University of Cambridge (Arts and Sciences)
Cambridge University is made up of thirty-one individual Colleges, each with their own unique character. Pembroke College, founded in 1347, is the third oldest of the Colleges, and is ideally situated in the center of the City of Cambridge, close to the main tourist attractions and University buildings. Pembroke is unique in its long experience of delivering high quality academic programs that offer international students an unrivaled opportunity to live and study in a Cambridge college. The College welcomes applications from qualified Hopkins students in all majors. Note that admission to this program is highly selective.
The Fall and Spring Semester Programmes, which are possible to combine into a full-year experience, offer an exceptional opportunity for visiting students to experience life as an undergraduate in one of the most distinguished university cities in the world. Each year Pembroke College accepts around 30 visiting students in the Fall and in the Spring.
This prestigious opportunity requires you to meet the same high standards as those applying for an undergraduate degree at Cambridge. By matriculating, you become a full member of the University and Pembroke College, and thus take the same lectures and participate in the same extracurricular activities as Cambridge students, and you also live in University accommodation. Upon completion of the program, you will become part of the Pembroke College Circle, which functions much like an alumni network would here in the U.S.
Many students use their time on the program to prepare for an honors thesis or to open up new areas of independent study. Some are so inspired by their experience that they return to Cambridge for graduate degrees.
The supervision system (similar to Oxford's tutorial system) is one of the distinctive features of the Cambridge undergraduate teaching system. Cambridge students attend lectures and seminars offered by the University but also typically attend a one-hour weekly supervision, either individually or in small groups, with an expert in the course, or paper, they are taking. The supervisor will set weekly essays based upon lengthy reading lists and material from relevant lecture and seminar courses. The emphasis is not on ‘contact hours’ but on closely guided, research-based essay writing and problem-solving.
Director of Studies
All students are assigned a Director of Studies to look after their academic welfare. The Director of Studies is involved in the admissions process and prepares incoming students for the courses, organizes supervisions, monitors progress and deals with any academic problems that might arise.
Most Cambridge degrees have two sections, known as Part I and Part II, and you can generally choose courses (papers) from both parts. Cambridge is about depth: this program should not be used as a way of fulfilling general requirements, and therefore you are expected to take courses in the subject area of your major. The subjects available are:
- Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic
- Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
- History of Art
- Human, Social, and Political Sciences (Political Science, International Studies, Anthropology)
- Philosophy of Religion
Note that within all faculties there will be papers that are unavailable to visiting students. This will be discussed with you on a case-by-case basis during the application process. Pembroke generally support the papers available in Group 1: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/international-students/fees
You will select two papers, one in each of the two terms which comprise the semester. Each paper is usually worth 8 Hopkins credits, so most students will bring back 16 credits per Hopkins semester. There are certain limitations to the courses available to Spring Semester Programme students: some courses are suitable only if you have considerable previous training, e.g. in econometrics, while other papers may not be viable if vital lectures are delivered in the first term. Once you are admitted to the program you will receive advice on how to choose your courses. A list of courses can be found on the relevant faculty and department websites. If you experience any difficulties in accessing the course lists you should contact the Spring Semester Programme Coordinator.
Semester students do not take the regular University exams, known as Tripos exams. Instead you will take College exams designed to reflect what you have studied during your two terms. The assessment for grading purposes is made on the basis of these exams and on your coursework.
As a semester student, you will be assigned to a personal Tutor, who will take a close interest in the progress of your studies and also in your other interests and activities. Beside an interest in your academic work, he or she is also there to help in matters of general welfare and to give guidance, advice and help when this is wanted; and to help you get the most out of being in Cambridge and Pembroke.
Students usually earn the equivalent of 16 credits for the Fall Semester Programme (8 credits per paper) and 24 credits for the Spring Semester Programme (12 credits per paper). Students who participate in the full Academic Year Programme at Pembroke will need to bring back any credits that exceed the 30 credit limit for study abroad as transfer credits.
Grades will appear only on the program transcript and will not appear on the Hopkins transcript or factor into the Hopkins GPA.
Fall students pursue a standard undergraduate program from early September through early December, which includes Pembroke's September pre-term with the university's Michaelmas Term. Spring students pursue a standard undergraduate program from mid-January through late June, which includes Cambridge's Lent and Easter Terms.
Fall: September - December
Spring: January - June
Full Year: September - June
Application deadline for all terms: February 1st (admission is rolling from September to May but we strongly encourage Hopkins students to apply by February 1st)
- 3.75 cumulative GPA
- Completions of two full academic years at Hopkins prior to participation
- Completion of 3-5 courses in chosen area of study prior to participation
- Good academic and disciplinary standing
- A meeting with a study abroad advisor is required in order to obtain application authorization
Semester students are all housed in either Pembroke accommodation or in neighboring Colleges. Becoming part of College life is a unique experience. Few forget their formal dinners in the historic dining halls, or the beautiful grounds, art and architecture all around them. However, College membership is about much more than the environment, spectacular though that is. It is about being part of a friendly and vibrant community, and having access to outstanding facilities, such as the College library and sports ground. Students also have access to a wide range of College services, including a medical clinic. In short, this is a uniquely supportive environment, not just a dorm.
Semester students work extremely hard in the course of their academic studies, but they also take full advantage of the many opportunities for extracurricular activities that Cambridge offers. Whether students are interested in sports, music, acting, debating or journalism, there will be a student team or society available, and this is also an excellent way of getting to know Cambridge undergraduates. Cambridge is a beautiful and historic city with a rich cultural life, but also small enough to explore easily on foot. With both London and Stansted airports close at hand, semester students tend to pack in a lot of European travelling at weekends and in the five-week Easter vacation. The timing of the Semester programme also allows students to enjoy the famous Cambridge May Week, when the end of the academic year is marked by garden parties and May Balls. Fall students do not miss out either and Christmas-themed Formal Halls and Winter Balls make for an unforgettable climax to the Semester experience.
Students pay the University, College and Housing fees of Pembroke College plus the Hopkins study abroad fee (see the Budget Sheet, above), all billed through the Hopkins student account. Financial aid and scholarships may be applied toward the cost of the program.
Students are required to meet with a Study Abroad Advisor prior to submitting either application. Applications for all terms are due by January 15th (admission is rolling from September to May but we strongly encourage Hopkins students to apply by January 15th).