Early Entrance Program at California State University Los Angeles


The Early Entrance Program (EEP) is located on the California State University-Los Angeles (CSU-LA) campus in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1982 as a program for exceptionally gifted students between the ages of 11 and 16. Dr. Richard S. Maddox has been the director of the program from its foundation. The EEP students are enrolled in CSU-LA and take courses within the University’s Honors College. In the first year, EEP students take classes with one another; in the second year they begin taking courses with other students in the University Honors College. It is a co-educational program, which enrolls roughly 150 students. The students attend the program officially for four years however they are encouraged to stay for five. Students will graduate from the program with a BA, BS, BFA, or will continue on with the option to receive an MS or MA. There is also an option to continue on and receive a doctorate in education, EED. Once the EEP students graduate the majority enter into a masters or doctorate program in some of the most prestigious universities in the country.


The students in the EEP program live at home with their parents, their only costs are regular CSU-LA tuition which ranges between $3,500-$5,000 a year. EEP students are able to take advantage of any scholarships or financial aid that is available to all CSU-LA students. Students go through a very rigorous applications process composed of interviews, recommendations, grades, and test scores. Students must receive a combined verbal and math score of at least 1100 on the SAT with neither score falling below 550. For the ACT the applicant must score at least a 23 in English and a 24 in Math. 98% of the applicants have a GPA of 3.7 or above and their average SAT score is 1250. The program accepts 30% of its applicants.


Freshman EEP students are required to take a standard curriculum during their first year in the program. They are placed in courses with other EEP students; they do not begin taking courses with the university Honors College students until their second year. However, this curriculum is enhanced compared to the normal freshman CSU-LA student’s courses. Courses include, freshman composition, college algebra, U.S. history, an introduction to higher education, and science.  If a student places out of these courses they are allowed to take high division classes. All students who are part of the EEP program take courses in the CSU-LA Honors College. The students are also required to complete all of the general educational requirements that a CSU-LA student would need to fulfill.


The students are allowed and encouraged to take part in any clubs and organizations on campus that are age appropriate. There is also an EEP Club, which organizes field trips, activities, etc. for the EEP students. The program is very amenable to whatever the EEP students may want to participate in. If there is interest in creating a sports team or club then the program accommodates that. The students are also allowed to participate in CSU-LA sports if the team coach shows an interest in them and they are able to maintain their academic standing. The incoming students also participate in a yearly camping trip to Catalina Island for a bonding and traditional camping experience. Students are also encouraged to maintain relationships with their friends from other schools. They often participate in sports, dances and other extracurricular activities at the school they would have attended had they not joined the gifted program. Cal State L.A. is also the campus for Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, which has a population of 500 high school students. These students do not take EEP classes, but interaction between the two groups is highly encouraged.


Twice a year, the director of the program holds a “The Search for Exceptional Academic Achievement”. The ACT is administered and from those two tests groups, applicants are gleaned. If their test scores qualify them, students are contacted by mail.