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Undergraduate Study

Total number of students at Cambridge from USA 2017-18
Undergraduate 94
Postgraduate 824

If a student holds more than one nationality, then the nationality given as the primary nationality is reported.

You may find our other undergraduate application statistics interesting as well.

Entry requirements

Applicants from the USA should note that offers are usually made on an individual basis.

Typically, suitable evidence of preparation for entry would comprise a minimum of five Advanced Placement (AP) Scores at grade 5, normally taken within two years of matriculation and with particular focus on APs that are taken in subjects related to the course applied for. In addition, high passing marks on your school qualification (eg the relevant US High School Diploma) and a high score on the SAT (I) Reasoning Test or ACT, are expected.* Applicants taking these tests are required to disclose all tests taken and scores achieved (including retakes). Failure to disclose any scores may disadvantage your application, and Cambridge Colleges reserve the right to contact ACT, College Board or your school to confirm your results.

When evaluating applicants with qualifications including APs, Colleges will take into account an applicant’s individual circumstances as well as the policies of their school (where taken as part of their standard curriculum), including the number of years taken to complete the declared APs. An applicant, or an applicant’s school, may therefore be asked to provide further information as part of their application.

For more details on applying with College Board qualifications, please see the advice below. For details on applying with the full IB Diploma or three or more A Levels, please see the relevant sections on our Entrance Requirements page.

Colleges are aware that applicants from the USA will sometimes be able to provide application profiles which include a combination of different qualifications types (eg AP Tests, A Levels, IB Higher Level Courses). Colleges will assess these on a case by case basis, but applicants should be aware that a very high level of attainment will be required.

Applicants also often apply as affiliated applicants having completed a first degree. In some circumstances, our Colleges may consider an application from a student who is undertaking the first year of an undergraduate degree at a university outside the UK. Please contact the College to which you wish to apply for further guidance on the suitability of your University qualifications for following one of these routes.

Advanced Placement (AP) Tests

Our requirement is for a minimum of five AP Test scores at grade 5, normally taken within two years of matriculation and with particular focus on APs that are taken in subjects related to the course applied for. Applicants do not to have to have completed a minimum of five AP Courses to meet this requirement, as a Test can be sat without completing the relevant Course. Advice on how to study for and take AP Tests is available on the College Board AP website.

We welcome AP Capstone and would encourage applicants to undertake AP Research and Seminar courses as it will help to develop independent study and research skills valuable for higher education. However AP Capstone courses won't normally be a requirement of any offer made, and AP Capstone scores will not usually count towards the five or more grade 5 score requirement.

When choosing which AP Tests to sit for, prospective applicants should consult the course pages on the Cambridge website to identify close subject matches. Please note that for Cambridge courses which ask for Mathematics and Further Mathematics A Level, Calculus BC is strongly preferred. For courses which ask for Physics A level, the two Physics C Tests are preferred.

AP Tests do not have to be completed in a single sitting to fulfil this requirement.

SAT (I) Reasoning Tests

Applicants to most Science courses (Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine, Natural Sciences, Psychological and Behavioural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine) and Economics would be expected to achieve a minimum combined score of 1,500 with a Mathematics section score of at least 750. For applications to all other courses, a minimum combined score of at least 1,460 with a score in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing of at least 730 is expected.

Applicants are asked to send in results from full sittings of the SAT rather than individual section scores from separate sittings.

More information on SAT I Tests can be found on the College Board SAT website.

ACT Tests

An ACT composite score of at least 32 (for Arts and Humanities) or 33 (for Sciences) out of 36 is accepted as equivalent to the SAT Reasoning Test scores outlined above. Further information can be found on the ACT website.

*SAT Subject Tests are not normally viewed as being equivalent to AP Tests and cannot normally be used as substitutes to meet the AP typical offer level.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language then any offer made is likely to include English language requirements. See which English language qualifications we accept on our English language requirements page.

Fees and finance

As an international student, fees vary between different courses. You may be eligible for a US federal loan; and limited financial support may be available from the Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust, or College funds.

If you're unsure as to whether your fee status would be Home or international, please see our fee status page.


Interviews are held in Cambridge and a number of overseas locations, including in Canada (Toronto). Please refer to the information on our overseas interviews page for full details.

Admissions Assessments

Please also refer to the information about admission assessments. If the course you’re applying for requires you to take a pre-interview written assessment, you must be registered in advance for the assessment. The assessment centre where you’ll take the assessment must register you (you can’t register yourself) by the relevant assessment registration deadline.

International Events

The University of Cambridge attends some events overseas where our representatives will be happy to chat with you and answer any questions you may have about applying to and studying at the University. To find out when we are visiting your country please visit the International Events webpage.