How to Apply

1. Start the ADF application process

To start the ADF application process, use our degree and job match tool to explore the courses through ADFA, and the careers they can lead to. You can choose from a range of UNSW degrees, each of which leads directly to an officer role in the Navy, Army or Air Force. You will also need to ensure you are eligible.

You may also like to attend ADFA Open Day where you can experience ADFA, meet staff and students, take a tour and view military displays.

To arrange a tour of ADFA at another time, call the ADFA Visits Liaison Officer on (02) 6268 8541.

2. Learn about the UNSW application process

At the same time, you should familiarise yourself with the UNSW application process and decide which field of study you’d like to pursue. 

3. Attend an Information Session

Once you have an idea of the degree you would like to study and the role in ADF you would like to apply for, you can attend an ADFA Information Session at your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre (DFRC) or call 13 19 01. An Information Session will give you the opportunity to learn about ADFA, talk to serving personnel, and ask any questions you have. 

4. Attend a YOU session

Once you have attended an Information Session, you can book a Your Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) Session at your local DFRC. A YOU Session is where you’ll complete a basic aptitude test and discuss your medical history, and have the opportunity to chat further about ADFA with a Careers Coach. Towards the end of the Careers Coach session you'll be given a Job Opportunity Report listing all the roles you may be eligible to apply for (subject to satisfying eligibility requirements), based on your aptitude test results. 

For further information on YOU Sessions and helpful tips, refer to Step 2 of the recruitment process.  

5. Attend an Assessment Session

If you are eligible for a job in the ADF that matches with the UNSW degree that you would like to study, you can progress your application with the ADF. Once you have submitted your application documents, you will need to attend an Assessment Session for a medical assessment, a psychological interview and an ADF interview.

For further information on Assessment Sessions and helpful tips, refer to Step 3 of the recruitment process.

6. Apply for UNSW

Meanwhile you should commence the UNSW application process. To start, apply for ‘UNSW, Canberra at ADFA’ through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). Your application to UAC is separate to your ADF application. All inquiries should be directed to UNSW Student Administrative Services at or +61 2 6268 6000.

7. Attend an Officer Selection Board day

After you have completed your Assessment Session with the ADF, you will have your leadership, teamwork and other areas of potential assessed at an Officer Selection Board day. 

For further information about Officer Selection and helpful tips, refer to Step 4 of the recruitment process.

8. Receive your ADF letter of offer

If you are successful in your application to ADFA through Defence Force Recruiting, you will be issued a Letter of Offer.

9. Pass the Pre-entry Fitness Assessment

If you choose to accept your offer, you will need to undertake a Pre-entry Fitness Assessment (PFA). You'll need to take and pass the PFA in the four weeks leading up to your scheduled appointment to the ADF. 

For further information and helpful tips, refer to Step 5 of the recruitment process.

10. Receive your UNSW letter of offer

You should keep an eye out for your UAC offer to UNSW. You will need to be offered placements with the ADF and UNSW to successfully appoint to ADFA.

11. Welcome to ADFA

Next stop, Canberra! Defence Force Recruiting will supply you with more detail on what to expect and how to plan for your move to Canberra once you have accepted both offers. Before commencing your studies at ADFA, you will be officially welcomed at your Appointment Ceremony.

The ADFA Education Award

The Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) Education Award is presented annually to Year 12 students in recognition of leadership potential, and academic and sporting achievements exhibited during Year 11. The award comprises a tablet device (or similar) and certificate for you, along with a plaque of recognition for your school. There are up to 50 awards available on behalf of the Navy, Army and Air Force, which will be presented to suitable applicants who have applied for entry to ADFA.

Key Dates

1 May
Applications open (of the year the applicant is in Year 11)

28 February
Applications close (of the year the applicant is in Year 12)

Officer Selection Board

Notification of award winners

Second school term
Presentation of awards

January the year after you graduate from Year 12^
Entry to ADFA

* Boards are held in Canberra (travel, accommodation and meals provided).

^ Subject to Year 12 final results in competition with other applicants.

Award Eligibility

To be eligible for the award, you must be studying Year 11 subjects that meet both the educational qualifications for admission to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and single Service entry requirements. You must submit an application prior to 28 February in the year you undertake Year 12. However, you are encouraged to apply in Year 11. You may apply for all three Services, however, you will only be assessed for the Education Award against your first preference. If you are successful, you will only receive the award if you are enrolled in Year 12 at the time of the award presentation and you meet the age requirements for ADFA entry.


The application process comprises the ADFA entry aptitude test, medical testing and a series of interviews including an Officer Selection Board (OSB). Receipt of the ADFA Education Award does not guarantee you entry into ADFA, as you will still be in national competition against other candidates for entry.

Obligation of the Recipient

The ADFA Education Award is unbonded, which means there is no obligation to accept an offer to attend ADFA, nor is there any obligation on the Australian Defence Force to offer appointment to you if you are an award winner.


A representative of the Australian Defence Force will present the award to you at a school assembly in the second school term of Year 12.