Sri Lanka | International Credentials Equivalencies

Minimum GPA
2nd Class Upper or 63/100
A Minus GPA
1st Class or 70/100
B Plus GPA
2nd Class Upper or 67/100
Instruction Languages
Sinhala,Tamil, English (some subjects)
Bachelors Equiv.
*Bachelor`s Degree (Special), Professional Title (4 yr.)
Masters Equiv.
Grad Sample
First Degree Sample
Special Bachelor’s Degree (4 yr. Honours), General Bachelor’s Degree (3 yr. Ordinary)
Grading System

A 70-100 1st Class
B 60-69% 2nd Class (1st Div.)
B 55-59% 2nd Class (2nd Div.)
C 40-54% pass
D, E 0-40% fail

New national grading standards by discipline were established in 2007.*

Discipline 1st Class 2nd Class Upper 2nd Class Lower
Agriculture 3.75 3.30 2.75
Arts 3.75 3.25 2.75
Engineering 3.70 3.50 2.70
Architecture 3.70 3.30 2.70
Food Science 3.75 3.30 2.75
Commerce/Mgt 3.50 3.25 2.75

Recognized Universities

Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka,
Eastern University Sri Lankd,
Univ. of Colombo Sri Lanka,
Univ. of Jaffna Sri Lanka,
Univ of Kelaniya Sri Lanka,
Univ of Moratuwa Sri Lanka,
Univ. of Peradeniya Sri Lanka,
Univ. of Ruhuna Sri Lanka,
Univ. of Sri Jayewardenepura Sri Lanka

Notes for Sri Lanka

Admission to higher education is very competitive. Each year, about 200,000 students sit for the GCE (A/L) examination, of whom 40 – 60% qualify for admission but less than 20,000 are selected for admission due to space limitations

*Grading Standardized by Discipline – 2007
In 2007 the Sri Lanka Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council reviewed salient features of the respective degree programs at all universities/campuses and the resulting grading practices by discipline were adopted nationwide. Our experience to limited at present to determine the extent of implementation as yet.

Bachelor’s Degree
* Most Bachelor degrees are three or four years in length and are broadly divided into three types: general degrees, special degrees and professional degrees.

General degrees are ordinarily three years in length. Special degrees and professional degrees require at least four years of study. High-performing students can often transfer from a general to a special degree at the end of the first or second year. Special degrees require the completion of a dissertation in the fourth year. Four-year general degrees with no research element are also available. The first year of many Bachelor degrees includes foundational courses in subjects such as English and computer literacy.

A general degree typically culminates in the award of a Bachelor in Arts or Science degree with no subject specified. A special degree usually culminates in the award of a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree in a subject that is specified on the degree transcript or statement of results. Special degrees often include Honours either on the degree certificate itself or on the statement of results. Bachelor of Technology degrees may either be general (three years in duration) or special (four years).

Professional degrees are offered in subjects such as architecture, business administration, engineering, law and medicine. They typically include a compulsory industrial placement in the fourth year. Professional degrees culminate in the award of either a Bachelor of subject award (for example Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Laws), or a Bachelor of Science degree in a professional subject (for example BSc in Agriculture or BSc in Nursing). Degrees in medicine are five years in length and lead to the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree.

Many universities employ a credit system. Typically, a credit represents 15 contact hours of lectures or between 30 and 45 contact hours of laboratory or practical work. Around 30 credits are usually required to complete one academic year.

A general Bachelor degree is at Level 5 of the Sri Lanka Qualifications Framework (SLQF) and a special or professional Bachelor degree is at Level 6. Some professional qualifications are also accepted as equivalent to a Bachelor degree for admission to Master’s degree programmes.

Master’s Degree
A Bachelor degree (general, special or professional) is required for entry on to a Master’s programme. Master’s degrees are one to two years in length and may be solely coursework based or coursework and research based. Two-year Master’s courses almost always have a research component. On the Sri Lanka Qualifications Framework (SLQF; see National Qualifications Framework), a Master’s degree by course work is at Level 9 and a Master’s degree with a research component is at Level 10. However, both types of Master’s degree may provide entry to a PhD programme. Titles awarded include Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc) and Master of Business Administration (MBA).

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a Master’s level award available in specialisms such as clinical oncology, family medicine, paediatrics and psychiatry. It is awarded to medical graduates after three years of supervised training and completion of the MD examination. A further two years of specialist training and clinical research leads to Board Certification. This allows the holder to practise as a consultant.

Research degrees
Research degrees include the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and the Doctorate (including the Doctor of Philosophy and the Doctor of Business Administration). Research degrees are awarded based on independent research and submission of a thesis. The MPhil is usually two years in length and a Doctorate requires three years in total.

A Master’s degree is the standard entry requirement for a research degree. However, a Bachelor degree (General or Special) may be sufficient for entry on to a Master of Philosophy programme, and a high-scoring Bachelor (Special) degree may provide entry on to a Doctor of Philosophy programme in some subjects.

Last Update: September 11, 2020


Last modified: September 11, 2020