Questions common for incoming students

Note that these FAQs have only been partially updated with the policy changes for 2018-19.  Please contact Andrew Brosnan at abrosnan@sfsu.edu with concerns or questions.
For FAQs just on our summer Early Start Program, please see our FAQ tab underneath our Early Start Section.





How do I make sure I am college-ready in English and math?

See our EAP page.

Who takes SF State's Directed Self Placement (DSP) in English and when?

Every SF State student who has not earned college credit for ENG 114 must take the DSP. Students who are taking Early Start English as part of their Early Start requirement do the DSP within that course.  All other students should complete it before their new student orientation date, or, if not attending orientation, before the date to sign up for courses.

How do I know if I need to take Early Start?

Most California residents who are required to take English and/or Quantitative Reasoning with additional support units  are required to take Early Start courses.

How do I know which Early Start course to sign up for?

For 2018, students required to take English will take Early Start English 99.  Students who are required to take Math may take Early Start Math 70 (3 units, in person) or Early Start Math 40 (1 unt, online, self-paced).

How do I sign up for Early Start Courses?

See the Early Start Sign up page of this website.

Why should I attend New Student Orientation?

In addition to being introduced to school resources and policies, students receive an earlier registration date than the general freshmen population--as well as assistance in registering.  This means orientation students have more choice of courses and times--and are more likely to sign up for the right courses as advisors are there in person to help. See New Student Programs page for more info.

What should I bring to New Student Orientation?

  • Unofficial copy of high school transcript
  • Unofficial copy of any college transcript (if took college courses)
  • Vaccination records if not already submitted
  • Any other item requested by your "To Do" list or other department

What if I can't make it to New Student Orientation?

Questions common for continuing students

Why do I need to take developmental math if I covered the topics in high school Algebra 2/Math 3?

To be as consistent as possible, the CSU mainly uses test scores (high school CAASPP/SBAC, SAT, ACT, AP,  and/or IB) for placement.  There are multiple opportunities to demonstrate college readiness in math--students only need to perform at college-level on one of those tests.  Scoring below college ready on multiple tests suggests that students do not currently have the mastery of the material necessary to succeed in quantitative reasoning courses at the CSU.

Why is my math course so heavy on group work?

SF State wants to help students move beyond memorization of formulas.  Solving problems in groups helps students develop the reasoning skills that will benefit them not only in future math courses, but any courses that require systematic problem-solving.  We realize it may be a new style of learning, so be sure to ask instructors, tutors (carp.sfsu.edu), and our department for advice.

How do I sign up for tutoring?

Visit either the Learning Assistance Center (general daytime hours) or the Campus Academic Resource Center (afternoon to evening hours).  They are next door to each other at HSS 348 and HSS 344.

I am having life challenges. How do I get advising or referrals?

Email us at develops@sfsu.edu to ask questions or make an appointment.  (We are in ADM 211.)

What happens if I don't complete my developmental math and/or English courses by Spring 2018?

You must meet with an advisor to discuss the options, which may include summer course work at a community college. Contact staff at develops@sfsu.edu.

Questions common for international students

Why do I have to take the CMSPT?

The CMSPT helps students who choose the multi-lingual track to know which multilingual English course to begin with.  (Mutlilingual English courses are not ESL courses, but instead college-level composition courses that support speakers of other languages.)

What if I still have questions?

Contact us at develops@sfsu.edu.