Composition for Multilingual Students Program
With an enrollment of more 1,000 non-native English speakers, this program is the largest of its kind in the California State University system. The Composition for Multilingual Students Program (CMS) serves SF State students who are non-native speakers of English. The program offers courses that fulfill SFSU’s graduation requirements for written and oral communication; these courses are taught by instructors who are experienced in designing and teaching academic writing, grammar and speech courses for non-native speakers.
Today, our program is comprised of international students, permanent migrants, refugees and U.S. citizens who have been in the U.S. anywhere from six months to 20 years. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, our program is the largest of its kind in the CSU system. We offer between 40 and 50 sections of a total of six to nine credit-bearing classes each semester.
The Composition for Multilingual Students program is a University-wide undergraduate program through which non-native speakers of English meet the general education requirements for oral and written communication and the lower- and upper-division written English requirements. View the G.E. Baccalaureate Requirements: Oral and Written Communication for SFSU Students (PDF)
The program began in the 1960s to provide English support courses for F-1 students. Today, our program is comprised of students from all over, some who have come here primarily for their studies under F-1 and J-1 visas, and others who have taken residence here in the U.S., as permanent migrants, refugees or U.S. citizens residing here for anywhere between three months to 20 years. The program has four levels, in which between 40 and 50 sections are offered each semester.
Before enrolling in any CMS course, a student must have either done directed self-placement (only for students coming directly from a U.S. high school) or take the CMSPT (Composition for Multiingual Students Placement Test) upon arrival. The test is administered five times a year by the CMSPT coordinator, CMS program coordinator and CMS program staff. Approximately 400 students take the test each year.
Students are placed into classes at the appropriate level (see Course Descriptions page) based primarily on their test scores, with consideration of GE and CSU written English requirements that have already been fulfilled. Once students begin courses in the CMS Program, they are advised about subsequent courses by their CMS teachers and advisers.
View the Course Sequence (PDF) for a better understanding of the order in which courses should be taken.