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Pathway to Boise State


Do you want to study at Boise State University, but you don’t have high enough TOEFL or IELTS test scores?
Boise State University’s Pathway Program may be for you.

If your English proficiency score is below 68 TOEFL or 6.0 IELTS, but you meet the international admission requirements for Boise State University, then you may apply for the Pathway Program.

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Complete the Boise State University Pathway Program to:

  • Take academic English classes and undergraduate courses at the same time;
  • Improve your English language skills;
  • Earn university credits;
  • Get academic support and ongoing cultural immersion;
  • Receive full admission to Boise State University;
  • Prepare for success at Boise State University and beyond.
Apply Now

Pathway Program at a Glance

Three different starting points
depending on placement.

Extended Path

3 Semesters

Entrance Requirements:

  • Boise State academic admission
  • IELTS 4.5; TOEFL 38-44; Duolingo 65-74
  • Placement into IEPATH 030 courses

Required Courses

  • 6 ESL courses
  • Total = 20 clock hours

Also must complete: Standard & Accelerated Paths to meet Boise State admission requirements

Standard Path

2 Semesters

Entrance Requirements:

  • Boise State academic admission
  • IELTS 5.0; TOEFL 45-61; Duolingo 75-85
  • Placement into IEPATH 040 courses

Required Courses

  • 5 ESL & 1 academic course
  • Total = 20 clock hours

Also must complete: Accelerated Path to meet Boise State admission requirements

Accelerated Path

1 Semester

Entrance Requirements:

  • Boise State academic admission
  • IELTS 5.5; TOEFL 62-67; Duolingo 86-99
  • Placement into IEPATH 150 courses

Required Courses

  • 3 ESL & 2 academic courses
  • Total = 16 clock hours

Boise State admission: Full Boise State admission upon completion of this path

Boise State Pathway Program Course of Study


General Information

How much does the Pathway Program cost?

The cost of the Pathway Program is the regular amount for non-resident students, minus a scholarship for Pathway Program students, which is a discount of approximately 30%.
Contact us for current costs.
Costs do not include additional course fees, books, housing, or living costs.

When can I begin the Pathway Program?

New applicants to the Pathway Program can begin in Fall (August) or Spring (January) semesters. Admitted students can enroll in Summer classes.

How long does it take to do the Pathway Program plus an undergraduate degree?

There are two programs to consider: the Pathway Program duration plus BSU undergraduate study.
When you join the Pathway Program, it typically takes 1 to 3 semesters, depending on placement. In the Standard and Accelerated tracks, you will also earn some BSU credit toward your degree.
An undergraduate degree in the USA is sometimes called a “four-year degree.” Four years is typical, but some people are able to finish a little sooner and some people take longer.


If I have the TOEFL or IELTs test scores, am I guaranteed placement into the Pathway Program?

No. You must place into the Pathway classes. You will take Pathway placements tests during orientation. If you are already studying in the IEP, your teachers will make the recommendation.

What if my scores are lower than the Pathway Program requirements?

If your scores are lower than the Pathway Program minimum scores, you can take courses at BSU’s Intensive English Program (IEP). You can study in the IEP until you meet the Pathway Program admission requirements.

When do I choose my BSU academic class or classes? What classes can I take?

You will work with the Pathway Program director to choose classes during orientation week. You will first need to be placed into a Pathway “track” (level). The director will then help you navigate the BSU enrollment system and find appropriate classes to take.
Available classes are usually 100-level (first year) classes, across several departments. Past options have included classes in business, art, music, communication, linguistics, and even Spanish! Classes in science and math often require an additional placement test.

As a Pathway Program student

As a Pathway student, am I considered a full-time degree-seeking student?

Yes. While studying in the Pathway Program, your major will be IEP. Upon completion of the Program, you can declare your undergraduate major.

Once I complete the Pathway Program, will I be fully admitted to Boise State University?


Will I earn BSU credits?

You can earn up to 31 undergraduate credits in the Standard and Accelerated tracks. The Extended track earns no BSU credits.

How many non-Pathway undergraduate classes can I take at Boise State while I am studying in the Pathway Program? 

That depends on which level of the Pathway track you are studying:

  • Accelerated: 2 undergraduate courses and 3 Pathway courses (Total = 16 credit hours: 16 clock hours)
  • Standard: 1 undergraduate course and 5 Pathway courses (Total = 5 credit hours: 20 clock hours)
  • Extended: 0 undergraduate courses and 6 Pathway courses (Total = 0 credit hours; 20 clock hours)

Once I complete the Pathway Program, do I have to apply to Boise State? 

No. You will only need to complete one application.

What support will I receive as a Pathway Program student?

  • Helpful new-student orientation;
  • Highly-qualified and dedicated instructors;
  • On-going academic and cultural advising;
  • Specialized workshops;
  • American conversation partners;
  • On-campus housing (optional; extra fees apply);
  • Fun social events and program field trips;
  • Free public transportation;
  • Use of computer labs and library.

Life as a Pathway Program student

Can I live on campus?

Yes, but housing is extremely limited, so it is important to apply for housing early. Please communicate to us if you are interested in campus housing.

What student benefits do I receive as a Pathway Student?

Pathway Program students are entitled to all services as regularly-admitted BSU students. This includes a Recreation Center membership, tickets to sporting events, library use, academic support, and student clubs.

Can I work while studying in the Pathway Program?

Students with an F-1 visa are eligible to work on campus up to twenty hours per week while classes are in session (and up to 40 hours per week on breaks).

What health insurance do I need?

Health insurance is mandatory for international students at BSU. You will be automatically enrolled in a student health insurance plan and the cost will be part of your Pathway Program student tuition & fees. The cost is higher for the Spring semester because it includes Summer semester. You cannot waive this insurance fee.