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 four subject areas offered by the BA (International Honours):

  • Economics
  • English
  • 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 four subjects.


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.


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.

For 2015 entry onwards 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/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/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:

• AAAA 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 (e.g. evening language courses) and the General Council and Graduation or Completion fee.

Cost of attendance 2013–2014

The US Dollar amount for 2014/2015 tuition is $36,600.

The cost of attendance using 2013/2014 exchange rates and fees can be found in the table below. The table will be updated on 1 June. 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 21,800* 34,200**
Standard catered residence fees 5,210 7,940
Travel (based on two trips per year) 1,600 2,438
Personal living expenses (based on 37 weeks) 3,000 4,571
Use of Sports Centre (per year) 105 160
General Council and Graduation or Completion fee 50 76
Total 31,765 49,385

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

**It is expected that these fees will not increase by more than 7% for 2015-2016 entry and will be communicated in due course to all applicants and students on the programme.


For 2014 entry, there is a new Scholarship of Excellence available. There will be two awards of $6,000 amounting to $24,000 per recipient over four years by way of a fee discount. This is open to students from anywhere in the world. The scholarship application opened on 1 November 2013 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:

How to apply

Applications for the BA (International Honours) are not sent through UCAS. The application cycle runs from September to the beginning of May 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 believe you are classed as Home/EU for fees purposes and wish to begin your studies at the University of St Andrews, you can apply through our own BA International Honours application form (PDF, 681 KB) (and using the relevant application guidelines (PDF, 60 KB) and referee report (PDF, 503 KB)).

If you believe you are classed as Overseas for fees purposes and wish to begin your studies at the University of St Andrews, you can apply either through our own Direct application form (PDF, 627 KB) (and using the relevant application guidelines (PDF, 60 KB) and referee report (PDF, 503 KB)) or the Common Application.

Finally, 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 Admissions 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 2013-2014 entry, you can download the BA International Honours brochure (PDF, 7,167 KB) or email the Admissions international team on with your full postal address to request a printed brochure.

You can also read the full regulations for current students in the BA (International Honours) regulations (PDF, 129 KB).