Early Start General Information

The California State University (CSU) system recently enacted a policy known as "Early Start," requiring some incoming first-time freshmen who do not demonstrate readiness for college-level math and/or English to begin remediation during the summer before enrolling in the CSU. The goals of Early Start are to better prepare students in math and writing before their first semester, thereby improving their chances of completing a college degree.

Unless exempt, you must attend the CSU Early Start Program this summer in order to enroll in Fall 2012 classes at your destination campus (i.e., the campus to which you have been admitted).

For more information about the CSU system-wide program, see www.csusuccess.org/earlystart
For more information about the CSUN programs (requirements to participate, exemptions, important dates) see http://www.csun.edu/anr/earlystart/

Information on CSUN’s Early Start Math

You must participate in Early Start Math if your ELM score is less than 50, unless you are exempt (for CSUN Destination Campus Students see http://www.csun.edu/anr/earlystart/ for exemptions). This is a low-cost ($182), self-paced, online, tutorial program that can help you place out of or reduce the need for Developmental Math courses. The cost includes all materials, and free help is available from Developmental Math instructors and tutors.

CSUN’s Early Start Math requires that you complete an online assessment and 12 hours of independent online work. However, it also offers you the opportunity to improve your placement in Developmental and General Education Math classes. Thus the earlier you start, the more opportunity you will have for improved placement. You can get started on our Early Start Math right now, and you must register for it before July 16, 2012. All work must be completed by August 3rd. Again, signing up earlier does not require a greater time commitment on your part, it only allows you more time to improve your math placement.

To get started on CSUN’s Early Start Math, please go to “My Checklist” in the CSUN student portal and enter information into the CSU Early Start Smart Page. Then please return to your CSUN student portal and click on the Early Start tab. There you will find directions on how to enroll in our Early Start Math Program. All courses will be run through CSUN’s Tseng College of Extended Learning. Registration requires a CSUN ID and is handled via the CSUN Student Portal.

  • If your ELM score is below 34, register for ESM 096L I.
  • If your ELM score is 34 or above (but below 50), register for ESM 096L II.

Early Start Registration Instructions

Early Start FAQ's

Early Start Information Printable Fact Sheet (pdf)


Students with questions please contact:
Andrea Nemeth (andrea.nemeth@csun.edu, 818-677-7362)
Marion Brown (marion.brown@csun.edu, 818-677-7337)