The Tutorial Program is, in some ways, similar to other study abroad programs commonly offered. After training at Georgetown, students spend one or two semesters of their junior or senior year as visiting students at the University of Oxford. Unlike some study abroad programs, Georgetown College students in the Tutorial Program are not going to spend time in the city of Oxford with their own American faculty members. Our students take Oxford tutorials with Oxford tutors and are given full University privileges.
The Oxford Tutorial Method
The Tutorial Program is named after the style of teaching made famous by Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Instead of participating in classes with a number of other students, Oxford students spend a great deal of their time doing independent thinking, reading, and writing based on essay assignments given by their Oxford teachers (known as tutors). They then present and defend their work one on one (or in some cases in groups of 2 or 3) with their tutors. The method challenges students to meet their highest potential as thinkers and writers.
Training at Georgetown College
Because the Tutorial method is not familiar to most American students, those who participate in the Tutorial Program are given a careful training prior to their time abroad. Sometime during the sophomore or junior year, students will take a training tutorial in their discipline at Georgetown College. Our faculty tutors will help our students develop the skills necessary to succeed at Oxford. Upon the successful completion of the practice tutorial, our students will be interviewed by faculty members from Regent’s Park College and submit a writing sample before final admissions decisions are reached.
Students typically take tutorials at Oxford in their major or minor area from Georgetown College, but some students have taken tutorials in areas where they have demonstrated proficiency without necessarily declaring it a major or minor. There is some flexibility in the kinds of courses that can be offered through Regent’s Park, but their strengths will lie in what are commonly called humanities or social sciences subjects in the United States. The following subject areas are the ones most commonly pursued:
- Art History,
- Psychology (of Religion),
- Foreign Languages (Spanish, German, or French),
- Classics, and
Within those broad subject areas specific tutorial topics are selected in careful consultation with the Director of Oxford Programs to satisfy major or minor requirements in light of common offerings at Oxford. For those who are not planning on majoring or minoring in one of these areas, we can work early to develop a strong set of elective classes in one of these areas making the Tutorial Program available to almost all students at Georgetown (regardless of major/minor) who are otherwise qualified.
Credits earned through Regent’s Park College in the University of Oxford automatically transfer into the student’s record at Georgetown College. The grade earned while at Oxford will also be factored into the student’s Georgetown GPA. There are three terms at the University of Oxford, each of which has a distinct name:
- Michaelmas term runs from October to December
- Hilary term runs from January to March
- Trinity term runs from April to June.
Our students may request one, two, or three of these terms in any one academic year, but the number of terms awarded will be determined by the space available. In each Oxford term, the student does one full tutorial and an additional half tutorial which, combined, transfer to Georgetown College as 12 hours of upper level credit in the relevant discipline(s). For example, if someone is awarded both Hilary and Trinity terms, he or she would come back with 24 total upper level hours. If someone just goes for Michaelmas term, he or she would return with 12 hours upper level credit.
Costs and Accommodations
For the vast majority of our students, there is no difference between the costs of a semester at Georgetown and a semester at Regent’s Park. Financial aid typically applied at Georgetown will also be in effect. Regular student tuition and fees paid to Georgetown will cover tuition, fifteen meals a week, accommodations (either in College at Regent’s or elsewhere in Oxford), and library privileges while in Oxford.
The students themselves will be responsible for health insurance (required for participation in the program), travel to and from Oxford, and weekend meals. Participants should also plan for additional expenditures for personal expenses such as souvenirs and independent travel based on their individual spending habits.