Undergraduate entry requirements by region

United States of America

Undergraduate entry requirements for applicants from United States of America.

To qualify for entry, you must meet general entry requirements, specific requirements for your chosen degree programme/major (where applicable) and meet English language requirements.

English language requirements

The University of Edinburgh accepts a wide range of qualifications for entry - most commonly for US students this will be a combination of US standardised test scores. If you are taking another curriculum such as the International Baccalaureate or French Baccalaureate, please see:

Undergraduate entry requirements

Test scores

Applicants are expected to complete three standardised test, and these can be a variety of different combinations provided they are in different subjects.

Examples of our minimum entry requirements in the standardised tests are:

  • ACT score of 27 plus two AP scores at 4+
  • SAT score of 1290+ (650+ in Evidence based reading and Writing and 620+ in Math) plus two AP scores at 4+
  • 3 AP scores at 4+

Applicants should submit all of their test scores, and our Admission Offices will consider the highest scores submitted for each. Please note, the University of Edinburgh does not Superscore the ACT but will consider a Superscore for the new and old SAT. The optional essay sections are not required.

At the point you apply, you do not need to have achieved all of these requirements, but you should be aiming to complete the requirements in your senior year. Please list on your UCAS application form all of the tests you have taken and intend to take.

Achieving these grades will not guarantee you a place at Edinburgh, but will make you a competitive applicant. Please note, our Admissions Office will consider the other aspects of your application, such as the personal statement.

Please note AP scores are used for admissions purposes only, and no advanced credit is awarded as there is no core curriculum in Scotland. AP Research is not accepted as meeting one of the three required.

Applicants who do not have access to APs

We are aware that the College Board have now discontinued SAT Subject Tests and that there will no longer be an option for students to register for these tests. Our entry requirements are still based on SAT, ACT and AP test scores; however, if your school does not follow an AP curriculum and AP Tests are not available to you, our Admission Office may consider alternative academic evidence. 

This flexible admissions policy has been confirmed for 2023 entry to undergraduate study on a trial basis. The University of Edinburgh recognises the shift in high school curriculum in the USA and is undertaking a review on entry requirements for future years. 

Applicants who are unable to take AP examinations because the AP curriculum is not available must achieve the following to be considered:

  • A minimum 3.3 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale, or equivalent, in your US High School Transcript. We will look for a rigorous academic curriculum with A and B grades in college-level classes, such as advanced and honours level classes, or equivalent, and no grades below a C in your Junior and Senior year.
  • Where we require a specific subject at AP grade 4, we look for a B+ in honours classes, or equivalent, taken in that required subject
  • Where we require a specific subject at AP grade 5, we look for an A in honours classes, or equivalent, taken in that required subject.

In the majority of cases we will also request:

  • the ACT with a composite score of 27 or above, or,
  • the SAT Reasoning Test with an overall score of 1290 with a minimum of 650 or above in Evidence Based Reading and Writing and 620 in Maths

Please note that the above does not apply for entry to our College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine where all degree programmes require students to take AP examinations to be eligible to apply.

Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education

The Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Diploma is accepted for entry. The Diploma must include three Cambridge International A Levels achieved with points equivalent to the A Level grade requirements for the programme including required subjects.

Point equivalencies are:

A Levels
Grade Points
A* 140
A 120
B 100
C 80

Subject specific requirements

Many of our degree programmes require that you have some experience of the subject at high school. This means that one or more of your three standardised test scores must include specific subject requirements, such as an AP score in a certain subject relevant to the degree you are applying to.

Please check the following information and web pages for your subject specific requirements. If your subject is not listed e.g. International Relations, this means there are no specific subject test requirements.

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Subject specific requirements for Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Science & Engineering

Subject specific requirements for Science & Engineering

Medicine & Vet Medicine

Veterinary Medicine

1. 5-year BVM&S (D100)

Normally 3 APs all at 4 or above in Chemistry, Biology and one other subject would be required. However, we are also happy to consider a combination of APs and SAT IIs (700+) provided that they are in different subjects. Prospective applicants are encouraged to get in contact with the Veterinary Medicine Admissions team prior to application for advice.

