More Information on the University of Oxford Academic Exchange

The objectives of the Department of Materials at Oxford University are to produce world class graduate materials scientists and engineers, and to conduct world class research into the manufacture, structure, properties and applications of materials, for the benefit of the UK and world community.

The Department of Materials at Oxford is regularly graded one of the best materials departments in the UK, rated top in The Guardian league tables 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 (published in 2013 - 2020). 

In the UK Government's most recent assessment of research excellence in UK universities, the 2014 REF, Oxford Materials was one of the top-rated materials departments in the country. 98% of our activity was judged to be in the highest categories of excellence [ Grades 4* & 3*; respectively 'world-leading' (60%) and 'internationally excellent' (38%)]. 90% of our 'impact' was judged to be 'world leading'.

MIT students on the exchange will be studying at Oxford for the equivalent of MIT’s spring semester.

Spring Semester Dates: About mid-January to mid-June, Oxford's "Hilary" and "Trinity" terms (Oxford has a three-term academic year)

We recommend verifying start and end dates directly with Oxford: Oxford Academic Calendar.

Exchange for Course 3 majors. Applicants for the exchange need to be:

  • Have a GPA of 4.3 or above
  • In good academic standing
  • In good judicial standing
  • Up to date with the Communication Requirement
  • Up to date with HASS courses

Contact MISTI if you have questions about your particular situation.

  1. Complete your application for the exchange through the MISTI Portal, including academic recommendation.
  2. Once your application is complete, it will be reviewed by MISTI and your department. You may be invited to a ~30 minute informal interview. Following the interview, you will receive a decision on your application and be given two weeks to confirm your space on the program.


Spring semester Junior Year.  Opportunities for up to four DMSE juniors to spend the period from about mid-January to mid-June, Oxford's "Hilary" and "Trinity" terms (Oxford has a three-term academic year) in the Department of Materials, Oxford University.  During "Hilary" term (January to mid-March), DMSE students engage in four academic subjects in the Oxford department's final-year Options Lecture Courses and Modules Options, providing MIT P/F credit for four core- and/or restricted-elective DMSE subjects. Academic assessments are made by individual instructors.  During "Trinity" term (April to mid-June), DMSE students pursue a 10-week supervised research project that qualifies for DMSE internship credit or can provide a substantial head-start on a senior thesis project.  


Fall semester Senior Year.  Opportunity for one or two DMSE seniors to spend the Fall MIT semester (Oxford's "Michaelmas term," late-September to mid-December) in the Department of Materials, Oxford.  DMSE students engage in four academic subjects in the Oxford department's final-year Options Lecture Courses and Modules Options, providing MIT P/F credit for four core and/or restricted elective DMSE subjects.  Academic assessments are by individual instructors.  


On this exchange it is not possible to complete coursework in subject areas outside of Materials. You may attended university-wide lectures in any topic of interest, but it is not possible to arrange the necessary tutorials/coursework for credit transfer.


Transfer Credit

Information on the transfer credit process at MIT can be found here.

Cost and funding options

Students admitted to the program will continue to pay MIT tuition for the exchange semester and will pay all their living expenses locally for that semester. A few months before departure, SFS and MISTI will share with the students and the most up-to-date budget for the participation on the Exchange based on an agreement with the host institution. MIT financial aid is portable for this program. Admitted students who receive financial aid should make an appointment with the financial aid representative to whom they are assigned to discuss the particulars; they should bring the budget received from MISTI to that meeting.

Student accommodation will be provided by one of the seven colleges that form the Department of Materials at Oxford.

US passport holders who study in the UK for six months or less need a Short-term study visa; however, US citizens do not need to submit an application in advance. The short-term study visa is granted at the port of entry (UK airport) by a UK immigration officer upon review of an admission letter and financial solvency documents. Other nationalities should refer to the Embassy/Consulate and the Oxford Materials Department for visa requirements and processes.


Students who study in the UK for longer than six months need to apply for a Tier 4 study visa before departure to the UK (process can take 2-3 months).


Non-US citizens should consult with the MIT International Student Office about reentry to the US after study abroad.

Meet Your Program Manager

Stephen Barnes Headshot

Get in touch with Stephen Barnes, Program Manager for MIT-UK, to get your questions answered.