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First Year Freshman


Placement Exams:
First time freshmen (including EOP) are required to satisfy placement examination requirements in English and Mathematics. The California State University (CSU) requires first time freshmen to take the English Placement Test (EPT) and the Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) exam prior to enrollment in the CSU unless exempt by means of scores earned on other appropriate tests such as the CSU’s Early Assessment Program (EAP) tests in English and Mathematics, the SAT®, ACT®, or Advanced Placement (AP®) tests.

The EPT and the ELM are not admission tests; instead, they determine eligibility to enroll in specific courses. If you are required to take the EPT and the ELM but fail to do so, you will not be allowed to register for General Education courses at the CSU. You may take the EPT, ELM or both at a campus near you or where you plan to enroll.

First Time Freshmen Outside Local Service Area Live-on Housing Requirement:
Beginning with the Fall 2012 semester, California State University San Marcos joined a number of other CSU campuses in requiring first-time freshman (Including EOP) from outside of the local area to live in University or University-Affiliated Housing during their first year (on a space available basis).

Living in student housing promotes greater community, creating a student sense of citizenship, and facilitates a positive first year experience.  The living experience provides greater support in transition to university life, including participation in learning communities, involvement in student life and recreation, more access to academic resources and opportunities to build life-long friendships.  When determining financial aid eligibility for students living on-campus, the Cost of Attendance will reflect on- campus housing rates. EOP students are strongly encouraged to assess their financial resources and total college costs prior to completing a housing contract.

Exemptions for special circumstances from the live on requirement will be considered for students over 21 years of age; military or veteran status; married, domestically partnered, and/or with legally dependent children; independent student status; medical and disability circumstances, or other special circumstances which create substantial personal hardship.  For more information on the exemption criteria please visit.

Intent to Enroll & Enrollment Deposit:
All students (including EOP) must confirm plans to enroll at CSU San Marcos by indicating their intent to enroll via Log onto, select the Student Center, click on Accept/Decline Fall application and follow all steps to accept the offer of admission. The intent to enroll and the $150 enrollment deposit must be submitted by May 1, 2016.

The enrollment deposit will apply toward tuition for your Fall term and will be waived for any student who qualified for an application fee waiver at the time of application for admission. Information and online payment options are provided on MyCSUSM.  Failure to submit the Intent to Enroll and Enrollment Deposit by May 1, 2016 will result in cancellation of the offer of University admissions and to EOP.  For more information visit:

University First Year (freshman) Orientation:
All new EOP freshmen are required to sign up and attend a new student University orientation.  Orientation and New Student Programs assists all new CSUSM students in the transition to the campus community.  The process starts at Orientation and continues through the entire first year at CSUSM.  Orientation and New Student Programs provides a number of opportunities available to new and current students to get involved on campus and to feel more a part of the CSUSM community.  

Orientation for all Fall 2016 admits will be held June through August 2016.  EOP freshmen are encouraged to attend the orientation reserved for specialized programs scheduled for June 7. EOP admitted students will be contacted by Orientation and New Student Programs, as well as EOP with information to sign up for the designated EOP Orientation, and for updates and important information. Orientation dates will not be posted until mid-spring 2016.  For more Orientation information visit:

EOP First Contact:
EOP First Contact is a mandatory information session for all new EOP freshmen.  It is designed for all newly admitted CSUSM/EOP first-time freshmen and should not be confused with CSUSM’s New Student Orientation, which is designed to reach all new, incoming CSUSM students. EOP First Contact is conducted by EOP Counselors who will introduce themselves to the new students and who will highlight all EOP policies and procedures, expectations and services.

Parents are also invited and strongly encouraged to participate in a bilingual (Spanish/English) parent information session from 9:00 - 11:30am. The information session provides parents with information about the EOP program services, financial aid information, Early Start, Summer Bridge, and other transition topics.

During EOP First Contact, students will read, discuss and sign the EOP Student-Program Contract, which highlights program services, policies and procedures, and EOP’s expectations for student participation, all of which help to ensure academic success.  Students learn about their Fall class schedule, proficiency requirements, general education and graduation requirements. Students are given the opportunity to ask questions regarding information and important materials that they may have received from EOP, the Office of Admissions, or other campus units.

EOP students must attend a University Orientation and EOP First Contact.

Register Now!

