Choosing a college | University of Oxford
Merton Sunrise
Early morning sun over Merton College
(Image Credit: Steven Langton / Graduate Photography Competition)

Choosing a college

You can ask us to find a college for you, as many of our applicants do, or you can state a college preference in your application.

You can find out which colleges will accept applications for your chosen course, by visiting the relevant course page. Whether you let us find you a college or you state a college preference, it will not affect how your department assesses your application and whether they decide to make you an offer. If you receive an offer from your department then you will also receive an offer from a college or hall, although this might not be the college you stated as your preference (if you indicated one).

Many colleges offer scholarships but you do not need to read every college webpage in order to find out what scholarships they offer. The vast majority of college scholarships do not require you to select that college as your preference. The college will consider all eligible applicants who apply by the deadline, regardless of any college preference. If you are selected for a college scholarship, we will move your application to the relevant college.

Oxford scholarships worth over £1,000, including college scholarships, are included in our Fees, Funding and Scholarship Search. You can use this Search to identify the small number of college scholarships where an additional application is required.

Colleges have a lot more in common than they have differences and, whichever college you go to, your course will be the same because it is the responsibility of your department.

Each college is different in various ways, and this rich variety is part of what makes the Oxford experience so special. Some of the differences include:

  • whether the college is for graduates only, or if it also accepts undergraduates

  • accommodation, which can be requested (for singles, couples, families and/or students with disabilities) but there is no guarantee that this will be available

  • college size – both in terms of the grounds and the numbers of staff and students

  • the age of the college and its various buildings

  • the location – some are in the city centre, while others will be nearer to your department, the park, the river or the sports centre: many have a main site and other annexe sites across the city

  • the number of places available

  • grants or other funding – in addition to any support provided by the University

  • facilities – all colleges have a library, dining hall and common room: sports facilities and other resources do vary but you may be able to use another college’s facilities and you can join University-wide clubs and societies and use the University’s facilities

  • if there is a nursery on site

You can find out more about each college on the college pages and on the colleges’ own websites.

College locations