Most British Universities require students to apply using the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) forms (http://www.ucas.com), which is similar to the Common Application. The UCAS application is available online, and students are permitted to apply to up to 5 universities on UCAS. It is important to review each individual university application form and deadline. While some schools in the British system (St. Andrew’s) use a “rolling admissions” process, we recommend students submit applications materials as early as possible. As a general rule, students should apply to British universities by October 15.
British Universities typically assess students based on their standardized testing. U.S. applicants should expect to submit the SAT I or ACT and up to 5 AP exams (depending on particular universities’ course requirements) or three to four SAT Subject Tests depending on which university and program they make an application.
Applying to ALL British Universities (including Oxford and Cambridge)
- By early August before senior year: select the schools (maximum of 5) to which you intend to apply.
- Select a course (major) at each school.
- Visit the web page on each school’s webpage for your course to determine:
a. Determine qualifications: How many APs, Subject Tests, SATs and ACTs are required? What are the minimum scores?
b. Whether there is a required exam. Examples: LNAT for law, BMAT for medicine, HAT for History. Registration deadlines for these tests may be as early as late August or early September.
c. Register for any required exams.
d. Some courses have UCAS deadlines earlier than applicants to most of the other courses. For example, medicine at all universities has an October 15 deadline. You are well advised to apply to all schools and courses by October 15.
e. Check to see if any schools have any written requirements. Some courses require the submission of papers or require a written test if you are offered an interview.
f. Early September: Ask a teacher in a subject related to your course to write your reference. Inform your college advisor of this person.
g. Mid-September: Write your personal statement and share with your college advisor and a teacher. The personal statement should discuss your refined interest in pursuing a particular course and why it interests you. Your statement should reflect a depth of understanding of the field and you should be prepared to discuss scholarship in the field that informs your interest.
h. Early October: complete and submit the UCAS. Buzzword: bearcat
U.S. Qualifications for Oxford and Cambridge
Successful candidates would typically have SAT Reasoning Test scores of at least 700 in Critical Reading, Mathematics and the Writing Paper, or ACT with a score of at least 32 out of 36. Oxford and Cambridge also expect Grades of 5 in three or more Advanced Placement tests in appropriate subjects or SAT Subject Tests in three appropriate subjects at 700 or better. Additionally, students applying to specific courses of study may have to take a written exam or submit written work for evaluation. Note: when completing the UCAS, students must list all AP, ACT/SAT scores.
- Choose your course (http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses)
- Submit UCAS no later than October 10th
a. Which colleges within Oxford offer it? (ox.ac.uk/collegechoice)
b. Are there entrance requirements? (Tests or Written Work). Examples: LNAT for law, BMAT for medicine, HAT for History. Registration deadlines for these tests may be as early as late August or early September. (See www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate_courses
/applying_to_oxford/tests/ to determine requirements)
c. Register for any required exams.
d. Are there written work requirements? (See www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/applying-to-oxford/written-work)
- Late November: if you are shortlisted, you will be invited to Oxford for an interview, which occurs in the first two weeks of December. Helpful advice on Oxford interviews: www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/applying-to-oxford/interviews?wssl=1
- Mid-January: you will be informed whether of not you are offered a place at Oxford and at which college. Most offers are conditional based on senior year AP results (available in July). However, there is an increasing trend to offer American students unconditional offers due to the reply deadlines of American colleges and universities.
- July and August: receive your AP results and determine whether you have met any conditions.
- Choose your course. (www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/)
- Choose a College within Cambridge (www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/colleges/)
- Apply by October 10 via UCAS. In addition to UCAS, Cambridge requires the Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA) which is found at: www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying/copa
a. You are required to submit your high school transcript with your application. (See Cambridge website for more details)
b. Once UCAS and COPA are submitted two responses will occur:
- i. You will receive an email directing you to complete the Supplementary Application
ii. You will receive a COPA reference number
iii. Complete and submit the SAQ which will request your COPA reference number.
- Late November: shortlisted applicants will be invited for interviews, which occur in the first two weeks of December. Helpful advice on Cambridge interviews: www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/apply/interviews/
- Mid-late January: applicants informed about whether they are offered a place.