The Early Start Program

Important: The CSU will not facilitate a systemwide Early Start Start Program in summer 2020: individual CSU campuses may offer summer transitional programs in virtual formats.  The campuses will be in communication with their admitted first-time freshman students to inform them of transitional programs they may be offering. 

The CSU’s Early Start Program (ESP) is designed to better prepare students in written communication and mathematics/quantitative reasoning before the fall term of their first year of college, improving students chances of successful completion of a baccalaureate degree. The Early Start Program is required for students needing support in these areas as determined by systemwide placement standards (standardized tests and high school coursework).

General Information about The Early Start Program

  • Students will participate in the ESP during the summer prior to the start of the fall term and may enroll in the ESP course at any of the CSU campuses.
  • Cost is $191 per unit plus a mandatory fee of $1 for Health Facilities and $1 for the Student Union. Eligible financial aid applicants with an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,500 or less may be eligible for a fee waiver of the per unit ESP fee.

ESP Checklist

  • Check out the list of all CSU course offerings - click on the ESP Courselist box below
  • Find an Early Start course that meets your needs.  Are you looking for a live course or an online course?
    • Are you expecting to complete a General Education (GE) requirement? (STEM students are strongly encouraged to complete a GE math course over the summer.)
  • Login to your home campus student account to check if you need to participate in the Early Start Program
  • Register for Early Start class(es)
  • Go to class, study hard, and get ready to begin your journey as a college student!


Click below for more details about the Early Start Program:


Who Must
How to Register
for ESP Courses