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University of St Andrews Acceptance Rate

Updated on October 7, 2014

Changing Acceptance Rate at University of St Andrews

The University of St Andrews acceptance rate reflects the fact that the oldest University in Scotland is increasing in popularity, and is able to set ever-higher standards for admissions. As a former alumnus of the University, I have noticed how the admissions standards have increased in the last ten years - especially since Prince William started to study there, bringing the university to worldwide attention.

Admissions standards to St Andrews are high, reflecting the competition for places. However there is good news for international students. As international students pay a higher rate of fees, the University of St Andrews acceptance rate tends to be higher proportionally for international students than for UK students.

St Andrews is a small coastal town, with an ancient university offering excellent academic instruction. If that sounds like a college you would like to study in, then read on for more information on acceptance rates and admissions standards for home and international students...

St Salvator's Quadrangle is at the heart of the University of St Andrews
St Salvator's Quadrangle is at the heart of the University of St Andrews

University of St Andrews Acceptance Rate for UK and EU students

For 2010 admissions the university received 12,000 applications for 1,100 places allocated to 'home' students (from the UK or European Union). That translates to an acceptance rate of just under 10%.

This competitiveness is reflected in the admissions standards. When I applied to the University in the late 1990s, an arts degree required prospective students to achieve BBB at A-level. Now most arts degrees at St Andrews require a minimum of AAB at A-level, and many popular courses expect AAA. In the International Bacculareate this translates into 35-38 points being required, depending on the course.

This increased competition may be partly down to the 'Prince William' effect. While St Andrews was already a prestigious university with a good reputation among academics, the prince's attendance brought the university to much wider attention. It was noted at the time that there was a sharp increase in applications from female prospective students in particular!

Having said that, the University of St Andrews deserves the increased interest. Over the last ten years it has consistently improved teaching and research standards (which were already high), leading it to be consistently ranked as one of the top ten universities in the UK. The university was also ranked 95 overall in the World University ranking, and scored 55 in arts and humanities.

You can read more about admissions standards to the different degree programmes at St Andrews here:

More Information on Study at Unversity of St Andrews

The university's official website:

The site has a useful page for North American applicants.

Increased Acceptance Rate for International Students

However, while the acceptance rate is low for 'home' students, international students may have a certain advantage. As international students pay a higher rate of fees, St Andrews has been devoting an increasing number of places to them. With, relatively speaking, more places per applicant acceptance rates are higher for international students and admissions standards may be a little more flexible.

The University of St Andrews has been carrying out a rigourous recruitment campaign in the US, in particular - while fees for US students are higher than for UK students, study at St Andrews is still cheaper than study at an equivalent Ivy League institution. Increasing numbers of students at St Andrews are now American citizens, not just spending a semester abroad but taking their whole degree in the Scottish coastal town. Some courses have as many as 35% American students enrolled, including Art History and International Relations.

US students who are applying to the University of St Andrews may apply through the UCAS system if applying for other UK universities - or if St Andrews is their only UK choice they may apply directly to the university. The selection committee will expect a GPA of 3.5 or above, and will look closely at your reference letters. If you have taken APs they expect level 4 and 5, or 1950+ in SATS or 28+ in the ACT.

Prosepctive Graduate Students

Graduate students are usually expected to have obtained a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree, in order to be accepted for postgraduate study at St Andrews. In international terms this translates as B+ in Europe, 80% in Asia or 3.6 in North America. GMAT is not required.

If you are applying to US postgraduate study you may be interested in my article:

GRE analytical writing: how to get a perfect 6.0 score

Not only my tips for how I got 6.0 first time, it is a useful guide for academic writing of all kinds.


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    • Marie McKeown profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie McKeown 

      4 years ago from Ireland

      Best source for up-to-date numbers is the University of St Andrews official website.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Do you have any sources to back your numbers up?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      In your "ProspEctive Graduate Students" section offering your advice on how 'get a perfect 6.0' in analytical writing, you might want to correct the typo...

    • Nan Mynatt profile image

      Nan Mynatt 

      9 years ago from Illinois

      Excellent Hub, thanks for your information!


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