First Year Composition

You have options for how you would best like to complete SF State’s First-Year Composition Requirement. In order to select the best option, we have designed an online application for placing students in first-year composition classes. This application is called Directed Self-Placement (DSP). We believe that, with good guidance from us, you are the best person to choose which First-Year Composition course is best for you. You know what your background and experiences with reading and writing have been. You also know how motivated and confident you are, what your goals are and what support systems you have in place to help you meet those goals. You now have the opportunity to make an important decision about which composition class is best for you (that is the “self-placement” part of DSP). Our job is to provide you with some additional guidance to help you make the best choice possible:

All newly-admitted undergraduate students must take the California State University English Placement Test (CSU-EPT) prior to their first semester of matriculated attendance at SF State, except those with proof of an approved EPT test or course exemption, as listed in the University Bulletin. All students who are required to complete First-Year Composition are required to use the DSP application to determine which of our three First-Year Composition options is best for you. There is no cost associated with DSP; it is free of charge.

Students with an EPT score of 147 or above who need First-Year Composition should follow instructions sent to your SF State email address in early June and/or visit the Directed Self-Placement to complete the application and make your course selection.

Students with an EPT score of 146 or below will complete DSP as part of their English class in SF State’s Early Start Program.

To learn more about the DSP process, please visit the English Tutoring Center (ETC).

The three options you may choose from are:

Accelerated English 114 (one-semester course)

Stretch English 104/105 (two-semester course)

Courses in the Composition for Multilingual Students Program

Accelerated English 114

English 114 is a 3-credit, single semester version of First Year Composition. Once students successfully complete ENG 114, they have completed SF State’s First-Year Written Composition requirement and have earned 3 credits toward the 120 needed for graduation. Because students complete English 114 in a single semester, the pace is quicker than in Stretch English 104/105. The class size in English 114 is also slightly larger (20 students compared to 18 in the stretch course).

Stretch English 104/105

English 104/105 is SF State’s year long version of First-Year Composition. We call it the “stretch” program because we stretch course expectations and learning goals over a full year rather than a single semester. Students who complete the stretch course earn 6 units of credit (3 units each semester), all of which count toward the 120 units needed to graduate. Once students successfully complete Stretch English 104/105, they have met the University’s First-Year Composition requirement.

Students who choose the stretch option enroll in English 104 in fall and English 105 in spring during their first year at SF State. Since English 104/105 is a yearlong course, students will have the same instructor and group of classmates in the spring semester as they had in the fall semester. The class will also meet at the same day and time during both semesters. This will help when it comes time to plan the rest of your class schedule.

The Composition for Multilingual Students Program

The Composition for Multilingual Students program (CMS) is the largest of its kind in the California State University system. Our CMS program is designed to meet the learning needs of multilingual students, including speech and grammar instruction that is not available in either Stretch English 104/105 or in English 114. 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.

The program offers courses that fulfill SF State’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.

Learn more about the CMS Program classes (PDF).