SDSU Undergraduate Pathway Program Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for visiting the Frequently Asked Questions page of the SDSU Undergraduate Pathway Program (UPP)! We will continue updating this page to cover as many questions as possible. If you do not find an answer to your question, please do not hesitate to contact us:

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Q: What are the requirements to join the SDSU UPP?
A: International students who fulfill the following requirements will be eligible to join the SDSU UPP:

  • High school GPA: 3.0/4.0 (80% or above)
  • Proof of minimum English proficiency (TOEFL 49, or IELTS 5.0, or Duolingo 80)

Q: Will I have to select a major for future matriculation into SDSU when applying for the UPP?
A: Yes, you will need to select an intended major in your application.

Q: How do I know which track of UPP I will be placed in?
A: You’ll be placed into one of three different UPP tracks, depending on your current English proficiency level.

  • Track A: TOEFL 71 – 79, or IELTS 6.0, or Duolingo 95 – 100, or
  • Track B: TOEFL 61 – 70, or IELTS 5.5, or Duolingo 85 – 90, or
  • Track C: TOEFL 49 – 60, or IELTS 5.0, or Duolingo 80.

Q: When admitted into the UPP, am I guaranteed admission to San Diego State University?
A: Yes, international students who are accepted by the UPP are guaranteed admission to SDSU upon successful completion of their UPP studies.

Q: How many SDSU credit-bearing classes will I be taking each semester when I am in the UPP?
A: You will take 3 – 12 units of credit-bearing classes, depending on which UPP track you are in:

  • Track A: Up to 12 units (usually 4 credit-bearing classes)
  • Track B: Up to 9 units (usually 3 credit-bearing classes)
  • Track C: Up to 6 units (usually 2 credit-bearing classes)

Q: Do I have to take the maximum number of credit-bearing classes each semester?
A: No, you have the option to take fewer credit-bearing classes if you think doing so will increase your academic performance. For example, if you are in Track A, the maximum number of credit-bearing classes you can take is four, however, you have the option to only take three or even two classes.

Q: Is there a minimum number of credit-bearing classes I must take in UPP?
A: Yes. For students in UPP Track A, the minimum number of credit-bearing classes is two (or 6-units). For students in Tracks B and C, the minimum number of credit-bearing classes is one (or 3-units).

Q: What if I only want to focus on improving my English skills first?
A: After you arrive, and before a set deadline, you will have the option to drop ALL credit-bearing classes from your schedule. That way, you can focus on improving your English skills first. However, in this case, you will be moving to the SDSU Intensive English Program, and your I-20 record will be updated accordingly.

Q: If I decide to drop all of my credit-bearing classes, will I lose my conditional admission to SDSU?
A: No, you will not lose your conditional admission to SDSU. However, conditional admission to SDSU is only valid for two years from the date of issuance.

Q: Who issues my I-20 form?
A: The I-20 form is issued by the Admissions Office of SDSU Global Campus. The level of education will be “ESL Pathway Program.” Both ESL and your intended SDSU major will be included on the form.

Q: How do I maintain my full-time F1 student status if I am not taking 12-unit credit-bearing classes in UPP?
A: All UPP students will be assigned at least two ESL support courses offered by SDSU’s American Language Institute. Additional ESL courses will be assigned to you based on the number of credit-bearing classes you are taking to ensure all UPP students meet full-time status requirements.

Q: Is there any financial aid or scholarships available for UPP students?
A: Financial aid and scholarships are not available for the UPP program.

Progression and Matriculation

Matriculation means you are fully admitted to SDSU’s degree program, usually after you successfully complete at least 1 semester of UPP.

Q: How can I matriculate to SDSU?
A: When you fulfill certain requirements in Track A or B, you will be eligible to matriculate to SDSU in the next available term. Please refer to the UPP website for more details.

Q: How can I progress to a higher track in UPP?
A: When you fulfill certain requirements in Track B or C, you will be eligible to advance into the next track in the next available term. Please refer to the UPP website for more details. 

Q: Once I complete track A, am I eligible to matriculate to SDSU?
A: If you successfully complete track A and fulfill all requirements, then you will be eligible to matriculate to SDSU in the next available term (spring or fall semester).

Q: Will matriculation into some SDSU majors require a higher GPA?
A: Yes, some majors and colleges may require a higher GPA for admission and matriculation in the junior year (3rd year). UPP advisers will make you aware of any higher GPA requirements.

Q: How many semesters do I need to study in UPP before matriculating to SDSU?
A: From one semester to three semesters, depending upon the UPP track in which you begin.

Program and Courses

Q: How do I know what classes I will be taking?
A: Your UPP adviser will provide you with your class schedule, and will go over all course options with you prior to the first day of classes.

Q: Are there different options for classes depending on what major at SDSU I choose?
A: Yes, your UPP adviser will recommend SDSU courses based on your intended major.

Q: Will I be guaranteed a spot in SDSU credit-bearing courses?
A: SDSU credit-bearing courses will be assigned to students in the UPP program, therefore, enrollments in these courses will be guaranteed. However, UPP advisers or professors will have the authority to drop any student from any course if deemed necessary. 

Q: Do grades from my ESL classes affect my future SDSU GPA?
A: Your Grade Point Average (GPA) from your ESL classes will not affect your future SDSU GPA. However, to be eligible to matriculate to SDSU, a student should maintain a minimum of GPA 3.0 (no grades below 2.7) in all ESL classes. 

Q: Are there additional fees charged if I take more units in a semester?
A: The UPP program allows students to take up to 12 units of SDSU courses in one semester. No extra units above this amount will be allowed, and therefore, there will not be any additional fees for tuition per semester. 

Student Support

Q: Is the ALI part of SDSU?
A: Yes. The American Language Institute (ALI) is part of SDSU and is located on the SDSU campus.

Q: Is there anyone to help me with choosing classes?
A: Yes, a UPP adviser will assist you in choosing different classes.

Q: Are there resources for international students once fully matriculated into SDSU?
A: Yes, many. These resources will be introduced to students in the UPP program through various workshops.