What are Pathway Programs?

6 minute read
What are Pathway Programs

Want to pursue a specific course but your academic score is not letting you do the same? Is it right to leave your career goal just because your current academic score is not meeting the set bar? Obviously not! There are many ways to boost your profile and get into your dream career path and one of them is via a pathway program. A pathway program is a preparatory course designed to help students build the skills, qualifications and knowledge that is needed to enter a bachelor’s or master’s program. Read on to know more about it!

What are Pathway Programs?

To put in the simplest words, Pathway programs are known as preparatory courses that are specially curated to help the international students build a hold over knowledge skills as well as qualifications that are required to pursue a UG or PG program. Usually, the duration of these courses is around one year.

Also called foundation courses, these help students understand the curriculum prior to the commencement of designated programs by solidifying their concepts in English, general awareness and other related fields. Even after proving English language proficiency through entrance exams, sometimes students face difficulties in completing a program overseas. Thus, many international universities and colleges offer this program exclusively for international students.

Why Choose Pathway Programs? 

Owing to the complexities and intricacies of the curriculum of overseas courses, nowadays pursuing a pathway program has become a necessity. Listed below are a few reasons that will help you understand why it is important to pursue a foundational program-

  • Strengthening the necessary language skills that help one understand each and every bit of the course
  • Ample time to decide the particular field of study
  • Enhances your chances of securing a seat in the program of their choice
  • Pathway programs help one mould according to the society leading to a lesser cultural shock
  • By taking this course, you are exempted from appearing in English language proficiency tests like IELTS, TOEFL, etc

Must Read: Diploma Courses after Graduation

Types of Pathway Programs 

As we are clear with the basic definition of what pathway programs are, latest now understand the types available in it. To comfort students and help them get started on the desired career path, universities avail pathway courses at levels like UG, PG and online. mentioned below is a detailed distinction between the three main types of foundation programs-

Undergraduate Level

The undergraduate pathway programs assist students in developing a better knowledge about the uses of the English language along with a variety of other skills required. During the course, students can earn credits which will be beneficial whilst seeking admission into full-time bachelors courses.

Graduate Level

Also known as pre-masters, gravity programs lay the right foundation that is required to pursue a master’s degree abroad. As the course work of masters programs abroad is pretty intense as compared to UG courses, by pursuing pre-masters candidates can get into the right groove required to ace the PG course.

Language Pathway Programs 

Qualifying in English language proficiency courses is a necessary requirement when it comes to pursuing a course abroad. But, by pursuing a bridge course in English, candidates can prove their efficiency in English. Such programs are considered equivalent when it comes to filing an application for UG or PG courses.


Candidates who want to enhance their knowledge but are restricted due to an ongoing course for a job responsibility can pursue an online pathway program. Online courses are ideal for those who want to acquire the right skill set without being present at the campus.

Also Read: Short Term Courses Online

Pathway Programs in Canada

Canada offers pathway programs to prepare international students for main study programs in the country. These are also called preparatory programs. Pathway programs offered as language programs are undertaken by candidates as a prerequisite course before the commencement of their program and in lieu of entry-level language tests. These are perfect for students who want to study in Canadian colleges and universities but need to improve their English or French skills. The programs range from 4 to 12 months and are available before you start for your bachelors and masters. Popular universities like the University of Manitoba, Royal Roads University and Simon Fraser University.

Pathway Programs in USA

Pathway programs are also called bridge programs in the USA. These are meant for international students who are aspiring to study in the states but need to build upon their language skills before starting their degree courses. International students apply for these courses at universities they are planning to pursue their degree program. The credits collected by undertaking such programs are transferred to their degree program, this allows for a seamless pathway to your main area of study. These programs are for one year and can be taken in place of English proficiency tests. Universities like Arizona State University, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, California State University, Monterey Bay and the University of Arizona, Tucson offer these courses.

Pathway Programs in UK

Pathway programs are lateral entry options for international students in the UK who wish to study in the country but do not meet the requirements for the degree programs. These allow students to improve upon their language skills as well as subject skills in order to compete with their peers at the degree level. The duration of the course is less than one year. Universities like the University of Birmingham, University of Exeter, Cardiff University bridge courses to international students.

Must Read: Top Short Term Courses for Working Professionals

Pathway Programs in Germany

Pathway Programs in Germany are offered at the bachelors as well as masters level. These programs are meant to prepare students for the minimum German language requirements needed to undertake degree programmes at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. In order to enrol at a German University for a bachelors program, all students must have C1 German language proficiency along with other specific entry requirements for the said programme. Those who do not fulfil this criterion can opt for Pathway Programs where they learn German to a C1 level by undertaking a foundation year in Germany. Students also have the option of studying for bachelors in their home country while learning German for higher studies in the country. There are various German Language Schools in the country that offer entry-level programs to prepare students for German Universities.

Pathway Programs in Australia

Pre-entry or Pathway Programs in Australia bridge the gap between school and university for international students by preparing them for higher education. Also called Foundational studies programs are undertaken by international students who do not meet all the entry requirements but are qualified to study at Australian universities. These programs address the special needs and bridge the skill gap between local and international students. These programs are a way to work on language skills, course credits and make friends in a foreign country before starting your university degree. Several universities at the University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, Monash University, Victoria University offer pathway programs as alternative entry points for admissions.

Pathway Programs in New Zealand

Pathway programs in New Zealand are meant for international students who are qualified to study at the top universities but must meet the necessary English requirements for the programs. Various Universities like the University of Auckland offer international foundation courses to students wherein they can study the foundation course in their hometown and later join their bachelor’s programs at the University. Similarly, the University of Waikato offers a foundation and diploma program to prepare students for bachelors and masters at the university. These programs primarily cover English language courses.


What is pathway program in US?

Pathway program in USA is for international students who want to study in USA but do not meet the given requirements for the program. They can take these programs in order to transition from diploma course to degree.

What are the types of pathways?

There are four types: undergraduate, graduate, online and most popular is language pathways.

What countries offer pathway courses?

Countries like USA, Canada, USA, Australia offer pathway programs.

What UK universities offer pathway courses?

Universities like the University of Birmingham, University of Exeter, Cardiff University and more often pathway programs to international students.

Hopefully, after going through this detailed article on what are pathway programs, you are now familiar with a new type of course. Academic institutions abroad offer an array of pathway courses in various fields, get in touch with our experts at Leverage Edu and they will assist you in selecting a suitable bachelor’s or master’s course along with the right pathway program for it. Sign up for a free e-meeting with us today.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *