New Students

Welcome to Gator Smart Start.  We provide information about academic preparation and placement for English/Written Composition courses and Math/Quantitative Reasoning courses.  We also support students in Early Start, our summer transition program.




Frequently Asked Questions

Every SF State student who has not earned college credit for ENG 114 has the opportunity to take the First-Year Writing Advising. To choose the best course for first-year composition, all entering first-time students should complete First-Year Writing Advising two days before orientation. This, combined with your English pathway in your student center, will help you make the best choice for your writing courses when enrolling.

Take this two minute quiz to see if you need Early Start: Quiz

If you are on Pathway 4 in Math only, take ESM.

If you are on Pathway 4 in English only, take ESE.

If you are on Pathway 4 in both Math and English, you may choose which you would prefer or take both!  If you would like assistance making a choice, please email

In addition to being introduced to school resources and policies, students receive an earlier registration date than the general freshmen population — as well as assistance in registering. This means orientation students have more choice of courses and times — and are more likely to sign up for the right courses as advisors are there in person to help. See New Student Programs page for more info.