This major involves the study of great texts from British, American, and world literary traditions, as well as classical and contemporary theoretical perspectives and methodologies.
Oxbridge Honors Program: Literature & Theory
More demanding than a traditional college major, all six Oxbridge majors provide rigorous training in sophisticated interpretation, analytical thinking, critical evaluation, and strong writing and oral presentation. The Oxbridge Literature and Theory major involves the study of great texts from British, American, and world literary traditions, as well as classical and contemporary theoretical perspectives and methodologies. The Program is a highly personalized, reading-writing intensive approach to education that combines the best of the British—intense and deep study, with great independence—and the American—broad background and close mentorship—approaches to higher education.
The Oxbridge Study Guide
Study In England
Built into the Oxbridge program is a full year of study during the junior year in Oxford. Students can study at the finest educational institutions in the world while taking part in university life and English and European culture. Having studied for two years under the tutorial system, Oxbridge students are uniquely prepared to take advantage of this educational opportunity.
Created on the educational model found in Oxford and Cambridge Universities, the Oxbridge Honors Program features tutorial (rather than classroom) instruction and comprehensive examinations over the major field of study. Classes in one’s Oxbridge major are taken in one-on-one or small group settings, with a master teacher or tutor coordinating intensive reading and writing assignments. Tutorials are designed for each area of specialization with a balance between standards of the discipline and individual students’ interests. Tutorial study:
- Instills responsibility for one’s own learning
- Develops critical reading and superior writing skills
- Cultivates the ability to think on one’s feet and defend one’s ideas
- Provides an opportunity for much greater depth and intensity of study than in regular courses
Following the British practice, students “sit” for comprehensive exams in their major during their senior year. Depending on the major, the student will write five or six three-hour essay exams. The comprehensive exams:
- Emphasize the value of long-term, rather than immediate, goals
- Encourage the integration of new knowledge with old
- Demonstrate mastery of a field of knowledge, rather than a particular class, preparing students for intellectual study beyond the college setting
The Oxbridge Student
The Oxbridge Honors program is highly selective enrolling only 18 to 22 students in each new class each fall. While students in the Program are admitted on the basis of a wide variety of considerations, recent Oxbridge students have typically presented the following qualifications:
- mean ACT scores of 30 (composite), 33 (reading) and 33 (science, for Oxbridge molecular biology majors)
- a class rank in the top 10% (approximately half were graduated in the top 4% of their high school class)
Successful Oxbridge students are:
- Academic Achievers: They write well and read difficult materials with understanding, take criticism well and use it to improve performance.
- Intellectual Activists: They love learning, are curious, vigorous learners and thinkers, interested in ideas and active in discussion. They really enjoy studying, and don’t see it primarily as a responsibility to be carried out in order to earn good grades.
- Independent Workers: They take initiative to ask questions, research ideas, and raise issues. They do not need constant reminders and external pressures to accomplish goals. They take responsibility for their assignments and deadlines.
Oxbridge graduates claim the emphasis on writing and discipline of working independently provide an exceptional foundation for both graduate school and professional life. Through Oxbridge, you will learn to see multiple perspectives of an issue, develop critical judgment by which to evaluate and synthesize multiple perspectives, and gain the ability to think on one’s feet. Oxbridge graduates distinguish themselves:
- with prestigious fellowships and awards,
- admission at the most celebrated graduate schools, including
- Cambridge University, England
- Oxford University, England
- Harvard University
- Princeton University
- Yale University
- University of London
- University of Chicago
- Duke University
- New York University
- in highly successful careers of all sorts including academics, law, politics, public service, government, journalism, business, foreign service, ministry, medicine, and research