Developmental Coursework: First Year


Based on a variety of possible test scores (High School CAASPP, SAT, ACT, CSU ELM/EPT, AP and IB) and select high school senior year English and math courses, students may place into developmental courses, which they must start in the summer before their first fall semester (Early Start).

Developmental Math has two levels: Math 60 and Math 70.  Students may be required to take both or only Math 70.  These are pre-college level courses that lead to college-level math.

English courses are all college level and students are placed in them through the Directed Self Placement (  There is Eng 114 (one-semester accelerated), Eng 104 and 105 (two-semester stretch) and a series for multi-lingual speakers (Composition for Multilingual Speakers).

Students within developmental studies must finish their math and English developmental requirements within their first year. Students who entered Fall 2016 should contact our office to see updates to this policy.

English Pathways


Students required to fulfill developmental requirements can do so through college-level English courses: usually either with the stretch option (ENG 104-105)  or one of the multilingual pathways (often: ENG 201-202-209 [with additional grammar courses.]) 

Those who do not pass ENG 104 in the Fall semester should take one of the ENG 104-105 Spring combination sections and contact Andrew Brosnan at to secure a spot.  Students who start SF State in a Spring semester who fail ENG 104-105 combinations must take ENG 114 in Fall.

Students who choose the multilingual pathway should contact the Composition for Multilingual Speakers Office for advising and to confirm each semester they are in the correct course.

Math Pathways

Pathways for first-year math

Students who took ESM 40 during summer Early Start may retake the August ELM test and, if scoring into a higher range, will fulfill Math 60 or both Math 60 and 70.


  1. Students must complete all developmental requirements within their first two semesters (Fall, Spring).  Students who entered Fall 2016 should contact our office for additional information.
  2. Students who do not must contact for advising, which may include going through the appeals process
  3. Appeals for a one-semester extension past the first two semesters are only granted to students with extenuating circumstances and third-party documentation (medical, legal, etc.)


Our office helps students with the following:

  • Understanding requirements
  • Overcoming outside pressures and obstacles to success
  • Improving communication with professors, staff and peers
  • Strategies for time management, studying and test taking
  • Motivation and empowerment

See right bar for other departments that offer support.