Academic Pathway to Towson University

This program thoroughly prepares international students and non-native undergraduate students for academic success by assisting their transition into the United States academic culture.

group of smiling students on campus

The Academic Pathway to Towson University (APTU) supports students by combining academic studies with high-quality English instruction.

If you do not meet the English Proficiency requirements for direct admission, you will be placed in the appropriate level of the Intensive English Program or a level of the Academic Pathway.

If you are at a beginner level of English proficiency, it will be necessary to start your studies in our Intensive English Program, Levels 1 - 3.

If your English is at an intermediate level, you could choose the Academic Pathway to Towson University program, with a combination of academic English language and credit-bearing university courses.

Why Choose the APTU program? 

  • The program gives you the opportunity to begin academic studies at Towson University supported by highly qualified English language teaching specialists.
  • The pathway increases your chances of success at Towson University with courses designed to support your academic development and faculty mentors who understand the challenges of learning a second language and of adjusting to a foreign academic culture.
  • You can earn up to 20 university-level credits while taking intensive academic English coursework.
  • A dedicated academic support advisor will help and support you as you transition through the pathway. 
  • You will be a part of a rich 150-year tradition at Towson University, experiencing the opportunity to study with world-renowned faculty mentors who are driven to see you succeed.

Eligibility & Participation Requirements

If you are academically admissible to Towson University but your English proficiency test scores are just below the requirements for direct admission, then APTU is for you. Review the options below:

Students on this track will take 100% English-only corursework.

Intensive English Program: Levels 1 - 3

Students with foundational levels of English proficiency will begin by taking English only courses in Levels 1 - 3. After completing Level 3 (35-47 iBT, 4.0 -4.5 IELTS), students may either decide to study English exclusively and enroll in Levels 4 and 5 before matriculating to the university, or students may choose the academic pathway (APTU).

Students on this track will take 75% English coursework and 25% credit-bearing courses.

APTU: Level 1

English for Academic Purposes & Up to Four College Credits: Students with intermediate proficiency level scores (48-59 iBT, 4.5-5.0 IELTS) will be enrolled in APTU 1 and will spend 75% of their classroom time focusing on English for academic purposes and 25% of their time pursuing academic undergraduate coursework before continuing on to APTU 2.

Students on this track will take 50% English coursework and 50% credit-bearing courses.

APTU: Level 2

English for Academic Purposes & Up to Eight College Credits: Students with upper intermediate proficiency scores (60-69 iBT, 5.0-6.0 IELTS) will be enrolled in APTU 2 and will spend 50% of their classroom time focusing on English for academic purposes, and 50% of their time pursuing academic undergraduate coursework before continuing on to full time academic studies at the university. Please note: Students who do not meet the graduation requirements for APTU 2 must complete APTU 3. (See below.) 

Students on this track will take 25% English coursework and 75% credit-bearing classes.

APTU: Level 3 

English for Academic Purposes & Up to Ten College Credits:  Students who complete APTU 2 with an overall GPA below 2.5 in their university courses and grades below 80% in their English courses will be enrolled in APTU 3. They will spend 25% of their classroom time focusing on English for academic purposes and 75% of their time pursuing academic undergraduate coursework before continuing on to full time academic classes at the university.

Students may be exempt from the Academic Pathway Program with English proficiency scores that meet or exceed one of the following: TOEFL 70 iBT (Minimum 19 subscores), IELTS 6.0 (Minimum 5.5 bandscores) when they apply to Towson University.

The university reserves the right to make adjustments to the noted admission criteria.