Pathway Programs to Consider
If you’ve decided that a pathway program is the best course for you, the next step is to choose which pathway program you want to attend. There are a number of excellent pathway programs throughout the US, in every region of the country. We’ve put together a list that includes a couple of pathway programs to consider within each region of the US.
OSU’s pathway program offers international students a clear path into undergraduate or graduate study at OSU. The program combines English courses with OSU academic courses, providing international students the chance to improve their English and study skills before they enter their desired program.
The undergraduate pathway program is ideal for students who want to earn an undergraduate degree in the US, but need to improve their English language skills or have a lower GPA than is required of direct-entry students. Students will take courses in math, science, and writing, and study alongside domestic students from day one.
The graduate pathway program is a pre-master’s program that is designed for international students who need additional preparation before they’re able to be admitted directly into the graduate school. In this program students will receive assistance developing their English language skills and study skills while improving their GPA. The program offers students assured progression to an OSU graduate program.
Colorado State University offers pathway programs for both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a program in academic English for students who do not meet the English language requirements for an undergraduate or graduate pathway program. After completing the Academic English program, students may progress to a pathway program or apply directly to CSU.
Graduate students at CSU can take pathway courses in a number of schools, including:
- Agricultural Sciences
- Liberal Arts
- Natural Resources
- Natural Sciences
The Pathway and English Language programs at Washington State University are designed to give international students the tools they need to succeed at an American university. Once students progress from their Pathway or English Language program, they can choose to study at one of five campuses in the WSU system: Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, or Everett.
As well as graduate Pathway programs in:
- Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences
- Engineering and Architecture
The Academic English program is designed for students who want to improve their English skills by studying at a US university.
The ASU-USA pathways program at Arizona State University combines English language and academic skills training with academic coursework. Students enrolled in this program learn the concepts of academic coursework while also focusing on vocabulary and English language skills to improve their academic performance. Students begin the program in either the Fall or Spring semester, and the program consists of three semesters total. After completing the ASU-USA pathways program, students with a 2.5 GPA or higher are guaranteed admission into select degree programs as sophomores. If needed, students can also transfer their academic credits to other universities in the US.
University of Oklahoma (OU)
The Sooner Jump Start (SJS) program at OU is a pathway program designed to help international students transition to study in the United States. The program consists of two phases. During phase one students study in an intensive English program at the OU Center for English as a Second Language (CESL). Students take courses in reading, writing, listening and speaking, grammar, and seminars that include TOEFL test prep. Once students complete the English proficiency requirement at the end of phase one, they begin phase two and are enrolled in 12 credit hours of OU coursework. The students meet in small classes, which allow plenty of opportunities for individualized assistance from their instructors. These credits become part of the students’ permanent OU college transcript.
Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia also offers a pathway program designed to help international students integrate easily into American university life. Marshall is known for its small class sizes, which means that you will be able to receive individual attention from your instructors.
Marshall offers two types of pathway programs: English language programs and academic pathways. English language programs are designed to help improve academic and professional English skills. You can choose between semester-length programs if you are planning on advancing to a degree program or a shorter program if you simply want to learn the language.
If your TOEFL or IELTS test scores are lower than the requirement for direct entry into Marshall University, the academic pathway program at Marshall is designed for you. These programs help you improve your English skills while you begin earning credits towards your degree.
The University of South Florida in Tampa offers pathway programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. Students in these pathway programs receive a high level of support during their transition to the US to help make the transition as easy as possible.
The undergraduate pathway programs at USF combine intensive English language study, academic skills development, and academic coursework. The programs are designed to help international students successfully navigate their first semester or first year at USF. Graduate program structure varies depending on the student’s academic history and future study plan. Graduate pathways are two semesters.
As an international student in a pathway program at USF, you will have an academic advisor who can help you understand your curriculum and course requirements, discuss university policies and rules, and develop an academic plan or study schedule. This is a great resource for international students learning to navigate their first few semesters at USF.
The pathway program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is committed to helping international student integrate easily into American university life. The university provides a range of programs that promote social, personal, and academic well-being, such as the Multicultural and Diversity Programs, the International Student and Scholar Services, the Student Advocacy group, the Student Health and Wellness Center, and the Student Counseling Center. The Office of Student Advocacy, Rights and Conduct can also help guide you through the university system, directing you towards campus and community resources and helping you understand the various policies and procedures within the university.
