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What are my chances for History undergraduate at Oxford?

historygeek1346historygeek1346 4 replies3 threads New Member
I am an American high school student. I am currently in my junior year. I have taken/am taking several SAT subject tests and AP exams. My scores are below:

SAT: 1350/1600, 1420/1600, 1470/1600
SAT Literature: 750 (predicted)
SAT US History: 710
SAT World History: 710 (predicted)
AP US History: 3
AP US Government and Politics: 5 (predicted)
AP Literature and Composition: 5 (predicted)
AP Statistics: 3 (predicted)

I will be taking AP Language, and maybe AP World History (Modern) next year.
My history teacher said that she will write a reference for me and help me prepare for the HAT. I have tested out of two history courses at my school, one of which at her recommendation. I am the only student in the past 10 years to test out of those courses.

I took three courses in the past three years through the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. I scored a 97.5 in Arabic Language, Basic Part I. I took Early US Law & Politics one year, and International Relations the next year. My professor and TA for IR told me they would love to write references for college applications. My TA studied for her PhD at Cambridge, so she is familiar with the Oxbridge system.
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Replies to: What are my chances for History undergraduate at Oxford?

  • blossomblossom 10340 replies9 threads Senior Member
    You may be a history geek, but a 3 in AP US History is going to be something of a red flag. Why study in the UK when there are so many fantastic history programs in the US?
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  • descrexdescrex 30 replies3 threads Junior Member
    For Oxford your test scores aren't close at all. They literally only focus on test scores, entrance exams, the interview, a recommendation, and very lightly the essays. You need to get your scores up to like 1550 just to have a chance.
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  • historygeek1346historygeek1346 4 replies3 threads New Member
    I checked the admissions qualifications and I did achieve the SAT score of 1470. I'm considering taking the SAT again. Thoughts?

    My AP US score is low, but my teacher said that she would explain the inconsistency between my score and how well I did in her class. I was very sick the day of the exam. I had a high fever and a migraine, but I didn't want to let a year's work go to waste and I took the exam anyway.
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  • blossomblossom 10340 replies9 threads Senior Member
    You need to take a step back.

    Why UK?

    We can argue about this test score or that test score all day.... but from what you have posted, you don't appear to be a competitive candidate. And there are a hundred fantastic universities in the US with strong history departments that would love to admit you. What's your unweighted GPA?

    What's the magic about the UK and a university that you are not likely to be admitted to.... especially if you are hanging your hat on a recommendation that focuses on why you had a migraine?

    What colleges have you looked at in the US? Post your financial constraints, where you live, and the posters here can come up with some fantastic options.
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  • historygeek1346historygeek1346 4 replies3 threads New Member
    I'm looking at domestic universities as well. I've wanted to do some form of study abroad for several years, and I figured that I may as well look at UK universities. Many of them have excellent, well-established history programs. I also want to be immersed in history when I go to university. My favorite period in history is the Middle Ages, and there's not much of that in America.

    My GPA is a 3.97 unweighted-not perfect, but pretty good. I live in PA and I will apply for some type of financial aid, but my attending university is not dependent upon it. I have looked at UVA, William & Mary, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, University of Pittsburgh, Wellesley, and Bryn Mawr. I play varsity and cup soccer, and have several Varsity section titles and successful cup tournaments. I've contacted the coaches at Wellesley (D3) and Bryn Mawr (D2).
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  • blossomblossom 10340 replies9 threads Senior Member
    Look at the course catalog-- at a big university, you will find Middle Ages classified in both Renaissance Studies and antiquity/classics. You will find classes in early music (Middle Ages) in the music department, literature classes in the English or foreign language departments (even earlier than Chaucer, you just have to look). There will be relevant classes in art, architecture, sociology/theology. There is a lot more of what you are looking for than you think-- deploy those research skills you will need as a historian and look at the actual course catalogs and reading lists, not just the names of departments.

    Why apply for financial aid if you don't need it? This suggests you need a sit-down with your parent(s) to outline the costs of the places you are considering. If you don't qualify for need based aid, but need some money to be able to afford college, you need to look at merit-based scholarships, which is likely a different list.

    If you live in Pennsylvania you will find the California colleges "not a good value". Hard to get into out of state, expensive for a public U, and travel costs of course. If you are paying for a state school with out of state prices, at least look at Michigan.

    You may want to take a look at the Catholic U's. Frequently strong in classics, archaeology, historiography and archival techniques, antiquity, Middle Ages, Renaissance history. Deep scholarship by the faculty, and fantastic study abroad opportunities at most of them....

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  • historygeek1346historygeek1346 4 replies3 threads New Member
    Thank you for responding to my comments! I have sat down with my parents before and they want me to apply for both financial aid and merit-based scholarships. I will look into the Catholic Universities more extensively. I am considering creating a Chance Me thread with a few of my top domestic universities.
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