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Graduate Admissions

 

For information on Colleges and accommodation, please see our Colleges section.

Q. How do I choose a College?

For information and advice on choosing a College, please see our Choosing a College page.

Q. Do I have to choose a College?

You do not have to choose a College in your application. You will not be at a disadvantage if you make no preference and, if offered a place on your course, a place in a College will be guaranteed.

For more details, see making an open application.

Q. Can I change my College preferences?

You are able to change your College preferences within 14 days of submitting your application, as long as a formal offer to study has not been made, by contacting the Graduate Admissions Office. After this period, requests for a transfer of College will be considered only on the grounds of disability, a substantial offer of funding from another College, or other compelling circumstances.

If another College has offered you a full scholarship, or substantial funding, you should contact the Senior Tutor or Graduate Tutor of the College that originally accepted you, to discuss your options. Please do not contact other Colleges directly.

Transferring College mid-course is not normally possible, unless in exceptional circumstances.

Changing Colleges between courses that require separate applications (such as between Masters and PhD) is not uncommon. Tutors at your existing College may offer help and information, but will not normally be involved in seeking a new College.

If you wish to apply to another College for a new course, you should do so independently through the Graduate Admissions process as a completely new application, noting any advice on the website of the College to which you intend to apply.

If you believe that you have compelling grounds to request a College transfer, you should contact your allocated College Senior Tutor or Graduate Tutor to discuss your options. Please do not contact other Colleges directly.

If you are applying to another College for any reason (eg to be eligible for College-specific funding), but would like to be considered by your original College if you are unsuccessful, your must include your original College as your second choice. If you do not, you may be allocated to another College with no grounds for requesting a transfer.

Guidance on College preferences is provided on the Applicant Portal.

 

Q. Will I be guaranteed accommodation and do I need to live in College?

Colleges are unable to guarantee provision of accommodation to all graduate students.  Please check accommodation availability with your with you College.  If you are offered a place on your course, you will be accepted as a member of a College but you may not be offered accommodation at your College.  If this is the case then you will need to find your own accommodation in, or near Cambridge. The university Accommodation service will be able to assist you in finding suitable accommodation

See the Terms of Residence page for more information and sources of help in finding private accommodation.

if you wish to bring your family to Cambridge, please see our Applicants with Families page.

 

Q. Can I visit some Colleges before choosing my preferences?

We do not arrange tours of Colleges for prospective applicants. You can check individual College websites for Open Days, or for details of opening hours for those Colleges which welcome visitors to their grounds during part of each day.

The Disability Resource Centre can arrange for disabled students to visit a range of Colleges and academic sites with one of their disability advisers. If you would like to do so, please contact the DRC as early as possible in the application process.

Q. Can I decline an offer of College membership?

The University of Cambridge is a collegiate University. All students must be a member of a College. You can select your College preferences in your application.

If you are made a formal offer of admission by the University, you are guaranteed to be accepted by a College, which may or may not be your first choice College.

You are able to change your choice of College preferences within 14 days of submitting your application, as long as a formal offer to study has not been made, by contacting the Graduate Admissions Office. After this period, requests for a transfer of College will be considered only on the grounds of disability, a substantial offer of funding from another College, or other compelling circumstances.

Guidance on College preferences is provided on the Applicant Portal.

Please note that without a College membership, your admission will not be confirmed, and you will not be able to take up your place at Cambridge.

 

Q. What is the status of my College membership application?

Once you receive a conditional offer for a place on a course you will see, upon logging in to your Self-Service account, that the "College Membership" column in your details will initially contain "Seeking College membership". This message will remain until your first choice College (or, if you made an open application, the first College to which your application papers were sent) makes their decision.

If they do not accept you, the message will change to "Unsuccessful at [name of College], seeking College membership". If your second choice rejects your application, the same message will be displayed, with only the name of the College changed. Your application will then be passed on to other Colleges determined by the computerised allocation process. Unfortunately, the system is not able to tell you which College is currently considering your application for membership.

This process can continue until up to five Colleges have considered your application but we guarantee that you will be accepted by one of them. When this has happened, the message will change to "Accepted at [name of College]".

Q. Will my College preferences affect whether or not I am admitted?

Neither your choice of College, nor making an open application, will have any influence on the academic decision to offer you admission to a course. If an academic offer is made, you will be accepted by a College.