What Is a Pathway Program in Canada?

If you’re an international student, the gap between graduating high school in your home country and being accepted into a post-secondary institution in Canada can feel daunting—thankfully pathway programs exist to help with that. 

But what is a pathway program in Canada? They’re introductory courses designed to help students ace the secondary to post-secondary school transition. They build on the skills you learned in the former so you can get accepted into the latter. 

In this article, we’ll discuss how a pathway program in Canada works, the benefits of enrolling, the different types, and everything else you need to consider! 

Sometimes known as foundation courses, Canada pathway programs are curated to help international students get accepted into post-secondary institutions. 

Most of these institutions have a pre-determined amount of spots in their programs reserved for international students each year. They require international students to complete an English language proficiency test such as the IELTS, however, pathway programs present an alternative to being accepted without typical completion of this certification. 

Here is how it works: 

  • You enrol in a pathway program in Canada
  • The school issuing the pathway has connections to partner universities and colleges and will help you determine which one makes sense for you
  • You complete the requirements of the pathway program
  • Upon completion, you will be accepted into the university or college program
  • You begin your post-secondary education

How Long Do Pathway Programs Take?

What will a pathway program in Canada involve from a time-commitment perspective? Generally, the length will usually depend on your level of English language proficiency; you will write a written test on the first day of the program to determine where you stand. 

Those who score well on this exam could complete their pathway program in as little as eight weeks. Those who score lower might be looking at 20 to 28 weeks. 

An international student holding a flag of Canada outdoors

Image source: Canva

University Pathway Programs

A university pathway program in Canada is for the international student who has graduated high school and is looking to enrol in an undergraduate program at a university or college to receive a diploma or bachelor’s degree. It will teach them the linguistic skills they need and also assist with the application process. 

Graduate Pathway Programs

Also known as pre-masters, graduate Canada pathway programs are for the international student who wants to pursue a master’s degree. International students who already have an undergraduate degree and want to pursue further education would apply for this type of pathway program. Given the difficult nature of these programs, additional language courses can be beneficial. 

Professional Degree Pathway Programs

Similar to graduate pathway programs, this is for the international student who has an undergraduate degree and wants to pursue a professional degree. These include medical school degrees, as well as those in veterinary medicine, dentistry, and architecture. Acceptance into these institutions is incredibly competitive for all students. 

While helping you get accepted into the post-secondary program of your choosing is the most obvious benefit of a pathway program in Canada, you also stand to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to thrive during your studies. 

During a Canada-based pathway program, you will: 

  • Improve your English skills
  • Hone your critical thinking abilities
  • Develop your research skills
  • Learn tips for writing essays and exams
  • Improve your time management
  • Become a more confident presenter

Pathway programs will also often consult with you to determine which of their partner colleges and universities are a great fit for your career aspirations. They may even offer guided tours of these institutions so you can see them for yourself. 

Another valuable part of a pathway program in Canada is getting help with the application process to ensure everything goes according to plan. This can often be confusing, but a designated advisor will help you stay on track so there are no issues with your acceptance. 

A diploma, graduation cap, and notebook on top of a white table

Image source: Canva

Study Permit

Pathway programs are considered full-time studies by the government, meaning international students will require a Canadian study permit. Tuition deposits should be refundable if your permit is not approved. Furthermore, if you intend to work while studying in Canada, you should apply for a work-study permit. 

College and/or University Admission Requirements

While partner school admission requirements will vary depending on the institution, the following is a general framework: 

  • A high school diploma from your home country (for undergraduate programs)
  • A bachelor’s degree from your home country (for graduate/professional degree pathway programs) 
  • A minimum C average for colleges; a minimum B for universities
  • Certificate of pathway program completion or proof of English language proficiency through the completion of the IELTS, TOEFL, or equivalent

So, what is a pathway program in Canada able to offer you? If you’re an international student, it will help you get accepted into a post-secondary institution aligned with your career aspirations—and prepare you to thrive while you’re there. 

ILAC offers Canada’s most complete university pathway program. Whether you’re looking for an undergraduate, master’s, or professional degree, one of our 100+ partner colleges and universities is sure to be a perfect fit. Our small classroom sizes and inclusive teaching methods can have you on your way in as little as eight weeks

If you’d like additional advice on which pathway program in Canada is the best fit for you, we encourage you to reach out to one of our advisors today!

Enjoy this post? Please share!

Instagram

Facebook

19 hours ago

If you’re in Canada with a valid study permit, you’ll love our newest promo! 🥳 Apply to any ILAC International College or Tamwood Careers program in Toronto for a 2024 start date and save up to CAD $ 3000 in tuition💰 But that’s not everything! We’re offering either 4 weeks of ILAC KISS FREE OR FREE visa extension services* to make sure you have everything you need to succeed and have the best experience. Promo is only valid until June 30, 2024, so hurry up and apply today! 🎓 Don’t hesitate to contact [email protected] if you have any questions or are ready to apply. Note: *Maximum fee for immigration services is CAD $500. Promo is valid for students eligible to change status from TRV/ETA to Study Permit from within Canada or for extension of a valid Study Permit. Immigration Services Inside Canada are provided through ILAC’s immigration partner firm. Services offered in Persian (Farsi), Vietnamese, Hindi, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Polish, Chinese, and Cantonese. #iloveilac #studyincanada #englishincanada #thinkilac #ilactoronto #ilaccanada #ilacvancouver ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

3 days ago

ILAC KISS Pathway Program is going global! 🗺️Introducing new KISS Global Pathway Partner Full Sail University!📍Full Sail University is in Winter Park Florida in the United States.Full Sail University offers campus and online degree programs that are designed for the world of entertainment media and emerging technologies. Their programs include associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Full Sail's approach is centered on real-world industry experience and creative problem solving. Some of their accolades include: “Apple Distinguished School” by Apple for 2022-2025, named one of “Top Music Business Schools” by Billboard Magazine in 2022, “Top Rank: Cyber-Security/AI Degree programs” by Florida Trend in 2021 and 2022, “Top Game Design Schools” by The Princeton Review in 2023, “Top 50 Film Schools” by the Wrap Magazine in 2022, just to name a few.To learn more about this partnership, contact [email protected]!#ilac #iloveilac #ilacpathway #pathwaykissisgoingglobal #pathwaykiss #eslonline #pathwayonline ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

5 days ago

ILAC KISS Pathway Program is going global! 🗺️Introducing new KISS Global Pathway Partner EU Business School!📍Eu Business School has campuses in Barcelona, Geneva and Munich, as well as a Digital Campus.EU Business School offers English-taught foundation, bachelor’s, master’s and MBA programs in subjects which foster entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership and are highly sought-after by businesses. These include business administration, communication & public relations, international business, digital business, sports management, marketing, finance and enterprise, among others.EU has been awarded a four-star rating in business school excellence by the world-renowned QS Stars Rating. CEO Magazine ranked their Online MBA program number one in the world, and their presential MBA programs in the top tier for global and European MBA programs.To learn more about this partnership, contact [email protected]! ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

6 days ago

The ILAC Student College & University Fair is coming! This special Student Fair is an opportunity to apply to 20+ colleges and universities on the spot with the help of experts.Join us at ILAC Growth Campus on Friday, April 26th between 12:30pm - 4 pm and you’ll have the chance to win 4 weeks of a FREE CELPIP or IELTS preparation course at ILAC Night School!🏆Register HERE: ilac.com/student-fair-2024/Seats are limited!#iloveilac #studentfair #CPFWorld2024 #ILACNightSchool #IELTS #CELPIP ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook