Located 50 miles north of London, Cambridge is a fascinating mix: a historic medieval town that is the birthplace of some of the most recent scientific advances; a place with high-technology science parks and ancient cobbles, with bustling streets and tranquil green spaces. It has a mix of city life, with its pubs, clubs, music venues, restaurants; and at the same time it’s small enough that you don’t have to spend much money getting from place to place.
Considered to be one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of Cambridge will be celebrating its 800th anniversary in 2009. Since 1904, there have been 81 affiliates of the university that have won the Nobel Prize, which is more winners than any other institution. Frederick Sanger is one of only four individuals to win a Nobel Prize twice; he won in 1958 and 1980, both times for Chemistry.
The University of Cambridge is one of the most selective universities around the world. Of the prospective applicants, only 25% become students, and of those only about 10% are international students. Still, of the over 17,000 students attending Cambridge, almost 3,000 of them are international students from different countries around the world, but while academic strength is definitely a prerequisite, it does not guarantee acceptance.
Cambridge’s website for international undergraduate applicants offers information for students from China, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and the Indian Subcontinent. For applicants from other countries, the website offers general information; among this is information on choosing courses and a college, entrance requirements, English language requirements, tuition fees, college fees, living expenses, and how to apply from overseas.
The University of Cambridge offers over 90 courses of study for undergraduate and graduate students ranging from arts to science and technology. A sample of courses includes Aerospace Engineering, Biology, Classics, Education, Egyptology, English, Genetics, Information and Computer Engineering, International Studies, Latin, Law, Medicine, Oriental Studies, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Spanish, Theology, Veterinary Medicine and more.
There are 31 colleges in Cambridge. Three are for women (New Hall, Newnham and Lucy Cavendish) and two admit only graduates (Clare Hall and Darwin). The remainder house and teach all students enrolled in courses of study or research at the University.
When you apply to the european international university, there are two forms to complete. One being through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), the second being a Cambridge Application Form (CAF). Both forms will go to a Cambridge College that will consider your application.
Entrance requirements for undergraduate students include the following:
– Matriculation requirements, which are minimum requirements for all applicants regardless of age or major: English, a language other than English, an approved mathematical or scientific subject, and two other approved subjects;
– GCSEs and GCE A levels for UK Students;
– International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, SATs, European Baccalaureate, or any other advanced qualification for students from other countries;
– Applicants under the age of 18 must contact the Admissions Tutors of Colleges you are considering before applying;
– English Proficiency for International Students. This can be accomplished by getting acceptable scores on any of these tests: IELTS, GCSE, Cambridge Certificate, European Baccalaureate, Abitur, International Baccalaureate, or French Baccalaureate.
A unique aspect of Cambridge’s application process is its “Deferred Entry” process. About one in five students coming to Cambridge takes a gap year before starting their studies. Depending on the major you’re applying for, many Colleges generally prefer applicants to take a year break to apply or improve their skills, earn money, travel, and generally gain maturity and self-reliance.
General entrance requirements for graduate students include the following:
– A 2i honours degree from a UK university or its equivalent from an overseas university (bachelor’s degree for US students);
– English proficiency tests – the IELTS is the preferred method. If you are not able to take the IELTS test, then the TOEFL exam along with the TWE (Test of Written English) are accepted. Minimum requirements include a 7.0 overall score in the IELTS or 600 in the paper-based/250 in the computer-based TOEFL exam with a 5.0 TWE score;
– GRE or GMAT scores depending on your academic field of study. Please consult your graduate program since some departments may have other requirements.