About Early Start

The CSU Early Start Program is here to help you begin a successful academic experience. Early Start is designed for first-time freshmen who need supported instruction in written communication (English) and mathematics. Your participation will be determined by CSU placement policy.

Summer 2022

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 Early Start classes are online for summer 2021. You can get an overview of the Early Start Program by reviewing the presentation.

Prezi screenshot: Class of 2025 Early Start Presentation



1. Confirm

May 6 - June 10: Indicate where you will complete your Early Start requirement in your myStanState Student Center. The Early Start Program link is only available after accepting admission. If you are required to do Early Start in both math and written communication (English), you can choose which subject to enroll in. If you are a STEM major, we recommend you enroll in math. Additional details will be emailed in May.

2. Register

May 6 - June 28: Follow the registration instructions of the CSU or community college you selected. If you are attending Early Start courses at Stanislaus State, please view our registration instructions document.

3. Pay

If you are not eligible for the Early Start financial aid fee waiver, you must pay the fee by the specified deadline, or you will be dropped from your class(es).

You must complete the CSU Early Start Program by:

  • Completing a 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 - email admissions@csustan.edu for prior approval

Early Start at another CSU

If you are completing Early Start at another CSU, you should receive registration and payment instructions from that campus (if not eligible for the Early Start financial aid waiver).

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 course numbering and titles. On the statewide schedule, you will find course descriptions to help you choose a class. Classes are offered throughout the summer, but classes fill up fast, so register no later than the date listed above.

Early Start at a community college

If you are 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:

  • General Education Written Communication Composition
  • General Education Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning

Upon completion of the course, you must request official transcripts to be sent to:
Stanislaus State
Attn: Admissions Office
One University Circle
Turlock, CA 95382


If you have circumstances beyond your control that prevent you from participating in any Early Start class, you must submit a written appeal to earlystart@csustan.edu. 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 July 11, 2022.

Students in the following categories are automatically waived from Early Start:

  • International students (written communication and math) and
  • Non-California residents (written communication and math).

International and non-residents do not need to take any action.

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.

If you need to take supported courses in both math and written communication (English), you can choose which subject to enroll in. If you are a STEM major, we recommend you enroll in math.

Math: Summer 2021

Your major will determine which math course you will take. You can find your math course in our Supported GE Math document by looking for the colored box corresponding with the row of your major.

Supported GE Math by Major

Course Subject & Number Course Title # of Units
MATH 1000 Excursions into Mathematics 4 units
MATH 1035 Elementary Foundations of Math with Support 1A 3 units
MATH 1551 Finite Mathematics and Business Statistics I 3 units
MATH 1601 Statistics with Support I 3 units
MATH 1071 College Algebra with Support I 3 units

Written Communication: Summer 2021

Students fulfilling their Early Start written communication requirement for another CSU may only enroll in the 1 unit option.

Course Subject & Number Course Title # of Units
ENGL 1000 Introduction to Composition 3 units

Early Start Programs offered at any of the CSU campuses have a common fee. Currently, the Early Start fees are $191 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.

Fee Waiver

California residents who apply for financial aid and have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $6,000 or less may be eligible for a waiver of the per unit fee. You will be notified in your myStanState student center if you are eligible for the fee waiver. Note: The fee waiver does not cover any course instruction materials such as textbooks or software.

Please note that the Early Start financial aid waiver is determined at the time of registration.

Fall 2022 Freshman Admissions and Early Start Important Dates

Date Event What you need to do
May 6, 2022 Deadline Accept the offer of admission by May 6.
May 6, 2022 Early Start Program Page is available and course registration begins Early Start Program Page is available and course registration begins for students who will take Early Start Courses at the campus they will attend in the Fall. If you choose to participate in Early Start at a campus that is different from the one you attend in the Fall, you will get an email from that campus when you're able to register for Early Start course(s).
Register for courses by July 11.
June 6, 2022 Early Start courses begin  
June 10, 2022 Priority Deadline Choose a campus where you will enroll in Early Start and register for courses by completing your ESP Program Page.
July 11, 2022 Deadline Remember: Register for courses by July 11.
August 19, 2022 Deadline Complete your ESP courses at any campus.

Updated: August 28, 2023