The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge are two of the most prestigious universities in the world. Both Oxford and Cambridge are a federation of individual colleges, each with its own faculty, administrators, grounds, residence halls and traditions. Students apply directly to a college, rather than to the universities.
The hallmark of Oxbridge academics is the tutorial (Oxford) / supervision (Cambridge) system. The tutorial/supervision is typically a one-hour meeting between one or two students and the tutor/supervisor. Typically tutorials/supervisions meet once a week or every other week, and center on an essay on a topic previously assigned.
The tutor/supervisor will lead a discussion about the essay topic in an effort to provide new insights. At the end of the session, you will be assigned a new topic and may be offered recommended reading. Tutorials/Supervisions are individually arranged, taking into account the subject to be studied and the tutor's area of expertise.
This system is ideal for hard-working, independent students who are passionate about academics. Each university also organizes weekly lectures on various academic subjects that all students at the University are welcome to attend, and they are often recommended by Tutors as good supplements to tutorials/supervisions and research. At Oxbridge you'll be expected to do much more work on your own and think more independently than at Wellesley. These universities are about depth and should not be used as a way of fulfilling general requirements; therefore, students are expected to take courses in the subject area of their major.
At a Glance
Location: Oxford or Cambridge, England
Program Type: Direct Enroll. More information on the approved colleges at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge is available at the links below and in our Oxford: By the Numbers guide.
- University of Oxford, Lady Margaret Hall
- University of Oxford, Mansfield College
- University of Oxford, St. Edmund Hall
- University of Oxford, St. Peter's
- University of Oxford, St. Anne's
- University of Oxford, Worcester College
- University of Cambridge, Pembroke College
- University of Oxford, St. Catherine's
Still can't decide on a college? Refer to our tips on Selecting an Oxford College.
Terms: Full year or Fall semester, depending on the college
Language of Instruction: English
Pre-Requisites: Minimum 3.7 GPA for Oxford, 3.75 for Cambridge; extensive coursework in the subject that you wish you study at Oxford/Cambridge
Full Course Load:
Cambridge - 4 papers over 2 terms, 2 tutorials per term
Oxford, Full year - 6 tutorials over 3 terms, 2 tutorials per term
Oxford, Fall semester - 2 tutorials over 1 term, plus a semester start-up course
Housing Options: Each individual college has their own accommodation arrangement. Please see the college-specific info sheets for more details
On-Campus Meetings: There is an annual information session on Oxbridge programs each October; specifics will be posted on the OIS calendar.
Application Process: ALL students applying to Oxbridge must submit the Oxbridge Cover Sheet, college-specific application(s) and supporting materials to the OIS by 4pm on Friday, January 11. Please refer to the Oxbridge Cover Sheet for detailed application instructions. Use our Oxford Application Timeline to keep yourself on track.
Fees: Students are responsible for paying tuition to Wellesley. Students pay accommodation fees directly to Oxford and pay for meal expenses (and books if necessary) out-of-pocket. Financial aid will be recalculated based on anticipated living expenses abroad and will also account for airfare costs. Please note that students who decide to stay at Oxford during vacation periods will be charged extra for accommodation. More information about financial aid and billing can be found on our Affording Study Abroad page.
Middlebury in Oxford Programme
The Middlebury Oxford programme is an opportunity for students to study in Oxford and to take Oxford tutorials and lectures without enrolling directly in the University. The program has a lower GPA requirement than that of the direct enrollment option. Middlebury College partners with Keeble College to give students the social, cultural, and academic experiences of the University of Oxford while also accommodating the academic needs and requirements of students from the United States. The CMRS program does not use the Oxbridge cover sheet shown above. For more information, see the link below.