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Oxford vs. Cambridge?

joewiijoewii Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
Similarities and differences? What are they known for and how do they stand academically? Are American students accepted by other students on campus?
Post edited by joewii on

Replies to: Oxford vs. Cambridge?

  • IBclass06IBclass06 Registered User Posts: 2,846 Senior Member
    The Cambridge Colleges admit about 3000 students each year; last year only six of these offers were made to US citizens, conditional on SAT and Advanced Placement scores. Entry to Cambridge is at least as competitive as for Harvard, Yale etc and we would expect two or three APs in addition to a combined SAT score of at least 1300, and normally a GPA of 3.7 or above.
    TSR wiki wrote:
    To those wishing to apply to Oxbridge as an undergraduate, your journey will start with a decision. Rules dictate that you may only apply to one of the two universities, and therefore, you need to decide which. You could choose based on the place or even the course, but try to decide at which you would be happiest - a degree takes a long time. Oxford and Cambridge are in some ways very different places to study. Each is equally fulfilling and rewarding academically. Be aware that there are subtle differences in what courses each university offers (e.g. Cambridge offers Natural Science in place of Physics, Chemistry or Biology, Oxford offers Politics, Philosophy and Economics whereas Cambridge offers seperate subjects of Economics or Social and Political Sciences (SPS)).
    cupcake wrote:
    I really really WOULD NOT stress too much about the choice between them. They are far more similar than they are different. Obviously for some subjects they courses have a very different syllabus (or only offered at one and not the other), and for some they are very similar. If you think the course content is mostly the same, just choose the town you like the most. Cambridge is quieter and less formal (no gowns for exams for example). Oxford is a little bigger, and the town is a lot lot busier. Almost certainly you will "live in" in college owned accomodation for an entire undergraduate degree at Cambridge. At Oxford at most colleges you have to "live out" in privately owned houses for at least 1 year (not the first) if not 2. This can greatly increase your expenses as you will have to pay rent for 52 weeks, not 24. But some people prefer it as they can stay in Oxford out of term.

    Also look over cupcake's post on applying to Oxbridge:
  • AKDiggerAKDigger Registered User Posts: 316 Member
    I would say that Oxford is more "american-friendly." You'll need above 700 in each section of the SAT, plus about 4 Subject Test with above 700 in each along with 5 or 6 AP with a 5 in at least 3 of them. As for academics it all depends on what you want to major in.
  • joewiijoewii Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    Are they both as difficult to get into? Are they as difficult as an Ivy to get into, or even harder as an American?
  • AKDiggerAKDigger Registered User Posts: 316 Member
    Well Oxbridge generally have a higher acceptance rate because people only apply if they are extremely qualified, mainly because they don't want to waste one of there five choices on UCAS. OxBridge have an acceptance rate of about 25%. I would say that they are equally difficult to get into (Although many claim that Cambridge is harder to get into). I think they are about the same as HYP, because alot of unqualified applicants apply to HYP.
  • joewiijoewii Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    I'm sorry, what is "UCAS," "HYP," and is Oxbridge a real school? I'm reading Virginia Woolf right now and I was told it was just a made up school she was referring to to make points about Oxford and Cambridge...
  • VastlyOverratedVastlyOverrated Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    UCAS is the UK's version of the common app...you fill out this to apply to any university in the country. You're only allowed to apply to 5 different programs.

    HYP stands for Harvard, Yale, and Princeton

    Oxbridge is just an easier way of saying Oxford and Cambridge.

    No offense, but you have some work to do if you hope to get into one of the aforementioned universities. Everything I just said could have been answered with some simple searches..
  • joewiijoewii Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    Offense taken. This is a forum to ask questions. Yeah, I probably could have researched it, but I could have just as easily asked the person who said it. I'm not here to be judged.

    Second off, don't tell me I "have some work to do" you know nothing about me. Plus, I'm not really even considering going overseas, I just had a few questions. Oh please forgive me for wondering!!
  • Columbia_StudentColumbia_Student Registered User Posts: 5,046 Senior Member
    Cambridge has engineering while Oxford has the rest.
  • IBclass06IBclass06 Registered User Posts: 2,846 Senior Member
    Cambridge has engineering while Oxford has the rest.
    Nonsense. The two are very similar.
    cupcake wrote:
    I don't think one is superior to the other. Of course they are always competing against each other in league tables, but these tables aren't any more meaningful that those published in the US and elsewhere. In reality both are more similar to each other than they are to anywhere else.

    Get over this Cambridge is superior for sciences and Oxford is superior for arts thing. Over 800 years of history this is true on average, if you count things like Nobel prizes won and Prime Ministers produced. But on a day to day basis you are not going to be left uneducated by studying English at Cambridge or Physics at Oxford. I did natural sciences at Cambridge and as a graduate student I do some teaching (practical classes) for the Biology course at Oxford. I can tell you from personal experience that Oxford Biology is extremely similar to the Biology options in Cambridge Natural Sciences. I don't expect other subjects to be any different.
  • cupcakecupcake Registered User Posts: 1,703 Senior Member
    Well I am in the unusual position in having been to both, and they are much more the same than they are different, especially to a foreign student I think. Cambridge was after all set up by some scholars who fell out with the Oxford establishment. So they build another Oxford 80 miles away.

    There are some inaccuracies in the old post of mine that IBclass06 linked because things change year on year. Most notably, I think the extra Oxbridge application form has been withdrawn.

    But seriously joewii - all the questions you have asked had already been answered by the posts and links of people trying their best to be friendly and helpful. There is no need to be so agressive (you are really angry, but then say you are not considering applying anyway. So why ask and waste people's time?)
  • BIGTWIXBIGTWIX Registered User Posts: 2,440 Senior Member
    chill out. He wasn't trying to be rude. First, why would you say you were'nt thinking of studying over seas yet ask if American's are accepted there?
    Second, vastlyoverrated is right. If you google "what is...___?" for oxbridge or hyp you get an answer on the first entry.
  • joewiijoewii Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    You don't me so don't act like you do. You don't know what I went through that day and then to read that post that ****ed me off only made it worse.

    cupcake- I don't think I am wasting anyone's time. People go on these forums to answer these questions and are on it anyway. I was interested in going overseas, but then I looked up air fares and realized it was not worth the costs. But what is the harm in asking, just because you won't end up going somewhere doesn't mean you don't have the right to be informed.
    bigtwix- Because I wanted to know. Nothing is ever completely ruled out and I wanted to know what my chances as an American were. Sorry for not using Google, this was right here and considering he said them, I knew he had the answer. I didn't heavily weigh my options, which I would have if I knew that it would become an issue for people..
  • BIGTWIXBIGTWIX Registered User Posts: 2,440 Senior Member
    yep, we "don't" you
  • VastlyOverratedVastlyOverrated Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    I take back what I said joewii...you actually need to grow up if you hope to be successful at any university.
  • joewiijoewii Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    *don't know me

    Overrated- thanks for the advice

    Goodbye I'm not coming back to this site.
This discussion has been closed.