University of Cambridge 2021-2022 Admissions: Entry Requirements, Deadlines, Application Process

    Cambridge, EnglandLocation
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    Sugandhi Sood

    Study Abroad Expert | Updated on - Aug 9, 2021

    The 2020-2021 admissions at the University of Cambridge saw students from 141 different countries finding a place here. Out of about 24,500 students, 41.16% of them are international students. This only goes on to prove Cambridge's never-diminishing international reputation and despite the Covid-19 pandemic, about 398 Indians got admitted into a variety of programs at the University of Cambridge.

    This by no means indicates any relaxation in their selectivity- its acceptance rate is still among the world’s lowest and admissions to the University of Cambridge are not so easy. Only a handful of highly qualified international students manage to get in. Over 24,000 students were enrolled for the year 2020-21 out of which 14,380 were domestic, with the remaining students coming from different EU and non-EU nations. Among the 31, autonomous colleges of the university, Trinity College enrolled the maximum number of students.

    International aspirants should aim to score well in their TOEFL/IELTS along with their GRE/GMAT exams. Getting admitted to the University of Cambridge requires a lot more than 90% of your grades- a vibrant but genuine CV and an engaging statement are a must. Personal statements for UK colleges will differ from your country’s, depending on your program, goals, and prior work experience.

    How do the University of Cambridge and the colleges work?

    • Undergraduate students apply to a college. Cambridge has 29 undergraduate colleges. If you want to apply to Cambridge, the process starts earlier than at other universities to allow time for all the application information to be gathered and considered.
    • Graduates apply first to the university and choose a college preference on their application.
    • If you're considering a Cambridge Ph.D.  then applications are considered on a rolling basis. An answer can be expected within 8 weeks of submitting your application for most Ph.D. programs at the University of Cambridge.

    Please ensure if the course you've applied for needs an admission assessment. If a pre-interview is required for your written assessment, you will need to register well in advance. This should be done before the given deadline with the help of the assessment center. University is still accepting applications for some courses for sessions 2021-22. Classes will be conducted online for international students as long as there is no improvement in the situation.

    University of Cambridge Top Courses: Deadlines and Test Scores

    31 autonomous colleges and six schools offer admission to more than 30 undergraduate and 167 master's programs at the University of Cambridge. Admission requirements of some of the popular ones amongst them are as follows:

    Program Application Deadlines Test Scores Required Additional Requirements

    Round 4: March 8, 2021; Interview: April 16- April 30, 2021

    Round 5: April 26, 2021; Interview: June 4- June 18, 2021

    GMAT: a score in the range of 640 – 730 
    (median at 700 for the 2019 intake) OR
    Equivalent GRE;
    IELTS: 7.5;
    TOEFL (iBT): 110

    Answer to 4 questions (up to 500 words);
    3 years of work experience;
    1 professional LOR
    MPhil Finance February 25, 2021 GRE recommended;
    IELTS: 7.5;
    TOEFL (iBT): 110
    Professional bachelors of at least 4 years with an overall grade of 70% or above
    Economics or quantitative component in bachelors
    MPhil Architecture May 20, 2021 IELTS: 7.5;
    TOEFL (iBT): 110
    2 academic references;
    1000 – 1500 words research proposal;
    1 sample of work
    MPhil in Innovation, Strategy, and Organization February 25, 2021 IELTS: 7.5;
    TOEFL (iBT): 110
    Proficiency in quantitative methods and statistics
    MPhil Scientific Computing June 30, 2021 IELTS: 7.0;
    TOEFL (iBT): 100
    2 sample of work;
    1500 words statement of interest;
    2 academic LORs
    MPhil Advanced Computer Science February 10, 2021 IELTS: 7.5;
    TOEFL (iBT): 110
    2 academic LORs;
    500 words project proposal
    MPhil Strategy, Marketing & Operations June 14, 2021 GRE (recommended);
    IELTS: 7.5;
    TOEFL (iBT): 110
    2 academic LORs;
    5000 words reason for applying;
    Statement of research interest
    MPhil Economics January 31, 2021 GRE: 90th percentile in quant & 50th in analytical;
    IELTS: 7.5;
    TOEFL (iBT): 110
    2 academic LORs;
    Maximum 10-page details of the previous study
    MPhil Management February 25, 2021 IELTS: 7.5;
    TOEFL (iBT): 110
    Proficiency in maths and statistics
    MEd Psychology & Education February 28, 2021 IELTS: 7.5;
    TOEFL (iBT): 110
    2 academic LORs;
    1500 words reason for applying;
    1500 – 2000 words short essay
    Master of Law Currently Closed IELTS: 7.5;
    TOEFL (iBT): 110
    2 academic LORs;
    5000 words reason for applying;
    MPhil Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence Currently Closed IELTS: 7.0;
    ​TOEFL (iBT): 100
    2 academic LORs;
    The motivation for applying;
    Statement of relevant work experience;
    Summary of marks obtained;
    MPhil in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology June 30, 2021 IELTS: 7.0;
    ​TOEFL (iBT): 100
    2 academic LORs;
    1500 words statement of interest & reason for applying
    BA in Computer Science October 15, 2021 IELTS: 7.5;
    TOEFL (iBT): 110
    CTMUA test;
    CSAT test (for some colleges);
    1 academic LOR;
    Supplementary Application Questionnaire:
    Personal Statement
    M.Eng Chemical Engineering October 15, 2021 IELTS: 7.5;
    TOEFL (iBT): 110
    Written assessment test;
    1 academic LOR;
    Supplementary Application Questionnaire:
    Personal Statement
    BA Economics October 15, 2021 IELTS: 7.5;
    TOEFL (iBT): 110
    Admission assessment (MCQ and essay)

