How to Get Into Oxford University? | (2024)

Oxford University is among the most prestigious universities you can be admitted to and is among the most selective universities. This is why, if you wish to apply to this university, you should do your best academically and stand out from other applicants. Oxford University also has a non-discrimination policy ensuring that the student population is diverse and everyone gets equal chances at an education.

Many of our students at Casita wonder, “How to get into Oxford University?”. Keep reading to learn why to study at Oxford University, the admission requirements, and the steps needed to get there.

Once successfully admitted to Oxford University, we at Casita can help you find your perfect Oxford University accommodation or any Oxford student hall.

Why Study at Oxford University?

As mentioned, Oxford University is one of the most prestigious universities to enter, ranking fourth worldwide based on the QS World University Rankings; it is also highly selective, having an acceptance rate of 17.5%.

The university currently has a student population of more than 26,000 students, with 45% of the students being international students numbering 11,500 students who come from over 160 different countries.

Oxford University has 62 undergraduate programmes and more than 350 postgraduate programmes, with the university’s top programs being science-related, with its strongest being Medicine. The university’s main divisions are Mathematics, Physics, and Life Sciences, Medicine, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

This institution has a rich history spanning hundreds of years, with some evidence suggesting that education at Oxford began in 1096. Oxford University, however, flourished when English students were banned from studying at the University of Paris in what’s known as the Paris Ban in the year 1167.

The university’s first international student was Emo of Friesland, who came to study at the university in the year 1190, which set forth the university’s ambition to attract international scholars. In 1214, the university had its first Chancellor; it was once headed by a “Magister Scholarum”, a title given to a Monastic or Cathedral school head.

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How to Get into Oxford?

To get into Oxford, the application process is similar for both international and domestic students, with a change in admission requirements. Attention to detail and meeting the requirements are necessary as the university only offers 3,250 seats for undergraduate programmes.

To start applying for Oxford University, make sure you have done the following:

The following section will provide more details on the application process.

Application Process

Test Registration

Test registration depends on your intended course of study; make sure you check your course requirements and apply. This requirement is based on the course’s overall requirements. To get more details, check the admissions test page, which shows the needed tests per course.

UCAS Application

To start your UCAS application, first start by filling out the UCAS application form, then, as part of the UCAS application process, you’ll be asked to fill out more information which includes the Personal Statement, Academic Reference, Education, and Special Circ*mstances, as well as reporting any disability.

Personal Statement

In this section of the UCAS application, you’ll talk about yourself and why you have decided to pursue the course. You must focus on this rather than why you decided to apply to the university. It is an important part of the application as it is how the university builds an understanding of who you are as a person. It is also important to include any relevant experience related to the course and display your understanding of the course.

It is important to be yourself and provide accurate information as you will later be interviewed; try to pitch yourself, and don’t list academic qualifications yet, such as grades, as this will be covered in another section of the application. For more details on how to write your UCAS application, check out the UCAS guidance for personal statements.How to Get Into Oxford University? | (2)

Academic reference

An academic reference is provided by any qualified professional that can provide insight into your academic abilities and performance. The reference must be in English or translated into English by certified parties. You or your referrers can check the layout of the UCAS Academic reference.

The reference should be in three sections and have a total of 4,000 characters. To get more details, you can read the previously mentioned UCAS Academic reference requirements and check the UCAS-provided reference example.


Regarding the education section, you should list your academic achievements, including grades and other academic achievements, and standardised test scores.

Special Circ*mstances and Disability

Special Circ*mstances include adding any personal circ*mstances that can be taken into consideration and also include extenuating circ*mstances which include any factor that may have caused you to underperform academically, to check what to include in that section. You can always refer to the admission office if you’re unsure about what to include.

If you have any disability, you should also include it in the Declaring Disability section so that the university can better support you.

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Admissions Tests

Once you have registered for your admission test, then comes the part where you are required to take the test as part of your admission process and as part of the admission requirements.

Written Work

If required by the course, you can be asked to provide samples of your written work which can provide insight into your writing skills, such as language and writing skills, reasoning, and analytical skills.


These are usually conducted by your potential tutors, and their main aim is to assess your knowledge about the course and assess your motivation to study. Interviews also focus on how you engage with various course-related topics and how you can think outside your previous curriculum.

