St Andrews – William & Mary joint degree

The University of St Andrews has partnered with the College of William & Mary in Virginia, USA, to offer a truly global undergraduate degree. The Bachelor of Arts (International Honours) degree combines the best of both historic universities to create this exciting international programme.

The joint degree allows you to spend two years at each institution for a total of four years, after which you will be awarded the BA (International Honours) degree by both universities.

Degree structure

You will apply to the university where you intend to spend your first year, and then you will transfer to the other institution for your second year. After this, you can choose where to spend your third and fourth years of study. You will usually graduate from the institution where you choose to spend your fourth year, but if desired, arrangements can be made to graduate at the other institution.

From the outset, you will choose to specialise in one of the six subject areas offered by the BA (International Honours):

  • Classical Studies
  • Economics
  • English
  • Film Studies
  • History
  • International Relations

The BA (International Honours) is a broadly based degree, and other combinations – such as joint Honours degrees – are not available with this programme. However, during the programme you will have opportunities to study a range of other subjects offered by both institutions.

Once you have enrolled on the joint degree through St Andrews, it is not usually possible to transfer to a regular degree programme at the University, though exceptional cases may be considered.


If you apply for the BA (International Honours) you will apply to study one of six subjects.

Classical Studies

If you study a BA (international Honours) in Classical Studies, you will benefit from:

  • Greek and Latin being offered both at complete beginners' level and also at advanced level for those with substantial previous experience.
  • Provides a global approach to Classics, by allowing students to experience two different university contexts with their own distinct approaches to teaching and research.
  • Provides international experience which will make students more competitive in a globalised job market: students in Classics/Ancient History Archaeology commonly pursue careers outside of the subject focus (such as Law, Journalism, Foreign Service, Politics, Cultural Resource Management) where a Classics degree is highly valued for the skills that are built in critical thinking, research and broad understanding of the past.

More information about studying Classical Studies can be found from the University of St Andrews School of Classical Studies and the College of William & Mary Department of Classical Studies.


If you study a BA (International Honours) in Economics, you will learn to:

  • develop theoretical models and apply them.
  • gain a highly marketable set of skills, including thinking analytically, critically and strategically.
  • reduce complicated problems to their important components, formulate solutions, and apply up-to-date theoretical ideas as a framework for understanding the real world.

More information about studying Economics can be found from the University of St Andrews School of Economics and the College of William & Mary Department of Economics.


If you study a BA (International Honours) in English, you will learn to:

  • read, discuss, and reflect with clarity on a wide variety of texts and to develop analytical, descriptive and evaluative skills.
  • communicate more fluently and persuasively.
  • write creatively and read a wide range of English-language texts, including plays, novels, poems and short stories.

More information about studying English can be found from the University of St Andrews School of English and the College of William & Mary Department of English.

Film Studies

If you study a BA (international Honours) in Film Studies, you will benefit from:

  • The emphasis on world cinema, on ‘useful cinema’ and, in particular, select specialist courses based on staff research interests (such as War and Film, Cinemas of India, Film and Sexual Identities, Documentary, Horror Film, etc.) offered at both universities. The opportunity to develop skills in film production, programming and wider media at W&M too.
  • The course of study will be closely integrated and will allow for a deeper international learning experience.
  • Both St Andrews and W&M offer students ample opportunities to engage with acclaimed critics and filmmakers.  St Andrews’ Centre for Film Studies allows undergraduates to attend workshops, symposia, and research seminars with film scholars from around the world.  W&M’s Global Film Festival involves students in the actual production of a major annual festival, from concept through planning to execution. In concert, these opportunities (relatively rare in undergraduate programs) will help prepare students for the sophisticated research required for (post-)graduate study, or for the demands of a job in the industry.

More information about studying Film Studies can be found from the University of St Andrews School of Film Studies and the College of William & Mary Department of Film & Media Studies.


If you study a BA (International Honours) in History, you will learn:

  • the history of mediaeval and early modern Europe at the University of St Andrews, as well as the history of Scotland, England, the British Empire and the Middle East.
  • the history of North America from the early colonial period to the 20th century as well as Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia at the College of William & Mary.

You will also benefit from experiencing two very different approaches to teaching at both institutions, including lecture and discussion-based learning at the College of William & Mary and the traditional approach of small seminar based courses at the University of St Andrews.

It is essential that students applying to study History have a strong competency in a second language.

In addition, the joint degree in History requires extensive coursework in a foreign language (Arabic, German, Italian, French, Latin, Russian, or Spanish). Students will typically take one language class during all eight of their semesters. The language and culture or area studies concentrations currently offered have been chosen because both institutions offer sufficient classes to meet the program requirements. If changes in curricular offerings allow other language or area studies to meet these requirements, they will be added to the list of approved tracks.