    Applicants are shortlisted based on the above documents and invited for the second round ie. interview. It is conducted either via skype or telephone. University shortlists approximately 75% of the total application for interview round every year.

    Note: CTMUA stands for the Cambridge Test of Mathematics for University Admission. It is conducted in late October or early November at the applicant’s school or a nearby center.

    University of Cambridge Undergraduate Admissions

    The University of Cambridge comprises 29 full-time degree courses with about 25.7% of its undergraduate students coming from outside the UK. Offering the most coveted programs are Engineering, Management, Medicine, Education, and Sciences, there is a variety of UG courses offered by University of Cambridge.

    How to Apply?

    Application Portal: UCAS Application Portal
    Application Fees: 20 GBP (Single Course) and 26 GBP (Multiple Courses)
    Application Deadline: October 15
    Application Process:

    • Submit a UCAS application. Following are the requirements for a successful submission: 
      • Write a personal statement explaining the subject interest
      • School reference provided a teacher/tutor/guidance counselor
    • Submit Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA)
    • Complete the Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) sent by the University of Cambridge after submission of UCAS. 
    • Submit the academic transcripts, as per the course’s requirements.
    • Most applicants need to take a subject-specific written admission assessment, either pre-interview or at an interview.
    • A reasonable standard in spoken English is required at the time of the interview.

    Quick Fact: SOP or Personal Statement for the UK differs a lot from other SOPs. These also differ from the subject you are applying for.

    Admission Requirements for UG Programs

    For Indian students, the minimum grades required in at least five relevant subjects in different boards:

    • CISCE and NIOS: 90%  
    • CBSE: A1
    • State Board: 95%

    In addition to the completion of Class XII with minimum grades, Indian students have to satisfy the following additional criteria depending upon the program to which they are applying for:

    • Chemical Engineering, Engineering, Natural Sciences (Physical): Rank above 2000 in IIT- JEE (Advanced)
    • Computer Science, Economics, Mathematics: STEP (minimum grade requirement varies with college)
    • All other programs: College Board Advanced Placement Test with grade 5 in more than five tests

    For the majority of other South Asian countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, the completion of local high school is not enough. Applicants need to complete one of the following qualifications to be considered for admission at the University of Cambridge:

    • GCSE:- GCSE results are considered as a performance indicator of the candidate.
    • A-Levels: Applicants may be required to achieve A* in a particular subject(s), depending on individual circumstances.
    • International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB):- Typical offers are 40-42 points out of 45, with 776 in Higher Level subjects. Applicants may be required to achieve 7 in a particular subject(s), depending on individual circumstances.
    • Cambridge Pre-U Diploma:- Conditional offers are set on an individual basis but are likely to require the achievement of Distinction level grades (D2 or D3) in Principal Subjects.

    English Language Proficiency

    Since the medium of instruction is English at the University of Cambridge, non-native English speaker candidates must achieve any one of the formal qualifications given below:-

    Tests Minimum Requirements
    IELTS Academic 7.5 overall with 7.0 or above in each component
    TOEFL (iBT) 110 overall with each section 25 minimum
    Cambridge English: C2 Proficiency 200
    Cambridge English: C1 Advanced 193

    Please note that students applying for LLM and MCL need to provide their English Language Test scores while submitting their admission applications.

    Covid-19 Update: Indian PG applicants for the 2021-2022 session will be assessed by the University Language Centre if they are unable to provide a valid English-language test score.

