The Oxford Programme for Undergradute Studies was founded in 1992. Its mission is to educate and open doors for well qualified students from a limited number of participating US colleges and universities through a relatively short, intensive period of study under the guidance of Oxford tutors to the same standard and in the same manner as matriculated Oxford undergraduates, while providing a high level of support and pastoral care.
The academic year at Oxford consists of three terms; Michaelmas, Hillary and Trinity. Spring semester OPUS students are there for the Hillary and Trinity terms. Students take a primary and a secondary tutorial per term. Primary tutorials are typically worth 5 WU units each and secondary tutorials are generally worth 3 WU units each for a total of 16 WU credits. OPUS summer students are there for the second half of the Trinity term, known as Late Trinity Term and take one tutorial for 5 WU credits.
The tutorial system which is at the heart of Oxford University's educational process entails 20-25 hours of extensive, highly critical reading and research towards the submission of a paper for analysis and discussion. The student will then meet his or her tutor alone, and be examined on the work submitted. This intensive, one-on-one, Socratic approach is both challenging and highly profitable and permits a level of depth and insight incapable of being achieved by other methods of teaching.
Because of the flexibility of the tutorial system there is no finite list of courses which may be taken at Oxford. The choice will depend on personal preference, the need to meet specific credit requirements, and the level of proficiency already attained.
The OPUS program offers more flexibility in the choice of courses and provides good opportunities for independent research. Students at Oxford must be prepared to work independently and to write an enormous number of papers.
Oxford is a medium-sized university town that is home to over 30,000 students and has an overall population of around 150,200. Beautiful and historic architecture sits alongside all the main high street stores, numerous coffee shops and restaurants, and a thriving bar and club scene. Oxford also has beautiful riverside walks and the oldest Botanic Garden in the country. Approximately 62 miles from Central London, Oxford is easily accessible by air, bus, train, and car.
OPUS students have Associate student status at Oxford, which means that their access to university facilities is slightly limited: access to the main library, the Bodleian, is limited to a few hours; students are loosely associated with one of the residential colleges, but do not live "in college," etc. Most students on the program have been satisfied with this arrangement, but we don't recommend it as enthusiastically as the other programs.
OPUS provides high quality accommodation within the city. Most OPUS students live in off-campus apartments with other students on the program. All students have their own fully furnished bedroom and share a modern well-equipped kitchen, lounge, and bathroom. A regular cleaning service is included at no additional cost. All properties are professionally managed by housing agents and regularly inspected by OPUS. Students may remain in the housing during an intervening vacation period at no extra cost.
Students can study in the Spring (courses start January 8 and end June 25), with an application deadline of May 1.
For students who wish to study in the Summer (courses start May 15 and end June 25), the application deadline is February 1.
Students must have a 3.2 GPA overall, 3.4 in major; strong writing skills; preparation to undertake serious academic work in the subject area(s) to be studied.