How to apply

Since 2009, the US Pathway Program has helped more than 1,000 international students gain entry to top universities in the USA.

Apply through USPP and benefit from a simplified application process, fast decision, and late application consideration.

To be considered for the annual October intake, contact us or follow the steps below:


Step 1: Application

Complete all sections of your country’s application form.


Step 2: Terms and conditions

You must read, understand and agree to be bound by the terms and conditions before moving on to the next step.


Step 3: Confirmation

Sign the application form to confirm you have provided correct details and you agree to the terms and conditions.


Step 4: Other documents

Scan, attach and send in your additional documents to the email address on the application form:

  • Academic transcripts and exam results
  • English test score if required
  • If you do not have academic transcripts or English test results, you can still apply and we can make you a conditional offer, the conditions of which you will need to satisfy before we confirm your place.

Step 5: Assessment

We’ll contact you to arrange one or more of the following if required:

  • English language test
  • Mathematics test
  • Interview

This will allow us to further assess your suitability for the program.


Step 6: Admission decision

Receive an admission decision and, if your application is successful, accompanying offer letter.


Step 7: Deposit

Accept your offer by paying the deposit.


Step 8: Pre-arrival

Receive confirmation of program acceptance, pre-arrival information, plus guidance on finding local accommodation if you are coming from outside the USPP host city to study. For conditional offers, these items are issued once we receive proof that the conditions of the offer have been met.


Step 9: Travel

Arrange travel to USPP location if applicable.

Arrive at your USPP center for orientation before classes begin.


Step 10: Begin your USPP program

USPP teaching begins. View the program timeline for next steps.

Entry requirements

To be eligible for the USPP program, applicants must meet the following criteria.
Academic requirementsEnglish requirementsApplication

  • Official high school certificate or diploma — students are eligible to start USPP after their 2nd or 3rd year of high school

  • Minimum 2.5 GPA equivalent

  • Pass USPP entry English examination

  • The USPP English test is not required if student has scored IELTS 5.5 / TOEFL iBT 53 in all skills within last 12 months

Simple application process

As a USPP applicant you are not required to submit:

  • SAT or ACT scores
  • TOEFL score
  • Personal statements or essays
  • Letters of recommendation

Age requirements

  • Typical age range: 17-21 years old
  • The program is suitable for younger students, who may begin USPP at age 16 if they will be 17 by August 1 of the following year.
  • Students have usually completed their high school studies within the prior 2 years but we do consider applicants up to 25 years old.

Frequently asked questions

What are the types and rankings of US institutions?

In the USA, colleges and universities are categorized by the number and types of degrees they offer at different levels. Nationally-ranked universities have high levels of research activity and offer many doctorate programs. Universities that offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees but few or no doctorates are regionally ranked. Smaller institutions that focus on undergraduate arts and sciences are called liberal arts colleges, and are unique to the USA. They are ranked both nationally and regionally. 

There are many reasons for choosing a particular type of college or university. Some students wish to learn from instructors involved in the most cutting-edge research. Others know that they will learn best on a smaller campus where they will receive more individualized attention.

What is the structure of the US education system?

American students start elementary school aged five and study through to the 12th grade of high school. They can then study an undergraduate degree. This normally lasts four years, though this can vary depending on the student and their chosen program, including time for internships or other work placements. Successful USPP students will enter their bachelor’s degree in the second year, as USPP is the equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate program.

What is the difference between private and public universities?

US colleges and universities are either privately or publicly funded. Most public institutions are subsidized by the state, while private ones receive funding through student tuition and private donors. Both types of institution offer quality programs recognized internationally at bachelor’s and master’s levels.

How long does a bachelor's degree in the USA take to complete?

The average completion time of an undergraduate degree program in the USA is four years, and one to two years for a master’s degree. Completion time can vary, however, depending on the student and their chosen program, including time for internships or other work placements.

What is the difference between a major and a minor?

A concentration is a specialization within a major subject (e.g. marketing for a business student). A minor is a choice of an additional subject (e.g. computing major with a minor in music). Minors are generally the equivalent credits of half a major.

Must I choose a major at application?

When applying to a US university, students must indicate a choice of major. While it should be relevant to the student’s future career aspirations and interests, they need not be concerned about changing their mind at a later stage. After entering the university, students are able to switch majors.

What is a GPA?

A grade point average (GPA) is the calculated average of the grades students receive in their courses each term. Not all courses are weighted equally.

How do I calculate my GPA?

The table below defines how a USPP letter grade translates into a GPA, and will be used to calculate each student’s GPA during the course.

Admission requirements include:

  • Admission GPA: cumulative Fall term and Spring mid-term GPA

  • Minimum grade performance in all courses

  • Minimum University Preparation II course grade

USPP gradeGPA equivalent

Most universities require a 2.7 GPA or higher to admit a student to a particular program. For example, a student who earns a 2.7 Admission GPA (B- average course grades) would qualify for many programs as long as the student also meets any additional minimum grade requirements as noted in the admission and progression charts, and in the tables below.

