Oxford Academia

Oxford Academia

Oxford Academia welcomes intellectually driven high school students to learn from the finest teachers, scholars, and industry professionals at Oxford University, one of the world’s oldest and most esteemed universities. This summer program offers students the full Oxford experience as you choose an academic major and minor, pursue your subjects in the company of motivated peers, and engage with course material under the guidance of distinguished academics.

High School

Grades 9–12
Motivated rising 9th graders will also be considered

Session 1

July 2-15, 2022

Session 2

July 16-29, 2022


1 session: $6,690
2 sessions: $10,990

View Seminars

Attend a Webinar

We invite you to join a webinar with Professor Basker and several faculty members on Wednesday, April 27 at 4pm EST. For a more general program overview, you can also watch our recent webinar below.



Putney Student Travel, in its 71st year, is excited to offer Oxford Academia, a program created in collaboration with Professor James Basker, a Barnard College/Columbia University professor and Rhodes Scholar. Professor Basker brings to Oxford Academia his 35 years of experience introducing high school students to the wonders of learning at Oxford, one of the most historic and prestigious universities in the world. Collectively, Putney and Professor Basker have welcomed to Oxford thousands of bright, motivated high school students from all over the world. Professor Basker founded and directed Oxbridge Academic Programs years ago, but is no longer associated with that program.

What makes Oxford Academia different and special is the truly outstanding faculty that Dr. Basker has assembled. They are Rhodes, Marshall, Gates, and British Academy scholars, with teaching posts at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Columbia, and other top institutions. They have earned awards for excellence in the arts and sciences, in scholarship and in teaching, and they bring unparalleled energy and passion for their subjects to the classroom. They are the finest faculty assembled anywhere for a program like ours.

Ultimately, though, the magic of Oxford Academia stems from the students who enroll, their interests, and the energy they contribute. Our Admissions Committee selects qualified students from all over the United States and internationally. Some students come to Oxford to pursue a subject they love, others to explore new possibilities; some to polish their writing or build a background for college, others to escape the pressure of GPA and class rank; and others to experience living and breathing the traditions of Oxford University or to indulge their love of different cultures.

This year more than ever, we are excited to offer these opportunities for students to join a community of academically driven and intellectually curious peers. We hope to see you at Oxford this summer!

Photo: Professor James Basker, left, with students

Oxford University

As one of the world’s oldest institutions of higher learning, Oxford remains the epicenter of education and knowledge. Students on the Oxford Academia summer program reside and take courses in several renowned colleges—University College, Worcester College, and St. Antony’s College—where students are fully immersed in British academic life and the Oxford experience, with full access to each of the colleges’ historic facilities. Students will find intellectual inspiration at these prestigious colleges, on the cobblestone streets, and in the picturesque countryside, the fertile territories of which have produced some of the greatest minds in history.

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Oxford Academia is designed for intellectually driven students to pursue an academic interest, without the pressure of grades or credit. Students enroll in a major seminar and a minor seminar, taught by academic faculty and active professionals, and engage with course material through lectures from guest speakers and scholars, small group projects, classroom discussion, and field-based learning. Seminars challenge students to ask questions, sharpen critical thinking and teamwork, and develop techniques essential for success at the university level.

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Educators & Scholars

Students gain inspiration and unparalleled insights from tenured faculty, featured scholars, guest lecturers, and meetings with experts. Over the course of your Oxford Academia program, attend lectures with Oxford, Rhodes, Marshall, Gates, and Fulbright scholars.

Learn from industry experts and thought leaders to hear about leading-edge developments in their fields. Complement program-wide keynote lectures with seminar-specific guest speakers, who bring to the program diverse backgrounds with high-level, real-world experiences and insights.

Small seminar sizes allow for students to engage directly with these experts in their fields, learning from the best and deepening their passion for the subject.

Meet the Faculty Guest Speakers & Presentations

“Our daughter said the seminars blew her mind and that she learned SO much more than she expected. Totally engaging and useful. And we can’t wait to see how this new knowledge and perspective applies to her classes when she returns to school and beyond.”

— Kirsten & Michael Beckwith, Kentfield, CA

The Oxford Academia Program Experience

Participating in an Oxford Academia summer program means joining an inspiring academic community of student peers and distinguished educators. Over the course of your Oxford Academia program, attend lectures with scholars, learn from esteemed guest speakers, participate in hands-on workshops and field trips, develop crucial skills to help you excel in your future studies, and gain lifelong friendships along the way.

