"The undergraduate, in his brief periods of residence, is too buoyant to be mastered by the spirit of the place. "

The three terms of the undergraduate academic year are each eight weeks long. These three terms are known as Michaelmas Term, Hilary Term, and Trinity Term.


Perhaps in part due to undergraduates’ detachment from the daily life in the city, there is traditionally a rivalry between ‘town and gown.’ In the early days of the university, there were violent conflicts between the two communities, and the colleges were surrounded by walls for their members' safety. An especially notorious fight between town and gown occurred in Oxford in 1355, and this skirmish has become known as the riot of St. Scholastica Day.