Important information for entering Freshman:

Early Start English

Early Start is a summer transition to college learning program. The goal of the Early Start Program is to help you transfer your high school learning in math and writing into a new college learning environment, thereby improving your chances of successfully completing a baccalaureate degree. The CSU requires students in Enrollment Category 4 to complete an Early Start transition into college and start taking credit bearing courses before their first term. 

Important information about DSP and ESE:

  • All entering freshman must complete Direccted Self-Placement (DSP) to choose their First Year Composition (FYC) English course. (If you have transfer credit for First Year Composition due to Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or college course credit, you do not need to complete DSP). 


  • If you are an incoming freshman for fall and are in Enrollment Category Four, you will need to enroll in Early Start English (ESE) the summer before you begin at SF State; you will complete DSP as part of your ESE course.


  • Note: if you are an ESE student, we recommend you complete Early Start English before you attend orientation, otherwise you will not be able to register for FYC (English) class(es) at orientation.


  • If you are unable to register for First Year Composition (English) at orientation, you can enroll once you have chosen your FYC course through DSP during Open Registration. To enroll in courses, log in to your "Student Center" through SF Gateway: .