About the Early Start Program
The Early Start Program is a CSU enrollment requirement for First-time Freshmen who need to improve their skills in English and mathematics the summer prior to fall entry*. The goal of Early Start is to better prepare you for a successful academic experience.
*If you are not otherwise exempt, Early Start is required if you meet any of the below:
English Placement Test (EPT) Score = Less than 147
Entry Level Math (ELM) Score = Less than 50
Conditional EAP, ACT, SAT = If not in an approved course senior year and passed with a "C" grade or better in both terms in English or math.
You have the option of taking your Early Start courses at Stanislaus State, another CSU, or a community college (with prior approval). Please note that some CSU campuses offer online Early Start classes. Stanislaus State does not have online Early Start classes.
Confirm April 1- June 9
Indicate where you will complete your Early Start requirement at my.csustan.edu. The Smart Page is only available after accepting admission.
Register TBD - June 30
Follow the registration instructions of the CSU or community college selected. For Stanislaus State, allow 24 hours after completing your Smart Page to register.
Pay- If required
If you are not eligible for the Early Start financial aid fee waiver you must pay the by specified deadline or you will be dropped from your class(es).
Participation & Exceptions
You must complete the CSU Early Start Program by:
- Completing an on-campus course at Stanislaus State,
- Complete a course at another CSU close to you (classes available online) or
- Complete a course at a California community college - call (209) 667-3152 for prior approval
Click here for the CSU statewide Early Start Program schedule, including Stanislaus State courses. The summer schedule should become available by February. If interested in taking a community college course, you must follow their registration timeline and requirements, which may require taking their placement test.
Early Start is a requirement for Fall enrollment. However, if you have circumstances beyond your control that prevent you from participating in any Early Start class, you must submit a written appeal to firstname.lastname@example.org. The appeal must be typed and it must include the extenuating circumstance that you feel shows your inability to participate in the Early Start Program. All appeal requests are due by June 2, 2017.
Students in the following categories are automatically waived from Early Start:
- EOP Summer Bridge Program participants (English and Math)
- International students (English and Math) and
- Non California residents (English and Math).
As soon as the EOP office notifies Admissions of your official program participation, your Smart Page will be updated to reflect the campus waiver. International and non-residents do not have to take any action.
If you will be taking Early Start at another CSU, you should receive registration and payment (if not eligible for the Early Start financial aid waiver) instructions from that campus.
View the CSU statewide Early Start Program schedule and search for the CSU you have selected to find their class offerings. Even though Early Start is a statewide program, each CSU campus offers a different Early Start course, including different numbering and titles. On the statewide schedule you will find course descriptions that include eligible EPT/ELM scores to help you choose a class. Information on whether 1) a course will only satisfy the Early Start requirement (there is no possibility of “moving up”) or 2) satisfies the EPT/ELM requirement (if passed you "move up") is also included. Classes are offered throughout the summer, but classes fill up fast so register no later than the date listed above.
If you are looking for an online Early Start course, you can search by subject and filter the results by clicking on the header titled “Online?”.
Community College Option If you will be taking Early Start at a California community college, you must first receive approval by calling (209) 667-3152. You will need to follow the community college’s registration and payment timeline, which may require submitting an admission application and taking their placement test(s).
Community college courses that will be approved meet the below conditions:
- 1 level below General Education English Composition
- 1 or 2 levels below General Education Mathematics
Upon completion of the course you must request official transcripts to be sent to:
CSU Stanislaus Admissions Office One University Circle Turlock, CA 95382
Courses at Stan State
View the CSU statewide Early Start Program schedule, including Stanislaus State courses.
Please note that the following information about placement is intended for students attending Stanislaus State in the Fall. Students fulfilling their Early Start requirement for another CSU, in most cases, are best served taking the 1 unit options, but if you have questions about the 3 and 4 unit options, you can call Admissions at (209) 667-3152.
|ELM score range||Highly recommended||Alternative|
|0 - 32||ESM 103 (4 units)||ESM 99 (1 unit)|
|34 - 48||ESM 106 (4 units)||ESM 99 (1 unit)|
|50 & above||Exempt from Early Start|
ESM 0103 - Pre- and Beginning Algebra (4 units)
Students earning CR in ESM 0103 advance to the next level of remediation, either MATH 0106 or Math 0110 (for math and science majors). Students who have not made sufficient progress for improved math placement receive a grade of RP, which means you have satisfied the Math Early Start requirement but have not advanced to the next level of remediation. Students with an RP will need to take Math 0103 in the Fall.
ESM 0106 - Intermediate Algebra for Non-Math/Sci (4 units)
Students earning CR in ESM 0106 have completed remediation and are eligible for GE level mathematics in the Fall. Students who have not made sufficient progress for improved math placement receive a grade of RP, which means you have satisfied the Math Early Start requirement but have not completed remediation. Students with an RP will need to either take Math 0106 or Math 0110 (for math and science majors) in the Fall.
ESM 0099 - College Prep Math (1 unit)
Most students will receive a grade of RP, satisfying the Math Early Start requirement, in this 2 week course. With extra effort, students can receive a grade of CR based on their final placement score, which means they advance to the next level of remediation. Your instructor will give you specific information about your final placement at the end of the course.
|EPT score range||Highly recommended||Alternative|
|0 - 146||ESE 1000 (3 units)||ESE 110 (1 unit)|
|147 and above||Exempt from Early Start|
ESE 0110 - Composition Workshop (1 unit)
ESE 1000 - Introduction to Composition (3 units)
The Early Start English courses only satisfy the Early Start requirement. Since Stanislaus State has implemented a Directed Self-Placement option for first-year composition, you have the opportunity to make your own decision about which composition course to enroll in after completing Early Start. If ESE 1000 is completed with a grade of CR, 3 units of college credit will be earned.
Cost & Fee Waiver
Early Start Programs offered at any of the CSU campuses have a common fee. Currently, the Early Start fees are $182 per unit plus $2 for campus related fees (subject to change). Fees for course instruction materials may also apply. Costs will vary if you elect to complete this requirement through an approved California Community College course.
Miscellaneous costs: A parking permit is required when parking in any of the parking lots on campus. Please view the parking gateway for more information.
California residents who apply for financial aid and have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,000 or less may be eligible for a waiver of the per unit fee. You will be notified in your student center at my.csustan.edu if you are eligible for the fee waiver. Note: The fee waiver does not cover any course instruction materials such as textbooks or software.
You are allowed to take up to two courses in the same subject, but please note that the Early Start financial aid waiver is determined at the time of registration. Each time you click “Enroll in Early Start” a message will display informing you if you are eligible for the fee waiver or not, thus required to pay the tuition and fees.