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Oxford Grad

NihongoyoNihongoyo 1724 replies530 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,254 Senior Member
edited June 2011 in Graduate School
Hello to all,
I never thought I'd be considering it, but grad school seems pretty appealing right about now!
I'm considering not only oxford but a huge range of other schools for (hopefully?) applied linguistics, or something similar to that-maybe TESOL? I'm aiming for a masters, but thought about a PhD and realized it just isn't right for me.
I'm going into my senior year at Berkeley and have a decent gpa so far, having transferred last fall, but this semester may have screwed me over a little bit.
How hard is it to get in for such a program? I've looked online and it only gives the admission percentages....hmmmmm!
Anybody have experience in this field? lol
Thanks!
- confused undergrad student.
edited June 2011
14 replies
Post edited by Nihongoyo on
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Replies to: Oxford Grad

  • abraxasabraxas 108 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    Jeremy,

    I graduated from UCLA (boo Berkeley :p) last year and I got into Oxford's MPhil in International Relations for this fall. It's one of their top ranked programs, and most selective; 25 to 30 out of 500 applicants worldwide, so I'm rather lucky. I don't know anything about their other programs, however.

    If you're asking about grad admissions to Oxford, in terms of what it takes to get in, I honestly have no idea. Stellar GPA, and excellent letters of rec are a necessity, though that's the same for any program in the US. GRE scores are asked for, but they're not given the same importance they are in the U.S. GPA is probably the determining factor.

    Also, remember that an MSc is usually a one year applied Master's, while an MPhil is a two year degree with more emphasis on research, usually requiring a thesis. MsCs are more suited to professional work and MPhils are more used for stepping stones for PhD programs, but depending on the subject they can also be used in professional careers.

    Also,the San Francisco Bay Area has an Oxford Alumni Society; I contacted them and they put in touch with someone who did my program at Oxford, so you might have some luck getting advice with them. Hope that helps.
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  • jsanche32jsanche32 668 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 671 Member
    To apply to Oxford you would need the equivalent of a 1st class undergraduate degree from the US. That's a 3.9 GPA and above.
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  • snickers412snickers412 45 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    I don't think that Oxford has a rigid GPA requirement that high. No universities in the United States do, so I'd imagine that Oxford isn't much different. For one, different colleges/universities grade differently (i.e. it may be easier to get a 3.9 at one institution than another).

    I'm spending my next spring semester studying at Oxford, and I was admitted with a lower GPA than 3.9 (this is undergrad study, but the point is the same).

    Your GPA is important for graduate admissions, but at Oxford, just as at every other top university, most of the people applying have impressive GPAs. Your scholarly work and your recommendations are the most important part of an application for a doctorate.
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  • jsanche32jsanche32 668 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 671 Member
    The only real discussion when it comes to the UK is the variable conversion scales different Universities use when it comes to converting UK scores to GPA scores. A first class degree in Oxford for example is normally 3.9 and above, while at the University of Kent it's 3.8 and above. Applying for an undergrad exchange abroad is also not the same as applying for postgraduate study in the UK. It's like apples and oranges.

    What Oxford asks for is the equivalent of a first-class degree (no exceptions). Then, depending on what you want to study this could be 3.9+ or 3.8+. "Usually" it's 3.9 or above, which is what I stated.

    In case you're wondering I went to school in the UK so I'm familiar with the academics there.
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  • snickers412snickers412 45 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    Yes, but the department is much more interested in your scholarly work and your recommendations than your GPA. Graduate school is not a numbers game.
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  • placido240placido240 614 replies22 discussions- Posts: 636 Member
    What GPA is a UK 2 - 1 (Upper Second) from Oxford equivalent to?
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  • jsanche32jsanche32 668 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 671 Member
    That again varies. By most scales I have seen it's usually either 3.5-3.9 (For top tier UK Schools like Oxford) or 3.3-3.8 (For others). They have conversion scales at the school in question though if you look for it or e-mail them about it. They convert from a UK score (Usually on a 0-100 scale) to a US based GPA.
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  • abraxasabraxas 108 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    Also, the OP should bear in mind that when you apply to Oxford, you apply for a graduate degree with the department, but you will be living in a college, which also has to accept you separately. You have a choice of two colleges on your application--don't treat this lightly, as college reputation and rankings have some weight. Granted, its more important for undergrads, but it still holds true for grads. Oxford is composed of roughly 30 separate colleges, which house undergrads, grads. I'll be at Balliol myself.
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  • ConsolationConsolation 22861 replies184 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 23,045 Senior Member
    jsanche, it doesn't make sense for Oxford admissions people to compare a US numeric GPA to an Oxford first or second, because the Oxford degree is much more highly specialized from the very beginning. It would make much more sense for Oxford to look at GPA in the major, or at least in relevant courses.

    Not saying that they actually do this, of course...
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  • jsanche32jsanche32 668 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 671 Member
    Oxford Careers > Students > Continuing your studies or research > Where to study > Outside the UK > The Americas

    GPA conversion

    A common question about studying in the US is how to convert an Oxford degree to an American Grade Point Average (GPA). Generally speaking, students educated in the British system will be expected to have achieved a minimum of a 2:2 on their first degree in order to be considered for entry into a US postgraduate degree course. However, to ensure that you receive full, accurate and up-to-date information, we recommend that you contact individual universities to determine if your qualifications are sufficient to be considered for admission.

    To help you gauge your competitiveness for admission to a particular degree programme, the university or department website of the institution to which you are applying should give you an indication of the average GPA or admissions exams scores for admitted students. Though there are no direct translations of UK results to US marks, one could get a rough estimate by comparing graduating with highest honours in the UK (a first) to graduating with the highest honour in the US (summa cum laude, GPA of 3.75 or above, with 4.0 the top of the scale). A 2:1 might roughly translate into a 3.5 GPA, and a 2:2 to a 3.0 GPA. Do keep in mind this is a very rough estimate, that does not take into account the difficulty of the university or degree curriculum, but it can point you in the right direction, in terms of selecting universities at which you may be a competitive applicant.
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  • ConsolationConsolation 22861 replies184 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 23,045 Senior Member
    It makes sense going in the UK-->US direction. It doesn't make as much sense going the other way. But as they say, it is a rough estimate.
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  • mochamavenmochamaven 876 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 878 Member
    Well, that description of conversions itself actually highlights how unreliable the GPA metric is. You said a 3.9 for a first-class, they are saying 3.75, OR summa cum laude. GPA and honors both vary widely from school to school. For example, only the top few percent of people at my university graduate summa; at a high school friend's university, everyone with a 3.8 or higher gets summa.

    Plus, I think students from certain schools or majors get "breaks." I know quite a lot of students who did their undergrad at my uni (Yale) who then went on to do grad work at Ox. They were all good students (above 3.5) but the strong majority did not graduate with 3.9+.
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  • jsanche32jsanche32 668 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 671 Member
    Summa cum laude at my school is 3.9+ I honestly don't know any schools were it is just 3.75+
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  • jsanche32jsanche32 668 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 671 Member
    One thing you aren't taking into consideration is how hard the major is that they are taking. When I was doing physics, A GPA of 3.9+ was unheard of. Same in Applied Mathematics and Nuclear Engineering. But then when I switched over to Economics, several people had GPA's in the 3.9 range.
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