Resources for Counselors

Early Start Program

More Information

Visit the CSU Success website for more information about the Early Start Program.

Early Start Campus Contact List

What is the Early Start Program?

Early Start is a requirement for incoming high school students who do not demonstrate readiness for college level English and/or math to begin taking remedial courses before their first term. The goal of the Early Start Program is to better prepare students in math and English before the first semester at the CSU, thereby improving their chances of successfully completing a baccalaureate degree.

What are the CSU Early Start details?

  • Early Start is required for incoming students who have not fulfilled the Entry Level Math (ELM) and or English Placement Test (EPT) proficiency requirements.
  • Early Start takes place the summer before the freshmen year.
  • Upon admission, CSU campuses will inform students who are not exempt, how to sign up for Early Start.
  • Early Start math and English courses are available at every CSU campus and online.

Who must participate in the Early Start Program?


  • Students who do not earn an exemption through EAP, ACT, SAT or AP
  • Students who do not pass the ELM (score of less than 50)


  • Students who do not earn an exemption through EAP, ACT, SAT or AP
  • Students who do not pass the EPT (score of less than 147)

Please note: Conditionally Ready students must participate in the CSU Early Start Program unless they complete an approved senior year-long English and/or math course with a grade of "C" or better or meet other Early Start Program exemptions.

How Can CSU students fulfill the Early Start Program?

The student may complete the Early Start Program at the "destination campus," the CSU to which they have been admitted. This is highly encouraged to afford them an opportunity to integrate into campus and provide the smoothest transition to their fall English or math instruction. Students may also complete the Early Start Program at a "service campus," a campus close to home. A student may also take an online course.

How will the CSU know where the student plans to take the course?

  • The admitting campus will determine if the student needs to participate in the Early Start Program.
  • The student must then inform the campus how they will complete the Early Start Program via the Early Start Smart page.
  • Once the student decides where they will be meeting the requirement, that campus will send the student information and instructions on how, when and where to sign up for Early Start courses.

How much will it cost?

Early Start Programs offered at any of the CSU campuses will have a common fee of $182 per unit and a $2 campus fee and is subject to change based on approved fee increases. Campus parking and course instruction materials may also be charged. California residents or AB 540 students who apply for financial aid and have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,000 or less will be eligible for a waiver of the per unit fee.

Early Start Contact List

Campus Email/Website Phone
Bakersfield Crystal Montoya (661) 654-2193
Channel Islands Early Start Website
Extended University
Smart Page Help

(805) 437-2748
(805) 437-8520
Chico Regional and Continuing Education (530) 898-6105
Dominguez Hills (310) 243-3645
East Bay Early Start (510) 885-3910
Fresno Outreach (559) 278-2048
Fullerton Primary EAP Contact
Admissions Contact
(657) 278-7601
Humboldt Early Start (866) 850-9556
Long Beach Early Start Program (800) 963-2250
Los Angeles ESP Declaration
ESP Registration & Classes
(323) 343-6860
CSU Maritime Academy (707) 654-1330
Monterey Bay (831) 582-3000
Northridge (818) 677-3700
Pomona Ruben Duran (909) 869-4803
Sacramento Early Start Website (916) 278-2600
San Bernardino Early Start Program & Coyote First STEP website  
San Diego
San Diego Imperial Vallery
Shaun Harvey (619) 594-8584
San Francisco Early Start (415) 338-2271
San José Early Start
San Luis Obispo Early Start (805) 756-2053
San Marcos Early Start (760) 750-6060
Sonoma ESP Registration Questions
ESP General Questions
Stanislaus (209) 667-3152