As well as graduate programs in:
- Computer Science
- Computer Forensics and Security Management
- Public Administration
- Business Administration
- Early Childhood Education
- Special Education
- Public Health
George Mason University is located in Fairfax, Virginia, just 45 minutes from the capital of the US: Washington, DC. This proximity provides students at GMU with unique career-building opportunities during their studies. Students also have access to cultural events and world-famous museums throughout the capital.
GMU instructors have years of teaching experience, and many of them have been international students themselves, which means they know how to make your study abroad experience meaningful. As a student in the pathway program at GMU, you’ll gain confidence in your writing, research, and presentation skills; you’ll learn different academic strategies for managing your time, taking effective notes, and developing critical thinking skills you can apply to your career.
GMU offers both undergraduate and graduate pathway programs for international students who need additional English language and academic preparation before continuing on to a degree program at GMU, as well as an Academic English program for international student who require stronger English language skills before beginning a pathway program.
St. Louis University in Missouri offers a pathway program for international students who do not meet the requirements for direct entry. International students can also enroll in an academic English program, which is designed for students whose English language skills do not meet the requirements for a pathway program. After completing the academic English program, students can progress to an undergraduate or graduate pathway program. These pathway programs combine intensive language study, academic skills development, and credit-bearing coursework.
Graduate Pathway programs include:
- Applied Financial Economics
- Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
- Business Administration
- Health Data Science
- Law (LLM) and Law (JD)
- Supply Chain Management
- Urban Planning and Development
Roosevelt University in Chicago offers a number of pathway programs for international students. The Roosevelt University International Year serves as a pathway to a bachelor’s degree. It is taught on campus at the international study center. Students can choose between the business, mathematics, and pre-law pathway and the science pathway. These courses are supplemented with English language and study skills courses. After completing the program, students move into the second year of Roosevelt’s bachelor degree program.
The pre-master’s program for MBA, MPA, and MS degrees is designed for international students who want to obtain a US master’s degree but need to strengthen their English skills, do not have an official TOEFL/IELTS score, or have not taken the GMAT or GRE. The program provides students with transitional support for entry into a master’s degree program. The pre-master’s program combines courses in academic English, study skills, and orientation into the US university system.
The Intensive English Program (IEP) is for international students with intermediate English level proficiency. Within this program students develop the key language skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in the context of degree level studies. After one semester of intensive English language instruction, students are ready to join the International Year program.
Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts also offers undergraduate and graduate pathway programs to international students. These programs at Suffolk are perfect for students who want to become confident English speakers by studying at a university in the US.
Graduate pathway programs include:
- Political Science
- Business Administration
- Financial Services and Banking
Drew University is located in Madison, New Jersey, less than an hour away from New York City. Classes in the pathway program at Drew are small, with a student-to-teacher ratio of 9:1. This means more personal attention for each individual student as they prepare for pursuing their degree in the US. Students at Drew University have access to a number of resources to help them in their studies, including a private tutor. The Conversation Partners Program matches international students with American students for individual or small group meetings to help international student improve their English language skills. At the Center of Academic Excellence, which is made of up the Math and Science Resource Center and the Center for Writing Excellence, you have access to free peer subject and content tutoring.
Drew University offers a four-semester pathway program and a five-semester program. In the four-semester program, students receive a balance of academic and English language preparation. This program is ideal for most students. Start dates are available in fall and spring semesters. The five-semester program is designed for international students who want to start earning credits toward their bachelor’s degree while they improve their English skills. This program offers more focus on English language skills than other pathway programs at Drew, and students are able to begin their academic studies sooner.
How to Choose a Pathway Program
Like when choosing a college or university, there are a number of factors to consider when choosing a pathway program. Perhaps the most important question to ask is whether or not the program offers guaranteed or conditional acceptance to a college or university upon completion. You will also want to look at pathway programs that are associated with colleges and universities you are interested in studying at after your pathway program completion.
Additionally, location and size are key. Are you interested in studying in the northeast, or do you have your heart set on the south? Would you prefer a campus in a rural, urban, or suburban area? Are you looking for a large or small campus?
Some pathway programs specify which degree programs international students can enter, so if you have a specific degree in mind, you’ll want to research the pathway program to make sure the degree you want to pursue is possible to obtain. You’ll also want to do some research to find out what other kind of academic services the program has to offer. Are you required to take an English language test before you complete the program? If so, does the program offer preparation courses for students getting ready to take the test? Will advisors available to help you adjust to university life in the US? It is important to do your research to find a pathway program that best fits your needs.