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 degree-seeking counterparts and participate in all aspects of college life.
Oxford and Cambridge Universities are composed of more than twenty residential colleges of varying size. Each college has its own faculty and administration. Students enroll in one college in which your course of study will be supervised. Like local undergraduates, Columbia students follow only one course of study for the entire academic year. Students are educated in the tutorial system, generally consisting of weekly or biweekly tutorial sessions of one to three students and one tutor. Students usually prepare for a tutorial session by writing a paper on a given topic which serves as the basis for a dialogue between student and tutor. Students mainly take two tutorials per term, although students may substitute a substantial dissertation for one of their tutorials in their final term. This system stresses self-motivation, dedication to the subject matter, independent thinking and strong written and verbal skills.
Subject availability for visiting students varies by individual college, but a sample of courses of study can be found here:
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. Evaluation of students' work will be made on the basis of the reports of the tutors and, when appropriate, examination results. Students who satisfactorily complete the three terms of work at Oxford or Cambridge will receive 30 points of credit towards their Columbia degree.
Please note that the academic calendar at Oxford and Cambridge is different than Columbia's. 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 breaks between each term.
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. Some clubs and activities are available on a University-wide basis as well.
Review eligibility to ensure that you meet all Columbia requirements to study abroad.
Only Columbia College students are permitted to apply to the program. Columbia Engineering and Columbia General Studies students are allowed to study abroad at Oxford or Cambridge through a petition process.
The Columbia College Oxbridge Scholars Program is a highly selective program. Admission to the Columbia College Oxbridge Scholars program is a two-step process:
1.) Students will first submit application materials to the Office of Global Programs via this webpage. Click on “Start Your Application”. An internal committee at Columbia will review completed applications in December of the sophomore year. Select candidates will be invited, usually in January, to apply directly as a visiting student to one of the colleges of Oxford or Cambridge University. Being nominated by the Columbia internal committee DOES NOT guarantee admission into Oxford or Cambridge. Both universities maintain the last right of refusal. Internal application admissions criteria includes:
- A transcript. Candidates for the program should have a strong academic performance during their first two Columbia semesters. Successful candidates usually have a 3.7 GPA or better;
- Commitment to their major field of studies. Student should have taken at least 2-3 major courses during their first three semesters at Columbia;
- Two faculty recommendations. Recommendations ideally would be from faculty within your area of study;
- A sample of written work.
2.) Selected candidates will be nominated and invited to apply directly to an assigned individual college at Oxford or Cambridge. The Office of Global Programs will work with nominated students to have their applications sent directly to Oxford or Cambridge. The program does not permit the student to choose a university nor a specific colleges within the universities. Students must be accepted by the admissions committee at their designated college in order to participate in the program. Traditionally, students will hear by March about their acceptance into the individual colleges at Oxford or Cambridge.