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INTO USF Graduate Pathway Program A Welcome Guide for New Students


WELCOME TO INTO USF! THE GRADUATE PATHWAY PROGRAM Welcome, New Students! The Graduate Pathway Team would like to personally welcome you and congratulate you on your admission to the Graduate Pathway Program! This Welcome Guide contains important information about what to expect during your time in the Pathway Program and is designed to help you better prepare for your arrival. Please complete any required forms provided in the Pre-Arrival Checklist on the next few pages. We are very excited for your arrival and look forward to meeting you at the INTO USF Orientation! Sincerely, The Graduate Pathway Team


TABLE OF CONTENTS Pathway Program Progression Requirements

Pg 4

Testing Requirements

Pg 5

Important Dates

Pg 6

Pre-Arrival Checklist

Pg 7

Forms You Must Sign

Pg 8

Documents to Bring

Pg 10


Pg 12

Academic Advising

Pg 16

INTO Faces

Pg 18

Self Care

Pg 20

Adjusting to a New Culture

Pg 22

Navigating American Culture

Pg 24

Graduate School Expectations

Pg 26

Recommended Reading List

Pg 27

Student Organizations

Pg 28

Academic Integrity

Pg 30

Course Schedule

Pg 31

Locating and Purchasing Textbooks

Pg 32

Tobacco Policy

Pg 33

Optional Practical Training

Pg 36

Glossary of Terms

Pg 37


PROGRESSION REQUIREMENTS PROGRESSING TO USF Students in the Graduate Pathway Program must meet the following progression requirements to obtain admission into their respective graduate programs at USF: • 3.25 Minimum GPA • At least one “A” grade in a 3-credit course • No grades lower than a “B” (no “B-” grades) • No “Incomplete” or “Withdraw” grades • GMAT or GRE score (if required by program) Detailed progression requirements and GMAT/GRE score requirements are outlined on each program’s Progression Agreement Form, located on page 9 in this guide. Questions about progression requirements can be emailed to your Pathway Advisor.


TESTING TESTING REQUIREMENTS TESTINGREQUIREMENTS REQUIREMENTS » GRE / GMAT What are the GRE & GMAT exams? The GRE and GMAT are standardized exams used by graduate institutions to assess their applicants’ readiness for the intellectual rigors of graduate school. They are designed to test your math, language, and reasoning skills.

What’s the difference between them? The GMAT is the preferred exam for business schools, while the GRE is used for most other graduate degree programs. Some programs accept scores from either test. While both tests evaluate similar skills, they are formatted differently and feature different question types.

Who has to take the test? If your program has a GRE/GMAT score requirement, then you must reach it by the deadline in order to be eligible for progression. If you have already achieved a score, email a PDF to

How can I get more information on the test? You will receive an email with information and study tools from the testing advisor. You can send any additional questions you have to the testing advisor:

START STUDYING NOW Testing Deadline: 05/04/2020 (Accelerated)

The GRE & GMAT are very challenging—even for native English speakers! Maximize your study time by STUDYING IN ENGLISH! Learn the basics at home: (GRE) (GMAT) Then master the test with the INTO USF Test Prep Team!



January 7-10, 2020

First Day of Classes

January 13, 2020

Last Day to Make Schedule Changes

January 17, 2020

Supplemental Documents for Accelerated Students are Due

May 4, 2020

GRE scores for Accelerated Students are Due

May 4, 2020

GMAT scores for Accelerated Students are Due

May 4, 2020

Progression Decision Timeline for Progressing Students

May 15-22, 2020

ATTENTION! • Changing your major is NOT possible once you arrive at INTO USF. If you are interested in changing your program, please email as soon as possible. • Changing from the Standard Pathway (2 semesters) to Accelerated Pathway (one semester) is not possible after you arrive at INTO. If you want to make the change, email your request to as soon as possible.


GET READY! PREPARE FOR YOUR ARRIVAL INTO USF strives to ensure a smooth arrival and orientation for all new students. It is vital that you read any emails you receive from the different offices at INTO USF so that you do not miss any important information or deadlines.

We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve your goals of completing the Graduate Pathway Program and pursuing your graduate degree at the University of South Florida!



DOCUMENT TO SIGN The Progression Agreement Contract outlines the minimum requirements for successful completion of the Pathway Program. Read the agreement carefully and submit it before you arrive at INTO USF.

