International Summer School at Oxford University

Exciting Winter Break

Program full! CGE is no longer accepting applications!

This popular summer program takes place over 3 weeks at the University of Oxford, one of the most prestigious academic universities in the world! With famous former undergraduates like J.R.R. Tolkien and campus locations that appear in the Harry Potter movies, Oxford boasts a fascinating history that dates all the way back to the 14th century.

Don't miss the unique opportunity to attend summer classes at Oxford, a place whose beauty is sure to inspire you daily and leave you hungry to learn more. Students may participate in either the English Literature Program *OR* the History, Politics & Society Program.

Only 3 George Mason University Center for Global Education students may attend each of the courses listed below. These will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve, basis... so complete your online application today!

students at Oxford program's closing dinner
2009 participants at the program's Closing Dinner

The English Literature Program consists of a daily lecture program given by leading scholars and distinguished speakers and study in small seminar groups with specialist tutors.

Undergraduate students take two mandatory courses, Critical Reading and Shakespeare on Stage and Screen

Summer 2014 graduate students will take two courses chosen from the list below. Each course has two two-hour meetings per week, and classes will usually contain no more than twelve participants. Classes offered are:

  • Anglo-Saxon Literature and Culture

  • Shakespeare and Politics: Then and Now

  • The English Romantic Poets

  • Jane Austen

  • Victorian Fiction

  • Modernist Fiction

  • Contemporary Fiction

More information:English Literature Summer 2014 Course Descriptions

The English Literature program is capped at 15 participants (limited to 3 undergraduate spots and 12 graduate level spots available) so complete an online application asap! If we have more than 15 applicants at the application deadline, this program will go to competitive acceptances.

2009 participants

The History, Politics & Society Program consists of
a daily lecture program given by leading scholars and distinguished speakers and study in small seminar groups with specialist tutors. Course options for 2014 include:

  • British Politics, 1900-1945

  • The Changing Face of Britain

  • History and Politics of Humanitarian Aid

  • Issues and Problems in the Contemporary Middle East

  • People Power: Contemporary Revolutions since 1986

  • Religion and Politics in the Middle East

  • Political Economy in a Globalised World

  • Warfare in the Modern World

History, Politics & Society Summer 2014 Course Descriptions


The History, Politics & Society program is capped at 12 participants total so complete an online application ASAP to afford yourself more choices! If we have more than 12 applicants at the application deadline, this program will go to competitive acceptances.



From a section called "Fun Facts" on Heather's blog, a 2010 Oxford Summer Program participant:

Today is the official halfway point in my study abroad program! It's been work, work, work these past few days. I've been trying to churn out these two papers so I can relax and enjoy the remainder of my time here. I've been doing approximately 8 or 9 hours per day of school work (3.5 hours of seminars/lecture and 4.5 or 5.5 hours of homework). There's still so much I want to see around Oxford, so I am motivated to wrap it up! I want to visit Carfax Tower, Oxford Castle, the Ashmolean Museum, and more! In doing some research about what I still need to explore, I stumbled upon some fun facts about Oxford, and I'd like to share...

  • Oxford's population is 150,000, of which 42,000 are students.
  • Hitler intended to set up his Nazi headquarters in Oxford if he conquered England. The site that he chose is now part of the Bodleian Library.
  • Oxford has more published writers per square mile than anywhere else in the world.
  • Oxford is home to the creators of Alice in Wonderland, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Inspector Morse, and has also provided filming locations for Harry Potter.
  • The University of Cambridge, known to this day in Oxford as 'the other place', was actually founded by Oxford scholars.
  • Oxford University has educated 25 British Prime Ministers, including Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.
  • Other famous Oxford scholars include: Bill Clinton, Hugh Grant, TS Eliot, Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Christopher Wren, William Penn, Stephen Hawking, and many more.

Read more and view photos from Heather's experience at:

Additional Application Materials

Students need to turn in the following with their Oxford application:

  • A brief statement of purpose (350-400 words) detailing your academic reasons for wishing to attend the summer school. This should include what you hope to get out of the programme, and what you are likely to contribute to the intellectual life of the summer school. This may include details of literature courses you have previously taken, or the relevance of the summer school to your present course of study or professional development. If you are applying for the graduate strand of the programme it is essential that you clearly state your reasons for wishing to enrol on specific seminars.

  • An official copy of your transcript.

  • A letter of recommendation, from a current or former faculty member.

  • Five passport-sized photographs (i.e. 3 x 3.5cm, or 1.25 x 1.5in), with your *full name* printed on the back of each. These are for library registration and administrative purposes.

Faculty Director

Randolph H. Lytton received his Ph.D at the Pennsylvania State University in 1973. His research interests are in Alexander the Great, classical intellectual history, and classical historiography. He offers courses on classical history and the influence of the classical tradition upon western civilization.


Scholarships are available to George Mason students. George Mason students may also use financial aid to cover a program's cost. If you are not a George Mason university student check with your study abroad office or office of financial aid to learn more about how to cover the cost of your study abroad.

One Monroe "Chip" Whitton Scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate students at George Mason University with a minimum GPA of 3.0. To be considered for the scholarship students must participate in a Summer Program in the UK or Ireland.

How to Apply

Consult the How to Apply section for detailed instructions. Start by completing the online application. Pay the $150 registration and processing fee ($200 for non-Mason).

Note that all supplemental documents are required by the application deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Contact the Program Officer for further application forms and instructions specific to your program.

*CGE reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, or any other unforeseen circumstances.