The Columbia College Oxbridge Scholars Program allows selected Columbia College juniors to enroll directly into one of the undergraduate colleges of Cambridge or Oxford University for one full academic year. Columbia students follow the same academic curriculum as their British counterparts and participate in all aspects of college life. Cambridge and Oxford consist of several residential colleges in which students study, live and socialize.
The academic year runs from early October to late June and is broken into three terms: October to December, January to March, and April to June. There are four-week vacations between each term.
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Oxford and Cambridge Universities are composed of more than twenty residential colleges of varying size, usually well over 200 students. Each college has its own faculty and administration. Students enroll in one single college in which your course of study will be surpervised. Like British undergraduates, Columbia students study only one subject for the entire academic year. Students are educated in the tutorial system, generally consisting of weekly one-on-one tutorial sessions for which students prepare by writing a paper on a given topic. The tutorial session consists of a dialogue between student and tutor on this topic and establishes a framework for future readings. This system stresses self-motivation, dedication to the subject matter, independent thinking, and strong written and verbal skills.
Students are evaluated on the basis of their progress and their mastery of material. At Cambridge, Columbia students are expected to take the end-of-year exams for which the tutorials and public lectures serve as preparation. No final exams take place for Oxford students. Students mainly take two tutorials per term, although students may substitute a substantial dissertation for one of their tutorials in their final term.Students who satisfactorily complete the three terms of work at Oxford or Cambridge will receive 30 points of credit towards their Columbia degree. Evaluation of students' work will be made on the basis of the reports of the tutors and, when appropriate, examination results. All students are required to keep a complete file of all their written work and to submit their essays to their major department upon their return. The faculty in each department makes decisions about how students' work abroad fulfills major or concentration requirements. An indication of points earned and the subject studied is noted on the Columbia transcript. Although no letter grades or course titles will appear, the work at Oxford or Cambridge is considered part of students' overall academic record at Columbia.
Oxford and Cambridge are collegiate universities. Each university is a federation of residential colleges of varying sizes. Each college has its own halls, grounds, faculty, and administration. Students are enrolled in a single college where they study, live, and eat, and in which a large share of their social activities are centered. While the individual college provides tutors, accommodation, and extracurricular activities, the University defines the academic disciplines, organizes lectures, gives exams, and grants degrees.
The British colleges will make every effort to house Columbia students within the college buildings proper. If students cannot be housed in the main buildings, they will generally be placed in college-owned buildings adjacent to the colleges themselves.
All students should consult the OGP eligibility page to ensure that they meet all specific academic requirements for each school (CC, GS, SEAS) to study abroad.
Application and Admission
Admission to the Oxford/Cambridge Scholars Program requires acceptance by Columbia College and a separate acceptance by either Oxford or Cambridge University. An internal committee at Columbia will review completed applications in December of the sophomore year. The primary criteria for acceptance into the program are candidates' academic performance during their first two Columbia semesters, as well as their commitment to their major field of studies, and their endorsement by the faculty. Typically, successful candidates will have at least a 3.7 GPA with a strong record in their major and substantial progress in the Core Curriculum. Columbia admission to the program DOES NOT guarantee admission into Oxford or Cambrdige. Both universiites wish to maintain the right of refusal.
Selected candidates will be assigned to an individual college at Oxford or Cambridge and will have their applications sent there for review. The program does not permit the choice of university nor of specific colleges within the universities. Students must be accepted by the admissions committee at their designated college in order to participate in the program. This decision is typically made no later than March of the sophomore year.
To learn more or apply to the program, interested students should contact Scott Carpenter, Associate Dean of Study Abroad in the Office of Global Programs.