College of Education

College of Business

Exercise Science

Business Analytics and Information Systems

C&I: Biology Education

Business Administration (MBA)

C&I: Chemistry Education

Entrepreneurship in Applied Technologies

C&I: Math Education


C&I: Physics Education


C&I: Instructional Technology



College of the Arts

Program Development: Educational Innovation


Learning Design & Technology


Urban and Community Design


College of Arts and Science

College of Global Sustainability

Liberal Arts (American Studies, Film Studies, Humanities)

Global Sustainability


College of Engineering


Biomedical Engineering

Environment Science and Policy

Chemical Engineering


Computer Science/ Engineering


Electrical Engineering


Engineering Management

Mass Communications

Civil/Environmental Engineering


Industrial Engineering


Information Technology


Materials Science and Engineering

Religious Studies

Mechanical Engineering


College of Pharmacy

Urban and Regional Planning

Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology



Bring two (2) copies of your official transcripts in a sealed envelope. Do not open your sealed transcripts or let anyone else (except the transcripts & evaluation team).

 Supplemental Documents Supplemental Documents are: * Letters of recommendation * Resumes * Statements of purpose 

If your program requires that you submit supplemental documents, be sure to bring extra copies. Do not turn in your supplemental documents at orientation. You will have to submit these copies to your advisor.



ORIENTATION WHAT TO EXPECT All new students beginning the Pathway Program are required to attend INTO USF Orientation. The goal of Orientation is to familiarize you with the resources available to assist you with your academic, immigration, and personal needs. During the “Meet Your Academic Advisor” session, students will: • Meet their Academic Advisors and learn about how they can assist students in meeting academic goals. • Learn more about progression requirements, graduate school expectations, and culture shock. • Learn about the technology used in the Pathway Program and have time to answer any questions you may have. It is very important that you attend the “Meet Your Academic Advisor” session presented by your assigned Pathway Advisor and ALL other required sessions so that you receive information specific to your program.

Orientation is an opportunity for meeting other incoming Pathway students as well as student leaders, so be prepared to make new friends and have fun!


GRE / GMAT PRACTICE TEST: Students with GRE or GMAT testing requirements will take a practice test during Orientation in the USF Library’s SMART Lab. Your practice test scores will be used to evaluate your skills and develop an effective study plan based on your specific needs. PRACTICE: Your Orientation test will give you a baseline score and help you identify competencies for improvement. Do your best, so you know what your best is!

PREPARE: During the semester, you’ll work with the INTO USF Test Prep Team to strengthen your skills and build strategies before you take the official test.

PROGRESS: By the end of your time in the Pathway Program, you’ll be ready to reach your target test score! Use all of your resources to achieve success!

Successful GRE/GMAT preparation starts at Orientation! Watch this video for a glimpse of what former INTO USF students experienced at their Orientation!


ACADEMIC ADVISING THE PATHWAY ADVISOR’S ROLE The Graduate Pathway Advisor’s role is to help students successfully progress to USF and ensure that students enjoy a fulfilling experience during their time in the program. It is therefore important that you meet with your Pathway Advisor regularly throughout the semester. The advisor-student relationship is a team effort in which both parties hold important responsibilities: The role of the Pathway Advisor is to inform students of INTO USF and University-related policies and procedures, help students understand program progression requirements, and promote self-sufficiency in students as they prepare for progression.

Likewise, the role of the student is to inform his or her Pathway Advisor of any challenges or concerns and to actively participate in the educational experience.


Your Pathway Advisor is here to assist you with any concerns you may encounter throughout your time in the Pathway Program. It is important that students keep their Pathway Advisors informed and are strongly encouraged to contact them in the event that: • You are ill and are not able to attend classes for an extended period of time.

• You have a family emergency that requires you to travel during the semester. • You experience difficulty in your coursework. • You experience any other type of issue and are not sure what to do. Pathway Advisors value the success of their students, so be sure to share your accomplishments with your Advisor along the way!


GRADUATE ADVISORS Academic Advisor College of Business

Testing Advisor Any Program with testing requirements

Academic Advisor College of Engineering

Academic Advisor College of the Arts College of Arts and Science College of Education College of Global Sustainability College of Pharmacy



Welcome to Pathway!

We are thrilled to be working with you on your journey to getting a degree at USF. We enjoy helping students learn and watching them meet their goals in classes and their new community.

