About the University of St Andrews
The University of St Andrews is Scotland's first university, founded in 1413, and the third oldest in the United Kingdom. For almost six centuries, St Andrews has upheld a proud tradition of academic excellence, attracting scholars of international renown and students from all over the world. Today the university is firmly established as one of the leading research and teaching institutions in the UK. It was also the only university outside of North America to be listed as a "Best Buy" in the 2018 Fiske Guide. To learn more and to compare/contrast St Andrews with our other Scotland exchange partner, see the Scotland PPT.
The beautiful town of St Andrews is situated on a sheltered bay along the coast of Fife, 45 miles north of Edinburgh. It commands a view of the Angus coast and the Grampain mountains beyond.
With a student population of around 6,000 undergraduates and one-third of the town's nearly 18,000 residents having a connection with the university, it is easy to understand why the entire town is quite literally the university campus. Academic and social life intermingle as people meet and talk in the lanes and quadrangles, at sporting events, or at the numerous concerts, university balls, and ceilidhs (Scottish folk dances).
The rich cultural life, together with a wide array of academically challenging programs, make St Andrews an exceptional institution at which to study.
(Image: St Andrews Castle ruin)
- Open to all majors
- Junior or senior standing (*also see special science partnership below, for which first and second year students may apply)
- GPA of 3.20 required
- Transfer students must complete at least one semester on campus at UR prior to studying abroad
- Interested students must attend a general information session before submitting an application. Robins School of Business students must also attend a business-specific session. Click to open the information session schedule.
- Note: Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university to study abroad. When reviewing applications for approval, disciplinary records will be taken into consideration and students must be cleared by the Dean's Office to study abroad. Students on conduct probation will not be able to study abroad if their probationary period extends beyond the start date of the semester abroad program.
*Special Program for Science and Pre-Med Students
In addition to a regular exchange partnership (see below), there is also a special science initiative between the University of Richmond and the University of St Andrews, specifically designed for first and second year students who are in the sciences and/or those who wish to go abroad and take a course that meets the requirements of U.S. medical schools. Students may enroll in the fall term at St Andrews in a specific Chemistry class offered under supervision from UR faculty, which will receive credit and a grade on the Richmond transcript (this applies only to students accepted to St Andrews via this partnership and only for this specific course). See more information on the St Andrews Science Brochure.
Interested students must receive advisor pre-approval by October 15 for the following fall abroad (if deadline falls on the weekend, please submit Friday prior). Download the St Andrews Science Pre-Approval Form, complete the relevant sections (the form is "fillable," so you may complete it partially on your computer, typing in the gray boxes or selecting from the drop-down menus as appropriate), and then print the form in order to take it to the relevant faculty for their signature(s). Successful completion of the pre-approval form holds a spot for the student on the program; when the regular application to study abroad is available, student must complete this process too.
Note: Science students who are not part of this special partnership described above may still apply to study abroad at St Andrews via the regular study abroad application (and may still take science classes, etc.). See below for more detail.
(Image: St Andrews science lab photo by Linda Boland)
St Andrews has three faculties - arts, science, and divinity - each with a wide range of modules. You may enroll in any courses as long as you meet the prerequisites. You will select your main faculty where you expect to take most of your courses (for example, science), and note that due to timetable clashes, you may not be able to take courses in other faculties. Click to see a list of academic schools and departments at St Andrews or do an advanced search in the course catalog to see specific modules.
Credits and course load
Modules (courses) at St Andrews are weighted in terms of "Scotcats." The normal course load is 60 Scotcats per semester. Regardless of how your modules are weighted, make sure you enroll in the equivalent of 3.5-5.5 units under the Richmond unit system. Note: Students are only allowed to take honours level (3000-5000) courses if they have significant preparation in the subject (for example, a student wishing to take an honours-level English class must typically already have had 4 courses in that subject prior to studying abroad).
Conversion to units
Most modules at St Andrews are weighted at 10, 20, or 30 SCOTCATS each. The normal course load for a Richmond student is 60 SCOTCATS per semester; the minimum is 50 SCOTCATS per semester. Courses taken abroad will be transferred back to the student's Richmond record under the Conversion to Units system. To determine the unit value of an individual St Andrews course, take # of Scotcats/13.71 and round up to the nearest tenth of a unit. The chart below shows sample unit conversions for St Andrews:
(Image: St Andrews photo by Linda Boland)
|one 10-unit module
|one 20-unit module
|one 30-unit module
|one 40-unit module
Grade scale (amended spring 10):
|St Andrews (%)
||St Andrews (%)
||No UR credit
IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING GRADING: Students should take careful note of the UR grade conversions for courses taken at St. Andrews. As illustrated in the chart above, the equivalent of a 'C' grade (score of 10) or above is required in order to receive credit transfer from St. Andrews. Students who receive scores of 8 or 9, for example, while considered 'passing' at St. Andrews, would be considered a 'D' / 'C-' grade and are not eligible for credit transfer to Richmond. Do not confuse the term 'passing' with the actual mark required to obtain transfer credit.
On-campus housing is guaranteed for exchange students provided they meet the application deadline. Richmond students are fully integrated with other international and Scottish students in the residence halls. Options include catered residence halls (with meals) or self-catering ones (where students prepare their own meals). Catered residences typically include 19 meals per week (breakfast, lunch, and dinner Monday to Friday, and breakfast and lunch on weekends). Note: The David Russell Apartments are located further away from the main St Andrews campus, so students should consider this carefully if they select that option. The apartments also have a more limited meal plan, at only 14 meals per week (breakfast and dinner, Monday to Friday, and breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday). Housing Construction Note: Two of the St Andrews residence halls are being extended in order to offer additional accommodation spaces to future students. For more information, see HERE.
Dates and Costs
See here for program dates and a budget sheet for St Andrews.
Click here for online St Andrews calendar.
(Image: St Andrews 'Agnes Blackadder' Housing)
See UK Visa Requirements and the British Council website. The preferred option for single-semester U.S. citizen students is to enter the UK with short-term study status (no cost, and no advance application required). Typically only yearlong students should apply for the full Tier 4 student visa (as this is required for yearlong students). Non-U.S. citizens will need to consult the requirements for their home country here to determine whether or not they need to apply for the full visa. IMPORTANT: Students should not arrange flights through the Republic of Ireland, as they will not receive the correct visa stamp upon entry to the UK.
For More Information
For additional information about this program, see the St Andrews Orientation Manual 2017-18. Students may contact Amy Bergmann in the Office of International Education with general questions. Robins School of Business students should contact Fae Bell in the Robins School with any questions specific to academics.
This document represents the most accurate information available at the time of publication. Statements contained herein are not contractual obligations, and verbal or other representations that are inconsistent with or not contained within the document are not binding. The University of Richmond reserves the right to change without specific notice programs and the conditions under which they are offered.