History & Tradition

For centuries Oxford has drawn scholars and leaders from around the world, making it an ideal location for the curious, academically motivated global students of today, eager to dive deeper into intellectual pursuits and university life. This summer, students will marvel at the architecture of the Radcliffe Camera, the Bodleian Library, the Pitt Rivers and Ashmolean museums (Great Britain’s oldest), and the Sheldonian Theatre, and follow in the footsteps of world leaders, scientists, medical researchers, business leaders, and artists.

Accommodations & Meals

Oxford Academia programs are based at several of Oxford’s constituent colleges, giving students an unparalleled immersion in the true Oxford experience. Students and residential faculty stay in private singles or doubles, each with either bathrooms ensuite or on the hall. Faculty members live in residences with students throughout the program. Students begin each day with breakfast at their college, and often enjoy dinners at one of our other colleges’ historic dining halls. Lunches are a combination of restaurants and picnics. Please note that lunches are not included in the tuition.


Join a community of intellectually focused student peers, invested in personal and intellectual growth. Like you, they are curious about the world and eager to make their mark on it. Everyone attends Community Meeting each evening, where the group shares ideas, successes, and goals, and sets plans for the coming day. Become part of a community that supports and nurtures your interests, and make lasting friendships along the way.


In addition to your in-depth seminars, explore other interests and topics in elective lectures and workshops offered by instructors and visiting guests alike. Examine the history of the British monarchy for a better understanding of the role the Royal Family plays in everyday life and politics. Spend a day appreciating the game-changing musicians who have come out of England, from Paul McCartney to Adele. Take a workshop in Sports Management as you learn about the role sports plays in British culture, from the national sport of cricket to the more popular football. Workshops could range from a single afternoon to a multi-series event.


Choose a major seminar and a minor seminar, and dive deep into your academic subjects. Major seminars meet six days a week for three hours, typically at your own residential college. Minor seminars meet three days a week for two hours, often at one of our other colleges, so that students are able to truly experience the life of a student at Oxford by being exposed to several colleges. Begin with classroom discussions that frame your seminar concepts and identify key issues. Then take the learning beyond the classroom with site visits, meetings with experts, and guest lectures from distinguished academics and renowned scholars.

Seminar groups have the option to leave the college on day trips to nearby Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Pitts River Museum, Bodleian Library, historical sites, and guest expert locations to find further inspiration and utilize all the region has to offer.

View Seminars

Program Structure

Oxford Academia’s high school programs take place at several of Oxford’s constituent colleges. Each day features a combination of seminars, hands-on activities and workshops, lab time, guest speakers, community meeting, and unstructured time for socializing and reflection.

After breakfast at their residential college, depending on the day, students dive into their major seminar, which may begin in classrooms, labs, or meeting spaces. After lunch taken independently in small peer groups, students head to their minor seminars, often at another college. Afternoons and evenings offer opportunities for students to explore Oxford and their interests beyond seminar topics through elective workshops, take part in exciting extracurricular activities, or work on their independent projects.

After dinner at one of the colleges’ historic dining halls, students and instructors from all seminars convene for evening activities, which may include programming such as a keynote address, taking in a local play or concert, or an activity such as strolling the cobblestone streets of Oxford. On the final days of the program, students focus on completing their independent projects, which they then present to the program community.

Day in the Life

Due to the dynamic nature of this summer program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day at Oxford Academia.

Daily schedule

8 AM • Breakfast in the historic college dining hall

9AM • Major seminars meet in classrooms, labs, studios, or outdoors

12PM • Lunch and free time

1PM • Minor seminars continue the day’s activities

3PM • Afternoon activities, workshops, or extracurriculars

5PM • Dinner at the college

6PM • Free time for reflection or independent projects

7PM • Community meeting

8PM • Evening programming, speakers, or activities

Outcomes & Final Projects

Oxford Academia’s summer programs are designed to immerse students intellectually in their chosen seminar topic as they prepare academically and socially for the college experience. Over the course of the two-week summer program, each student develops a final project based on their particular interests, which they present to peers and instructors at the end of the program. Present your research on post-colonial liberation from your British History seminar, prepare a moot court argument from your Law seminar, share findings from meetings with groundbreaking Oxford scientists and doctors on the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine or explain the history and magic of your favorite piece at the National Gallery.