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Early Start Program

The CSU Early Start Program welcomes first-year students as a way to better prepare for college-level English (A2) and Math (B4) in the summer prior to enrolling in a CSU. The CSU Early Start Program is here to help you begin a successful academic experience. Early Start is designed for first-year students who need supported instruction in one or both subjects. Early Start Program helps students develop readiness in Math and English before their first semester, thereby improving their chances of completing a college degree. Sacramento State offers the Early Start Program on-campus.

Students required to complete the Early Start Program are based on the results of Multiple Measures. Students may be required or recommended to participate in the CSU Early Start Program.


May - July: Registration is now open and you may register for the Early Start Program via your MySacState Student Center under the Academic tab.

MySacState Student Center

There you will follow the Early Start Program link where two boxes will be shown: Written Communication and Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning. The messages within each box will tell you what is required or recommended for you to participate in.

See Full Detailed Instructions

If you are required to do Early Start in both math and written communication (English), you only need to choose one subject to enroll in for the program. If you are a STEM major, we recommend you enroll in math. Additional details on your requirements or recommendations will be emailed by the end of May.

Waiver Form

If you feel you have compelling reasons for being unable to complete the Early Start Program before the fall semester, please complete and send the Early Start Participation Waiver Form.


You have the option of taking your Early Start courses at Sacramento State, another local CSU campus, or through the online courses offered throughout the CSU system. You do not need to take the Early Start Requirement at Sacramento State.

Courses at Sacramento State

Sacramento State offers the Early Start Program in an in-person setting only. View the CSU statewide Early Start Program schedule, and select the Sacramento State campus.

Early Start at another CSU

If you are completing Early Start at another CSU, you should receive registration and payment instructions from that campus (if not eligible for the Early Start financial aid waiver).

View the CSU statewide Early Start Program schedule, and search for the CSU you have selected to find their class offerings. Even though Early Start is a statewide program, each CSU campus offers a different Early Start course, including different course numbering and titles. On the statewide schedule, you will find course descriptions to help you choose a class. Classes are offered throughout the summer, but classes fill up fast.


Students in the following categories are automatically waived from Early Start:

  • International students (written communication and math) and
  • Non-California residents (written communication and math).
  • Participation in the Early Opportunity Program (EOP)

If you are participating in EOP, the EOP office will notify the admissions office of your official program participation. Your Early Start Program link will be updated to reflect the campus waiver. International and non-residents do not need to take any action.


Early Start Programs offered at any of the CSU campuses have a common fee. The Early Start fees are $191 per unit plus $2 for campus-related fees (subject to change). Fees for course instruction materials may also apply.

Fee Waiver

California residents who apply for financial aid and have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $6,000 or less may be eligible for a waiver of the per-unit fee. You will be notified in your MySacState student center if you are eligible for the fee waiver. The Early Start financial aid waiver is determined during the registration of courses process.

Note: The fee waiver does not cover any course instruction materials such as textbooks or software.


Do I need the Early Start?
CSUS Admissions and Outreach (916) 278-1000 option 1 or

Registration Help:
(916) 278-4840 and

Math course selection:
CSUS Math Department (916) 278-6534