View plans for in-person Commencement and fall 2021 on our COVID-19 News & Information website.

Early Start Program (ESP)

Am I required to enroll in Early Start?

The CSU uses multiple measures of academic proficiency to determine the need for Early Start and for placement in general education English and math courses, including: 

  • high school English and mathematics grades
  • high school GPA
  • grades in collegiate courses
  • test scores (ACT, SAT, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, SAT subject tests, and Smarter Balanced Assessment/Early Assessment Program)

How do I learn more about Early Start at CSU, Chico?

The CSU, Chico Regional & Continuing Education department maintains a website dedicated to Early Start at CSU, Chico. Visit the CSU, Chico Early Start website(opens in new window) for answers to your questions regarding registration, course offerings, dates, costs, accessing courses, and more. 

Can I take Early Start courses at another CSU campus?

Yes. Visit the California State University Early Start website(opens in new window) to view Early Start courses at other CSU campuses.

Can I fulfill the Early Start requirement with Community College courses?

Yes, however, you must contact the Office of Admissions to obtain approval to use a community college course to fulfill the Early Start requirement. Please contact us at 530-898-6322 or 800-542-4426, or email us at