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Entry requirements for the United States

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak we want to ensure the welfare of our staff and students. Our staff won't be able to attend international exhibitions or events at this time but you can still get in touch.

Our entry requirements will vary depending on your level of study, the course you are interested in and your English language proficiency.

Undergraduate courses

For entry to our undergraduate programmes, you will be required to have one of the following:

  • Three Advanced Placements (APs) with scores in the range of 5,4,4 - 4,4,3.
  • Three SAT Subject Tests with scores in the range of 600 – 680*.
  • A combination of Advanced Placements / SAT Subject Tests graded as above, to include three qualifications in total.
  • Successful completion of an Associate Degree at a recognised Community College. We do not have grade equivalences or set requirements for this qualification, and all applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by academic schools; however, a GPA of 3.0 or above would ordinarily be considered.
  • Successful completion of one or more years of undergraduate study at a recognised university in the USA (to be decided on a case by case basis by Academic schools).
  • One Honours/College level/Dual Enrolment class or AP class in place of one of the above tests. In some circumstances we may consider two Honours/College level/Dual Enrolment classes in place of two tests. We do not have grade equivalences or set requirements for these qualifications, and all applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis**; however a Grade B or equivalent would ordinarily be considered.

We also accept a wide range of UK and international qualifications, such as A-Levels and International Baccalaureate.

Please note that it is not necessary to have taken these tests at the time of application. Where possible, applicants should include details of the tests they plan to take in senior year as part of their UCAS application.

* Qualification now discontinued. However, we will continue to accept SAT Subject Tests taken in previous years.

**Where undergraduate programmes have subject-specific requirements (e.g. in Maths or Sciences) these will usually need to be met via a test (e.g. Advanced Placement Test or SAT Subject Test) rather than an Honours, AP or College/Dual Enrolment level class).

Postgraduate taught courses

The majority of postgraduate qualifications at Cardiff University, and in the UK, are one year in duration and generally combine a mixture of taught courses and research.

You will be required to have a bachelor's degree with good grades from recognised universities and colleges in the United States to be considered. A minimum GPA of at least 3.0 is usually required and admissions tutors will pay special attention to key subject classes.

"The best thing about living in Cardiff is the independent aspect of studying away from home. Cardiff is a nice city and I have learned to become more independent since living here. I have made some good friends on my course from China, India and Greece, which has given me a broader network once I leave Cardiff."

Derrell Nelson MBA

Postgraduate research courses

If you have a bachelor's or master's degree with good grades from recognised universities and colleges in the United States, you will be considered for our postgraduate research courses. A minimum GPA of at least 3.0 is usually required and admission tutors will pay special attention to relevant classes taken during the degree.

English language requirements

The USA is listed by UK Visas and Immigration as a majority English-speaking country. This means that you should not need to prove your knowledge of English if you have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree.

If you are a native English-speaking applicant who has successfully completed year 12 secondary school education with good grades in your High School Diploma, you should be considered for English language requirement exemption.

Non-native English-speaking applicants who have successfully completed a degree qualification from a recognised US university should be considered for English language requirement exemption.

If you are unsure of your qualifications or entry requirements, please contact us.

Acceptance rates

The UK admissions system works differently to that of the US. Because most undergraduate students in the UK apply to universities before receiving their final qualifications, they are usually given conditional offers, and can then decide which of their offers to accept. This means most applications in the UK system do not move from ‘application’ to ‘acceptance’ – they usually move from ‘application’ to ‘offer’.

In addition, in the UK, students apply to individual academic programmes, not universities as a whole. Some academic programmes may have relatively high rates of offers to applications, whereas other more competitive programmes may have much lower rates. This means that overall university rates are often not meaningful, and are far less useful than rates related to individual courses.

These factors mean that the concept of an acceptance rate for an overall university is not widely used in the UK. Cardiff University publishes its undergraduate application to offer rate by academic school (faculty) - this information can be viewed for specific undergraduate programmes.

If you would like further information on the application to offer rate for a specific academic programme, please contact us, and we will be happy to advise further.