Prospective Students

Early Start Program

Early Start — Summer 2023

Summer Early Start 2023 details will be posted here as early as March 2023. (The information currently published on this page reflects summer 2022.) If you have questions, please contact the CSUN Office of Student Success at earlystart@csun.edu.


Overview

As a first-time freshman admitted to a California State University (CSU) this fall, you are invited — and may be required — to take part in the Early Start Program this summer.

Why Early Start?

  • Early Start can better prepare you for college-level course work in mathematics/quantitative reasoning and written communication before your first college year.
  • Having a firm foundation in writing and math prepares you for success in college and a career. Writing and math comprise GE areas A2 and B4.
  • Doing well in summer Early Start earns you college-level credit. 
  • Early Start classes are free if you qualify for a fee waiver based on the Estimated Family Contribution reported on your FAFSA application.
  • Early Start offers special opportunities that are only available to Early Start students. You'll meet professors and other students, learn how to enroll in classes, connect with the campus community and discover its resources.

Let’s get started!

Log in to the EARLY START PROGRAM PAGE through the student web portal of the CSU campus that admitted you to check your participation status — required, recommended or exempt — and your fee waiver eligibility.

  • If admitted to CSUN this fall, select Participation and Exemptions on this page for login details. CSUN's Early Start Program Page opens May 6, 2022.
  • If admitted to another CSU campus but you wish to take Early Start at CSUN this summer, please visit Host Students on this page.

Best wishes for your journey at CSUN or another CSU campus!

Participation and Exemptions

Check Your Status

Based on your high school GPA, course work and test scores described at CSU multiple measures of academic placement, you will be exempt from, strongly encouraged/recommended, or required to take Early Start math and/or writing classes.

To find out if you are required to participate in Early Start, CSUN students should follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your myNorthridge Portal account with your CSUN user ID and password.*
  2. On the “Home” tab, select the SOLAR Student Center icon in the Quick Links box and then choose the Early Start Program link.
  3. The Early Start Program Page will display your participation status for Early Start Math and Early Start Writing.
  4. CSUN's Early Start Program Page opens May 6, 2022.
  5. The last day to enroll in CSUN Early Start classes is June 19.

*Contact Information Technology Help Center at (818) 677-1400 if you need help accessing the portal.

Where to Take Early Start

You can fulfill the Early Start requirement at any CSU campus. However, if you plan to become a Matador, completing Early Start at CSUN provides you with the opportunity to:

  • Meet professors and classmates
  • Connect with the CSUN campus community and our resources
  • Ensure your Early Start courses line up with CSUN's general education plan
  • Transition more smoothly to your fall semester math and writing courses

If you need to take Early Start at another CSU, visit the Early Start course listing for all CSU campuses. The campus you select will follow up and provide enrollment instructions.

CSUN students who select another campus must do so on the Early Start Program Page no later than June 10, 2022, 11:59 p.m. Please see How to Enroll and Key Dates on this page.

Early Start Exemptions

The following first-time freshmen will not be required to take part in CSUN’s Early Start Program:

  • Students who have already fulfilled college-level written communication and/or mathematics/quantitative reasoning requirements
  • Students who are deemed ready for college-level mathematics/quantitative reasoning and/or written communication without additional academic support
  • Students who are deemed conditionally ready for college-level courses
  • International students
  • Residents of states other than California
  • Students who qualify for admission through the CSUN EOP Program
  • Students enrolled in CSUN's MARC/MBRS Math and Language Arts Summer Enrichment Program
  • Students enrolled in CSUN's Student Athlete Summer Success Program
  • Students admitted to CSUN after June 6, 2022

Services for Students with disAbilities

Students who believe they should be exempted from the Early Start requirement because of a disability need to contact CSUN's Disabilities Resources and Educational Services (DRES) or our National Center on Deafness (NCOD).

Early Start Math - ESM 196P

If you do well in Early Start Math this summer, you can save time in the fall when you enroll in the next GE math course by skipping the supplemental instruction class that would typically go along with it. You'll also earn 1 unit of college-level credit!

CSUN's Early Start Math class is ESM 196P. Some sections of the class are designed for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) majors while other sections are for Non-STEM majors.

