Composition for Multilingual Students (CMS)


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 SF State Students (PDF).


Before enrolling in any CMS course, you must have either done directed self-placement (only for students coming directly from a U.S. high school) or take the CMSPT (Composition for Multilingual 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. The CMSPT is an SF State requirement for placement in all CMS English Courses. The CMSPT must be taken before enrolling in any CMS course, other than English 415.

You will be placed into CMS classes at the appropriate level based primarily on your test scores, with consideration of GE and CSU written English requirements that have already been fulfilled. Once you begin courses in the CMS Program, you will be advised about subsequent courses by your CMS teachers and advisers. Multilingual students who are eligible to take Composition for Multilingual Students (CMS) courses must complete the sequence of CMS courses, all of which satisfy the University's General Education requirements for English. A student who satisfactorily completes a CMS course may proceed to the next level CMS course without retaking the CMSPT.

Multilingual students can complete the GE Oral Communication requirement by taking ENG 210, Oral Communication-Multilingual.

View the Course Sequence (PDF) for a better understanding of the order in which courses should be taken.



 Lisa Heyer

(415) 338-1320

Humanities 482


Priyanvada Abeywickrama

(415) 338-3095

Humanities 269 




CMS Resources

CMS Program Classes

Learn more about the CMS Program classes (PDF) and how they differ from the Composition classes. 

CMS Placement Test

Before enrolling in any CMS course, a student must take the CMSPT (Composition for Multilingual Students Placement Test).

View additional details about the CMS Placement Test


Learn answers to questions regarding graduation credit, CMS courses, transfer students, non-SF State students, tutoring, and graduate students by reviewing our CMS FAQS.

Hiring Pool for Part-Time Lecturers in CMS Program

The Composition for Multilingual Students (CMS) Program accepts applications for their Part-Time Lecturer Hiring Pool during each spring semester. View additional information about the hiring process

Applications will be accepted in Spring 2018. 


For more information on how CMS classes may benefit you or (if you are an instructor) your students. View additional information on CMS and GWAR.

CMS Class Schedule

Take a look at the SFSU Class Schedule.

CMS Faculty Contact Information

See the list of CMS faculty, including their office locations, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses.

CMS TA Application

Current MA TESOL students have the opportunity to apply to become teaching assistants (TAs) for CMS classes. View additional information on the TA application process.

CMS Course Descriptions

The program includes nine courses at four levels, beginning with Accelerated Academic English and ending with Grammar/Editing Workshop. View additional information on the CMS course descriptions.