Undergraduate entry requirements by country

United States of America

Undergraduate entry requirements for students from United States of America.

American applicants must have, or expect to obtain, certain US qualifications.

Our requirements for students with US qualifications vary by degree programme.

Other than the general requirements listed below, each course may have further specific entry requirements.

All subjects except MBChB Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

All subjects in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science and the College of Science and Engineering require completion of the High School Diploma, plus one of the following as a minimum requirement:

  • A successful completion of one year of University in the USA; OR
  • SAT score of 1800 (600 minimum in Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing) plus two APs at Grade 4; OR
  • SAT score of 1800 (600 minimum in Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing) plus two SAT Subject tests with 650 minimum; OR
  • ACT Composite score of 27 minimum plus two SAT Subject tests with 650 minimum; OR
  • ACT Composite score of 27 minimum plus two APs at Grade 4; OR
  • Three APs at Grade 4 minimum; OR
  • Three SAT Subject tests with 650 minimum

New SAT scores

In place of the old SAT scores above, we will accept scores from the new SAT taken from March 2016. 

In the new SAT Reasoning, our admission office is looking for an overall score of 1290/1600 with 650 or above in Evidence Based Reading and Writing and 620 in Maths. 

We will not be looking for the optional essay and we will not be super scoring between the old and new tests.


A combination of AP and SAT subject tests are acceptable provided they are in different subjects, i.e. AP French and SAT Physics is acceptable as two qualifications but AP French and SAT French is only considered once.

Entry to some degree programmes requires SAT subject tests or APs in specific subjects. These subject requirements are listed in the undergraduate prospectus. If you are unsure of the subject requirements for your chosen degree programme, please contact the relevant college admissions office.

The subject specific requirements for our most commonly applied for degree programmes in the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Science can be found by following the link below.

College of Arts, Humanities & Social Science entry requirements

For subject specific entry requirements for Science and Engineering programmes, please contact the Admissions Office using the undergraduate admissions contact link below.

Veterinary Medicine

US candidates must normally have either studied APs, the International Baccalaurate (IB) or A level examinations.

3 APs all at 4 or above in Chemistry, Biology and either Maths/Physics would be required. If Physics has not been studied as part of the AP examinations, candidates must also provide evidence of a qualification at a minimum of SQA Standard Grade 2 or GCSE Grade B or equivalent in this subject.

All applicants to Veterinary Medicine will be expected to have relevant practical experience of handling animals.


Entry directly from high school will not normally be considered.

For Oral Health Sciences, Medical Sciences and Biomedical Sciences, requirements are the same as for the College of Science & Engineering (see above). Biology is a required subject for Oral Health Sciences. Biology and Chemistry are required subjects for Biomedical Sciences and Medical Sciences.

Graduate entry (MBChB)

Applications for graduate entry to the MBChB will be considered for the programme with:

  • Pass in a 4-year undergraduate degree with a science major and a GPA of 3.4 or better
  • plus, an MCAT score before 2015 of at least:
    • Verbal 9
    • Biological Sciences 10
    • Physical Sciences 10
    • Writing Letter M (when the test was sat prior to 2013)

or, an overall total MCAT score after 2015 of 508 to include a minimum of:

  • Chemistry and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems - 128
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills - 126
  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems - 128
  • Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behaviour - 126

Applicants must also take the UKCAT.

UKCAT website

Further guidance on academic entry requirements

Each course may have further specific entry requirements. All applicants must meet these requirements. Staff in the Admissions Offices will be able to provide further guidance.

Undergraduate admissions contacts

Further guidance on applying

Advice for applicants from the United States of America on which documents you need to submit during your application to the University of Edinburgh, and how to go about this.

Submitting documents

Advice for transfer students, who have completed one or more years of study at another institution and applying to Edinburgh to complete their degree. 

Undergraduate transfer applicants

We have made a presentation specific to applicants from the United States of America, talking you through the admissions and decision making process, and introducing the city and the University.

United States applicant presentation

English Language requirements

If your first language is not English, you will also have to meet English Language requirements to apply. These requirements are listed by programme.

English Language advice

Specific English language requirement by programme

Contact us

The International Office representatives for USA are Scott McQuarrie and Tessa Birley.

Scott and Tessa will help you with admissions advice and support.

Contact us by email

Support in your country

View a list of our overseas visits

Chat to us

Talk to a member of staff online and view a presentation about study in Edinburgh.

Chat to us

Join our mailing list

We will send you further useful information about the University, admissions and entry.

Join our mailing list 

About Edinburgh

More information about Edinburgh

Do I need a visa?

Student numbers

There are more than 2000 students from USA currently studying at the University of Edinburgh.