You should take ESM 196P in the following situations:

  1. If you are required or recommended to take BOTH Early Start Math (ESM 196P) and Early Start writing (UNIV 100) and you want to take only one class, seriously consider taking ESM if you are majoring in one of the following STEM-based disciplines:
    • Environmental and occupational health
    • Kinesiology exercise science
    • Radiologic science
    • Science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM)
    • Exploratory major if you are interested in any of the fields listed above
  1. If you are a Business and Economics major who is required to take ES writing and ESM, seriously consider taking ESM 196P for non-STEM majors.
  2. If you are required or recommended to take only Early Start Math (ESM), enroll in a class section for either STEM or non-STEM majors using these guidelines:
    • If you are planning to major in one of the STEM-based fields listed above, take a section of ESM 196P designed for STEM majors.
    • If your major is Exploratory (undeclared/undecided) and you are mainly interested in STEM subjects, you should enroll in an ESM 196P class section for STEM majors.
    • If you're Exploratory and equally interested in STEM and Non-STEM fields, consider taking an ESM 196P section for STEM majors so that it will count toward a STEM path in a major that you later choose.
    • If you are majoring in a non-STEM field and need Early Start Math, enroll in a section of ESM 196P for non-STEM majors.

If unsure, please consult with your academic advisor.

Enrollment tip: If you have declared a major, the Early Start Program pages will display only the ESM 196P class section(s) for your STEM or Non-STEM major when you select classes to add. This makes it easier to select the ESM class for your major. Please visit How to Enroll in CSUN Early Start Classes.

ESM Course Information

ESM 196P – 1 unit – 6 weeks – June 20 through Aug. 1, 2022.

  • Course title: Math Diagnostic
  • Subject and course number: ESM 196P
  • Units: 1
  • Audience: Take a STEM or Non-STEM section based on your major
  • Duration: 6 weeks. Classes meet in person once a week: Tu, W or Th. The online portion is self-paced. either twice or four times a week: Tu & Th, or M-Th. Choose from morning, afternoon or evening options. You'll see the choices inside the Early Start Program Page.
  • Format — Choose from two options:
    • Online-On campus (OC). Most classes are held online with only a few on-campus meetings for presentations, activities, etc.
    • Online Hybrid (OH). Approximately half of the classes are held on campus and half online.
  • Course fees: $193*

Course Description

ESM 196P – Math Diagnostic (STEM and Non-STEM)

ESM 196P is a one-unit, self-paced, credit/no credit math course. Successful completion of ESM 196P qualifies students for entrance into Math 102, 103, 131, 140, 210, 106, or higher. Placement based on competency test scores. This course is a combination of an accelerated review of elementary algebra topics: equations and inequalities, polynomials, factoring, rational expressions, graphing, radical expressions, quadratic equations and functions; and an introduction of higher-level mathematics topics: statistical modeling, complex numbers, trigonometry, exponential, logarithmic, rational, and trigonometric functions, radicals and rational exponents.

You’ll find more helpful info at CSUN College of Science and Mathematics - Early Start Mathematics and Early STEM.

*Course Fees

The current fee estimate is $191 per semester unit and is subject to change based on approved fee increases. An additional campus fee of $2.00 ($1 each for Health Facilities and Student Union) at any CSU campus is also required. This estimate does not include the cost of course instruction materials if any. Some students may qualify for a fee waiver based on their Estimated Family Contribution reported on FAFSA.

How to Join Your Class

  • A few days before your ESM 196P class begins, look for an email from your instructor, sent to your CSUN email box.
  • You'll need Canvas to find your instructor's syllabus, assignments, grading and more. Visit Canvas Guides.

For assistance with CSUN email and software, please contact the CSUN Information Technology Help Center

Early Start Writing - UNIV 100

Taking University (UNIV) 100 this summer will satisfy the Early Start writing requirement. Doing well in UNIV 100 also gives you three units of college credit, meets the General Education (GE) Plan Section E Lifelong Learning requirement, and satisfies one of the two Information Competence (IC) requirements toward your bachelor's degree. UNIV 100 does not satisfy the freshman written communication requirement in GE Section A2.

  • Any freshman who is required or recommended to take UNIV 100 in the Early Start Program this summer may do so. It's open to all majors.
  • If you are required or recommended to take BOTH Early Start Math (ESM) and Early Start writing and you want to take only one class, seriously consider taking ESM if you are majoring in one of the STEM-based disciplines. Visit the Early Start Math row above for details.

