California State University, Fullerton

Early Start

CSU Early Start Program

The CSU system recently enacted a policy known as "Early Start" requiring incoming students who do not demonstrate readiness for college-level math and/or English to begin remediation during the summer before coming to the CSU. The goals of Early Start are to better prepare students in math and English before their first semester, thereby improving their chances of completing a college degree. Why take ESP at CSUF?

Early Start Student Participation
Early Start Process
CSU Early Start Course Options
Fees and Financial Aid
Early Start Program "Smart Page"
Early Start Key Deadlines
Early Start Program Registration Instructions
Questions about the Early Start Program

Early Start Student Participation

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  • Math: All students who have not demonstrated college readiness must participate (ELM score less than 50).
  • English: All students who have not demonstrated college readiness must participate (EPT score less than 147).


Students requiring remediation in BOTH English and math will be required to begin to address BOTH subject areas in the Early Start Program.

The following students will not be required to participate.

  • International students
  • Residents of other states
  • Admits after August 1st
  • EAP Conditionally Exempt Math students
  • EAP Conditionally Exempt English students

Early Start Process

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  • First-time freshmen who are planning to attend CSUF or any CSU campus (and have not earned an exemption from the ELM/EPT) are encouraged to take these required placement exams as early as possible, preferably by April 19th and no later than the May 3th test date. You can register for the ELM/EPT at
  • Upon admission, CSUF will inform students who are not exempt, how and where to register for Early Start.
  • Admitted freshmen must accept their CSUF offer of admission and pay the enrollment deposit by May 1st.
  • Students must declare how they will fulfill the Early Start requirement by June 1st using the CSU Smart Page.
  • Students can start registering for their Early Start Program courses beginning May 19th.

CSU Early Start Course Options

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  1. CSUF freshmen are encouraged to complete their Early Start program activities at CSUF, if at all possible. This will afford them an opportunity to integrate into the campus and will provide the smoothest transition to their fall semester English and math instruction.

    CSUF’s Early Start program consists of both one and three unit course options in English and math. One unit courses offer students an intensive week long learning experience and will fulfill the Early Start requirement. Three unit courses offer students the option of completing a full semester of remedial coursework; thus, enabling them to move up a level or complete remediation and enter college-level coursework in the fall. Courses will be scheduled from mid-June until early August. Some online courses will be available.
  2. Students may also participate in Early Start program offered at any other CSU campus. This may be appropriate for non-local students. Some CSU campuses are planning to offer online course options as well.
  3. Students may wish to take an approved course at their local community college. Be aware that space in traditional English and math developmental courses may be very limited at many community colleges. 

Fees and Financial Aid

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Early Start courses offered at any of the CSU campuses will consist of the same fee rate. The current fee estimate is $182 per unit and is subject to change based on approved fee increases. Campus parking and course books may also be required for purchase.

Early Start fee waivers will be available for those demonstrating need. California residents who apply for financial aid and have an Estimated Family Contribution of $5,000 or less will be eligible for a waiver for any course meeting Early Start Program requirements. 

Early Start Program "Smart Page"

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The Smart Page is where:

  • Students will be able to view their current ELM/EPT status.
  • If required, admitted CSUF students who have accepted their offer will be able to declare where they intend to fulfill their Early Start requirement.

A student will be able to access the CSUF Smart Page by:

    1. Logging into their Student Portal at: 
    2. Clicking the Titan Online tab
    3. Selecting the Student Center
    4. Under Admissions, click on Early Start Program Sign-up link 

Early Start Key Deadlines

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Fall 2015 Deadlines

Opening of the Early Start Smart Page - students can view their status and declare intent to fulfill

April 7, 2015

ELM/EPT last date to take the test(s)

May 2, 2015

Registration opens for ESP

May 18, 2015

Deadline to complete Early Start Program Smart Page

June 1, 2015

ELM/EPT scores received by CSUF

June 21, 2015

Last Day to Register for Early Start Program English Courses at CSUF

July 23, 2015

Last Day to Register for Early Start Program Math Courses at CSUF

July 31, 2015

Deadline to complete Early Start Program activities

August 14, 2015

*** Please visit the Admissions Deadlines page to view all admission deadlines for Fall 2015. ***

Early Start Program Registration Instructions

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To register for your Early Start Program courses at CSU Fullerton, you must first do the following:

  • Complete your Early Start Program Smart Page within your Student Center and selected CSU Fullerton for Math and/or English.
  • Submitted your ELM and/or EPT test scores to CSU Fullerton.

 Registration Instructions:

  1. Log into your Student Portal at:  
  2. Click the Titan Online tab
  3. Select the Student Center
  4. Under Academics, click on Enroll in Early Start link
  5. Click Search to view the course list
  6. You must enter two search criteria
    • Click on Course Subject drop-down and choose “Early Start Math (ESM) or Early Start English (ESE)”
    • Click the Course Career drop-down and choose “Extended Education”
  7. Click Search
  8. You will see the list of available courses
  9. Click on the "Select Class" tab for the class you wish to take
  10. You will see the course description
  11. Click "Next" tab
  12. Click the "Proceed to step 2 of 3" tab
  13. Click the "Finishing Enrolling" tab to complete the registration

Note:  If you are eligible for an ESP fee waiver, you will be notified by a pop-up message during the registration process.

If you have questions or problems registering for your Early Start Program classes, please call Registration at (657) 278-7601. 

Questions about the Early Start Program

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If you have questions about the ESP, please email

Registration questions about ESP, please call (657) 278-7601.

ESP grades are received electronically from all CSU campuses. If there is an issue with your grade being received you can email us a copy to or fax it to us at (657) 278-1197.

We also recommend you review our ESP FAQ page for further assistance.