  • Students must successfully complete at least one language course/module in every semester (or, at least, no fewer than eight overall).
  • These classes must be taken in one language; they must build onto each another; and they must, in years three and four, include four advanced classes in the target language (60 St Andrews/12 William & Mary credits or equivalent), typically at or above the 300/3000-level.
  • Advanced language courses/modules must be delivered in the target language (Latin being an exception) to count towards the total.
  • Summer language classes offered by William & Mary or St Andrews can be counted toward the total number of credits and courses/modules with the advisor’s advance approval.

More information about studying History can be found from the University of St Andrews School of History and the College of William & Mary Department of History.

International Relations

If you study a BA (International Honours) in International Relations, you will learn to:

  • understand how major features of the international system are understood to operate as well as the major challenges it faces.
  • relate your knowledge to issues including development, international political economies, environmental politics, human rights, and the various impacts of globalization, among others.
  • approach issues from different epistemological and methodological angles, characteristic of the teaching in the two institutions.

More information about studying International Relations can be found from the University of St Andrews School of International Relations and the College of William & Mary Department of Government.

Entrance requirements

Admission to the BA (International Honours) is highly competitive. The entrance requirements for all four subjects are:

• AAAB at SQA Higher
• AAA at A-level
• 38 IB points

For 2015 entry onwards it is essential that students applying to study History have a strong competency in a second language. Please also see the information in the Subjects accordion, above. 

Other qualifications and entrance requirements will be assessed at the equivalent level to the above listed examples.

Fees and funding

The tuition fee for all students on the BA (International Honours) is the same regardless of domicile, and will always be the pound sterling equivalent of the US dollar amount per year, as converted on 1 June preceding the start of each academic year.

If you commence your studies at the University of St Andrews, you will pay your tuition each year to the University regardless of which institution you are studying at for that year. You should think about the payment options and arrangements available to you before taking up your study.

It is important to remember that the tuition fee covers tuition only, and does not cover accommodation, travel, books and printing, fines and other penalty fees, use of the sports centre, personal expenses, special instructional fees (for example, evening language courses) and the General Council and Graduation or Completion fee.

Cost of attendance

The US dollar tuition fee amount for 2017-2018 is $39,950. The GBP tuition fee amount for 2017-2018 will be confirmed on 1 June 2017.  The tuition fees and cost of attendance in 2016-2017 can be found in the table below. These figures have been calculated using the exchange rate on 1 June 2016 (1 GBP = 1.49 US Dollars). Please note that most of these figures are estimates, and the precise cost of your living expenses will depend on many factors.

ElementGBP sterlingUS dollars
Tuition fees 26,610* 39,650**
Standard catered residence fees 5,724 8,528
Travel (based on two trips per year) 1,600 2,384
Personal living expenses (based on 37 weeks) 3,000 4,470
General Council and Graduation or Completion fee 50 74
Total 36,984 55,106

*Please note this figure is calculated on an annual basis on 1 June preceding the start of each academic year.

**Fees for 2018-2019 have still to be set and will be communicated in due course to all applicants and students on the programme. 


For 2017 entry, there is a new Scholarship of Excellence available. There will be up to three awards of $6,000 per recipient per year by way of a fee discount plus one award of over $6,000. This is open to students from anywhere in the world. The Scholarship of Excellence is for students undertaking the BA (International Honours) programme only and is not transferable to any other degree programme. The scholarship application will open on 2 November 2015 and full details are available on our Scholarships pages.

Students from the US are not eligible for federal funding but can apply for a private loan through Salliemae.

If you are eligible for funding through the GI Bill, please see the Department of Veteran Affairs for more information. Additional enquiries should be directed to the Fees & Funding office (email:

The BA International Honours is a unique programme and students are not eligible for tuition fee funding/loans or maintenance loans from either the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) or the Student Loans Company (SLC).

How to apply

Applications for the BA (International Honours) are not sent through UCAS. The application cycle runs from September to the end of June in the year of entry, and prospective students should apply to the institution where they intend to begin their studies.

You can apply for the programme to one institution only, and each institution will honour the admissions decisions of the other. You must specify which subject area you wish to apply for on your application form.

If you wish to begin your studies at the University of St Andrews, you can apply through the St Andrews direct application form.

If you wish to begin your study at the College of William & Mary, you should apply through the Common Application.

You will usually receive a reply from the Admissions team four weeks after submitting a complete application.

Further information

To see the full programme information for the BA (International Honours) William & Mary Joint Degree for 2016-2017 entry, you can download the BA International Honours brochure (PDF, 6,344 KB) or email the Admissions international team on with your full postal address to request a printed brochure.

For details of the full regulations for current students go to the degree programme information page.