Early Start Program at CSU, Chico

CSU Early Start Program

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Welcome to Early Start at Chico State!

The Early Start Program (ESP) is a CSU enrollment requirement for first-time freshmen who need help getting ready for college-level English and/or math. The goal of Early Start is to better prepare you in math and English before your first semester even begins so that you have a better chance of completing a college degree.

Prepare for Success!

Chico State offers a hybrid “EPIC” English course, plus both one- and three-unit online math and English courses. Whether you plan to attend CSU, Chico or any other CSU campus, you can complete Early Start from home! One unit courses offer you an intensive learning experience and will fulfill the Early Start requirement. The three-unit math course allows you to complete a full semester of remedial coursework and progress to the next level of remediation in the fall.

View 2016 Class Schedule

An Early Start is a Smart Start

There are several things you can do to ensure that you complete the course(s) and meet the Early Start requirements. Take a look at our list of helpful tips & resources for you.

If you have a disability and require reasonable accommodations for completing ESP course(s) at CSU, Chico, contact the Accessibility Resource Center as soon as you register.


Important Facts:

  • Early Start is required for incoming students who have not fulfilled the Entry Level Math and/or English Placement Test proficiency requirements.
  • Courses must be completed no later than the summer before the freshman year.
  • Upon admission, CSU campuses will inform students how and where to sign up for Early Start.
  • Early Start math and English courses will be available at every CSU campus, at a few community colleges, and online.
  • The units in the Early Start Program are non-baccalaureate (non-degree earning) units. Individual programs at different CSU campuses may offer an oportunity to shorten or eliminate the need for remedial classes altogether. Check with the individual CSU campus at which you plan to complete your ESP course.
  • California residents who apply for financial aid and have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,000 or less may be eligible for a waiver of the per unit fee. You will be notified in the Student Center if you are eligible for the fee waiver. Note: The fee waiver does not cover any additional math course testing fees.
Accessibility Accommodations: If you need special disability accommodations for an event, workshop, or online or on-campus class, please contact the CSU, Chico Accessibility Resource Center.