About Early Start

Early Start is about student success!  

Early Start launched in 2012 and is an admission requirement at every California State University campus. You are assigned to complete the Early Start program based on your scores on the English Placement Test and the Entry Level Mathematics exam. Every incoming freshman at every CSU campus must meet Early Start requirements before beginning their first semester of instruction.

Some students will be exempt from the Early Start requirements depending on scores from select high school courses, and AP, SAT, or ACT tests. Visit the Exemptions page for more information. Your Early Start “Smart Page” will tell you whether or not you need to take Early Start. Make sure those test scores and transcripts get to Fresno State as soon as possible so that you know your Early Start status.

Incoming students can complete Early Start at any CSU campus during the summer before their first semester. For example, if you are attending Fresno State in the fall, but live in San Diego, you can complete Early Start at San Diego State. You may also complete Early Start online or by taking an approved course at a community college.

At Fresno State, Early Start occurs over a six-week period in the summer, from June 22 – July 31, 2015. Depending on the courses selected, students can complete Early Start in as little as two weeks, though students are strongly advised to pace themselves and get the most out of the program.

Early Start tuition-fees are kept low. Financial aid is available for qualified students. Visit the Cost page for more information on tuition-fees.

Take a look at the Timeline on for more information about what you should do and when.

Depending on the course you choose, you may attend Early Start prior to your student orientation at Dog Days.

The Resources page has all of the information you’ll need to get on your Early Start course, including prepatory materials, forms, and campus maps.

Still have questions? It never hurts to ask. Call the Division of Continuing and Global Education at Fresno State. We’re at 559.278.0333 and our office is open Monday-Friday. There are no “stupid questions.” If we can’t answer something, we’ll tell you who can.