Admissions and Records

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Apply First-Time Freshman


CSUN impaction criteria have significantly changed for Fall 2016 admissions. The local admission area has been revised and several individual majors have added supplementary admissions criteria. For an overview, please see Impaction.

All freshman applicants must meet the minimum standard CSU admission criteria described on this page. Non-local area applicants must also meet the higher supplementary admission criteria for their geographical location. If you are a California resident, regardless of location, applying to an impacted major, you must also meet the supplementary criteria for that major. Both kinds of supplementary criteria are described at Freshman Impaction

Are you a first-time freshman?

first-time freshman is a student who has earned no college credit after the summer immediately following high school graduation. First-time freshmen must apply for admission before the end of the initial application filing period

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered for admission as a first-time freshman, you must meet all the standard CSU admission criteria below:

1. Graduate from high school or have the legal equivalent of a high school diploma.

2. Complete the college preparatory subject requirements (a-g course list) with a grade of C or better:

  • English: 4 years
  • Mathematics: 3 years. Algebra, geometry, and intermediate algebra
  • Social Science/History: 2 years, including 1 year U.S. history or U.S. history and government
  • Science: 2 years. 1 biological science with lab, and 1 physical science with lab
  • Foreign Language: 2 years in the same language (subject to waiver for applicants demonstrating equivalent competence)
  • Visual and Performing Arts: 1 year. Art, dance, drama/theater, or music
  • Electives: 1 year. Selected from English, advanced mathematics, social science/history, laboratory science, foreign language, visual and performing arts, and agriculture

3. SAT or ACT test scores must be received by Admissions and Records no later than Tuesday, February 2, 2016, for Fall 2016 admission. The last opportunity to take the tests is in early December 2015. Register 5 weeks or more before the test date.

For test dates and registration, ask your high school counselor or visit the following websites:

4. Earn a qualifiable eligibility index. The CSU Statewide Eligibility Index is a weighted combination of high school grade point average during the final three years of high school and a score on either the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT). All grades earned in "a-g" college preparatory courses taken in 10th through 12th grades are used to calculate the grade point average (GPA).

  • Local area applicants graduating from California schools inside the defined Local Admission Area must possess a minimum eligibility index of 2900 using the SAT or 694 using the ACT.
  • Non-local area applicants graduating from California schools outside the defined Local Admission Area must meet a higher eligibility index. The minimum Eligibility Index to be given admission consideration for the SAT or ACT is to be determined [TBD].

    Note: Space permitting, non-local area applicants will be admitted until the freshman class is full. It is possible that no non-local-area, first-time freshman applicants will be admitted if local applicants fill all available admission spaces. Therefore, CSUN recommends applying to an additional, alternate campus.

  • Nonresidents (domestic out-of-state applicants), see Eligibility Index requirements at CSUMentor.

You can look up your eligibility index at CSUMentor. Or, calculate your eligibility index using either the SAT or ACT score:

  • SAT (scores in mathematics and critical reading) + (800 x high school grade point average)
  • (10 x ACT composite score without the writing score) + (200 x high school grade point average)

5. If your desired major is impacted, you will also need to meet the supplementary admission criteria for that major. Because admission capacity is limited, you should also apply to an alternate campus that offers your desired major. Read more at impacted majors.

EPT and ELM Requirement

1. While your English Placement Test (EPT) and Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) test scores are not required for admission, you must satisfy the requirement before enrolling in classes. Even if you are admitted, you must take the EPT/ELM tests (unless you are exempt) by Saturday, May 7, 2016 for Fall 2016 enrollment.

Because of heavy demand and limited seating, you should register for the tests much earlier than the May deadline. Information about test dates, registration, exemptions and more is available at CSUN Testing Center.

Arrange for ETS to send your EPT/ELM scores to CSUN school code 4707.

2. If you miss the EPT/ELM test deadline, you will need to do either of the following:

  • Reapply for admission to CSUN for the next available fall semester (first-time freshmen are not currently admitted to spring semesters)
  • Attend another college or university to complete all lower division requirements, and apply to CSUN as a transfer student.

You may prepare a written appeal. However, appeals regarding missed deadlines are rarely considered.

How to Apply

Take these steps to apply for admission:

  1. Apply for admission during the initial filing period published at Admissions Calendar. Review application deadlines and major status (open, closed or exceptions if any).
  2. File an online application through CSUMentor during the initial filing period. For Fall 2016 admission, the initial filing period ends November 30, 2015.
  3. Have important documents (grades, transcripts, test scores) handy when completing the online application.
  4. Send us your preliminary high school transcript as soon as you complete the first semester of your senior year.
  5. Send your final high school transcript verifying graduation date as soon as you graduate.

All transcripts must be "official" (we must receive them in sealed, unopened envelopes). Ask your previous schools to send your official transcripts directly to us. 

Have official transcripts and test scores sent to:

CSUN - Admissions and Records
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA  91330-8207

After You Apply

After you have applied to CSUN, make sure the rest of your admissions process goes smoothly:

  1. Set up your CSUN account and email as explained in the "activate your CSUN user ID and password" letter you received from Admissions and Records. See account activation instructions.
  2. Monitor your application status. Log into myNorthridge Portal, locate “My Checklist," and review your Incomplete Tasks such as missing transcripts. For help with the portal, see the How To Guides.
  3. Check often for CSUN correspondence sent to your CSUN email box, by regular mail, and in myNorthridge ("My Announcements").
  4. Send the $55 application fee, or request an application fee waiver (.pdf).
  5. If you are admitted, you will need to file your “Intent to Register” electronically no later than Monday, May 2, 2016 in order to attend CSUN in Fall 2016. See Admitted to CSUN.

Application and Document Deadlines

Task or DocumentSpring 2016*Fall 2016
Last day to apply for admission8/31/2015 (Paper application)11/30/2015 (Apply at CSUMentor.)
Send official preliminary high school transcriptN/AAfter you apply and as soon as you complete the 1st semester of your senior year
Send official final high school transcript verifying graduation dateWith paper application packet8/12/2016
Send official college transcripts (if any)As soon as grades are postedAs soon as grades are posted
Send official test scores if you have taken any Advanced Placement, International Baccaluareate, or CLEP testsWith paper application packetAs soon as test scores are available
Last day for CSUN to receive SAT/ACT test scoresWith paper application packet2/2/2016
Last day to file Intent to Register in myNorthridge**12/1/20155/2/2016
Last day to take EPT/ELM placement testsMake arrangements on the ETS website.5/7/2016***
Last day for CSUN to receive EPT/ELM scores10/31/2015Arrange for ETS to send scores to CSUN school code 4707.

*Spring 2016 deadlines apply to nonresident applicants.

**If admitted after the following dates, you will have 14 days from your admission date to file Intent to Register:
– Spring 2016: November 17, 2015
– Fall 2016: April 17, 2016

***Because of heavy demand, you should sign up for the EPT/ELM tests much earlier than the May deadline. For exemptions, test dates and registration information, see CSUN Testing Center.

Admission Appeals

If your application for admission was denied or your offer of provisional admission has been withdrawn, see Admission and Deadline Appeals.