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Masters at Oxford?

samfromNVsamfromNV Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
I am a rising senior at Yale with a 3.86 GPA (top 20% of class). I major in history and would like to pursue a masters in either history or public policy at Oxford. While I have not published historical research (almost no undergraduates at Yale do), I have quite a large amount of high quality research that I've done for courses. I can also provide 3-4 strong letters of recommendation from professors at Yale.

How hard is it to get into these masters programs at Oxford? Does coming from Yale help? Is my GPA on par? What are other factors that they consider? Thanks!

Replies to: Masters at Oxford?

  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 5,589 Senior Member
    Undergrads in the UK won't have done history research either. You need a strong Statement of Purpose that fits the program, but otherwise you should be in pretty good shape.

    Be clear though: they will be looking for a fit between their program and you. I know an extremely qualified person who was unhappy to be turned down by Oxford, but in truth the program she is going to is a better fit for her actual interest, and the more she is in the program the more she realizes why it was a better outcome. So, look very carefully at the programs at Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Exeter, Edi, etc, remembering that name value at grad school level is different than at undergrad level and that differences in programs are more meaningful.
  • Conformist1688Conformist1688 Registered User Posts: 1,005 Senior Member
    They may not have *published* research, but any good history degree in the UK will require a dissertation based on original research.

    For the OP: your recommendation and GPA are both important. Fit is a bit less essential with a masters than for a PhD.

    You will need to be able to pay for it yourself, or to secure external funding (you might potentially be eliginble for something like the Rhodes scholarship).
  • BonsaiCloudsBonsaiClouds Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    edited August 2017
    "How hard is it to get into these masters programs at Oxford?"

    Difficult, but easier to get in than PhD or undergraduate at Oxford.

    "Does coming from Yale help?"

    To a small extent, yes. Not an enormous amount, but not insignificantly.

    "Is my GPA on par?"

    By UK requirements, you need a 2.1 minimum but realistically a 1st. I think a 1st is usually roughly the top 20% or so, so you should be alright. There will be candidates with higher grades, however.

    "What are other factors that they consider?"

    The main thing I believe will be your statement of purpose - talk about possible ideas for research, research you've done (published isn't necessary at all, but extended research projects are).
  • samfromNVsamfromNV Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    edited August 2017
    Thanks for the help, everyone. I can pay for the degree, and I do have extensive unpublished research. I also already have a clear focus of my masters dissertation in mind. I have also already looked into the scholarships mentioned above, but my inquiry here is independent of those as they require a completely separate process.
  • Conformist1688Conformist1688 Registered User Posts: 1,005 Senior Member
    You sound like a very strong candidate, then. Good luck.
This discussion has been closed.