You are admitted as a result of how good of a fit you will be for the course you plan to undertake. You can check the interview sample timetable to know how the dates and times of the interviews are presented.

Decisions and Results

Once you have completed all the previous admission steps and met all the requirements, you will be given a confirmation or a conditional offer. Check out the New Students Guideon the next steps once you are admitted. You can always contact your college if you have met all the requirements and conditions and still haven’t heard back.

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How to Get into Oxford University as a Domestic Student?

As a domestic student, you must follow through with the previously mentioned application process steps while considering the expected national qualifications, such as the A levels, AS Levels, and GCSEs if you’re from England and Northern Ireland.

The university also accepts pre-University, programme applicants. For Scotland, the university accepts Scottish Highers and students studying under the YAAS modules.

For Wales, Advanced Welch Baccalaureate students can still take the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate as a qualification. For more information, check out Oxford’s UK qualification for domestic students, including other Baccalaureate options.

How to Get into Oxford University as an International Student?

International students will also have to follow through with the previously mentioned application steps with a difference in the qualifications presented. International applicants must have a qualification that is required by their course or qualification that follows the UK qualifications; if not applicable, you can always take a further study programme before applying to Oxford University.

Check out the Table of Academic Requirements for more details. You can also check out whether your national qualifications are accepted at Oxford when you scroll down to look at requirements by country.

Note that before preparing your transcript, it is essential that you only list your academic achievements in the UCAS section of Education.

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Bursaries and Scholarships

Many students ask themselves how to get into Oxford University while considering the tuition fees, however, you can use the university’s bursaries and scholarships and other available ones.

Oxford University offers and accepts many scholarships to help those with financial needs. These bursaries and scholarships will be listed below:

  • Crankstart Scholarships for UK students offers a bursary of £5,800 per year for those whose family income is £32,500 or less. This bursary goes both to university tuition and living costs and is non-refundable.

  • Oxford Bursaries for Students with Home Fee Status: these bursaries are presented by Oxford University based on household income. These bursaries can range from £1,000 to £4000 a year and are non-refundable.

  • Oxford Travel Supplement for UK bursary holders: this applies to applicants who commute from areas more than 80 miles away from Oxford. The bursary depends on the distance travelled and ranges from £200 to £500.

  • UK care experienced and UK estranged undergraduates studying without family support: This bursary is given to students who receive no financial support and emotional support from family members and can reach up to £3000 a year and is non-refundable.

  • Student support fund: this fund is available to Uk students who have difficulties paying tuition fees.

  • Various bursaries and scholarships are also available for international students, often categorised based on region. Read the other Other Oxford scholarships for international students.

At Casita, we wish you the best of luck in applying to the prestigious Oxford University, keep reading and follow the Oxford links for more information. Once you have successfully been admitted to Oxford University, we can help you find your perfect Oxford University accommodation or nearby Oxford student halls.


1. What are the Oxford University courses available?

Oxford University has 62 undergraduate programmes and more than 350 postgraduate programmes, with the university’s top programs being science-related, with its strongest being Medicine. The university’s main divisions are Mathematics, Physics, and Life Sciences, Medicine, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

2. How hard is it to get into Oxford as an international student?

Oxford University is very selective, with an acceptance rate of 17.5% for domestic students and 9% for international students.

3. What are Oxford University’s requirements for an international student’s master’s?

To apply to the university, the university has requirements based on country. In general, the university will require you to have grades above 85% or above a 3.7 GPA. Check out the International requirements for graduate programs at Oxford University for more details.

How to Get Into Oxford University? | (2024)


How do I get into Oxford University as an American? ›

US students applying to Oxford University must meet the same academic requirements as UK students. This includes submitting strong academic transcripts, standardised test scores (such as SAT or ACT), and a well-written personal statement showcasing their passion for the chosen subject.

What is the easiest way to get into Oxford University? ›

Oxford prefers applicants to have as many A*s and 9s as possible, and many applicants have a lot of 7, 8 and 9 grades. So you should ensure that your historic grades don't let you down, especially in subjects relevant to your course. Also, don't stretch yourself too thin if you're struggling to get great grades.

Is it hard for Americans to get into Oxford? ›

Many Oxford courses require an admission test and/or some written work. If you're deemed a good candidate, you will be called for an interview. The success rate for American students is slightly lower than that of home students, at about 8.2%.

