Pathway Program

If you are otherwise qualified for Graduate School, but need to improve your English skills, the Pathway program may work best for you.

Interested applicants complete the regular Graduate School application, and academic programs, when reviewing credentials, may deem the applicant a good fit for the pathway program.

If selected as a Pathway program student, the English proficiency level will be determined by taking an English language placement exam at the English Language Institute on the UMBC campus. During the first semester at UMBC, most Pathway students will take one graduate course (chosen by the department) and three ESL courses:

  • ELC 61: Writing for Research & Professional Purposes
  • ELC 63: Speaking and Listening for Research & Professional Purposes
  • ELC 65: Graduate Academic Study Preparation

Through the ELI component of the Pathway program, students will develop their English language skills, learn about the American academic environment, receive personal and academic support, and participate in cultural programming as they acclimate to the United States. Most Pathway students will complete the program and become full-time graduate students after one semester. Students whose ELI placement test results indicate a lower level of English proficiency and students who do not obtain A or B grades in their ELI courses may be required to take two semesters of combined graduate and ESL coursework.

After successful completion of ELI courses (61, 63 65) the Pathway student will continue in their regular academic program courses, and is likely to complete their Master’s degree on the normal two year schedule.

Not all programs are participating in the Pathway program, so for questions about eligibility, please contact your Graduate Program Coordinator or Graduate Program Faculty member.

For international students not eligible for the Pathway Program, the application to the English Language Institute may be found on the ELI website.

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