global gateway program

USA education system

American Education System

In the USA, a ‘liberal education’ system means students can study a wide range of courses before choosing a ‘major’ subject. It is also possible to switch major during your undergraduate studies, if you discover a different subject that you excel in or enjoy. This flexibility will give you a broad and varied education. Higher education in the United States is available at both undergraduate and postgraduate - known as ‘graduate’ - level.

The Academic Journey

The first step is to earn an undergraduate degree, called a bachelor’s degree. UVM offers a choice of more than 100 prestigious majors, in areas like business, education, engineering, environment, health, and life sciences. In the USA, undergraduate university study takes three to four years. Graduate programs take three to four semesters to complete at UVM.

Undergraduate Degrees

As a full-time student you’ll build up 15 hours of credit each term, which counts towards your required total of 120 credits. Most undergraduate degrees in the USA are called Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.).

The UVM Global Gateway Program offers pathways to a wide range of majors to prepare for undergraduate study.

Graduate Degrees

Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree may apply to study this for a further degree, called a master’s. Graduate degrees in the USA can be academic (taught) or research-based. Some focus on a specific industry, such as Engineering.

You’ll need to take entrance exams to qualify for graduate school in the USA, including:

• MCAT for medical school
• GMAT for business schools
• LSAT for law school
• GRE for other graduate masters and PhD programs

Learn about our Master's International Year to prepare you for your master's degree at UVM.

Overview of Application Requirements

Universities in the USA have their own individual admission standards. You need to meet the following requirements to study at UVM:

• Grade point average (GPA) or letter average.
• Certain courses studied during high school or any prior education
• Community service and group/club involvement
• Letters of recommendation from your teachers
• English skill exams.

Some UVM schools and colleges require you to meet extra specific requirements. Contact us if you have questions about entry requirements.

Pathway Programs

University preparation for international students

Through the Global Gateway Program, the University of Vermont offers support to help you adjust to studying in the USA. These one, two or three -term programs help to boost your subject knowledge and English language skills.

They also give you a great opportunity to become familiar with the American style of teaching and learning, and settle in to life in the USA. All courses are taught by distinguished UVM faculty, and give you career support to get a head start on your goals for the future.

Students who need additional English language support before beginning a degree can study the GGP Intro.

Teaching, Learning, and Assessment

Teaching in American universities usually involves a combination of teaching formats. Most undergraduate degrees involve regular lectures. Studying at UVM might also include seminars, tutorials, practical work, or fieldwork. Master’s degrees may involve lectures, or they may be based on research only. 

Independent Study

You’ll carry out independent research using the University’s library, online sources and other facilities. Support from tutors will help you develop the skills to manage your own workload.


The type and amount of assessment required will depend on your degree. Assessments may include:

• Coursework
• Project work
• Presentations
• Participation in seminars
• Written assignments / essays
• Practical assessments
• Final dissertation.

UVM Student Success

93% of UVM students are employed or continuing their education within six months of graduating.

Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees

UVM offers the Global Gateway Program leading to both undergraduate and graduate degrees for international students in the USA.


“I think if I went straight to the University without joining the GGP, it might have been more difficult to communicate with other people. The GGP professors are really friendly."

Myat from Myanmar
Studied Global Gateway Program
Now studying Electrical Engineering

Campus Life

At UVM, student life is enriched by our student clubs, support services, and state-of-the-art facilities.

Student Accommodation

UVM has a wide range of housing options, so there is something for everyone. Living in the heart of UVM campus, undergraduates can look forward to comfortable accommodation, and a vibrant campus life. After your first two years, you can choose to move off-campus, to beautiful Burlington.

We are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. See our information for current students, or if your course has not yet started read our FAQs.