Early Start

Early Start


The California State University’s Early Start Program is required for incoming students who score below 50 on the Entry Level Math (ELM) exam and/or score below 147 on the English Placement Test (EPT).

  • Early Start takes place during the summer before the freshman year.
  • Early Start Math and English courses will be available at every CSU campus and online.
  • Financial aid is available for those who qualify for the fall term.

Once ELM/EPT scores have been received, SJSU will send registration information to students who are required to participate.  If you will be attending a CSU campus other than SJSU in the fall, check with that campus for any additional rules or requirements relating to the Early Start Program.

Please note that students who fall into one of the following categories are excused from the Early Start requirement, regardless of their placement test scores:

  • Residents of a state other than California
  • International students
  • Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Summer Bridge students
  • Students admitted after August 1
  • Students with an Early Assessment Program (EAP) status of Conditionally Ready in Mathematics (exempt from Early Start mathematics only)
  • Students with an Early Assessment Program (EAP) status of Conditionally Ready in English (exempt from Early Start English only)

In addition, students who have a serious and compelling reason for not participating in or completing an approved Early Start program may petition for an exception.

Please click on the link below to submit your petition.

Early Start Exception and Appeals Petition

Exceptions will be granted only in instances where unavoidable circumstances or challenges can be demonstrated. Documentation will be required. Summer vacation plans will not be considered grounds for an exception.

For more information on the program, please visit SJSU Early Start FAQ page.