Fall term sample GPA calculation

CourseGradeGrade PointsCredits
Fall GPA4.04
USPP Academic English IA4.00
USPP Career and Program CounselingS*0
USPP Information TechnologyS*0
Calculus IA4.04
*S stands for satisfactory

Spring mid-term sample GPA calculation

CourseGradeGrade PointsCredits
Admission GPA3.820
General ChemistryB+3.34
Principles of MicroeconomicsA4.04
USPP Academic English IIA4.00
Business StatisticsA-3.74
American StudiesA4.04
Spring mid-term GPA3.7516
Admission GPA will be calculated in March for admission to a CNAU institution.
Admission GPA = Fall term GPA + Spring mid-term GPA

Can I transfer credits earned on USPP to a CNAU institution?

Yes, as long as you meet the minimum course grade of C. Some institutions may require higher course grades for certain academic programs to transfer credit.

Can I transfer between CNAU institutions?

Upon enrolling in a destination university, students must study for at least one academic year before transferring to another CNAU institution. Students must meet the university’s transfer requirements – USPP standards for admission will no longer apply.

Progression degrees by university

Scholarships and work opportunities

Local USPP staff in China provide students with up-to-date information on eligible competitive scholarships at CNAU universities, and guidance on application steps and deadlines.

Here are examples of scholarship amounts awarded to recent USPP students:

UniversityScholarship amount (USD)
Baylor University$5,000 - $10,000 per year
DePaul University$3,000 per year
Marist College$2,000 - $8,000 per year
Northeastern University$5,000 per year

After progression, USPP students can take advantage of cooperative education (co-op) or internship programs through their CNAU university, where they can gain professional experience and a head start in their career through selective work placements. Examples of programs available at CNAU institutions include:

  • Baylor Universitys Office of Career & Professional Studies helps connect students with internships, and lists several Baylor internship programs by discipline or location, with off-campus programs in New York, London, and Washington, DC.
  • DePaul University considers internships an important part of its real-world approach to teaching and learning, and allows academic credit for the experiences. Recent host organizations have included Bloomingdales, Deloitte & Touche, Dell Inc., Time Out Chicago, and Children’s Memorial Hospital.
  • Marist College‘s Field Experience program provides part- or full-time off-campus internship experience under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Involved organizations include IBM, General Electric, HSBC Bank USA, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Chanel, Walt Disney World and many others.
  • Northeastern Universitys world-leading Co-op program involves almost 3,000 employers and nearly 10,000 students. Northeastern is ranked as a top 5 university for internship opportunities by The Princeton Review.

Students on F-1 visas who are interested in work placements should first seek the advice of the international student services office at their host university. All co-ops and internships are subject to Curricular Practical Training (CPT) approval from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) department.

Tuition and fees

Contact us to find out tuition fees for the in-country and summer bridge programs.

An indication of University fees once you matriculate to a bachelor’s degree can be found here:

Did you know?

International students are eligible to work in the USA for 12 months after graduation – or 36 months if they earned a STEM degree – on their F-1 visas, via the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program.

Other admissions details


A visa issued by the United States government is required to travel to the US to study. Failure to obtain a visa in time to travel to the US for the Summer Bridge will result in the student being unable to attend this part of the program. All students must arrive at the Summer Bridge program starting late May. NO late arrivals will be permitted.

How does the visa process work?

At the end of the USPP Spring term in April, students who achieve the grades to progress to Summer Bridge will receive their I-20 from Northeastern University. This is a document issued by US education institutions that students need when applying for a US study visa. Student Service representatives will help students complete their online visa application. After successfully completing their interview, students receive their US study visa shortly afterwards. Since USPP began in 2009, 100% of USPP students who have been accepted by US universities have been granted a US visa.

100% of USPP students admitted to a US university have successfully received US study visas.

Academic progress

Once enrolled, our local staff in China maintain close contact with parents on student academic progress and well-being during the first year, and provide guidance through the CNAU university admission and visa application processes.

Students are responsible for maintaining satisfactory academic progress (meeting or exceeding academic standards) throughout the Fall, Spring and Summer Bridge terms in order to progress through the US Pathway Program and on to their destination university. If a student does not maintain satisfactory academic progress, their admission may be cancelled. If this occurs, the student will be advised of alternative enrollment options at a CNAU or associate member institution for which they are eligible. All academic admission and progression decisions are final. See full terms and conditions of the US Pathway Program.

A student's experience

We all know it can be difficult to get a visa to study in the USA. Through USPP, the process was very easy. In so many ways, USPP has helped me get to where I am today.

Fortune Aweh

BA in International Studies

DePaul University