CSUSB has created a specific program to meet the CSU Early Start Program requirement, Coyote First STEP (CFS). This program is for students who are needing skills development in math (Category IV) and plan to attend CSUSB in fall. Students will participate in a six-week intensive summer math program and will live on-campus in university housing for the first two weeks of the program. Students will take free math courses and engage in activities designed to promote college success.

The Early Start Program serves CSU admitted first year students requiring skills development in written communication and/or mathematics/quantitative reasoning. The goals of Early Start are to better prepare students in written communication and math/quantitative reasoning before their first university term, thereby improving their chances of successful completion of a baccalaureate degree.

No, this means that based on multiple academic measures including your SAT or ACT, CAASPP EAP, high school GPA and high school coursework you are asked to participate in the support program to prepare you for general education courses in the fall.

Math: If you complete the Early Start math course, but do not pass, you will not be required to repeat the course. Students will be allowed to enroll for the fall but will need to take the appropriate math stretch sequence course. Speak with an Academic Advisor to determine which math stretch sequence is appropriate based on major. 

English: English courses for fall are selected through the Directed Self-Placement. If you complete the Early Start English course, but to not pass, you will may be required to repeat the course. Speak with an Academic Advisor to assist with repeating any coursework. 

Students are expected to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to maintain financial aid eligibility (including GPA requirements). Please visit the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships website for details about SAP:

We take your success seriously. Based on years of research, we know that successfully completing your Early Start requirement is a key to your success. It is important for you to make this a priority. To get the most out of the Coyote First STEP, we ask that students make a commitment to participate fully in the six-week program. You should plan to request time off to participate in Coyote First STEP (especially during the residential portion of the program). If you would like a letter explaining the requirements of the program for your supervisor, please send a request to the Coyote First STEP Coordinator, Aurora Vilchis at Please allow up to 5 business for a response. To expedite the request, include your name, your Coyote ID number, and your supervisor’s name in your email.

The preference is for students to complete their Early Start requirement at CSUSB, however, students may choose to meet the Early Start requirement at another CSU. Students must indicate the campus the plan to attend in their student center of the myCoyote portal, the upper left under Academics will have a menu option for the Early Start Program.

A listing of courses at all campuses can be found at 

Students may contact Jovenise Phelps, (909) 537-3290, in the Office of Admissions and Student Recruitment for assistance.

Applicants are required to meet minimum admission requirements in order to be accepted to CSUSB . Beyond admission, there are several requirements for placement to ensure a student’s successful transition to the university. Academic placement is based on multiple academic measures including SAT or ACT, CAASPP EAP, high school GPA and high school coursework. Admission criteria is not the same as academic placement. To learn more about the CSU multiple measures, view the CSU Academic Preperation - Multiple Measures 

Students are encouraged to review their offer of admission and campus correspondence to review any additional enrollment requirements such as Orientation. Students should check their campus email and log onto their MyCoyote portal frequently for important information from our campus.

No. Grades will be sent to your home campus when courses are completed.

At CSUSB, our goal is to ensure that you receive support and information to help you succeed and graduate in a timely manner. CFS is an intensive on-campus summer experience with coursework that prepares you for General Education mathematics and includes fun and informative experiences to help you connect with your peers and experience life on campus. Living on campus for the first two weeks of the program gives you the opportunity to explore the many benefits of living on campus. No Cost to Students!
If you feel you need to request an exemption, please submit a Special Request to determine if you are eligible.

CSUSB does not offer online courses to fulfil the Early Start Program requirement. Students may attend another CSU campus to take an online course. Students must indicate the campus the plan to attend in their student center of the myCoyote portal.

A listing of courses at all campuses can be found at

This link will take you through a step-by-step process on how to enroll in Early Start at CSUSB:

  • Early Start Math: Home/Host students will enroll in ESM 105
  • Early Start English: Home/Host students will enroll in ESE 170

CSU policy allows students to enroll in one required subject during the summer, and at CSUSB, students who are required to take both will only enroll in the math program (ESM 105).

CSUSB is committed to ensuring that our students are successful. If you do not participate in the required Early Start Program, you will be required to take additional coursework during in academic year, which will have an associated cost. It is essential that you participate in this program to reach the next step in your college journey to prepare for college-level coursework.