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How to get into the London School of Economics

How to get into the London School of Economics

The London School of Economics and Political Science, better known as the London School of Economics or LSE, is among the most renowned universities for social sciences in the world. Whether you aspire to become a world leader, a bank executive, head of an NGO, or an academic thought leader, graduating from LSE will undoubtedly enhance your abilities and opportunities. With a three-year undergraduate degree structure (for most fields) and an alumni network envied by institutions worldwide, there are plenty of reasons to choose LSE for your studies.

Kevin Newton
Kevin Newton
College Admissions
By Alastair Campbell - Land registery, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=116605363

Why Study at the London School of Economics?

The London School of Economics and Political Science, better known as the London School of Economics or LSE, is among the most renowned universities for social sciences in the world. Whether you aspire to become a world leader, a bank executive, head of an NGO, or an academic thought leader, graduating from LSE will undoubtedly enhance your abilities and opportunities. With a three-year undergraduate degree structure (for most fields) and an alumni network envied by institutions worldwide, there are plenty of reasons to choose LSE for your studies.

How Many International Students Are at the London School of Economics?

LSE boasts one of the most international campuses on the planet. While there was once a greater representation of world countries at LSE than at the United Nations, the university still comprises 71% international students, and more than 40% of its teaching staff hails from overseas.

London School of Economics Ranking

LSE consistently ranks at the top for social sciences and holds the second position globally for political science. It secures a place in the top ten across several other fields. While its overall international ranking may be somewhat influenced by its focus on the social sciences and a lack of research budget compared to more STEM-oriented universities, LSE is still considered the 45th best university in the world, even when compared to larger and wealthier counterparts.

London School of Economics Notable Alumni

LSE's list of alumni reads like a who's who of economics, politics, and business. Among its globally recognized alumni are Queen Margrethe of Denmark, former British Prime Minister Clement Atlee, President of Kenya Jomo Kenyatta, former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, economist Paul Volcker, former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, and George Soros. Even the fictional world acknowledges LSE's renown, with The West Wing's President Bartlet earning his PhD from the School.


What Does the London School of Economics Specialize In?

As the name suggests, LSE's priority lies in the study of social sciences. It is renowned for economics and politics, and its history programs, especially economic history, are also highly regarded. Business, finance, and management are popular choices due to the school's unique emphasis, with many top banks and consulting companies actively recruiting from each graduating class.

By Diliff - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=874522

LSE Programs for International Students

Graduate Programs

One of the most common routes for international students at LSE is pursuing a graduate degree. Some funding options are available, and the cost is generally lower than in the US. Additionally, master's degrees typically require only one year of study, while a PhD program takes three years.

Postgraduate Programs

Students aspiring to apply for a PhD at LSE should begin by contacting individual departments to gauge interest in their proposed area of study. Unlike the US, students pursuing a PhD in the UK are expected to have a well-established thesis idea and spend the majority of their time writing the dissertation. Therefore, most students apply while completing a master's degree.


Master’s Programs

LSE's master's degrees are among its most popular offerings for students. They are available in dozens of subjects and usually take only a year to complete. Compared to comparable US programs like SAIS or Georgetown, LSE's master's programs offer substantial savings and incredible opportunities.


Summer Schools

LSE stands out as one of the few London universities offering a range of summer school options, including the chance to take university-level courses. However, these opportunities are typically reserved for students who have already received an offer to study at another university.

Admission Requirements for US Students

LSE does not require the ACT or SAT. Instead, students are expected to offer either at least five AP exams with high scores, three A-level exams, or a full IB diploma.

London School of Economics Acceptance Rate for International Students

As with most UK universities, the acceptance rate at LSE is generally higher than what students from the US are accustomed to seeing. Offer rates for some programs can be as high as nearly 37%, while the most competitive programs still have an offer rate of around 10%. However, please note that these offer rates are dependent on students meeting the requisite AP, IB, or A-level qualifications.

Is It Hard to Get Into the London School of Economics for US Students?

Getting into LSE is not easy due to its stringent academic requirements. Students are typically required to have five AP exams, each with scores of either five or three fives and two fours, in addition to a 3.7 high school GPA. IB test requirements are equally demanding, often necessitating 41 points or more depending on the subject. Students offering A-levels must meet minimum requirements such as A*AA, AAA, or AAB. Nonetheless, students can still stand out through other aspects of their application.

London School of Economics International Tuition

LSE is one of the most expensive universities in the UK for overseas students. Tuition fees vary depending on the degree field but typically amount to around 27,000 GBP, which is approximately $35,000 at July 2023 exchange rates. Other living expenses and travel costs can double this figure; however, the majority of LSE's degrees are only three years long.


Scholarships for International Students

LSE offers substantial financial aid for overseas students, setting itself apart from many other UK universities. However, it's essential to note that the aid is entirely need-based. LSE aims to attract the best and brightest from around the world, and while generous awards are possible, it's worth considering that the notion of "need" may differ between an American perspective and that of someone from a developing country.

How to Apply for the London School of Economics from the US?

Applying to LSE from the United States is incredibly straightforward. Like the majority of other UK universities, the application is done through UCAS. The typical application deadline is around mid-January of each year, although some LSE programs may accept applications from international students after the January deadline in rare instances (but this can vary from year to year). The UCAS application allows students to apply to five programs, helping to reduce competition at top programs as students cannot apply to places they have little intention of attending. Notably, LSE does not require a separate supplement and only requires a single letter of recommendation and a personal statement to be used among all five choices.

How to be Accepted to LSE? 5 Tips From Study Abroad Experts

1. Focus Early: Many students don't take social science courses until later in high school. However, determining your desired field of study earlier and having the relevant coursework to support it can help you stand out.

2. Read the Right Things: Stay informed about global markets and political affairs by subscribing to publications like The Economist. Demonstrating knowledge of recent texts in the social sciences can also be beneficial.

3. Stay Focused: LSE prioritizes extracurricular activities that align with your chosen field of study. Therefore, concentrate on activities that demonstrate your passion and commitment to your academic interests.

4. Seek Leadership Opportunities in Relevant Fields: LSE values leadership qualities in its applicants. Engaging in leadership roles within school clubs, community organizations, or volunteering initiatives can showcase your ability to take initiative and make a positive impact. However, it is important to make sure that these are relevant to your proposed field of study.

5. Connect with LSE Alumni or Current Students: Building connections with alumni or current students can offer valuable insights into the application process and LSE's academic and social environment. Networking can also demonstrate your genuine interest in the school and its programs.

At Ivy Tutors Network, our dedicated team is committed to providing support and personalized guidance for students aspiring to join the London School of Economics. Our test preparation programs are tailored to meet the specific requirements of LSE, ensuring students are well-prepared for the necessary exams.

Additionally, Ivy Tutors Network offers specialized AP exam tutoring, equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in these crucial exams, which are a prerequisite for studying at the London School of Economics. With Ivy Tutors Network, you can approach the application and testing process with confidence and increase your chances of success!

by Kevin Newton (aneducationabroad.com)

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