Graduate study at Oxford

A guide to applying for students from the


Oxford and the USA

The United States is the largest source of international students and academic staff at Oxford. Furthermore, the highest number of our research collaborations and the majority of international funding for research come from the US. The University collaborates with many US institutions, most frequently with Harvard University, as well as Johns Hopkins, Yale, Wisconsin and MIT.

There are more than 1000 US graduate students studying at Oxford, making up the largest group of graduate students from outside the UK. Popular programmes span a wide range of disciplines:

Popular Programmes

Business and Finance

Social Sciences



The Oxford University Press, Inc. (OUP USA)

The OUP USA is Oxford University Press’s second major publishing centre after Oxford, and is by far the largest university press in the USA. Set up in 1896, OUP USA was the Press’ first international office. Since it began to publish its own US books in the 1920s, the Press has been honoured with seven Pulitzer Prizes, several National Book Awards, and over a dozen Bancroft Prizes in American history.

The Rothermere American Institute (RAI)

Opened in 2001, the RAI is an international centre of excellence dedicated to the interdisciplinary and comparative study of the USA. Bringing together scholars, intellectuals, policy-makers, and public figures from around the world and housing the Oxford Centre for Research in United States History (OxCrush), it seeks to promote a greater public and academic understanding of the history, culture, and politics of the US. It also hosts the Vere Harmsworth Library (part of the Bodleian Library), the finest library of Americana to be found outside the US.

Recent visitors to the Institute and speakers at its academic and public events include such eminent figures as Her Majesty the Queen, President Jimmy Carter, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Amartya Sen, George Soros and Tom Wolfe.

Rhodes and the USA

The first American Rhodes Scholars entered Oxford in 1904. Rhodes Scholarships are unique to Oxford and have been particularly instrumental in attracting talented American graduate students to Oxford. Thirty-two scholars are now selected every year from across the United States. Successful applicants have been drawn from an ever growing number of over 300 American colleges and universities. Many have achieved notable distinction, including:

  • Bill Bradley, former US Senator and Olympic gold medallist
  • Bill Clinton, former US president
  • James William Fullbright, established the Fullbright Program
  • Rachel Maddow, television host, political commentator and author
  • Dean Rusk, US Secretary of State 1961-69
  • Bonnie St. John, Olympic skier and Director of the National Economic Council during the Clinton administration
  • Naomi Wolf, author and former political consultant

Main photograph by Joseph Caruana, DPhil Astrophysics (Christ Church College)