IES Abroad’s mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. That is why we partnered with St. Catherine’s College at the University of Oxford.
Because of the high academic rigor of this program, a 3.85 GPA (out of 4.0) is required to participate.
Fall and Academic-Year Students' Pre-Term Course
Since St. Catherine's Fall term begins in October, Fall-semester and academic-year students will supplement their time at Oxford with a three-week course at the IES Abroad London Center prior to the start of St. Catherine’s term. They will live in a residence hall during this time. Students will receive three IES Abroad credits for this course, which prepares them for the unique academic system used at Oxford. Students receive 12 credits for their coursework at Oxford and three credits for the IES Abroad course in London. The pre-term course will be a condensed, specialized version of any course in the IES Abroad London portfolio of your choosing.
St. Catherine’s College
St. Catherine’s College, whose foundation stone was laid by Her Majesty the Queen on November 4, 1960, welcomed its first undergraduates two years later. Although St. Catherine’s is the youngest college in Oxford, it is also one of the largest with 450 undergraduates and 160 postgraduates, as well as 70 fellows and lecturers.
In addition to its formal academics, St. Catherine’s is known for its extracurricular opportunities in music, drama, and sports, and is generally regarded as one of the friendliest and most open colleges in Oxford.
The college was designed to be a modern reflection of a traditional Oxford college. At the heart of the college lies a rectangular quad, its sides flanked by student rooms built in the conventional Oxford “staircase” format, its ends consisting of the dining hall and library.
The facilities also include a large junior common room with a debating pit, television and game room, small theater, and music house. Squash courts, a weight room, and punt house are also on-site. You can also utilize a boathouse and playing fields for rugby, soccer, and field hockey nearby.
Study abroad students usually apply to one or sometimes two academic departments and then select courses from these and/or other departments. St. Catherine’s offers a wide range of disciplines.
For more details about course options, visit the "CATZ" website.
Past IES Abroad students have taken courses like:
- A Roman Introduction to Private Law
- The American Revolution
- Anglo-Norman Literature
- Behavioral Economics
- Philosophy of the Mind
- Shakespeare’s Plays
- Theory and Mathematical Statistics
- Ethical Theory
- European Masterpieces of the Renaissance and Baroque at Christchurch Picture Gallery
- The Islamic Civilisation/Golden Age
- Imagining de Tocqueville’s Democratic Culture
- James Joyce
- Macroeconomic Analysis
- Winston Churchill – His Life and Times
- The Just State Victorian Literature
- Theological Understandings of gender
- The Vietnam War in the Context of the Cold War Economics of Global Governance
- The Films of Woody Allen
Oxford Academic Environment & Expectations: The Tutorial System
University education at St. Catherine’s is based on the tutorial system. Typically, you have two lectures per week for each class and one tutorial, or small group meeting, that you’re expected to prepare a list of readings and topics to discuss. There is a high expectation that you will put in a significant amount of independent study in addition to classroom, laboratory, and tutorial hours.
Because of the high academic rigor of this program, a 3.85 GPA (out of 4.0) is required to participate. St. Catherine’s sometimes considers applicants with a GPA slightly below 3.85 who include an exceptional set of essays or an original and compelling personal statement. St. Catherine’s will not consider applicants with a GPA lower than 3.7.
Using the resources available, you engage in extensive independent reading and research under the broad guidance of a tutor. Your tutorial sessions require you to discuss your weekly reading and essay. This methodology sharpens the learning skills of critical evaluation and organization of ideas. You are taught by the same tutors, in the same manner, and held to the same standards as matriculated Oxford students.
St. Catherine’s buildings, located on the east side of Oxford, are modern—the result of an international competition won by renowned Danish architect Arne Jacobson.