Oxford is one of the world's oldest and most prominent universities, and it is composed of independent colleges, which unlike colleges in U.S. universities do not represent clusters of related majors and departments. Penn State offers this unique and prestigious study abroad opportunity through the IES Abroad program with St. Catherine's College.
With a large and diverse student body, representing over 140 nationalities, you will certainly be studying among outstanding undergraduates from around the world. Your professors and tutors are experts in their fields of study, and they will guide you through your academic experience at one of the best universities in the world.
Oxford undergraduate instruction is based upon the tutorial system of individual and small-group learning under the direction of a tutor in addition to traditional lectures. You should consider carefully whether the tutorial model at St. Catherine's is appropriate for your interests and learning style.
Students participating in the Oxford program in the fall term will spend the first three weeks of the program in London taking an IES course. Fall students will then move to Oxford to begin regular courses. Spring students will attend orientation in London and then move to Oxford where they will take all of their classes.
Please note: Due to Oxford's application processes, applications for Fall, Spring, and Academic year are all due on January 20th of the year prior to study. Visit the How To Apply section of this brochure page for more information about how to apply.
You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.
Students must take a minimum of 15 credits per semester, and can enroll in a maximum of 19 credits. Further information about the range of IES courses can be found at the IES website by utilizing the "homepage" link on this page.
Academic Terms in the United States and United Kingdom
When viewing the on-site course catalog, please note that the UK academic terms may differ than the terminology used in the United States.
Academic Terms Used in the US Compared to the UK
United Kingdom Term
United States Term
Course registration takes place during your on-site orientation period, so enrollment in particular courses cannot be guaranteed in advance of arrival. You may enroll in any courses for which space is available and for which you meet the host institution's requirements or prerequisites.
To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the IES Oxford Course Equivalency List. Keep in mind you will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit our Course Equivalencies page. To learn how the courses on this program can work into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser.
Students must satisfy the requirements established by the program:
Minimum 3.85 cumulative GPA
Junior class standing or higher at time of study
Housing and Meals
Your housing will be arranged by IES Abroad. You will live in either an accommodation block on St. Catherine's campus or at Nido King's Crossing Residence Hall in central London (available fall only). Nido King's Crossing will involve a commute to campus. You are responsible for providing your own meals by utilizing the shared kitchen in your accommodations or purchasing meals from the on-campus and local eateries.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the Fall budget sheet and Spring budget sheets. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit theFunding Study Abroadsection of the Global Penn State website.
For More Information
For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative.
To learn more about the specifics of each program, schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.
For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the GeoBlogs of Penn State students currently studying abroad.
How to Apply
If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on of this page.
Important note: The deadlines to apply for Oxford are earlier than for most other programs. Students interested in studying abroad for the Fall, Spring, or Academic Year must all apply by January 20th of the year prior to study. If you are interested in studying at Oxford with IES during the spring term please contact the Education Abroad Adviser for this program immediately. Students applying for Fall and Academic Year may apply by clicking on the "Apply Now" button on this page.
You must complete the following materials in your application:
Education Abroad Questionnaire
One academic recommendation (submitted electronically to Penn State)
You will also need two (2) academic references from faculty members who have known you for at least one year on Penn State letterhead (required by St. Catherine's College and submitted to IES)
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.
Please note that you will also be instructed to complete an application with IES as a part of your Penn State application either at time of application or upon acceptance.
Studying Abroad with a Disability
Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.