We are glad that we get the opportunity to support your goals and answer questions that you may have about resources at INTO, the campus, and surrounding area! Our advice to Pathway students is to know and use these resources. There are many people and services available to help you succeed, so don’t be afraid to ask for help! GO BULLS!



Jenny Schultz Associate Director Pathway Program

Jordan Walters Assistant Director INTO Tutoring Center

Karolina Goldberg Assistant Director Graduate Pathway Pro-

Mary-Ellen Smith Senior International Advisor



Nicole La Baw Lead Office Specialist

Brian Goercke Student Services Manager

Hong Wu Fiscal and Business Assistant

Julaina Webber Wellness & Welfare Specialist



You are about to experience an exciting but stressful time as you begin your studies abroad. It will be very important that you maintain your health and wellbeing so that you have an enjoyable and successful experience in the Pathway Program. The USF Wellness Center offers services and resources to help students develop a healthy lifestyle. Sit back and relax while you enjoy a

free five-minute massage in one of the high-tech Brookstone massage chairs. A quick massage can be a great way for you to reduce your stress and improve your mood.

Have some free time between classes? Stop in and get moving with our Xbox Kinect. Choose from games like Kinect Sports, Dance Marathon, Sonic the Hedgehog, Star Wars, and more. Bring your friends and challenge each other!


Have trouble falling asleep at night? Have a loud roommate? Stop by to pick up your very own Sleep Pack, which includes a pair of ear plugs, an eye mask, some sleepy-time tea, tips, and resources.

Stop by for a quick visit to check your weight and make sure your blood pressure is in a safe range.

Free sexual health resources are available to students. Choose from a variety of condoms, dental dams, and lubricants. Have questions about sexual health? The Health Promotion Specialist or trained REACH Peer Educator can answer your questions!

This short video will help you understand the warning signs and myths about self care and mental health.



Culture Shock can result in feelings of isolation, confusion, and distress following the move to a new country. Most students will experience Culture Shock during their first semester. Culture Shock can cause students to: •

lose motivation to study

disconnect from friends

stop completing homework

stop attending class

feel very tired in class

earn failing grades

lose interest in academics

wish to return home

The more you are aware of the impact that Culture Shock can have on you, the easier it will be for you to adjust to a new culture. Read the infographic on the next page to learn about the different stages of Culture Shock.


WHAT TO EXPECT HONEYMOON: Everything is wonderful, new, and exciting!

DISTRESS: You notice all the negatives of the new culture. You may feel extreme homesickness, loneliness, and loss of identity. ADJUSTMENT: Things are improving; you are adjusting to the new culture. ACCEPTANCE: You have accepted the positives and negatives of the new culture and are able to navigate the new culture with ease.


You are not alone! Your Advisor can help you cope with Culture Shock, show you how to balance your academic and personal life, and direct you to helpful resources on campus!


NAVIGATING AMERICAN CULTURE ADJUSTING TO CULTURE IN THE UNITED STATES Adjusting to a new culture can be challenging. Here are some customs to be aware of and tips to help you once you arrive in the U.S. You will likely find familiar cuisines around USF and the Tampa area. However, restaurants adjust flavors to the American palate so the food may not be as spicy or flavorful as you remember your home meals to be. It’s important to address an individual by the correct title when corresponding through email, phone, or in a face-to-face conversation. This chart will help you identify some of the more common titles you will use on a daily basis. Individual Man–married or single

Proper Title Mr. [mis-ter]

Woman–single/marital status is unknown Ms. [mis] Woman–married

Mrs. [mis-iz, miz-iz]

College level teacher


If professor has a doctorate degree

Dr. [dok-ter]


Waiting staff should be tipped 15-20% of the total bill, depending on quality of service.

Most restaurants are casual, and allow shorts and tee-shirts. Call the restaurant if you’re not sure about the dress code.

When meeting someone new, make eye contact, smile, and introduce yourself. Many people also shake hands.

Americans feel most comfortable when there are 2 to 4 feet of space between themselves and the person they are speaking with.

Be on time or early for meetings and appointments. Americans like to stick to a schedule.

Americans value good manners—use “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me” when appropriate.


