Early Start Program

Early Start Program

The California State University’s Early Start Program (ESP) is designed to prepare students for the first semester of college and to help them improve their skills in quantitative reasoning (Math) and written communication (English).  Thus, being better prepared and successful in college and improving students’ chances of successful completion of a baccalaureate degree.  The Early Start Program is required for students needing support in these areas.  A student's readiness for college level English and math courses is evaluated using multiple measures (SAT, ACT, CAASPP/EAP, high school GPA and high school coursework).

  • The program is highly recommended and a requirement for some.
  • The program takes place the summer before their freshmen year.
  • Early Start Math and English courses will be available by campus-based and online.
  • The program is available to all incoming freshmen.
  • Registration and Schedules will be available starting in May.
  • The program is fee-based and costs $191 per unit plus a mandatory fee of $1 for Health Facilities and $1 for the Student Union.  Eligible financial aid applicants may be eligible for a fee waiver. 

There are many campus-based and online courses in both English and math offered throughout the CSU.  Starting in May campus selection will be available.  After you have indicated Sonoma State University you will receive an email to register for the course and date of your choice.  Registration and payment will be through your MySSU.  

Placement and Early Start can be confusing, so we are here to help!  

For additional information visit, The Early Start Program | CSU Student Success.

Is Early Start “Recommended” or “Required”?

Both!  Recommended for Category III and Required for Category IV.  There are many ways to determine which first-year GE English and math/quantitative reasoning (QR) courses are right for each student. Factors known as “multiple measures” are used to evaluate each student’s academic preparation in these subjects.  To learn about the criteria the CSU utilizes to place students in their first-year GE English and Math and weather Early Start is “Recommended” or “Required” visit: 

*Important Update: The CSU recognizes that due to COVID-19 disruptions, standardized assessment test results (CAASPP/EAP, ACT, SAT, AP, IB, CLEP) may not be available. In absence of test results, CSU campuses will use high school GPA, high school math GPA, high school and college coursework to evaluate a student's placement in GE English and math/quantitative reasoning courses. Students with assessment test results should submit results for the purpose of placement evaluation. 

Registration and Payment Instructions:

Early Start English Course Dates: 

Subject/Course #: ESE 100

SSU Early Start English Session Dates
All classes are exclusively online
Course Start Date End Date Last Day to Enroll Fees Due Last Day to Drop
Session 1 9-Jun 15-Jun 5-Jun 6-Jun 8-Jun
Session 2 16-Jun 22-Jun 12-Jun 13-Jun 15-Jun
Session 3 23-Jun 29-Jun 19-Jun 20-Jun 22-Jun
Session 4 14-Jul 20-Jul 10-Jul 11-Jul 13-Jul
Session 5 21-Jul 27-Jul 17-Jul 18-Jul 20-Jul
Session 6 28-Jul 3-Aug 24-Jul 25-Jul 27-Jul

Early Start Math Course Dates:

Subject/Course #: ESM 101

SSU Early Start Math Session Dates
All classes are exclusively online
Course Start Date End Date Last Day to Enroll Fees Due Last Day to Drop
Session 1 30-Jun 30-Jul 26-Jun 27-Jun 29-Jun
Session 2 7-Jul 30-Jul 3-Jul 4-Jul 6-Jul

Go to class, study hard, and get ready to begin your journey as a college student!