Skip to Content
California State University, Long Beach

CSU Early Start Summary

  • Early Start is required for incoming students who have not fulfilled the Entry Level Math (ELM) and/or English Placement Test (EPT) proficiency requirements.
  • The program takes place the summer before the freshman year.
  • Upon admission, CSU campuses will inform students who must participate, how and where to sign up for Early Start.
  • Early Start math and English courses will be available at every CSU campus and online.
  • Financial aid will be available for those who demonstrate need (see below for details).

Admitted freshmen who are planning on attending CSULB or any CSU campus and are not exempt should take the ELM/EPT as early as possible preferably by April 1. Freshmen must accept their CSULB offer of admission by May 1 by submitting their intent to enroll and enrollment deposit. If required, they must take the ELM/EPT no later than the system-wide test date on May 6, 2017, but are strongly encouraged to take the tests by April 1. If their scores indicate they must participate in Early Start, they must declare how they will fulfill this requirement by June 1 using the Early Start Declaration Page which will be available to them on MyCSULB.

Fall 2017 Freshmen Admission, Testing and Registration Key Dates

Event/Deadline Date
Application deadline November 30, 2016
Take SAT or ACT No later than December 2016
CSULB admission notifications begin Early February 2017
Recommended System-wide ELM/EPT dates February 11, 2017 and March 18, 2017
All CSULB freshmen admission decisions sent April 1, 2017
CSULB Campus ELM/EPT test date April 1, 2017
Begin declaring where Early Start will be completed April 15, 2017
Deadline to accept CSULB offer of admission May 1, 2017
Final Date to take the ELM/EPT May 6, 2017 (System-wide test date)
Begin Registration for Early Start Courses May 16, 2017
Deadline to declare where Early Start will be completed June 1, 2017
Deadline to complete Early Start Program activities August 8, 2017

Who must participate in the Early Start Program?

  • Math:
    All students who scored less than 50 on the ELM and students who were deemed conditionally exempt but did not successfully complete a qualifying senior year course with a C or better (unless they qualify for one of the exemptions below) are required to participate.
  • English:
    All students who scored less than 147 on the EPT and students who were deemed conditionally exempt but did not successfully complete a qualifying senior year course with a C or better (unless they qualify for one of the exemptions below) are required to participate.
  • Exemptions - The following students will not be required to participate in Early Start:
    • International students and residents of other states
    • Students participating in the CSULB EOP Summer Bridge Program

Students may appeal if circumstances beyond their control prevent participation. Appeals should be submitted in writing including any supporting documentation to the Office of Admission no later than June 15.

What are my options if I am considered Conditionally Exempt?

Students can be deemed "conditionally exempt" (also known as “conditionally ready”) by a CAASPP EAP status of “Standard Met” or the following test scores:

  • English: ACT 19-21 or SAT 460-490
  • Math: ACT 20-22 or SAT 490-540

Students deemed conditionally exempt can:

  • Demonstrate College readiness through the completion of an appropriate senior year course. The qualifying full year course must be completed with a C or better in both semesters.
  • Demonstrate College readiness by attempting the ELM or EPT and earning a qualifying score. The ELM or EPT must be taken by May 6 to elect this option.

Conditionally exempt students who have not demonstrated college readiness through one of the two means above are required to participate in Early Start.

How can CSULB students fulfill the Early Start Program requirement?

  • CSULB freshmen will be encouraged to complete their Early Start Program activities on our campus if at all possible. This will afford them an opportunity to begin to integrate into the campus and will provide the smoothest transition to their fall English or math instruction. CSULB will offer 3 unit developmental Math courses. Students are strongly encouraged to register for these courses as completion will likely result in reducing the number of developmental math courses required or in successfully completing remediation! This is especially important for students pursuing Science, Engineering or Math. CSULB freshmen requiring only Early Start English may also register for a 3 unit course ESW 100S (if you meet the qualifications listed below). Students wishing to complete the first semester of composition over the summer are strongly encouraged to register for this course. CSULB will also offer 1-unit sections of English and math for all students. Each can be completed in one week minimizing potential conflicts with work and family obligations. Courses will be scheduled from mid June until early August. Students will be able to choose among sections offered mornings, afternoons, and evenings.
  • Students may also participate in an Early Start program offered at any other CSU campus. This may be appropriate for non-local students. Some CSU campuses are planning to offer on-line course options as well.

How much will it cost?

  • Early Start Programs offered at any of the CSU campuses will have a common fee. The fee for Summer 2017 is $182 per unit plus $2 in other mandatory fees. Campus parking and course instruction materials may also be charged.
  • California residents who apply for financial aid or the California Dream Act and have an Estimated Family Contribution of $5,000 or less will be eligible for a waiver of the per unit fee.

How to declare where the Early Start program will be completed.