GRADUATE SCHOOL EXPECTATIONS OF GRADUATE STUDENTS Graduate students are expected to be familiar with the appropriate behaviors, communication etiquette, and academic expectations observed at the University of South Florida. • Professors will expect you to meet with them or ask questions if you don’t understand something in your course. You can ask general questions in class or meet with professors during office hours with questions that are specific to you. • Read the syllabus carefully and follow instructions exactly as written. Consult the syllabus before asking the professor questions about an assignment. The answer may be in the syllabus.

• Be respectful toward your professors. “Yes” means yes and “No” means no. Avoid arguing or complaining about the professor’s expectations or course requirements.


5 Tips for Success in Graduate School MANAGE YOUR TIME


Use an online calendar to access information on your appointments and assignment due dates on the go.


TAKE RESPONSIBILITY If you need help, it is up to you to ask for it and to use the resources provided.


PERSEVERE Understand that setbacks are a natural part of graduate school. Be persistent. Each day is an opportunity to start fresh.


CELEBRATE Take the time to acknowledge your accomplish-

ments and reward yourself for your successes.


TAKE BREAKS Make time in your schedule to relax and have fun with friends and family. Icons Designed by Freepik and distributed by Flaticon Icons Designed by Freepik and distributed by Flaticon


RECOMMENDED READING LIST For more information about American culture and graduate school expectations in the US, read some of the articles and books below.

American Culture Understanding American Culture: Tips for Acclimating to US Daily Life Topics in this article include demeanor, personal space, having good relationships with Americans, greetings, and much more! American Ways: An Introduction to American Culture (4th Edition) Readers will learn to enhance their critical thinking, reading, and writing skills, while learning about American Culture. (You will need to purchase this book or find it online.)

Graduate School Expectations Communication Strategies for International Graduate Students: Surviving and Thriving in American Academia This manual gives information about American Culture, Educational Assumptions, Improving English Skills, and much more! Getting Ahead as an International Student This book explains how you will be expected to learn and study while in the U.S., how you can develop your skills to excel as an independent learner, and why universities use different methods of teaching.



Student organizations are a great way for new students to get involved on campus. From academic and professional organizations and special interest groups to fraternities and sororities and multicultural student organizations, there are so many ways to get involved! With over 100 student organizations, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy.

To find out more about USF’s student organizations as well as campus events and service opportunities, visit BullSync under “Student Organizations” in MyUSF.




Plagiarism is the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as your own work. Schools in the United States do not tolerate academic dishonesty and will impose serious consequences on students who plagiarize in their work.

Plagiarism includes: • Copying phrases, sentences, or paragraphs directly from a source without referencing where you found the information. • Copying another student’s homework. • Having another student write a paper for you. • Reusing a paper that you submitted in another class.

This video will help you understand different types of Plagiarism.


Watch this video tutorial on USF’s Academic Integrity, then take the quiz!

Consequences for plagiarizing may include: • Receiving a “0” or “F” grade on the plagiarized assignment. • Receiving an “F” grade in the class.

• Receiving an “FF” on academic transcript, which will signify plagiarism to any other school the student applies to. • Suspension or expulsion from USF, which could result in the loss of student visa. Don’t worry! Help is available!

• INTO USF Tutoring Center offers workshops and tools • Click here for guides on avoiding plagiarism • Click here for USF’s Academic Integrity Policy


COURSES Course Selection: Depending on your program, you may not be able to choose courses yourself while in the Pathway Program or once you progress to USF. Some majors require a strict set of courses, while others are more flexible with electives. Also, course options can be limited by availability. Consult with your Pathway Advisor regarding the degree program of your major. Changing your Course Schedule Schedule changes can only be made the first week of classes (Add/ Drop Week). Not all students are eligible to change courses. See your Pathway Advisor during walk-in hours the first week of classes to see if you are eligible for a schedule change. Online courses: Pathway Program students are not permitted to take online courses. Once you progress to USF, see International Services for more information on eligibility for online courses. Credits Per Semester: The minimum number of credits per Spring and Fall semester for all Graduate International Students is 9 credits. The exception is summer and the last semester of your degree program. Summer Courses: Not all students are eligible to take summer courses while in the Pathway Program. Consult your Pathway Advisor for further information on summer courses.


COURSE SCHEDULE REVIEW YOUR COURSE REGISTRATION In order to be registered for classes, it is important that you submit

your immunization records. We recommend that you send your records to as soon as possible so we can register you for the classes you need.