If Physics has not been studied as part of the AP/SATs, 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.

Pre-Vet Programmes

Applicants are expected to have completed at least 2 years pre-veterinary or science courses at College or University. Courses to be covered should include Chemistry I and II (with lab), Biology I and II (with lab), Organic Chemistry I (with lab), Maths/Statistics and Physics. An overall GPA of 3.4 (4 point scale) is expected. We would expect high grades in all science subjects

2. Graduate entry programme (GEP) BVM&S (D102)

Pass in a 4-year undergraduate degree with a science major and a GPA of 3.4 or better. Candidates who want to be considered for the GEP must achieve high grades in the following subjects:

  • Biology/Zoology
  • Physics
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic and Inorganic Chemistry
  • Mathematics/Statistics

In addition, gaining high grades in the following subjects would strengthen an application for the GEP:

  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Cell Biology

Graduate Record Examination - VMCAS candidates only

Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test are NOT required.

For Medicine (MBChB)

1. Entry direct from high school

Medicine has higher minimum entry requirements:

  • At least 3 APs at 5 or 3 SAT Subject Tests at 700+
  • These must include Chemistry and two of Biology, Math/Calculus or Physics (Math or Calculus would only count as meeting one)
  • Scores can be a combination of APs and SAT subject tests

We may also consider routes other than standardised tests, based on school curriculum - prospective applicants should contact the Medical Admissions Office prior to application for advice on this.

Medical Admissions Office

Applicants for Medicine must also take the UCAT.

Find out more about the UCAT

2. Graduate Entry after completing an undergraduate/bachelor’s degree

You will need a pass in a 4-year undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.25 or better, preferably with a pre/medical related major (e.g. biomedical sciences/medical sciences/nursing/paramedic science).  We will also consider other science majors and non-science majors with the same GPA.  If you have not undertaken a science major you must have SAT II Chemistry at 650+ or AP Chemistry at grade 4 or better.

If you have not taken or cannot take SAT II or AP Chemistry we will also accept an MCAT score of 508 to include a minimum of:

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

Biomedical Sciences 

Subject specific requirements for Biomedical Sciences include both Biology and Chemistry. This can either be an AP Exam at 4+ or 5 or SAT Subject Test at 650+.

Sending your scores

We do not require a copy of your high school transcript to be sent (unless requested) but once you have applied you should send us your official score reports:

College Board/SAT/AP scores: 0917

ACT: 5390

Further information on sending your scores can be found on the ACT, SAT and AP websites.

ACT Website

SAT Website 

AP Website

Applicant support

Further support on admissions is available from College Admissions Teams and Edinburgh Global.

College Admissions Contacts

Staff in the Admissions Offices will be able to provide further guidance on Admissions.

College Admissions Contacts

Transfer students

Completed study at another institution and want to apply to Edinburgh to complete your degree?

Transfer students

Do I need a visa?

Check your immigration requirements.

Student Immigration Service

Applicant support

Due to travel restrictions, we are running all our applicant information sessions online.

You can sign up to talk to a member of staff and view a presentation about study in Edinburgh. We hope to resume in-country visits to meet applicants soon.

Sign up for an online information session

Student numbers

There are around 1,525 students from the USA currently studying at the University of Edinburgh.

Chat to our students

UniBuddy - chat to our students 

Virtual visit

Take a virtual tour of our campus and the city of Edinburgh.

Virtual Visit

Understanding your offer

For applicants with US qualifications who have received a conditional offer of study.

Understanding your offer

Contact us

The Edinburgh Global Regional Managers for USA are Aly Stewart, Hillary Cementina and Mikaela Spencer.

Aly, Hillary and Mikaela will help you with admissions advice and support.

You can email them at usa.enquiries@ed.ac.uk