The University of Oxford, founded in 1250, is actually a federation of individual colleges.  Through IFSA-Butler, highly qualified students may study at one of several Oxford Colleges.  The hallmark of the Ox-bridge model is the tutorial system.  In this system, students meet one-on-one with their tutor either once a week or every other week.  At the center of the tutorial is an essay on a topic the tutor previously assigned.  Successful visiting Oxford students work well independently and are able to thrive in an intense academic system.

“Studying at Oxford was very independent, both in the choice of class topics, as well as in the tutorial setting. The independence in topics allowed me to easily study topics that Whitman classes do not cover. The independence of one-on-one tutorials provided a great opportunity to learn how to be more self-motivated in academic work. These two factors really supplemented my Whitman education well...This program really allows students to explore their own interests in a rigorous academic environment, providing a very helpful supplement to Whitman’s liberal arts education.” - Ian B. ‘17

Student Blog:

Lizzy Harvey | Spring 2015

Fields of study:

All disciplines


Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.7.  The application process is highly selective.  Interested students should contact OCS Assistant Director, Barbara Hoffman, early in their sophomore year for advising.


Spring (Hilary and Trinity Terms) - 24 credits
Academic Year (Michaelmas, Hilary, and Trinity Terms) - 36 credits
Students take one major tutorial and one minor tutorial during each Oxford term.

Credit Conversion:

1 IFSA-Butler credit = 1 Whitman credit




Students typically live "in college" in on-site dormitories provided by the college.


The meal plan at Oxford varies depending on the college.  Some colleges offer visiting students self-catering kitchens, while others offer access to their dining halls.

Semesters Offered:

Spring or Academic Year


Spring: January - June
Full Year: October - June


November of the student's sophomore year for full-year participation as a junior
December of student's sophomore year for spring participation in the junior year.


IFSA-Butler Scholarships

Program Link:

IFSA-Butler: The University of Oxford