Follow these steps to access your course schedule online: Step 1: Visit Step 2: Enter your Net ID and Password and click “Sign In.” Step 3: Click on “My Resources” and select “OASIS.” Step 4: Click “Student” and select “Registration.” Step 5: Click on “Student Detail Schedule.”

ATTENTION! Course registration is subject to change up until the first week of classes. Be aware before purchasing textbooks!


PURCHASING TEXTBOOKS TEXTBOOK LOCATION INFORMATION It is recommended that students begin familiarizing themselves with the content of the textbooks in their courses. You will need your course registration information to locate your textbooks. Follow these steps to locate and purchase your textbooks through the USF Bookstore: Step 1: Visit Step 2: Enter the necessary information for each course. For example, to look up a textbook for the course below, you would select “EEL” as the Department, “5250” as the Course, and “1” as the Section from the provided drop-down menus.





EEL 5250


Class Lecture

Power System Analysis


ATTENTION USF IS A SMOKE-FREE CAMPUS USF is committed to providing a healthy and enjoyable environment for learning, living, and working. Smoking and use of tobacco products are not allowed in any indoor or outdoor area, including parking garages, grounds, sidewalks, or recreational areas.

Policy Highlights • The Tobacco and Smoke Free Policy applies to anyone present on USF property (students, faculty, staff, visitors, etc.). • "Smoking" is defined as inhaling, exhaling, burning, carrying, or possessing any lighted type of matter or substance that contains tobacco and all tobacco-derived products. • Policy prohibits the use of e-cigarettes and related devices. • "Tobacco Use" is also prohibited, which includes smokeless tobacco, such as chewing tobacco.

Complete policy: Here Campus boundaries map: Here Resources: Here

Respect the Rules. Respect Others. Live with Honor.


OPTIONAL PRACTICAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS Optional Practical Training (OPT) is offered through the USF Office of International Services. This program is designed for international students who are interested in completing an internship related to their field of study and will need to obtain a work visa.

Students who complete the Pathway Program and progress to the University will be eligible for OPT after completing one academic year (two semesters) at USF. Please be advised that semesters completed during Pathway do not count towards OPT eligibility.

Click here for additional information on OPT eligibility.


GLOSSARY OF TERMS Accelerated Pathway Program: one-semester program in which students take courses in their chosen department and must successfully complete all progression requirements by the end of their first semester in order to be admitted to USF. Add/Drop week: the first week of classes when schedules can be adjusted without penalty. Students in the Pathway Program must meet with their advisor to request schedule changes. Core Course: a course required for the completion of a degree. Department: a division of a university devoted to a particular academic discipline. Electives: courses students can take for credit toward their degree, but are not part of the required course list. Grades: a score or mark (A, B, C, D, F) indicating a student’s academic performance on an assessment, paper, or in a course. See USF’s grading system for more information. GPA (Grade point average): a student's overall academic performance. A GPA is a conversion of the letter grade to a 4.0 grading score and averaged by the total credits taken. Pass/Fail: a grading system that results in either a pass or a fail grade, rather than a specific score or letter grade. At USF, this system results in an S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory). If you are in the Standard Pathway Program, your English course is a pass/fail course.


Prerequisite: a required course that must be completed before a student is allowed to enroll in a more advanced one. Progression: successful completion of the Pathway Program and admission to USF.

Progression Requirements: the requirements that students in the Pathway Program must meet in order to be fully admitted to USF. See your Progression Agreement to determine the requirements for your program. Standard Pathway Program: two-semester program in which students take courses in their chosen department as well as English for Academic Purposes courses. Students must successfully complete all progression requirements by the end of their second semester in order to be admitted to USF.

Supplemental Documents: documents such as resume, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose which must be submitted to meet progression requirements. See your Progression Agreement to determine which documents (if any) need to be submitted. Transcript: a certified copy of a student’s educational record containing titles of courses, the number of credits, and the final grades in each course. Waiver: the act of choosing not to require something that is usually required. Students in the Standard Pathway Program receive a TOEFL waiver upon successful completion of English courses. Withdraw: to formally stop participating in a course or attending a university. Students in the Pathway Program may not withdraw from a course. Withdrawal from the Pathway Program requires a meeting with your Academic Advisor, Immigration Advisor, and the INTO Finance Office.


Credit: University of South Florida


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