St. Andrews is the oldest university in Scotland and is not a campus university but, rather, closely integrated within the town. Compared to other universities, the 8,000 undergraduates is a relatively small number. The basic method of teaching undergraduate students is by lectures given by specialists in particular subjects. In addition, teaching may also involve small group tutorials and seminars where selected topics are discussed and analyzed on the basis of prepared written work. St Andrews is home to over 140 student societies which cover a wide range of interests, and there is always something exciting for students.
This beautiful university town is situated in its own sheltered bay on the Fife coast, 45 miles north of Edinburgh. The antiquity of St. Andrews is visible today in its monuments, wonderful old buildings, city walls, houses of stone (some obviously constructed from bits of the Cathedral) and street plan, which is still medieval.
Did you know…?
The University of St. Andrews was founded in 1410, making it the third oldest university in the English-speaking world.
Among other notable alumni, Prince William and Kate Middleton attended the university.
The program at University of St. Andrews is for College credit only.
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.2
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Successful completion of at least 3 college-level courses in Major by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure.
Language of Instruction
A full course load at the University of St. Andrews consists of two to four courses for a total of 60 credits per semester. Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.
It is the responsibility of prospective participants to arrange with their major advisor at Penn before departure and through communication at the time of course selection that an appropriate amount of Penn credit will be awarded as equivalent to the work done at St. Andrews.
Students should review the Academic Culture website, which details information about credits, teaching, and assessment.
As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.
St. Andrews grades on a scale of 0-20. Grades are reported to Penn on the St. Andrews scale and then converted to Penn grades according to the following grade equivalencies:
St. Andrews Grade
All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by the University of St. Andrews prior to the start of each semester.
Many student groups organize local and regional excursions. Other excursions and activities are organized by the Cornell Brown Penn UK Centre.
The Buddy Scheme
The Buddy Scheme pairs a visiting student from a foreign university with a student from St. Andrews who has recently returned from their year abroad. The scheme operates for both semesters. For visiting students, the Buddy Scheme is a terrific opportunity to meet somebody who has had a similar experience of studying or working abroad, who knows St. Andrews.
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.
There are two types of residential accommodations, either catered (shared room with en-suite facilities including 19 meals per week) or self-catering (students prepare their own meals). The residences are located throughout St. Andrews. Each residence has a team of wardens or Resident Assistants who live in the residence and are either members of the faculty or postgraduate students. There are 500 shared rooms in the residences and most of those are in the standard catered residences.
Further information regarding accommodation for visiting students can be found here.
Cost and Finance
Penn Abroad Financial Policies
Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs. Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare. Please see the program budget sheets below for more information. For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.
Financial Aid and Study Abroad
In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs. Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.
AASAP/UK Lord Acton Memorial Scholarship: Merit-based scholarship awarded to the applicant who demonstrates an understanding and appreciation of the value of an international educational experience and who agrees to share how the scholarship helped to fulfil their academic and personal ambitions. The award is £500 for a semester abroad or £1,000 for a full year.
BUTEX offers eight scholarships to North American students studying at a university in the United Kingdom. The value of each scholarship is £500 and will be paid to the winners once they have arrived and registered at their host university. Interested students should contact the appropriate Global Programs Manager in the Penn Abroad office.
The University of St Andrews offers a scholarship for inbound exchange students of up to £4,000 that may be used for accommodation fees. These scholarships will be awarded on financial need and academic merit. Applicants will be invited to apply for the inbound scholarship if they receive an unconditional offer of admission. Scholarship awardees will be asked to provide a written account of their overseas experiences for promotional materials.
For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.
To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.