A question from an uninformed American

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isaactoth1
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Hello! I am currently an 18 year old who is finishing up high school in America. Right now, I am choosing between two Unis that I have been accepted to, one is a public University (or as we call it, college) in America, and one is McGill in Montreal.
I am quite certain I want to study history or linguistics for my Masters Degree, and I definitely want to study somewhere in the UK(I speak Welsh so perhaps in Wales). I am wondering if UK Universities only accept American students from prestigious Universities. I want to go to the public school I have gotten in to, but it is certainly not as well known or prestigious as McGill is. So to summarize my question, do UK Universities care more about good grades and a competitive transcript, or whether the student is coming from a Uni such as Harvard or Yale?

I would study in the UK for an undergraduate BA, but due to financial constraints I will not be able to. It would also be nice to get as far away from Donald Trump as possible.

I understand this is a vague and quite general question, but any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks to all!
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artful_lounger
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Yes a fair few students from the US do postgrad studies in the UK. Outside of the top tier (Oxbridge, Imperial, UCL, LSE) you shouldn't have too much problem applying from a state school. Some of the smaller/mid-low tier unis may not be as familiar with conventions of US/Canadian degrees and so it may make applying slightly more complicated. For the former it's certainly possible to go from a state school to them but you'd need undergrad GPA>3.5 and it would be highly desirable to have done an honours thesis or undergrad research/independent study type things in your senior year, as all UK undergrads do a major dissertation in final year and passing up this option will make you less competitive. The thesis/research is general advice for applying in the UK but should be considered basically essential for Oxbridge and the like.

There are US educated faculty from a range a of schools across the UK so realistically it shouldn't be an issue. It's not uncommon for former state school people to go on to senior lecturer positions within good Russel Group unis and so on (there was a guy who did his BA at SUNY Stony Brook and is now is one of the main lecturers for maths at Southampton for example). Incidentally welsh isn't particularly widespread in Wales so don't feel like it's a prerequisite to study there. Cardiff is a good uni tho, so not a bad option still.

What state school is your alternative incidentally?
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isaactoth1
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Yes a fair few students from the US do postgrad studies in the UK. Outside of the top tier (Oxbridge, Imperial, UCL, LSE) you shouldn't have too much problem applying from a state school. Some of the smaller/mid-low tier unis may not be as familiar with conventions of US/Canadian degrees and so it may make applying slightly more complicated. For the former it's certainly possible to go from a state school to them but you'd need undergrad GPA>3.5 and it would be highly desirable to have done an honours thesis or undergrad research/independent study type things in your senior year, as all UK undergrads do a major dissertation in final year and passing up this option will make you less competitive. The thesis/research is general advice for applying in the UK but should be considered basically essential for Oxbridge and the like.

There are US educated faculty from a range a of schools across the UK so realistically it shouldn't be an issue. It's not uncommon for former state school people to go on to senior lecturer positions within good Russel Group unis and so on (there was a guy who did his BA at SUNY Stony Brook and is now is one of the main lecturers for maths at Southampton for example). Incidentally welsh isn't particularly widespread in Wales so don't feel like it's a prerequisite to study there. Cardiff is a good uni tho, so not a bad option still.

What state school is your alternative incidentally?


It's interesting you mention SUNY Stony Brook, as my public option is SUNY Geneseo. Thanks again for the response!
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artful_lounger
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I think you'll be ok with SUNY. My cousin went to New Paltz and is now UCSF med so, it should be all right :P That said I think Stony Brook has more academic opportunities? So may be worth considering transferring to that campus as an upperclassman or something so you have more research/thesis options :P
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