Why Study a Pathway

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The completion of a secondary education is an accomplishment worth celebrating. As you embark on a new adventure of adulthood, it is likely you have been thinking about the next steps in your education. This often means applying to a variety of colleges, universities or trade schools in your home country and around the world. One of the first decisions you need to make before submitting your college admission essay is where you will study. You might have an institution in mind, or perhaps your choice depends on what you wish to study. Different schools may have different pathways of study available for their students. Understanding pathways can help you determine what school to apply to and which classes to enroll in.

  • What Are Pathways?

    The term “pathways” refers to the schedule of study you need to complete in order to earn a degree or certificate. This word can have a different definition depending on the school you attend. In general, it refers to those courses you need to take in order to major or minor in a subject of study. This term does not include the general or core classes that many colleges and universities require all students to complete. It is also important to keep in mind that pathways for study abroad students may be longer as there are likely additional classes you will need to complete if you study in a foreign country.


  • What Kind of Degree Can You Earn?

    As pathway is a general term, you can use it to refer to any schedule of study for any degree. You can use it to earn an Associate Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree or Doctoral Degree. In addition to referring to the main degree you wish to earn, a pathway can also include a minor course of study. A minor usually involves completing a specified number of courses toward a degree without requiring the completion of all major courses. If your pathway involves choosing a major and minor course of study, the good news is that the two pathways do not necessarily have to relate to each other. This means you can pursue a degree in art while also earning a minor in chemistry, accounting, or any other subject you prefer and that your school offers. The other consideration to keep in mind is the cost. Even submitting a pathways letter of recommendation for college admission comes with an application fee. College admission fees will vary depending on the pathway you choose to take. If you already know which pathways you plan to follow, you should be able to get a detailed idea of how much your education will cost by contacting the school you are interested in.

  • In Which Areas Can You Specialize?

    If you have a specific degree or specialization in mind, you will want to find a school that offers that degree. There are a number of pathways that offer specializations – it all comes down to what your career goals are and what you want to study. You can choose between the broader areas of art, science, humanities, technology, business, law, medicine, and a variety of other options. Among these, you can often specialize, such as choosing a language, an area of technology, a specific focus in business, and so forth.


  • Do You Have To Know Which Pathway To Take Before Enrolling in a College or University?

    If you have no idea which pathway you want to take yet, that is okay. Many students do not know what they want to study at a college or university during their first year. They often spend that time exploring and making their decisions. Most colleges and universities do not require you to choose a major, minor, or course of study when you first enroll. However, you will want to keep in mind that some pathways require an application. You might have to take certain courses before you can start on a major. Some pathways might require you to enroll before completing a certain number of courses or credit hours at the school. The sooner you decide on your pathway, the more streamlined your studies are likely to be.

  • How Do You Get Started on a Pathway?

    To start on a pathway, you need to first choose a course of study or select a school where you wish to study. Find out if you have to apply and be accepted into a major or pathway or if there are other requirements you must meet first. Be sure to submit all of your documentation and complete necessary classes by the pathways college admission deadline. Once you choose and are accepted into a program of study, you can follow their suggested schedule of study to stay on track for your degree. Schools all around the globe offer a variety of pathways for every student. To find the right school and pathway for you, start your search with SchoolApply today.

Levels Explained

  • Pathway

    Bachelor’s and master’s pathway programs are designed for international students who need additional English language and academic preparation before continuing to a degree program at a university. The purpose of these programs is to give students the confidence and skills needed to succeed in college.

  • Bachelor's Degree

    A bachelor's degree (also called a first degree or undergraduate degree) is attained after receiving a post-secondary (high school) education and generally spans four years. Students pursuing these types of degrees are commonly referred to as bachelor or undergraduate students. A bachelor's degree is usually offered at an institution of higher education, such as a university.

  • Master's Degree

    A master’s degree (or postgraduate or graduate education) involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees. This degree is preceded by a bachelor’s degree and generally takes two years to complete. Students pursuing these types of degrees are commonly referred to as master's, or grad students.