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.

Pathways Grid

This grid shows pathways students take to complete their Developmental Studies Requirement. The grid assumes students earn a C or above in math and a C- or above in English at each stage. Courses in bold are the ones that satisfy the Developmental Studies Requirement.

Row Heading=Score; Column=Semester

Summer 1*

Fall 1

Spring 1

Summer 2

Fall 2

ELM 40 or below: Option 1

ESM 40

Math 60

Math 70



ELM 40 or below: Option 2

ESM 60

Math 70




ELM 42-48: Option 1

ESM 40

Math 70




ELM 42-48: Option 2

ESM 70





EPT <147 with DSP Choice of 114

ESE 99

ENG 114




EPT <147 with DSP Choice of 104-5

ESE 99

ENG 104

ENG 105



EPT <147 with DSP Choice of Multilingual

ESE 99

CMS 201#

CMS 202#


CMS 209#


* Out-of-state students and AB540/Dream Act students are not required to participate in Early Start. They may elect to do so by working with Developmental Studies staff to change their status for their one day of orientation. Students who take ESM 40 get to take the ELM again and may be able to fulfill Developmental math requirements with their scores.

# CMS 201, 202, and 204 may be paired with the grammar support courses CMS 208 and 212.  Specific pathways differ depending on student.  Refer to CMS office.

QR = Quantitative Reasoning (your B4 GE requirement)








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)
  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.