Admitted students who have accepted their admission offer will be given access to an Early Start link in the admission section of the Student Center in MyCSULB. This link will indicate whether or not the student is required to participate in Early Start. CSULB strongly recommends completion of this requirement on our campus. If that is not possible, this page provides a link to a detailed list of courses other campuses are offering which will satisfy the requirement. If required to participate, the student must update this page by June 1 indicating where he/she plans to complete the requirement. For assistance in understanding how to use the Early Start link, see the Early Start Intent Declaration how-to-guide.

How do I know what Early Start Classes I am required to take?

Your placement is based on your test scores. The appropriate ranges are included in the information about each course below. In addition, Early Start students will be sent detailed information when it is time to register for these courses.

What courses will CSULB offer that satisfy this requirement?

Special Note: If you have a disability and require reasonable accommodations for an Early Start course you will be taking at CSULB, please contact the Disabled Student Services Office by email at dss@csulb.edu as early as possible.

Mathematics

Early Start students are strongly encouraged to take the appropriate 3-unit developmental math course; doing so will greatly improve their likelihood of advancing one level in mathematics.

Early Start Math Requirement (Students with an ELM Score of 0-38)

  • ESM 3 is a 3-unit course offered in 4-week and 6-week formats to better serve the learning needs of the student. Successful mastery of the ESM 3 coursework will allow CSULB students to register for the second level of developmental math in the fall.
  • ESM 1 is a one unit course offered for one week and meets Monday through Friday for three hours, morning and afternoon sessions. Evening sessions meet Monday through Thursday for three hours and forty-five minutes. This course allows students to brush up on their math skills or, for a few, even complete one level of developmental math.

Early Start Math Requirement (Students with an ELM Score of 40-48 or students deemed Conditionally Exempt but did not complete an approved senior year experience)

  • ESM 21 is a 3-unit course offered in the 4-week format only. This course is designed for students pursuing non-technical majors. Successful mastery of the ESM 21 coursework will indicate the completion of the developmental math requirement; students will be eligible for the following General Education math courses – Math 103, Math 109 and Stat 108.
  • ESM 33 is a 3-unit course offered in 4-week and 6-week formats to better serve the learning needs of the student. This course is designed for students pursuing technical majors (including Business, Science, Math, Engineering, Education, Economics, Exercise Science, Nutrition and Dietetics or Food Science). Successful mastery of the ESM 33 coursework will indicate the completion of the developmental math requirement; students will be eligible for pre-calculus.
  • ESM 11 is a 1 unit course offered for one week and meet Monday through Friday for three hours, morning and afternoon sessions. Evening sessions meet Monday through Thursday for three hours and forty-five minutes. This course allows students to brush up on their math skills or, for a few, even complete one level of developmental math.

Early Start Math Class Materials: You can access your class materials from the CSULB website - see Early Start Math materials. If you are enrolled in an Early Start Math class, you will need to download all the class materials for your particular ESM course and bring them to your first class meeting.

English

CSULB will offer developmental writing courses to help students develop college-level literacy skills by reading texts for comprehension and critical thinking as well as writing summaries, paraphrases, and analytic responses.

Early Start Writing Requirement (Students with an EPT Score of less than 142)

  • ESW 1 is 1-unit, one-week course in developmental writing that helps students begin to develop college-level literacy skills. ESW 1 meets Monday through Friday for three hours, morning and afternoon sessions. Evening sessions meet Monday through Thursday for three hours and forty-five minutes. ESW 1 is available for visiting students and CSULB freshmen.

Early Start Writing Requirement (Students with an EPT Score of 142 – 146 or students deemed Conditionally Exempt but did not complete an approved senior year experience)

  • ESW 100S, Composition I, is a 3-unit six-week course only for CSULB freshmen with an EPT score of 142-146. ESW-100S meets two days a week (three hours and forty-five minutes per day) for six weeks. Successful mastery of the ESW 100S coursework will allow CSULB students to register for the second half of English Composition, Composition II. This course is not open to visiting students.
  • ESW 1 is 1-unit, one-week course in developmental writing that helps students begin to develop college-level literacy skills. ESW 1 meets Monday through Friday for three hours, morning and afternoon sessions. Evening sessions meet Monday through Thursday for three hours and forty-five minutes. ESW 1 is available for visiting students and CSULB freshmen.

Early Start Writing (ESW) Class Materials: Early Start Writing Instructors will inform you at the first class meeting about the materials that will be assigned for your section.

Early Start Unit Limits

Early Start students may register for a maximum of 4 units. Students requiring both Early Start Writing (ESW) and Early Start Math (ESM) may register for 1-unit courses in both math and writing or may take one 3-unit course to meet one requirement and one 1-unit course to meet the second requirement.

Students interested in studying Business, Science, Math, Engineering, Education, Economics, Exercise Science, Nutrition and Dietetics or Food Science are strongly recommended to register for a 3-unit ESM course and a 1-unit ESW course.

CSULB students in all other majors, including the Liberal Arts and Arts, are strongly encouraged to register for a 3-unit ESW course and a 1-unit ESM course.

How do I register for my Early Start Classes?