Course Information

UNIV 100 – 3 units – 6 weeks – June 20 through July 28, 2022

  • Course title: Freshman Seminar
  • Subject and course number: UNIV 100
  • Units: 3
  • Audience: All majors
  • Duration: 6 weeks. Classes meet either twice or four times a week: Tu & Th, or M-Th. Choose from early and late morning and afternoon options. You'll see the choices inside the Early Start Program Page.
  • Format — Choose from two options:
    • Fully Online (OF). All classes are held online at a set time. There are no on-campus meetings. Students should be available for the duration of the online class time to engage in activities on Zoom and on Canvas.
    • Online hybrid (OH). Approximately half of the classes are held on campus and half online. The online portion of this class has a set meeting time. Students should be available for the duration of the online class time to engage in activities on Zoom and on Canvas.
  • Course fees: $575*

Course Description

Completion of UNIV 100: Freshman Seminar (3 units) in the summer fulfills the Early Start writing requirement and fulfills the 3-unit GE Area E and Information Competence requirements.  This course is part of CSUN’s Academic First Year Experience for freshmen.  Additionally, the summer course will provide a writing focus.  

How to Enroll

Please visit How to Enroll in CSUN Early Start Classes for step-by-step directions.

*Course Fees

The current fee estimate is $191 per semester unit and is subject to change based on approved fee increases. An additional campus fee of $2.00 ($1 each for Health Facilities and Student Union) at any CSU campus is also required. This estimate does not include the cost of course instruction materials if any. Some students may qualify for a fee waiver based on their Estimated Family Contribution reported on FAFSA.

CSUN Software

Once you enroll in an Early Start class, you should receive an email to your CSUN Gmail box from your instructor.

  • CSUN has its own Zoom platform, so please use it for your classes. Visit CSUN Zoom.
  • You'll need Canvas for your instructor's syllabus, assignments, online collaborations and more. Visit Canvas Guides

For assistance with CSUN email and software, please contact the CSUN Information Technology Help Center

Fees, Financial Aid and Waivers

Fee Rates

Early Start courses offered at any of the CSU campuses will have the same fee rate.

  • The current fee is $191 per semester unit and is subject to change based on approved fee increases.
  • An additional campus fee of $2.00 ($1 each for Health Facilities and Student Union) at any CSU campus is also required.
  • Some courses at other CSU campuses might charge an additional instructional materials fee.

Financial Aid and Fee Waivers

Early Start fee waivers are available for students demonstrating need. California residents who apply for financial aid by March 2, 2022 and have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $6,000 or less may be eligible for a fee waiver for any course meeting Early Start Program requirements. The waiver does not cover the cost of textbooks if any are assigned.

Financial Aid Dates
Fall 2022 - Spring 2023 Federal & California Financial Aid application (FAFSA) period beginsOct. 1, 2021
Priority consideration given to those who file FAFSA byMarch 2, 2022
Document deadline for on-time Fall 2022 financial aid*May 13, 2022 

*Find more CSUN Financial Aid Information and Urgent Financial Aid Dates.

Payment Deadlines

Payment in full is expected at the time of registration in Early Start classes. If you are not eligible for an Early Start fee waiver, your course fees will be due within two hours of enrolling in classes. Please see the guide How to Enroll in CSUN Early Start Classes.

Refunds

Important: Students are expected to verify placement and exemptions on the Early Start Program Page before classes begin. Refunds will not be granted for withdrawal from Early Start classes once they begin. In all other cases, summer session refund policies will apply.

Contact Us

Please contact the Tseng College (extended learning) with payment or refund questions.

Host Students

You are strongly encouraged to complete the Early Start Program with your CSU "home" campus, the one you'll attend in the fall. By taking Early Start classes at your home campus, you will connect to your campus community of professors and classmates and get to know your home campus resources and student life.

If necessary, you may participate in the Early Start program offered at any other CSU campus. Please see the Early Start course listing for all CSU campusesImportant: Before enrolling, ask your home campus academic advisor how the credits earned at CSUN will transfer to your CSU campus.

You are a “host student” at CSUN if you are a first-time freshman who has been admitted to another CSU campus this fall and you want to take CSUN Early Start classes this summer. 

How host students enroll in CSUN Early Start classes

  1. Go to the Early Start Program Page link, located in the student web portal of the CSU campus that admitted you. This is your “home” campus.
  2. Go to the Early Start Program Page in your CSU home campus student portal.
  3. Select and confirm a different CSU “host” campus where you will take Early Start classes (e.g., CSUN). This action will initiate your access to enrollment in Early Start classes at the host campus.
  4. Once you've selected and confirmed CSUN as the host campus, you will receive an "Activate Your CSUN Account" email and enrollment instructions 24 hours after completing the Early Start Program Page. Do not enroll in Early Start classes until you hear from CSUN.
  5. You may enroll in CSUN Early Start classes starting May 6, 2022.
  6. The last day to enroll in CSUN Early Start classes is June 15. You'll need a day or so to receive our welcome email and set up your CSUN email and myNorthridge Portal accounts before classes begin.

