University Pathway Program (UPP)

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The University Pathway Program (UPP), designed for students with a high school diploma, prepares international students for undergraduate studies in the U.S. and serves as a conduit for entrance to the best colleges and universities.  During this transitional period, students participate in intensive academic English language training while taking up to 10 university foundational courses (30 transferable credits) in their field of study. University credit courses are all from partner universities.

Program Summary

Program length One Academic Year
University Credits Up to 30 credit hours
Campus Location Chapel Hill
Curriculum AEP Core+ university credit courses

UPP Advantages

The demand for international high school graduates attending colleges and universities in the U.S. is progressively increasing; however, many are not academically prepared.  The UPP program helps students make a smooth transition to U.S. colleges and universities by giving them an opportunity to take credit courses prior to matriculation.

The UPP program prepares students to meet the challenges of undergraduate studies at major universities and to successfully complete the rigorous language requirements for admission, providing an excellent opportunity to demonstrate their academic skills to potential U.S. universities.

  • UPP counselors utilize a national network of relationships with admissions offices to assist students   in selecting, qualifying for, applying to, and being admitted to their choice of top-rated colleges and universities.
  • UPP counselors help each student select the best and most suitable college or university and facilitate seamless matriculation.
  • Through UPP , participants will have a chance to explore various fields of study, such as engineering or business, to determine their passion.
  • Students will benefit from fully transferable credit courses, letters of recommendation from U.S. faculty, and exposure to American universities’ academic standards.
  • Students can expect successful transfer admission to top ranked American colleges and universities based on their overall GPA of the university courses they take during the program.
  • Students with a GPA of 3.7 or above can expect to be accepted by one of the top 30 schools as ranked by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Students with a GPA of 3.5 or above can expect to be accepted by one of the top 60 schools, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Students with a GPA of 3.0 or above can expect to be accepted by one of the top 100 schools, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Some universities that we have sent students to in the past:
School Location

U.S. News  Ranking

Vanderbilt University Tennessee 14
Cornell University New York 16
University of Notre Dame Indiana 18
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill North Carolina 30
University of California-Santa Barbara California 30
College of William and Mary Virginia 38
University of Miami Florida 53
Syracuse University New York 53
Southern Methodist University Dallas 59
University of Washington-Seattle Washington 59
Baylor University Texas 78
Elon University Elon 84
Michigan State University Michigan 85
University of Iowa Iowa 89


Admission Criteria

  • High school graduates
  • Pass GEI English placement test
  • Minimum GPA requirement is 85 (3.3 or B+)
  • For students applying for engineering major, there is a minimum requirement for the average GPA – 90 (3.6, or A) for any 3 out of the 4 courses: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology
  • TOEFL over 75 (no any subsection is below 15 and writing should be over 5.5)

Application Package

  • High School Transcript
  • High School Diploma
  • Official TOEFL/IELTS score  or GEI placement test score
  • Personal Statement
  • Financial Certificate
  • SAT/ACT scores if available
  • Interview (required)

Admission Deadline


Fall I 2022

Fall II 2022 Winter 2022 Spring 2023 Summer 2023
Admission Deadline Rolling Rolling Rolling Rolling Rolling
Start Date Aug. 14 Oct. 14 Jan. 8 Mar. 19 May 21
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