Pathway Program

Program Overview

The Pathway Program is a partnership between North Dakota State University and the North Dakota State College of Science that helps prepare eligible students for the academic rigors of college-level coursework.

Applicants who do not meet NDSU's admission guidelines and have a minimum high school cumulative GPA of 2.1 may be invited to participate in the program determined by an internal review from the NDSU Admission Committee. If you apply for admission to NDSU and are identified as someone who would benefit from the Pathway Program, you will receive additional information included with your decision letter, along with instructions to indicate your interest in participation.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have been admitted to the Pathway Program or think you may be eligible, choose a topic below for answers to common questions about the program. 

Campus Services

This sounds a little confusing. Which school do I belong to?

During their time in the Pathway Program, NDSCS serves as students’ “home” campus, and NDSU serves as the “host” campus. In other words, students in the Pathway Program enroll in focused classes at both NDSCS and NDSU in preparation for a successful future transition to full-time status at NDSU. 

What services can I use on each campus?

Students in the Pathway Program are eligible to use services and resources on both campuses. These include tutoring, counseling, and disability services, the NDSU Wallman Wellness Center and Student Health Services, admission to athletic and fine arts events, participation in student organizations, and much more.

Students in the Pathway Program typically live on campus at NDSU, and are subject to the same codes of conduct as full-time NDSU and NDSCS students.

When can I transition to being a full-time student at NDSU?

Students in the Pathway Program typically participate in the program for two or three semesters. To successfully transition to full-time at NDSU, students must pass all applicable academic-readiness courses, and must complete at least 24 college-level credits, earning a minimum combined NDSU and NDSCS cumulative grade point average of 2.0.

Course Placement

How long will I be in the Pathway Program? 

Pathway students are typically enrolled in the program for two or three semesters. 


What courses will I take as a student in the Pathway Program?

The courses students enroll in vary and depend upon a number of factors such as placement exam results, transfer credits, academic interest, and course availability. Students in the Pathway Program may take a combination of academic-readiness courses and focused general education classes through NDSCS-Fargo, located adjacent to the NDSU campus, along with a limited number of focused general education classes at NDSU.


How do you determine what courses will prepare me best?

English and math course placement is based on ACT or SAT sub-scores, the Accuplacer Placement Exam, or other nationally recognized examinations. Students in the Pathway Program have an opportunity to complete the Accuplacer during registration in order to enroll in the proper courses.

Billing and Financial Aid

How am I billed and who do I pay?

Students in the Pathway Program pay NDSCS tuition and fees for all classes taken through NDSCS, and NDSU tuition and fees for all classes taken through NDSU. All costs from both institutions, including tuition, fees, room and board, and the like, are combined and billed through NDSCS.  


Where do I submit my FAFSA? 

Students in the Pathway Program should submit their FAFSA to NDSCS by indicating their school code (002996) on the FAFSA, which can be completed at


Can I receive scholarships while I’m in the Pathway Program?

Students in the Pathway Program may be eligible for NDSCS scholarships and must apply by stated deadlines. You can learn more about your NDSCS scholarship options at


Learn about NDSCS costs

Learn more about NDSU costs