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Welcome to the FIRST2STEM program!

FIRST2STEM (Facilitating Identity, Retention, and Successful Transitions to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is a program designed to support STEM students at CSUSM over the course of the first two years of college. This is a totally free program that will provide students with:

  • Regular one-on-one advising to help you navigate the University and curriculum
  • A free two-week summer math bootcamp to help you take your first Math course
  • Specialized small-group math tutoring to help you get through your math classes
  • Free math textbooks
  • Individual support for technology needs for online instruction
  • Enrollment in a special section of GEL 101 in the fall with other FIRST2STEM scholars
  • Opportunities to learn about scientific research on campus and to connect with scientists and engineers in the local community

To indicate your interest in joining the FIRST2STEM community, fill out the form below!

Who is eligible for FIRST2STEM?

FIRST2STEM is funded by a grant from the Department of Education through its Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program, and eligibility is limited to students in all of the following categories:

  • First-time undergraduate students in the following majors: Applied Physics, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Software Engineering
  • Students placed into Quantitative Reasoning Categories III or IV (placement determined by high school grades and standardized test scores)
  • “Minority” students as defined by the Department of Education

Why should I be a part of FIRST2STEM?

FIRST2STEM offers many benefits to ensure your successful transition to your chosen STEM major. You will be part of a learning community with other FIRST2STEM scholars that will give you access to faculty and staff who are committed to your academic and personal success. FIRST2STEM is specifically designed to help students through their first math courses, all the way through Calculus (MATH 160), which for many STEM majors is required before the first major course. Depending on your math placement category (Quantitative Reasoning Category), this can be up to four courses over four semesters (MATH 101 > MATH 105 > MATH 126 > MATH 160). FIRST2STEM scholars will have access to tutors and special workshops in the STEM Success Center to help them through these courses.

Who can I contact for more information?

Our general contact email is, or you can contact the Project Co-Directors:

  • Stephen Tsui, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Physics,
  • Adam Petersen, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Academic Success,

How can I sign up for FIRST2STEM?

Just fill out this form!

Fill out my online form.