Freshman Year


Freshman Year – The Gateway Program

Our Gateway Program is perfect for international students who dream of studying at an American university. It offers a unique opportunity to start off with a foundational freshman first-year program while preparing to become a second-year student at a leading American university.

Our mission is to ensure our students succeed in their freshman year and strive for their academic goals. Whether a student would like to continue on with Dowling College or aspires to another American university, our dedicated team of professors and academic advisors will guide and support students to prepare them for the American college experience.

During the freshman year, we will help students master the process of writing a college application essay and preparing for the SAT test and TOEFL test. We will also organize visits to a number of American colleges so that our students can find the perfect fit for which university they want to transfer to after their freshman year.

Program Structure

The Gateway Program consists of a broad range of liberal arts courses typical for the freshman year at an American university and which can be incorporated into most undergraduate Bachelor degrees, whether it is in business, sciences, or the arts.

The Gateway Program is designed in such a way that you can choose to start in either February or August, depending on when you are ready.

Admission Criteria

High school diploma

You must submit your high school diploma showing that you are eligible for tertiary education. No minimum GPA is required, but admission is competitive and priority is given to students with higher GPA.

Language requirements

The general admission criterion is a level of English that corresponds to an iBT TOEFL score of 80, PTE 58 or IELTS band 5.0. However, you do not need to submit test scores to be admitted. Upon arrival, all students will undertake a test of English language proficiency. If your score is not satisfactory, you will have to take additional ESL classes. This may defer your completion of the program, because you will not be able to transfer to the second year before satisfactory language criteria are met.


SAT or ACT is NOT required, but if you have taken either test, submit your scores. Good scores will make you eligible for additional scholarships.

Other requirements

In order to enroll you must show proof of compulsory immunization and financial guarantee of at least $36,000.

Costs and Scholarships

Tuition for the Gateway program is $29,000. This includes all courses, test prep, individual consultation on your essay writing, and help with the process of applying as a second-year transfer student to up to five institutions of your choice. Tuition also includes transportation and accommodations for 2–3 arranged campus tours in the Northeast.