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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.


Oregon State University INTO Pathway

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 INTO Pathway

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.

Undergraduate international students at CSU can take pathway courses in:

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Dance
  • Engineering
  • General Studies
  • Languages, Literature, and Cultures
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences

Graduate students at CSU can take pathway courses in a number of schools, including:

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Liberal Arts
  • Natural Resources
  • Natural Sciences

Washington State University INTO Pathway

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.

WSU offers undergraduate Pathway programs in:

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Architecture
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Fine Arts
  • Journalism/Communication
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Sciences/Humanities

As well as graduate Pathway programs in:

  • Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Education
  • Engineering and Architecture

The Academic English program is designed for students who want to improve their English skills by studying at a US university.


Arizona State University Global Launch

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 Norman Campus

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 INTO Pathway

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.

University of South Florida INTO Pathway

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.

University of Alabama at Birmingham INTO Pathway

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.

UAB offers undergraduate pathway programs in:

  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • General Studies
  • Pre-Nursing
  • Public Health
  • Science

As well as graduate programs in:

  • Computer Science
  • Computer Forensics and Security Management
  • Public Administration
  • Business Administration
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Special Education
  • Engineering
  • Public Health

George Mason University INTO Pathway

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.

Auburn University

Auburn University’s undergraduate admissions process for international students takes “pathway” to new heights. How? It’s simple. You make one application directly to the university, and receive an offer to the program that best suits your academic and English language qualifications, whether that’s direct admission to Auburn, an Auburn Global accelerator program, or pre-sessional English. Whatever your point of entry, you will receive best-in-class support services, including a streamlined application process and extensive pre-arrival support, and access exclusive career programs, cultural events and experiences that ensure success in and out of the classroom.


Saint Louis University INTO Pathway

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.

Undergraduate Pathway programs at SLU include:

  • Aeronautics
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Arts
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • General Studies
  • Health Information Management
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Science

Graduate Pathway programs include:

  • Applied Financial Economics
  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Health Data Science
  • Law (LLM) and Law (JD)
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Urban Planning and Development

University of Dayton

There are many reasons why international students choose to study at the University of Dayton. As a medium-sized city with 140,000 people, Dayton offers culture and community without the overwhelming nature of a big city. A center for technology, the city is a magnet for engineering and home to corporations such as Taylor Communications and LexisNexis. Just a short distance from campus, downtown Dayton is a thriving hub for the arts, along with delicious culinary delights. With its central location, Dayton University also allows students to easily access other interesting cities and states in the U.S.

The University of Dayton makes the transition to studying in the US easy. By offering support through the application and admission process as well as programs for English language support, students adjust to life in the U.S. with the help of on-campus staff.


Suffolk University INTO Pathway

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.

Undergraduate pathway programs at Suffolk include:

  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • General Studies
  • Science and Mathematics
  • Visual Arts

Graduate pathway programs include:

  • Communication
  • Political Science
  • Business Administration
  • Finance
  • Financial Services and Banking
  • Marketing
  • Law

Drew University INTO Pathway

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.

American University

The Undergraduate Accelerator Program at American University is the ultimate international student experience at one of the nation’s top universities (#69 National Universities, U.S. News and World Report). Adjusting to college life in the U.S. can be challenging but American University works to make your transition as easy and productive as possible. The Undergraduate Accelerator at American University is a one-year program that sets you up for success with academic, English language, cultural support, college credit towards your university degree, and access to exclusive courses and cultural events.

Adelphi University

Located in Garden City, New York, Adelphi University is just a short train ride away from the heart of bustling New York City. Students at Adelphi enjoy the sprawling 3,000 acre campus, while having the the city life within reach. A free shuttle service to local train and bus stations ensure access to city locations and beyond.

A great location isn’t all Adelphi University has to offer; the school boasts a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, more than 50 academic programs of study, and were even recognized by Money magazine for excellence in Educational Quality, Affordability, and Alumni Earnings. They offer English language programs for those that need additional support, while on-campus staff helps students adjust to U.S. culture.

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.

If you would rather pursue a pathway program in Canada a good place to start is with Queen's University School of English . Located in Kingston, Ontario students are able to explore Canada while improving their English and being immersed in a true Canadian university experience.

Explore Queen’s University School of English  

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