What is the hardest program to get into Oxford? ›

1,815 people applied to study languages at Cambridge and 530 of them were accepted. But officially the hardest Oxbridge subject to get into is business management at Oxford which only has a 5.19 per cent acceptance rate. This means that of the 1,585 people who applied for the course, only 120 of them were accepted.

How much does it cost for a US citizen to go to Oxford? ›

For Oxford: it varies subject to subject, but it is typically around 30,000 pounds a year (around US$38,000 at today's rates). The cost for an American is the same as for any other International student, but will vary from one university to another.

What GPA is needed for Oxford? ›

Undergraduate qualifications

If your graduate course at Oxford requires a 'first-class undergraduate degree with honours' in the UK system, you will usually need a bachelor's degree from a recognised university with an an overall grade of 85% ('A') or 'Excellent', or a GPA of 3.7 out of 4.0.

Is Oxford harder than Harvard? ›

How difficult is it to get in? As of 2023, Harvard's acceptance rate is 4%. Half of the applicants accepted at Harvard have an SAT score between 1480 and 1580. On the other hand, Oxford's acceptance rate of about 17.5% is appealing.

What is the hardest subject to study at Oxford? ›

The hardest degree subjects are Aerospace Engineering, Law, Chartered Accountancy, Architecture, Chemistry, Medicine, Pharmacy, Psychology, Statistics, Nursing, Physics, Astrophysics, Biomedical Engineering, Astronomy, and Dentistry.

Why is Oxford so hard to get into? ›

At their heart, Oxford and Cambridge are academic heavyweights. Across courses at the university, the single most important factor in admissions is academic performance. Applicants that don't have the right grades (or predictions) simply wont make the cut.

How expensive is Oxford? ›

The University of Oxford in the U.K. estimates it will cost overseas students nearly $65,000 to attend the school in 2020-2021, if you factor in tuition and expenses.

Is an Oxford degree good in the USA? ›

Oxbridge definitely carries weight in the US. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a literate American who had not at least heard of Oxford or Cambridge in some context. Oxford is probably more recognizable as a "top school" to the average Joe than Ivies like Dartmouth, Cornell or Brown.

Can an average person get into Oxford? ›

Sure, it's less study if you're naturally intelligent, more if you're not, but it's a matter of hard work. Yes, an ordinary student can get into Oxford or other prestigious universities, however it may be more difficult than for those with stellar academic records.

What is the most elite college at Oxford? ›

Christ Church College

The castle-like Christ Church is arguably the most impressive Oxford college, and one of the most popular colleges to visit.

What is the easiest major to get into Oxford? ›

  • Best chance of getting an interview (%) Chemistry 96.2. Classics 95.9. Human Sciences 92.8. Modern Languages & Linguistics 92.5. ...
  • Highest Success Rate (%) Classics 40.1. Chemistry 33.6. Theology & Oriental Studies 33.3. ...
  • Highest Success Rate (%) Classics 50.3. Music 48.3. Archaeology & Anthropology 45.1.

What course is Oxford most known for? ›

There are four academic divisions within Oxford University: Humanities, Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences; Medical Sciences; and Social Sciences. The university's particular strength is the sciences, and it is ranked number one in the world for medicine.

What is the acceptance rate for Oxford for US citizens? ›

On average Oxford has about a 16% admission rate, but for Americans it is just under 9%. Roughly half the average.

Is it easier to get into Cambridge or Oxford as an American? ›

Both Oxford and Cambridge are highly competitive, and unfortunately, you can only apply to one per year. Based on acceptance rates and numbers, however, it is easier to get into Cambridge than Oxford. Both Harvard and Oxford are esteemed, top-ranked universities where students strive to get their degrees.

Do you need straight A's to get into Oxford? ›

However Oxford usually only has around 3,300 places each year so even excellent grades will not guarantee you an offer. Offers for Oxford places are between A*A*A and AAA at A-level, depending on the course. (See course pages.) See a list of Oxford courses with conditional offers including at least one A*.

Is Oxford or Harvard better? ›

For example, The US News Report has ranked Harvard's Economics and Business Department number 5 worldwide. In comparison, Oxford's Economics and Business Department ranks at 10. In contrast, Oxford ranks number 1 in the world for the Arts and Humanities field, followed closely by Harvard at number 2.

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