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Applying to UK Universities in the US

There are many reasons to consider studying for your college degree in the UK.

Every year, thousands of international students choose the UK for their undergraduate studies because of its renowned academic excellence, and broad range of high-quality, respected qualifications.

The British culture and its people also form another strong attraction for those from the U.S. Discover more reasons why international students decide to study in Britain over at our guide to applying for a degree at a UK university.

Below, we highlight the relevant sections to help you through the application process.

Applying to UK universities as an international student

In the UK, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is responsible for dealing with all higher education course applications.

This is done by providing students with a general online application form through a system called Apply, which they will then submit to your chosen institutions on your behalf.

Find out more information in our application guide for International Students.

Entry requirements

These will vary depending on which degree you wish to study, and which universities you would like to apply to.

Once you have made these choices, it’s important to check the website or prospectus for each university to see whether you meet their minimum entry requirements. 

As you are applying from the U.S., universities in the UK will usually recognise and accept the High School Diploma, SAT and AP tests. 

If the exact entry requirements for USA students are not completely clear on the university’s website, contact their admissions department directly by phone or email, and they will clarify this for you.

You will also need a visa to study in the UK (normally a Tier 4 student visa), since your degree course will last longer than 6 months.

This means universities and colleges will need to see that you have the required qualifications for entry on to the course before you can proceed with your visa application. 

Therefore, be prepared for your chosen institutions to ask for either original or certified copies of any qualification results.

If English is not your first language, you will be expected to hold a qualification or specified test in English, e.g. CAE, TOEFL, IELTS.

Find out more about entry requirements for UK International students.


You will need certain documents when you have been accepted on to a course and arrive to study in the UK.

These include a passport, visa, a letter confirming you have been offered a place on a course, and evidence that you are able to support yourself financially. 


As a non-EU applicant, it’s best to contact the universities you are applying to directly for more information on any help available to U.S students with tuition fees, living costs, etc.

Details of scholarships and other financial aid should be available on their website, but if not, a phone call or email to the university should clarify things for you.


Whichever universities you apply to, there will be a number of accommodation options open to you.

Where you will stay depends on whether your college or university has halls of residence, what city/town it is in, and how much your monthly budget is.

As soon as you have been accepted on to a course at a UK university, you will need to let them know that you will require accommodation (please don’t assume you will automatically be given accommodation). 

The university or college should send you a form in the mail, or an online version for you to fill in. It’s best to start arranging your accommodation as soon as you have been offered a place, as accommodation quickly becomes booked up, and often supply does not meet demand.

Find out more information about the different types of university accommodation available at UK universities at 

Applying to Oxford or Cambridge University

Please note that if you are considering applying to either the University of Cambridge or Oxford, you may not apply to both within the same academic year. 

If you would like to find out more about applying to these prestigious universities, please read our dedicated Oxbridge guide

Further information

For more tips and advice about applying to university in the UK, please see:

Best of luck with your personal statement!