HELPFUL GUIDE: How to Enroll in CSUN Early Start Classes

How to Enroll

If you’ve been admitted to another CSU campus this fall, please see Host Students on this page.

Steps for students admitted to CSUN

If you’ve been admitted to CSUN this fall, follow these steps to check your participation status and enroll in CSUN’s Early Start classes. The Early Start Program Page opens May 6, 2022.

  1. Log in to myNorthridge Portal at www.csun.edu. Then:
    • On the "Home" tab, select the SOLAR Student Center icon in the Quick Links box.
    • On the SOLAR Student Center page, choose the Early Start Program link.
  1. Review your Early Start Program Page to find out:
    • If Early Start math and/or writing are required.
    • If you qualify for an Early Start fee waiver.
  1. On the Early Start Program Page, CSUN is your default location to take Early Start classes. If you do not change the location, you may enroll immediately!
    • Enroll in CSUN Early Start classes starting May 6, 2022.
    • The last day to enroll in classes is June 19.

HELPFUL GUIDE: How to Enroll in CSUN Early Start Classes

CSUN students wishing to change Early Start location

You can fulfill the Early Start requirement at any CSU campus. However, if you plan to become a Matador, completing Early Start at CSUN will help you feel connected to CSUN before your first semester begins.

If you choose to enroll in Early Start on another CSU campus:

  • Before enrolling at the host campus, consult with your CSUN academic advisor to understand how the Early Start course(s) you take elsewhere will transfer to CSUN. Review the Early Start course listing for all CSU campuses.
  • The last day to change your location on the CSUN Early Start Program Page is June 10, 2022.
  • The campus you select will follow up by email to provide enrollment instructions as well as information on any associated instructional material fees.

To change Early Start location:

  1. Log in to myNorthridge Portal at www.csun.edu.
  2. On the "Home" tab, select the SOLAR Student Center icon in the Quick Links box and then select the Early Start Program link.
  3. Select and confirm a different CSU “host” campus for one or both Early Start classes.
  4. You will receive Early Start course enrollment information by email from the campus you selected in a day or two. Do not enroll in Early Start classes until you hear from the host campus.

HELPFUL GUIDE: How to Enroll in CSUN Early Start Classes

Key Dates

The table below lists key dates for the Summer 2022 Early Start Program at CSUN.

Find additional important dates to prepare for Fall 2022 academic advisement and registration in the First-Time Freshman Checklist (PDF). Activities begin in May.

  • Fall 2022 weekday classes begin Monday, Aug. 29, 2022.
  • Friday-Saturday and Saturday-only classes begin Aug. 27.
  • Sunday-only classes begin Aug. 28.
Early Start Dates at CSUN
Earliest possible date to log into the Early Start Program Page and check your participation and fee waiver statusMay 6, 2022
Earliest possible date to enroll in CSUN Early Start coursesMay 6
Last day to change the CSU campus location for your Early Start classJune 10
Last day for visiting host students to enroll in CSUN Early Start Math or Writing coursesJune 15
Last day for CSUN home students to enroll in CSUN Early Start Math or Writing coursesJune 19
CSUN Early Start writing (UNIV 100) courses beginJune 20
CSUN Early Start Math (ESM 196P) courses beginJune 20
Deadline to complete CSUN Early Start writing (UNIV 100) coursesJuly 28
Deadline to complete CSUN Early Start Math (ESM 196P) coursesAug. 1

Contact and Info Sessions

Contact Us

Have an Early Start question?

Contact the CSUN Office of Student Success at earlystart@csun.edu.


2022 Info Sessions

Come join us on Zoom for an info session on CSUN's Early Start!

  • Wednesday, May 18, at 5 p.m.
  • Email invite with Zoom information will be sent to all eligible students.

Previous Info Sessions

  • Early Start 2021 - Learn about Early Start! Check out the Early Start Info Session Slides (PDF) from our May 19, 2021, live web presentation. Tip: To read presenter's comments, select the orange "Sticky Note" bubble icon in the upper left corner of some slides. Or, download and save the PDF to read comments in the right panel.