University of Aberdeen Exchange

Language Requirement: None
Academic Standing by Program Start: Junior or above
Location: Europe, United Kingdom, Scotland
GPA: 3.0
Program Overview

In this exchange program, you will enroll directly in classes at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, the 5th oldest university in the English speaking world. Scholars associated with the university include five Nobel Prize winners, and the inventor of the modern MRI machine.  Aberdeen is recognized for studies in medicine, psychology, nutrition, and Scottish studies. Aberdeen is an excellent setting for student life and a good starting point for travel by air, train, and sea. The campus is home to world-class teaching and research facilities, as well as sporting and recreational amenities, all in close proximity.  
Aberdeen provides a range of support services for exchange students, including a comprehensive orientation session at the beginning of each semester. Aberdeen will assign you to an academic advisor.  You may access the normal student support services provided by the university, including:  International Student Advisers, International Centre, Counselling Service, Chaplaincies, and AUSA Student Advice Centre. You may join sports clubs covering indoor and outdoor sports such as volleyball, basketball, soccer, rugby, lacrosse, snow sports, sailing, hillwalking and climbing  

The International Centre is a focal point for international students. It serves as a drop-in center, helping you make the best use of your time at the university. The International Centre organizes events for international students all year round.

The UK has laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination and is a marriage equality country. 
Aberdeen is Scotland’s third largest city, with a population of over 220,000 people. With a number of art galleries and historic theatres, to museums and libraries, Aberdeen is steeped in culture.  The city’s venues host hundreds of theatrical productions a year including ballet, opera and drama, as well as the popular Aberdeen Student Show, which raises significant sums for charity.  The Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre holds more than 600 events annually, consistently attracting world-famous bands, singers and comedians.  The area around Aberdeen offers a great selection of outdoor pursuits including surfing and kite boarding at the beach, as well as hillwalking, skiing, snowboarding and equestrian pursuits.  Aberdeen is the second most ‘affordable student city’ in the UK (Royal Bank of Scotland Student Living Index 2017) 

Exchange students at Aberdeen are eligible for the Butex Scholarship - Visit this link to get more information about this scholarship:

Dates and Deadlines
Term Year Deadline Arrival Date Departure Date
Fall Semester 2024 02/01/2024 Early September Mid-December
Academic Year 2024-25 02/01/2024 Early September Late May
Spring Semester 2025 02/01/2024 Early-January Late May

Discount for Pell Recipients

To expand access to study abroad, GEO is offering a $400 discount for this program (Summer 2024 and beyond) to UO students who currently have the Pell Grant as part of their federal financial aid (FAFSA).

Academic Details

The University of Aberdeen is divided into six major faculties (colleges), including Arts and Social Sciences, Divinity, Law, Science, Engineering, and Medicine. You will concentrate your course work in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and/or the Faculty of Sciences. You will have the opportunity to take courses across disciplinary lines. The system of higher education in the UK stresses in-depth study of a few subjects and provides a level of specialization that is not generally part of the American undergraduate experience. Learning in this system requires self-motivation, with instructors serving more as guides than as teachers, in the traditional sense. You may enroll for courses offered at Levels 2 and 3 and, exceptionally, Level 4. Courses in medicine and level 5 courses are not open to exchange students. 
Pre-med program- This program gives pre-med and biological sciences students the opportunity to learn in one of Scotland’s top-ranked medical schools while staying on track with their pre-med requirements.  
Pre-law program-  The pre-law study abroad program, specifically for US students studying majors such as Politics, Philosophy, History and Business, is a great way to enhance your Law School resume by gaining necessary analytical and argumentation skills, while studying alongside undergraduate law students.  

At Aberdeen, units are the equivalent to classes at the UO and courses are equivalent to UO majors. Teaching methods include a combination of lecture, tutorials and smaller group seminars. Seminars are small group classes led by a professor to discuss parts of the course in detail. They complement the lectures and help to monitor your progress. Science-based courses will include laboratory sessions and project groups. 
It is important to establish a good working routine so that you use time effectively. 
Aberdeen credits are converted to the European Credit Transfer Scheme (ECTS) in your transcript. One ECTS credit is equivalent to 0.75 UO credit. 

  • 60 ECTS credits represent a full year of study (equivalent to 120 University of Aberdeen credits) 
  • 30 ECTS credits represent one semester (equivalent to 60 University of Aberdeen credits) 

For example, if a course/unit has 20 Aberdeen credit points, it has 10 ECTS credit points.  

Aberdeen units are worth 15 or 20 credit points. Students must take a minimum of 50 and a maximum of 70 Aberdeen points per semester. A typical course load is three or four units (courses). You will be assigned an advisor at Aberdeen and will also be able to consult with designated persons in your respective departments for general academic questions.  
Note: You should consult with your UO academic advisor before submitting your course enrollment to the University of Aberdeen.  

Course Equivalencies

UO students: please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Non-UO students: Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

Additional requirements
  • Complete WR 121 and 122 or 123 with grades B- or higher 
  • Math/Science students: completed 200-level Math/Science sequences 
  • GPA requirement of 3.5 or above for graduate students.  
Application process

The application process for this program is competitiveGEO staff will review your application materials, and a decision about your enrollment will not be made until after the application deadline. In some cases, an interview is required. If your program requires an interview, you will be contacted with further details about this process after the application deadline. Early applications are encouraged.

Successful applicants will receive an exchange nomination from GEO. Selection will be based on a holistic review of your application. This includes a review of your GPA, transcripts (including courses taken and in-progress), any additional requirements or prerequisites (see section "Additional Requirements"), and written statements. 

Applying for an exchange program involves 2 steps. If you receive a nomination from GEO, you will also need to complete the host university's application, which is administered and reviewed by your host university directly. Instructions will be provided after acceptance by GEO. The host university makes the final decision regarding acceptance into the program.

Housing Description

Accommodation mainly consists of apartment (suite) style living, with each student having his or her own single room. Some halls also have private en-suite bathrooms. The majority of students opt for self-catered accommodation; however, the University also offers a number of catered halls, but please note that a typical catered plan would not generally be as extensive as a meal plan at the UO.  

You are guaranteed an offer of accommodation provided your application reaches Aberdeen by the deadline. After you complete the host university's application and are accepted into the program, Aberdeen will email you with information on how to apply for accommodations and the deadline. If you are arranging your own housing, you are advised to arrive in Aberdeen early.