USD Pathway Program for International Students

If the Office of Undergraduate Admissions determines that you may be in need of strengthening select skills prior to beginning your undergraduate studies at USD, you may be admitted conditionally by way of the Pathway Program. Admission to the Pathway Program is determined by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions only. The USD Pathway Program offers academically prepared international students with the opportunity to become full-time, degree-seeking USD students through completion of an English language and college readiness curriculum, which is administered by the English Language Academy.

Your Fast Track to USD (PDF)

English Language Academy (ELA)

The ELA will conduct an individualized assessment of your academic aptitude, English language proficiency and college readiness. A personalized pathway will then be developed based on these assessments, and your progress will be closely monitored by ELA and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions throughout the program to ensure success. Our English Language Academy is certified by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA), which is the highest certification awarded for English Language programs. 

  • Open Campus Enrollment: Participation in undergraduate courses through Open Campus is one of your Pathway Milestones and can become available after language Milestones are achieved. Your Pathway Program adviser will work with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to assess your Open Campus options based on your academic records, test scores and assessment result.
  • Tuition and Fees: This information will be available when you register for the -Pathway Program. Tuition and fees will vary depending on the amount of time it takes you to achieve the Pathway Milestones and the number of Open Campus courses in which you enroll. An $80 document shipping fee will be assessed upon the issuance of the Form I-20. Questions regarding tuition and fees should be directed to

Housing Options

  • On Campus: At USD, we believe that on-campus residence is a significant part of transitioning to USD and its campus community. We strongly believe that it is an essential part of students’ academic experience and developmental learning experience. In addition, it provides students a comfortable, safe, convenient location to retreat to between classes. 
    • Housing is not guaranteed, but students who submit the enrollment confirmation by May 1st will be given priority access. The deposit will be refunded if we are not able to provide an on campus space. 
    • It is important to note that if you live on campus during the Pathway Program, you will still need to fulfill USD’s two-year housing requirement once you begin the Bachelor’s Degree Program. The two-year housing requirement applies to all unmarried students with credits defining them as either a first- or second-year bachelor degree seeking student, who are under 20 years of age at the initial start date of their first agreement period of occupancy at USD and who do not commute from the permanent (i.e., primary and not a secondary) San Diego County home of their parent(s) or court appointed legal guardian are required to live in university housing. A resident who becomes 20 years of age following his or her initial matriculation into USD’s Bachelor’s Degree Program will still be subject to and required to fulfill the two-year housing requirement.

Meal Plans

As a Pathway Program student, you are not required to purchase a meal plan but doing so will help you to make the most of your experience at USD. You will be required to purchase a meal plan after completing the Pathway Program, prior to beginning your Bachelor’s Degree Program.

Support for International Students

USD hosts international students and scholars from more than 70 countries around the world. The Office of International Students and Scholars hopes that your experiences will prove intellectually challenging, culturally enriching and personally enjoyable during your stay at USD.

Contact Information

Admission and Pathway Program Questions:
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Maria S. Malloy, International Admission Counselor

English Language Academy Questions:
EnglishAcademy@sandiego.eduor Joanna Peng, USD Representative for Asia

USD International Student Support Questions:
Office of International Students and Scholars

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