Guide to the Best Colleges at the University of Cambridge and Their Acceptance Rates

Counting down the days to filling out your University of Cambridge application? Exciting times indeed! With a rich tapestry of 29 undergraduate-granting colleges to choose from, and the 2022 acceptance rates now available, it’s time to dive deep into the options available. Before diving into the rankings, let’s take a step back to appreciate the heritage in Cambridge with a nod to its long-standing history and vibrant academic atmosphere.

Founded in the year 1209, the University of Cambridge is now celebrating its 814th year. In the most recent royal landmark, King Charles III became the first British head of state with a Cambridge degree, underscoring the prestige and influence of the university.

Cambridge’s city, with nearly 2,000 years of history, exudes a timeless charm and boasts a fusion of tradition and innovation. From the ritzy May Ball, originating in 1866, to its dynamic partnerships with corporate giants like Microsoft, Hitachi, Intel, and Sony, there’s a beautiful juxtaposition of classic heritage and cutting-edge collaborations. Notably, the recent groundbreaking ceremony of the New Whittle Laboratory, a £58 million state-of-the-art facility advancing net-zero aviation and energy, was graced by King Charles III in his first official appearance post-coronation.

Cambridge’s six schools house over 24,000 students, with a vibrant mix of undergraduates and postgraduates. With each college maintaining its unique ambiance, traditions, and history, prospective students have the task of finding the perfect fit from the plethora of options. It’s worth noting that in 2020, the University received over 20,000 undergraduate applications for approximately 4,000 available slots, making for a competitive 19.96% average acceptance rate for 2022.

Discovering the Best Colleges at the University of Cambridge

Now, let’s delve into the rankings of the 29 undergraduate-degree granting colleges within the University of Cambridge. Please bear in mind that each college is an exceptional institution of higher learning in its own right. The rankings below are based purely on selectivity in the previous admissions cycle, aimed at helping you gain insights and make informed decisions about the colleges that best match your aspirations and academic inclinations. Additionally, it’s crucial to explore the offer rates at all 29 schools, giving you the latest admissions statistics to weigh your options.

1) Downing College

Planted at the heart of Cambridge, Downing, established in 1800, entices with its open-armed, neoclassical architecture. Boasting a warm, inclusive environment, it ensures housing for all undergraduates on the main College site for 3 years. In 2022, Downing College boasted an acceptance rate of 13.34%, with 1,057 applications received.

2) Wolfson College

A trendsetter, Wolfson is celebrated for being the first coeducational college at Cambridge. With an international student body and a historical focus on postgraduates, Wolfson’s acceptance rate for 2022 stood at 14.51%, receiving 324 applications.

3) St Catherine’s College

Affectionately referred to as “Catz,” St Catherine’s unique layout and rich history date back to 1473. Notably, in 2022, the college welcomed a 15.21% acceptance rate, fielding 986 applications.

4) King’s College

Bearing the name of its founder, King Henry VI, King’s stands grand and proud, offering a magical blend of history and tradition. With a 15.36% acceptance rate and 1,009 applications in 2022, King’s is a beacon of Cambridge’s academic legacy.

5) Churchill College

Inspiring students to “think forward,” Churchill College, established in 1960, champions academic progress and welcomes a diverse student body. In 2022, the college received 1,082 applications and maintained a 15.90% acceptance rate.

Continued Rankings

6) Christ’s College

Home to approximately 400 undergraduates, Christ’s College dates back to 1505 and saw a 15.98% acceptance rate, fielding 964 applications in 2022.

7) Jesus College

From humble origins to a vibrant, diverse community, Jesus College, founded in 1496, welcomed a 16.36% acceptance rate with 972 applications in 2022.

8) Corpus Christi College

An epitome of resilience and historical significance, Corpus Christi, founded in 1352, boasts a 16.84% acceptance rate, with 665 applications in 2022.

9) Pembroke College

Anchored in tradition and religious significance, Pembroke, established in 1347, presents a 17.92% acceptance rate and received 946 applications in 2022.

10) Clare College

A testament to heritage and transatlantic connections, Clare College, founded in 1326, maintains a 17.17% acceptance rate and welcomed 891 applications in 2022.

Exploring Cambridge’s Acceptance Rates

11) Selwyn College

Guided by a message of faith and progress, Selwyn College boasts a rich legacy, with a 17.19% acceptance rate from 768 applications in 2022.

12) Queens’ College

A living testament to historical evolution, Queens’ College presents a 17.44% acceptance rate, fielding 768 applications in 2022.

13) St John’s College

A cradle of diversity and historical significance, St John’s College offered a 17.60% acceptance rate, receiving 1,193 applications in 2022.

14) Emmanuel College

Redefining academic inclusivity and global interconnectedness, Emmanuel College maintains an acceptance rate of 17.88%, with 878 applications in 2022.

15) Fitzwilliam College

Fostering innovation and archeological discoveries, Fitzwilliam College, founded in 1966, received 873 applications in 2022 and embraced a 19.13% acceptance rate.

Cambridge’s Acceptance Rates Unveiled

For a comprehensive view of the University of Cambridge’s acceptance rates, explore the full list below.

… (Acceptance rates and application data) …

Ranking the Colleges at Cambridge: Final Reflections

Hopefully, this ranking provides critical insight into the world of Cambridge’s prestigious colleges and their 2022 acceptance rates. The University of Cambridge is a beacon of academic excellence, and as you explore your options, remember to seek out the unique qualities that match your academic and personal aspirations.

Now it’s time to discover more about:

  • Top Universities in the U.K.
  • 5 Reasons US Students Should Consider College in the U.K.
  • Class of 2027—Ivy League & Elite Early Decision Acceptance Rates

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