EOP Freshman: First Contact 2016
Date Check-In Time Location
June 4 8:30am 9:00 - 11:30am ARTS 240


CSU Early Start:
The CSU system recently enacted a policy known as “Early Start” requiring incoming students (Including EOP) who do not demonstrate readiness for college-level math and/or English to begin remediation during the summer before coming to the CSU. The goals of Early Start are to better prepare students in math and English before their first semester, thereby improving their chances of completing a college degree.

Most EOP freshmen will be required to complete a summer Early Start requirement for the Entry Level Math requirement and/or the English Placement Test requirements.  This is a mandatory CSU requirement that must be completed in the preceding summer.  EOP students are strongly advised to plan accordingly to meet the requirement during the summer.  For more information visit:

*Non-California residents are waived from Early Start participation.

June 4th Early Start Information Session:
All EOP students that are required to enroll in Early Start must attend an Early Start Information Session that will take place at California State University San Marcos on Saturday, June 4, 2016, at the USU Ballroom. The afternoon session of 12:00 - 2:00pm has been reserved for all EOP First Year Students.

EOP students will automatically be registered for this "Early Start" information session by submitting your "EOP First Contact" registration by May 16, 2016. Students who do not register for First Contact by May 16th, will have an Early Start hold placed in their account preventing them from registering in First Year Orientation.

EOP Freshman: Early Start Information Session
June 4 12:00 - 2:00pm USU Ballroom

The Early Start Information Session will provide an overview of Early Start requirements. The information session will also provide an opportunity for you to select the best course(s) to take full advantage of Early Start program - courses that will advance you or fulfill the proficiency requirements.

Here's why you must attend:

  • Learn why it is important that you begin your college coursework this summer
  • Learn about the courses you will be taking this summer, costs, parking and books
  • Learn what is expected of you as a student during the summer
  • Meet faculty, staff and former Early Start students who are here to support you
  • Complete your Smart Page and/or select summer courses

Parents are also encouraged to attend with you. Parents will benefit from learning how to support your success at CSUSM. We will educate your parents on the benefits of students participating in this program, curriculum, academic expectations, and student success. Spanish speaking presenters will be available.

NOTE: *Students participating EOP Summer Bridge will not be required to participate in Early Start or attend the Early Start Information Session.

EOP Freshmen Summer Bridge:
EOP freshman who do not demonstrate college-level readiness for math and English are required to participate in Summer Bridge to satisfy Early Start requirements and as a condition of admittance into EOP. Summer Bridge is an intensive 5 week transitional program offered to select EOP admits. Students participating in the five week intensive Summer Bridge Program have the opportunity to get a head start on their general education coursework, improve math and writing skills, attend cultural activities, and build a network of support. Summer Bridge requires that students live on campus during the five week program duration.

First year students admitted to EOP are required to participate in the Summer Bridge Program if their ELM (Entry Level Mathematics test) score is below 50 and if their EPT (English Placement Test) score is below 147. Students who do not participate in the Summer Bridge Program but whose placement scores fall within this bracket (for either or both tests), will still be required to participate in the University's Early Start courses during the Summer for Math, English, or both.  Failure to complete the EOP Summer Bridge Program or Early Start courses will result in their Fall course cancellations, and cancellation of participation to EOP. Summer Bridge participants will:

  • Strengthen their math skills in order to retake and pass the ELM or raise your score to the next level of math.  Students will earn between 1-3 units of math credit fulfilling their Early Start-Math requirement.
  • Take the course "Writing and Reading for College Success" (ESW 120) and earn 4 units of GE credit that completes the Area E requirement and Early Start-English requirement.
  • Be a part of a learning community where they will receive support from instructors, counselors, tutors and peers.
  • Make new friends and build lasting relationships that will support their academic goals.
  • Participate in activities that will enhance their learning experience.
  • Live in the University Village Apartments at EOP’s expense.

Important Summer Bridge 2016 Dates

Family Information Session/ Students Move-In TBA
Summer Bridge Program (Monday - Friday) TBA
Closing/Move-Out TBA

*Non-California residents are waived from Early Start participation.

Final Transcripts:

All newly admitted students (Including EOP) must submit a final transcript showing completion of all requirements for admission and a graduation date to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Transcripts must be official and received by CSU San Marcos in a sealed envelope by July 15, 2016 at 5:00 pm. Failure to submit final transcripts by July 15, 2016 will result in cancellation of your offer of admission, as well as cancellation into EOP.

First Year Check-Off List (Printable Version)