Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: No previous study
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0 Credit Available For: College, SEAS
Other Eligibility Requirements: Min. 3.3 GPA in Concentration Type of Program: Semester/Year Study Abroad
Housing Options: University Residence Hall/Apartment Application Deadline: Fall/Year: February 15, Spring: October 1
Department Preferred: Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE)
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

BYK LogoUniversity of York

The University of York, one of Britain's most attractive university campuses was founded in the early 1960s and has built an international reputation for the quality of its teaching and research. With more than 17,000 students, the University is large enough to provide a stimulating academic environment while remaining a friendly and welcoming community. York offers courses in the arts, sciences and social sciences which, at the undergraduate level, are open to visiting students. Teaching is carried out in tutorials (small groups of up to six students), seminars (larger groups of 7-15) and through lecture programs. Visiting students are each assigned to an academic adviser who is concerned with their academic progress and personal welfare.
For additional information, visit the University of York website
The City of York

Historic city by day, buzzing hotspot by night, York was previously voted Europe’s top international tourist destination. With a population of approximately 200,000, its historic streets bustle with visitors from all around the world. York is ideally situated half way between London and Edinburgh and is less than two hours from London by train. The city has unique architecture, history, and theaters; despite its smaller size, there is always something ongoing.

Did you know…?                        

The University of York is famous for its duck population, with reports suggesting that 14 ducks inhabit every quarter of an acre on campus, the most of any UK university. Killing a duck is an expellable offence. York runs a Duck of the Day blog for daily pictures of ducks around campus. York was built on chocolate, with three big factories that created Kit Kat, Smarties, Aero and All Gold amongst others.  This legacy continues today with lots of options to try tasty treats and if the wind is in the right direction from the factory a city that smells of chocolate.  York was recently voted the safest city in the world by tourists, and the university campus has the lowest crime statistics of any in the UK.



The program at the University of York is for College credit and SEAS students.
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0 cumulative; 3.3 in concentration


Language of Instruction



A full course load at the University of York consists of 40-60 credits, or three to four courses, per term.  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 participants to arrange with their home school academic advisor for study abroad at Penn that an appropriate amount of Penn credit will be awarded as equivalent to the work done at York.

Please visit the Academics and Courses page for more details, including a list of undergraduate modules for visiting students at the bottom of the page.

University of York Academic Calendar
Grading Scale

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.

Please review conditions regarding teaching and assessment at York.

Grades are reported to Penn on the University of York scale and then converted to Penn grades according to the following grade equivalencies:
University of York Grade Penn Grade
70-100 A
65-69 A-
60-64 B+
55-59 B
50-54 B-
45-49 C+
40-44 C
0-39 F

Special Features

BYK Special FeaturesOrientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by the University of York prior to the start of each semester.

Group Excursions

Excursions are organized by the University of York International Office and through student societies. Other excursions and activities are organized by the Cornell Brown Penn UK Centre.

Student Associations

Penn students studying at the University of York have access to a wide range of student activities and more than 180 societies. More information is also available through the Students’ Union page. 


BYK CampusParticipants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.

Visiting students are able to reserve accommodation for the full duration of their course, normally in single study bedrooms in one of the seven colleges or in university-controlled accommodation within walking distance of campus. Each college is home to about 300 students, and also houses departmental and academic staff offices as well as social areas. Study bedroom accommodation is fully furnished, but students provide and launder their own bed linen, pillows, duvet sets, sheets and towels and their own crockery and cooking utensils.

Information regarding accommodation 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.

Budget Sheets

Academic Year

Scholarship Opportunities

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 

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.

Next Steps

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.

For a student perspective on life and academics in York, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.