The University of Cambridge - located in the city of Cambridge approximately 60 miles north of London is known to have been in existence as early as 1226. The oldest of its colleges was founded in 1284. Cambridge today is in many ways the quintessential university town. Unlike Oxford, the city of Cambridge is a market town with no heavy industry. The River Cam meanders through its northern and western parts. When modern visitors, students and residents are not punting on the river, they enjoy its college gardens and commons along the Backs of the Cam. Cambridge also offers many shops, galleries, restaurants and pubs. Like Oxford, Cambridge has an historic market area, and the colorful awnings of its stalls can be seen from the tower of its central landmark, the church known as Great St. Mary's. Strolling through Cambridge is like touring a vast architectural museum. For example, visitors who walk from St. John's to King's College view a statue of Henry VIII on Trinity Great Gate; gargoyles grimacing from the facade of Gonville and Caius College; the romantic classicism of the former Squire Law Library; the baroque detail of Senate House; and the gothic spires of kings College Chapel, to name just a few.
The architecture is simply a bonus to Cambridge's actual museums. The Fitzwilliam Museum should be part of any visit. This neoclassical stone building houses relics of Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Near and Far East; applied arts of all periods, notably armor and ceramics; hundreds of illuminated manuscripts, and literary and musical autographs, like the first draft of Keat's "Ode to a Nightingale"; and an outstanding collection of paintings representing all the major European schools. The Museum's entrance hall and main galleries are among the city's most ornate rooms. King's College Chapel, white limestone in the late Gothic style, is probably Cambridge's best known building. Its choir has become world-famous through the annual Christmas Eve broadcast of its Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. The Chapel's choristers can be seen in their traditional Eton collars and top hats on their way to a service. King's Bridge offers a beautiful view of the Backs. The University Senate House is the site of major academic occasions, and opposite Senate House is Great St. Mary's, both the University Church and a parish church, which was built between 1478 and 1608. The nearby bookshop is believed to be the oldest in Britain.
The 28 colleges of Cambridge University are scattered throughout the city with several of the older colleges located along the River Cam with attractive grounds and gardens known as the Backs. Each college has distinctive characteristics, and many are of considerable historical interest. There are many fine examples of both traditional and modern architecture. The beauty of several of the buildings, which date from the late 13th century when the first colleges were established, to the present day, is world-renowned.
The colleges are independent entities. To attend Cambridge as an undergraduate you must gain admission to a specific college. Many university teachers are appointed as University Lecturers and "Fellows" of a particular college, and a student's social life centers on the college during the three years of study toward a degree.
In 1997 Pembroke College, third oldest of the Cambridge colleges, celebrated its 650th anniversary. Across the centuries, the College has graduated public servants, businessmen, jurists, inventors, musicians, poets, prelates, reformers, scholars and scientists of remarkable, international influence. Today Pembroke has about 400 undergraduates and 294 graduate students. It enjoys a reputation for spirit, openness and close interaction among members of its community. Pembroke men and women are conspicuous in activities as varied as cricket or rowing, acting, musical performance, journalism and politics, poetry and community service. About half of Pembroke's undergraduates live "in college," with the rest living in college houses close by.
THE ACADEMIC PROGRAM
At Cambridge you will be expected to carry out a great deal of work on your own, so outstanding motivation and enthusiasm for the subject are essential. Rich resources are available, but it is up to the student to take advantage of them. Cambridge courses are called "Tripos." The Triposes are normally divided into Part I (sometimes IA and IB) and Part II. Part I covers the subject very broadly in the first year or two; then more specialized options are offered in the second part. Most Cambridge students stay with one subject during their three undergraduate years, but the courses are sufficiently broad to include a variety of academic methods and themes, which remain challenging. In consultation with your Director of Studies, you register for one Part of the Tripos relating to your chosen subject and take courses appropriate to that subject. The number of courses a student takes varies from Tripos to Tripos, but the overall workload of the individual Triposes are equivalent.
The following fields of study are available for spring two term applicants: Aerospace engineering, Anatomy, Anglo-American studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, Architecture, Biochemistry, Biological sciences, Biology, Biomedical sciences, Botany, Celtic studies, Classical studies, Chemical engineering, Chemistry, Chinese studies, Computer science, Drama, Dutch language, Egyptology, Electrical engineering, Economics, English literature, French language, Genetics, Geography, German language, Greek (modern), History, History of art, Italian language, Japanese studies, Law, Linguistics, Management, Medieval studies, Music, Norse studies, Philosophy, Physics, Political science, Portuguese language, Religious studies, Russian language, Sociology, Spanish language, Theology, Urdu language, and Zoology.
PEMBROKE COLLEGE SPRING TWO TERM PROGRAM
Pembroke College accepts a few students each year from overseas universities for a two-term semester of study. (See College description below). Normally each student accepted follows a standard course during the Lent and Easter Terms of the academic year, so it is important for prospective applicants to understand the workings of the Cambridge University system, in particular the following points: Visiting one-semester students usually follow the same course of study as other students reading for a one-year long part of one of the Tripos courses described in the University Prospectus. This allows for concentration on the selected or intended 'major' subject and allows for a pattern of teaching and learning identical to that experienced by most Cambridge undergraduates. Occasionally, semester students follow two 'tracks' in related subjects where they have a sufficiently strong academic track record in both subjects for them to be able to cope with Cambridge level courses. Please note that because semester programmes commence one term into the academic year the choice of courses is somewhat restricted.
Some courses within each Tripos are suitable only for candidates with considerable previous training - courses based on foreign languages for example - and Pembroke does not accept applications for any courses in the sciences or mathematics. It is important for prospective applicants to consult the Prospectus and the Cambridge University Guide to Courses before applying.
All undergraduates are required to be in residence for the duration of each term. All visiting students are allocated college accommodation (a single room) either in Pembroke or in another Cambridge College that has agreed to provide College facilities for students participating in the Pembroke semester scheme.
Assessment for grading purposes is made on the basis of a combination of some or all of essays (papers), dissertations (term papers) and final examinations. This combination varies according to the subject(s) taken.
Immunization for group C meningococcus and for mumps is recommended by UK health authorities.