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Scotland: Edinburgh

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Edinburgh Quick Facts

Language of Instruction

Fields of Study
Full university curriculum includes the humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences. Laboratory facilities are available.

Host Institution
University of Edinburgh

University residence with Scottish and international students.

Program Dates
Fall semester only: late August to mid-December

Faculty Liaison
Richard Mawhorter

Pomona College: University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland since the 11th-century and home to the recently-formed Scottish parliament, is a compact city with a medieval core. The city has a population of roughly 440,000, and the university rests largely within the city centre. Often described as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, Edinburgh offers rich and distinctive cultural opportunities.

The University of Edinburgh, over 400 years old, is divided into three self-administered colleges. Pomona students have access to the College of Humanities and Social Science and the College of Science and Engineering. Efforts are made by each College's visiting student advisor to match students to the best available courses in Edinburgh. Normally students take two to three courses in one College, and none or one in the other College, for a total of three Edinburgh courses.

Academic Program

The program begins during the last week of August with an orientation, which includes information on Scotland and the University and several local field trips.  In the two weeks before University courses begin, students participate in Part 1 of the Pomona core course core course titled “Scottish Society: History, Culture and Identity, 1707 - Present” (1.0 Pomona credit). During this week the core course meets daily.  Part 2 of the core course begins with the regular university term, during which the course format is a weekly seminar. The core course is organized by the on-site core course lecturer and includes the study of Scotland's environment, folk traditions, politics, sports culture, and history. There is no P/NC option available for this course.  Pre-departure reading assignments are required.

During the regular university term all students typically enroll in three University courses (1.0 Pomona course credit each). University courses normally carry a weight of 20 university credits. Students need to make sure their university course load totals 60 credits for a total of 3.0 Pomona credits. Students interested in taking science courses in Edinburgh should note that options are limited and may conflict with other courses in the humanities or social sciences.

Each student’s final program is set up in consultation with an assigned Personal Tutor (i.e., a faculty advisor) after  arrival in Edinburgh. Although every effort is made to enroll students in their first choice of courses, admission to specific courses cannot be guaranteed in advance. Semester students should note the difficulty in taking advanced courses (e.g., “third year” or “Junior Honours”) outside their major, and sometimes within it if they have not taken the prerequisite courses. Pomona recommends enrollment in at least one honors course for which the student is qualified.  Enrollment in courses in the areas of art history, literature, psychology, political science, and many of the science colleges is limited. Please consult the program binder in the OSA for details about the various colleges and about course availability and selection.

Living Arrangements

Students live in university housing and choose between catered and self-catered options. Pollock Halls is the catered option. An allowance is distributed by the OSA to cover weekday lunches. Students who wish to prepare their own meals may choose from a list of self-catered housing options and will receive a meal allowance from the OSA.

Number of Students

Up to 15 for the fall program. Total university enrollment: 20,000.


  • 9.0 GPA overall and junior standing required.

Preference will be given to candidates who have completed college coursework with British content.

Internet Link

Study Abroad