Early Start Program (ESP)


Students place into first-year developmental math and/or English based on a variety of measures that can include CAASPP/SBAC, SAT, ACT, AP, IB, ELM and/or EPT scores as well as senior-year math coursework. The CSU system supports California residents who place into these developmental courses by requiring them to take summer prep courses. We call this “Early Start.”

Early Start English

Early Start English (ESE 99) is a one-unit course available in-person or online. This four-day course has sections starting throughout the summer. In addition to orienting students to college-level reading and writing, this course includes the Directed Self Placement (dsp.sfsu.edu) that guides students in choosing their first-year English course.

Early Start Math

Early Start Math (ESM 40, 60, and 70) has many options. ESM 60 and 70 are in-person eight-week summer courses that, when students earn a C or above, fulfill both early start and developmental requirements. ESM 40, a one-unit, self-paced online course, only fulfills Early Start requirements.

Course Schedule Info for Summer 2017

Early Start Schedule and Benefits


AB 540 Students

AB 540 students/Dream Act students are not required to take Early Start courses.  Those who wish to enroll in Early Start courses voluntarily can contact the department (develops@sfsu.edu) to sign up.  Additionally, students can sign up during new student orientation by going to the Early Start tables after checking in.

Out of State and International Students

Early Start is a California State requirement; therefore, out of state students and international students do not need to take these courses.  (These students are still required to take first-year developmental courses should their test scores place them there.)

US Citizens and Permanent Residents Living Abroad

Please contact us at develops@sfsu.edu to discuss the process.  In short, if you are in the area in the summer and can complete all domestic student requirements, do so.  If you are living abroad in the summer, there is a process to join the international students at their orientation and at their test dates.

Students with Documented Disabilities

If you are a student who is seeking accomodations, please contact our Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC) at dprc@sfsu.edu or 415-338-2472.