Admissions and Records

  • All about admissions impaction at CSUN.

Freshman Impaction

Update:  California State University, Northridge (CSUN) changed the impaction process and criteria for Fall 2016. Though impaction continues for the coming 2017-2018 academic year and thereafter, CSUN has eased the supplementary criteria for both non-local area applicants and impacted majors. For an overview, please see CSUN Impaction.

All first-time freshman applicants must meet the minimum standard CSU admission requirements described at First-Time Freshman Applicant. Freshman applicants affected by CSUN impaction must also meet CSUN's supplementary admission criteria described on this page to be considered for admission. 

Topics on this page:

Does freshman impaction affect you? 

To find out whether or not impaction affects you, take the following steps in the suggested order:

1.  Determine if you are a "local" or "non-local" applicant.

  • If the California high school you’ve graduated from is inside CSUN’s local admission area, you will be considered a "local-area" applicant.
  • If your high school is outside CSUN's local area but still in California, you will be considered a "non-local area" applicant.

2.  Determine if you will be applying to an impacted major.

  • Choose your major carefully. You will not be able to change it during the admission process.

3.  You are NOT affected by impaction if you are a nonresident of California or a U.S. servicemember (active duty or veteran). Find application instructions at:

Local vs. Non-Local Admission

  • Local area applicants must possess a minimum eligibility index of 2900 using the SAT or 694 using the ACT.
  • Non-local area freshman applicants from the rest of California must meet any CSUN supplementary admission criteria based on the eligibility index. The supplementary eligibility index will be determined by the number and academic characteristics of the non-local freshman applicant pool. This supplementary eligibility index could require non-local area freshman applicants to possess a higher eligibility index than is required for local area applicants. Space permitting, non-local area applicants who achieve the supplementary eligibility index will be admitted until the freshman class is full..
  • View a list and map of high schools/districts inside CSUN's local admission area.

Impacted Major Admission

For Fall 2017 admission, several undergraduate majors are impacted at CSUN. The academic department for each impacted major may set supplementary admission criteria for its applicants.

If you are choosing one of the impacted majors listed below and you are a student from California, you will need to meet that major’s supplementary admission criteria if any. The number and academic characteristics apparent in the freshman applications from California residents will determine the need for supplementary admission criteria. In all majors except Music, this could mean achieving a higher admission eligibility index than is required for a non-impacted major. Space permitting, applicants who meet any supplementary criteria will be admitted first, until the impacted major is full.

Explore all CSUN undergraduate majors.

The list of impacted majors for Fall 2017 are listed below.

The following four (4) impacted business majors admit applicants to the pre-major program based on their eligibility index:

1. Business - Accountancy
2. Business - Finance: Financial Analysis
3. Business - Finance: Financial Planning
4. Business - Finance: Insurance

The following impacted majors and their options admit applicants directly to the major program based on their eligibility index (CSUMentor):

5. Biology B.A. and B.S. (new)
6. Cinema and Television Arts
7. Communication Studies (new)
8. Health Sciences majors (new):

  • Health Administration
  • Public Health
  • Radiologic Sciences

9. Kinesiology
10. Psychology

Applicants to the following impacted major are required to pass an audition:
11. Music - See Audition & Placement.

Please note: Non-local area applicants must first meet the supplementary criteria for non-local area applicants in order to be admitted to an impacted major.. 

Eligibility Index

The CSU statewide eligibility index is a combination of your high school grade point average (GPA) and scores on either the ACT or the SAT. GPAs are based on grades earned in college preparatory courses ("a-g" subject requirements) taken during the final three years of high school. Included in calculating GPA are any bonus points earned for approved honors courses.

You can look up your eligibility index at CSUMentor. Or, to calculate your eligibility index, multiply your GPA by 800 and add your total score on the SAT mathematics and critical reading scores. If you took the ACT, multiply your GPA by 200 and add ten times the ACT composite score (do not include the writing score). In other words:

  • Eligibility Index using SAT I Scores = (GPA) x 800 + SAT I Total of Mathematics + Critical Reading Scores
  • Eligibility Index using ACT Scores = (GPA) x 200 + (10 x ACT composite score)

Domestic out-of-state applicants will find eligibility index requirements at CSUMentor.


Fall 2016-Spring 2017 Admission Criteria for First-Time Freshmen

For Fall 2017 admission, the supplementary criteria published below may change. As explained earlier, the academic characteristics of the non-local applicant pool, as well as the academic characteristics of California first-time freshman applicants to impacted majors, will determine the supplementary criteria for both kinds of impaction. These characteristics are not yet known. Please check back later.

The two tables below describe the admission requirements for Fall 2016-Spring 2017 first-time freshman applicants who have graduated from California high schools located within and outside of CSUN’s local admission area. The first table shows the admission criteria for CSUN’s non-impacted majors and the second table the criteria for impacted majors. Please note:

  • Applicants who meet the minimum eligibility index for their group will be admitted. 
  • Applicants whose academic profile would qualify them for admission if CSUN were not impacted will be invited to waitlist for admission if their eligibility index falls within the ranges below. 
  • Non-local area applicants must first meet the higher, supplementary criteria for non-local area applicants in order to be admitted to an impacted major.
  • These impaction criteria have been set for Fall 2016-Spring 2017 admission only and may vary for future admission cycles.
  • The minimum standard CSU admission requirements are published at freshman applicant.

California Residents Applying to Non-Impacted Majors

Table 1: Minimum eligibility index for Fall 2016 freshman admission based on CSUN's local and non-local areas.
California High School LocationMinimum Admission Eligibility IndexInvited to Waitlist
Inside CSUN's local area
  • ACT = 694
  • SAT = 2900
Outside CSUN's local area
  • ACT = 940
  • SAT = 3900
  • ACT = 890939
  • SAT = 37003899

California Residents Applying to Impacted Majors

  • All graduates of California high schools, regardless of location, who are applying to an impacted major must meet the higher, supplementary requirements for that major.
  • Non-local area applicants must first meet the non-local area criteria before being considered for admission to an impacted major.

See also Impacted Majors on this page.

Table 2: Fall 2016-Spring 2017 minimum admission criteria for freshmen applying to impacted majors.
Impacted MajorMinimum Admission Eligibility IndexInvited to Waitlist
  • Cinema and Television Arts
  • Kinesiology
  • Psychology
  • ACT = 720
  • SAT = 3000
  • ACT = 695719
  • SAT = 29002999
  • Accountancy
  • Business Administration - Insurance and Financial Services Option
  • Finance
See Table 1 above for non-impacted majors. Apply to Pre-Major.n/a
  • Music
Pass audition.n/a

Fall 2016 Admissions Waitlist

Freshman applicants whose academic profile would meet the requirements for admission if CSUN were not impacted have the option of continuing as a waitlist candidate. Waitlist candidates may be offered admission if it is determined that space is available after currently admitted students submit their intent to register. Waitlist candidates will receive a written notice via their CSUN email account and by regular mail with instructions to accept CSUN’s waitlist offer. The offer will also appear in the “My Checklist” section of myNorthridge Portal.

  • The deadline for first-time freshman applicants to accept the Fall 2016 waitlist offer is May 1, 2016. 
  • Decisions on the admission of waitlist candidates will be made by July 8, 2016.

If you must submit your intent to register to another college/university by a specified date in order to secure a place for attendance, we suggest you meet that deadline even if CSUN is your first choice. If you are later admitted to CSUN, you may determine whether or not you will forfeit any enrollment deposit made to another college should you decide to attend our university.