved guardian until you turn 18. If you don’t have an approved guardian in Australia, you may need a family member to apply for a guardian visa to accompany you. This guardian visa should be obtained as part of the student visa application


Can my entire application be submitted through OzTREKK?

Absolutely. We manage and submit your application(s) on your behalf and communicate any updates from the universities.

Applying to an  Australian or New Zealand university starts by filling out our OzTREKK application: You’ll tell us a bit about yourself, like your name, address, date of birth, education history, and what schools you want to apply to!

When you click “Submit,” the application with all your information only comes to us, so there’s no need to worry about making a mistake at this stage. We then create a file for you (based on your name, not a number!) and email you a list of documents required to complete your application—things like passport photo page, transcripts, résumé, personal statement—but it depends on the program, as some programs require more paperwork than others.

If you get an offer, we’ll help you with that part, too! Whether you want to accept or decline, we’ll help you figure out your next steps. If you accept your offer, we’ll even help you get ready to go. We’re here to be an advocate for you, and to walk you through the entire process from start to finish.

Should you have any questions along the way, just send us an email or book a chat. That’s why we’re here!

Are there any scholarships for international students?

Scholarship options in Australia are usually limited for international students as they tend to be reserved for those undertaking postgraduate research degrees; however, we can advise you where to look and whether specific programs have a history of offering scholarships.

Occasionally, scholarships are granted to high achievers—those with very high marks. In previous years, we have seen $5000- to $10,000-scholarships given to OzTREKK students.

Check out OzTREKK’s Financing page to learn more about scholarships and paying for your degree.

What does “rolling admissions” mean?

Rolling admissions means the university assesses applications as they are received, or on a “first come, first served” basis. As soon as they’ve met the quota and the program is filled, they close the applications. So, for a program that has rolling admissions, the earlier you apply the better!

How does OzTREKK know if my application will be competitive?

The majority of Canadians applying to full-degree programs in Australia (i.e., not study abroad courses, which usually only last a semester or two) apply through OzTREKK. They’re studying medicine, dentistry, law, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, etc.

Since they’re using OzTREKK’s services, this gives us a good idea of the starting point of a competitive application each year, allowing us to help you determine which universities/programs are most likely to present you with a letter of offer!

You can get started on determining your chances by reviewing the admissions requirements on each program page. Then, visit our GPA Conversions and Eligibility pages for details and suggestions to help you get into the program of your dreams. Of course, OzTREKK is always here to help if you have questions.

What is a 5.0 GPA in Australia?

Unlike in Canada, GPAs in Australia are simple. They are standardized, so they mean the same thing to everyone.

In Australia, a 5.0 / 7.0 would roughly translate to a 2.7 / 4.0 or approximately 70% – 72%, but keep in mind all universities assess slightly differently.

Learn more on our GPA Conversions page where we list the most common Canadian GPA scales to their corresponding Australian GPA grade.

Which prerequisites do I need?

Prerequisite courses vary by university and by program. We’ve listed university- and program-specific requirements on each program’s page under “Admissions Requirements.”

How do universities calculate GPA?

Calculations differ by university, but most use cumulative (all units within a program) or weighted GPA (typically last 2 or 3 years of study). See GPA Calculations for more information.

Can I do my courses online?

Some programs may offer online delivery, although it is important to note that international students in an online program are not eligible for an Australian student visa. If you choose to study online, you will have to study this program from your home country.

Can I transfer credits from my Canadian university?

Typically, international universities do not allow an automatic transfer of studies; however, you can apply for credit based on your previous studies, and if the university determines your previous courses are equivalent to those in their program, they will offer you credit for those subjects.

To apply for credit, you will need to provide a list of subjects from your undergraduate degree that you feel are relevant to this program or which might overlap with program content. You will then need to collect the detailed course outlines for each of these subjects, and we can submit these to the Australian university with your application.

What does an “Honours” program mean?

Honours studies in Australia differ from Honours studies at Canadian universities. In Australia, an Honours degree is typically awarded after an additional year of research has been completed following the standard 3-year undergraduate degree program. In Canada, an Honours degree is usually awarded after four years of undergraduate study and may or may not include an undergraduate thesis, depending on the school and program.

What are official transcripts, and how do I send them?

Currently, our Australian universities require original transcripts to assess your application—certified by OzTREKK, which means we have to put our stamp on paper. Literally.

Usually, students order transcripts from their high school, college and/or university and have them mailed to our office. Alternatively, you can pick up your transcripts and mail them to OzTREKK, as long as they remain in their original, sealed envelopes.

You will need to submit final transcripts (showing your degree/diploma is completed) from every institution you have attended. We only require one copy of each transcript, even if you apply to multiple universities or programs.

OzTREKK educational services
301-1 Sherbrooke St. E.
Perth, ON K7H 1A1 CANADA

Alternatively, your high school, college and/or university can email them to transcripts@oztrekk.com.

P.S. Try sending your documents via FedEx and Purolator, especially when you need your documents to arrive at our office ASAP. If you use Canada Post’s courier Xpresspost, please don’t request a signature, as this can add unexpected delays!

As soon as your transcript arrives, we’ll let you know!

When should I apply?

Applications typically open a year in advance of the program start date. We recommend that you begin your application in January/February and aim to have your documents in by the spring/early summer.


“… feeling challenged and fulfilled by the rigorous curriculum”

I ultimately chose to attend James Cook University, in their Bachelor of Advanced Science program majoring in Marine Biology, having been awarded a 100% Vice Chancellor's International Scholarship. I am now settled into JCU, feeling challenged and fulfilled by the rigorous curriculum, inspiring professors, experiential labs and having the Great Barrier Reef as my classroom! I am loving residential life at Burralga Yumba, going on adventures with the JCU Dive Club, and enjoying fun with new international friends in Townsville!

JCU Australia Justice B
Bachelor of Advanced Science (Marine Biology)
James Cook University, 2022