Early Start Program


The California State University requires first-year students with remedial needs in mathematics and English to participate in the Early Start Program. Early Start allows students to begin working towards college readiness in the summer prior to their freshman year and is intended to help them complete their remedial class requirements within the one year limit.

The Early Start program is mandatory for all remedial freshmen with an Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) score below 50 and an English Placement Test (EPT) score below 147 EXCEPT those who fall into one or more of the following exempt categories:

  • Residents of a state other than California

  • International students (F1 and J1 visas only)

  • Athletics Summer Bridge students

  • Students who successfully petition for an exception to the Early Start requirement (see below)

  • Students admitted after August 1

Please note that students who earned a Conditionally Ready status in mathematics or English through the Early Assessment Program (EAP) are no longer exempt from Early Start.

SJSU students with an Early Start requirement in English MUST satisfy the requirement through an SJSU Early Start class (live or online). Furthermore, they MUST complete the course before attending Frosh Orientation. SJSU students with an Early Start requirement in mathematics may satisfy the requirement at any CSU campus at any time throughout the summer. Most campuses, including SJSU, offer online courses; however, local students are strongly encouraged to attend live Early Start classes at SJSU.

If you are required to participate in the Early Start Program, you will begin to receive messages in your MySJSU message center in early May informing you of the requirement.


Students with a serious and compelling reason for not participating in the Early Start Program may petition for an exception to the requirement using the link above. Exceptions will be granted only in instances in which it can be demonstrated that program participation would cause extreme hardship or is simply not possible. Documentation will be required. Please note that summer vacation plans will not be considered adequate grounds for an exception. All petitions for an exception to the Early Start Program requirement must be filed by Friday, July 15.


If you have any questions about the program, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. If do not find an answer to your question, send your question via email to earlystart@sjsu.edu. We will try to respond within 24 hours. Due to the volume of students contacting us, we can only be reached through this email. If you would like to speak to someone about the program, please be sure to include your full name, student ID, phone number, and a good time to reach you in your email.