    University of Cambridge Graduate Admissions

    At this university, graduate work is considered highly intense and very intellectually demanding with a large number of academic entry requirements. Offering around 167 graduate programs, the most popular PG courses at the University of Cambridge are Management, Economics, Finance, Education, and Marketing. If applying for any Ph.D. programs at Cambridge, then you will need to have a high level of motivation for the three or four years of full-time study. This includes a probationary period followed by a progress assessment only after which you'll be registered.

    Application Portal: University Application Portal
    Application Fees: 70 GBP; 150 GBP for the MBA program
    Admission Requirements:

    • A bachelors degree in a relevant field with a minimum of 70% 
    • Academic transcripts 
    • English translation of non-English transcripts
    • Proof of English Proficiency (minimum score varies with the program)
    • Interview (for some courses)

    University of Cambridge Admission Decision

    Time taken to assess the application differs a lot depending on the degree type and applicant pool. The admission decision for undergraduate applicants is usually announced before the end of January. If the candidate is offered a place, they will be informed by the respective college and through UCAS applicants need to reply. Admission decision for graduate programs is announced within three months of the deadline. Approval of the following authorities is required for acceptance:

    • At least 2 academic members of the department
    • Relevant degree committee
    • Postgraduate Admission Office

    At the University of Cambridge, admissions decisions are based solely on academic criteria, i.e. the candidate’s ability and potential. All inquiries related to the admission decision are dealt with by the University of Cambridge colleges on an individual basis.

    If a college couldn’t offer a place to an applicant because other more eligible students were also available but the applicant was considered strong enough, then it may pass it on to other colleges for consideration. In this case, although, you didn’t get admission to your first choice of college you can be accepted by other colleges if they consider you eligible.

    Immigration & Visa Requirements for International Students

    In order to study in the UK, students coming from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland for more than 6 months must have a Tier 4 student visa. The Visa application must be submitted immediately after receiving the enrollment offer.

    Documents Required

    • A copy of a valid passport.
    • Necessary Financial Documentation.
    • If you are below 18 years of age, proof of parental or other legal guardian consent
    • Tuberculosis Test results (as per the country’s requirements)

    Candidates need to apply for a Tier 4 student visa at least 3 months before the starting date of their course. The date of the application is the same as the day of paying the visa application fee ie. 348 GBP. Visa applications can be submitted to the respective country of residence.


    Ques. What SAT score is required for the University of Cambridge?

    Ans. Applicants of the USA can also submit SAT scores if they could achieve the cut-off GPA at the school level. A minimum score of 750 in each component with a combined score of 1500 is required for most of the science and economics courses.

    Ques. How can I get admission to the University of Cambridge?

    Ans. Undergraduate applicants must apply through UCAS and graduate applications are accepted via the official website. International students must fulfill the basic GPA requirement and other additional requirements such as portfolio, CV, statement of purpose, etc to get admission to the University of Cambridge.

    Ques. What GPA is needed for Cambridge?

    Ans. Minimum 90% for CBSE and 95% for state board passed out students is required to apply for undergraduate programs at the University of Cambridge. Most of the graduate programs require a minimum of 70% in bachelor's as basic eligibility.

    Ques. How can I increase my chances of getting into the University of Cambridge?

    Ans. Choose course wisely keeping in mind your skills, qualifications, interests, and compatibility with the program. Submit all documents mentioned on the university’s website for a course even if it classified as a recommendation and not a compulsion. Prepare for the interview. 

    Ques. Does Cambridge have an entrance exam?

    Ans. Most of the undergraduate programs require a written assessment test. These are conducted either at the applicant's school or in a nearby center.


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    2 Reviews Found

    9.5 /10

    This university is ranked among the world's topmost universities. Also, the university is highly reputed. These were the reasons why I opted for this university. I applied through the COPA (Cambridge Online Preliminary Application) for admission.

    10 /10 academic/food
    10 /10 faculty
    9 /10 infrastructure
    9 /10 accomodation
    10 /10 placement
    9 /10 extracurricular
    8.8 /10

    It's prestigious and this means that graduates often enjoy excellent job opportunities. It's hard to get into (interview process, high grades, etc.) so the need to work hard to get in was a source of motivation when I was studying for my A level exams.

    Scholarship :

    Yes - Student Finance. Most UK students receive this funding. It's means-tested: the amount you receive depends on the income of your parents. You receive payments for your college funds and a maintenance loan (to cover living costs). Students whose families earn less than $45,000 a year also get an annual bursary from the university of up to $3,500.

    10 /10 academic/food
    9 /10 faculty
    10 /10 infrastructure
    8 /10 accomodation
    8 /10 placement
    8 /10 extracurricular


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