Early Start students will be sent a detailed communication when it is time to register for the courses. Students can see the dates and times classes are available by selecting the subject ‘Early Start Writing’ or ‘Early Start Math’ in CSULB’s Summer Schedule of Classes. Here are the essential steps to registration:

  1. Review the information regarding your course requirements/options.
  2. Review our ‘Enrolling in Early Start’ help guide for detailed instructions on how to register via MyCSULB
  3. Go to MyCSULB and log in using your Campus ID and password.
  4. Click on the ‘Student Center’ link under ‘My Menu.’
  5. Click on the ‘Enroll in Early Start’ link at the top in the ‘Academics’ section
  6. Click on the "Search" button below the 'Class Search' option on the left side and then select Early Start Mathematics or Writing and the course number you are looking for based on your EPT / ELM scores.
  7. Select the section that meets your needs and complete the registration steps.
  8. If you do not qualify for the Early Start Financial Aid Fee Waiver, you must pay your fees within 48 hours. Go to the ‘Finances’ section of the Student Center and select the ‘Make a Payment’ link to complete payment. You can pay via E-check; or you can use MasterCard, Discover, American Express or VISA with the payment of a 2.75% service charge. If you qualified for a financial aid fee waiver, you will see a confirming message during the registration process.
  9. We will send you a detailed message about a week before your class begins with information on parking, course materials, and other details to prepare for your first class meeting.

When must I pay for the Early Start course(s)?

If you do not qualify for the Early Start Financial Aid Fee Waiver, you must pay your fees within 48 hours of registration. This should be done online in the Student Center of MyCSULB. Select the "Make a Payment" link to complete payment process. You can pay via E-check; or you can use MasterCard, Discover, American Express or VISA with the payment of a 2.75% service charge. You may elect to pay in person using either cash, check or debit card at the Office of Student Account Services Brotman Hall 148. If you qualified for a financial aid fee waiver, you will see a confirming message during the registration process. You are encouraged to make payment immediately to confirm your registration and avoid possible cancellation of your class.

I have registered for Early Start, now what?

Here is general information as you prepare for your class:

Early Start Class Materials: You can access your Early Start Math materials from the CSULB website - Early Start Math materials. Early Start Writing Instructors will inform you at the first class meeting about the materials that will be assigned for your section. If you are enrolled in an Early Start Math class, you will need to download all the class materials for your particular ESM course and bring them to your first class meeting.

Student ID cards: You may be asked to show an ID to receive services while on campus. You will receive an email with an attached Early Start Student ID card the week before you are scheduled to attend your Early Start class. Be sure to print and cut out the card to keep with you when you are on campus. If requested, show this card and a photo ID like a driver’s license.

Parking Permits: If you plan on driving a car to campus, you will need to purchase a parking permit. Daily or weekly permits may be purchased in any student parking lot at the yellow permit dispensers. The cost is $5 for a day or $25 for the week. Machines take cash or credit cards. You should plan on parking in the general parking structure on Merriam Way (see the campus map). CSULB is a large campus, we suggest giving yourself at least 30 minutes once you arrive on campus to find parking, purchase your permit and get to your classroom.

Alternate Transportation: Long Beach transit has service directly to the campus. Check out Long Beach Transit Options for more information.

Early Start Classrooms: The location for your Early Start class is listed in your 'Student Center' at MyCSULB. Click on the ‘Enroll in Early Start’ link and then click on the ‘my class schedule’ tab. All details of your class including time and location (building and room) are listed. Please print your schedule and bring it with you for the first day of class. Refer to the campus map to locate the building.

What happens if I cannot attend the Early Start Class?

It is essential that you drop the class via MyCSULB as soon as you know you cannot attend so that the seat may be offered to other students. The final deadline to drop Early Start classes is the day before the class begins. Remember to sign up for another section to ensure completion of the required program. If you do not drop before the deadline and do not attend the Early Start course, you will be responsible for payment, will receive a grade of NC (No Credit) on your transcript, and will still need to complete an Early Start course. If you have a circumstance beyond your control that prevents you from participating in any Early Start class, you must submit an appeal for exception from the requirement to the Office of Admission including any supporting documentation. Remember, Early Start is a requirement for Fall enrollment!

What happens after I have completed the Early Start Course?

You will receive a grade of CR (Credit), RP (Fulfilled Early Start Requirement only) or NC (No Credit) for the Early Start Course. For CSULB students, a grade of CR indicates that you have satisfied the Early Start program requirement and can move up to the next level of math or English course. A grade of RP indicates you have satisfied the Early Start program requirement; but does not allow advancement to the next level of English or math course and does not indicate successful completion of your remedial requirement. An NC grade indicates that you did not fulfill the Early Start Requirement and must register for the course again.

If you are a CSULB student, your academic advisor will contact you if your Fall schedule needs adjustment depending on your ESP grade(s). CSULB students who have completed Early Start and have questions about their math or English placement should contact the University Center for Undergraduate Advising. Visitor students should contact their CSU campus. Students should note that placement scores for courses differ from CSU to CSU. ESP scores will be interpreted based on the criteria determined by the CSU at which the student will enroll in the fall.

Where can I get more information?