Graduate Studies Policies and ProceduresGo to the Graduate Degree List
Policy on Written Syllabi for All Graduate Courses
To better inform students about the requirements, content and methodology of the University’s graduate curricula, all faculty teaching graduate courses will distribute a written syllabus to each student in the course and/or post it online no later than the second week of classes. The syllabus should contain at least the following information:
- Course objective(s)
- A brief list or summary of topics or projects covered
- Course requirements and methods of evaluation
- Grading criteria including whether or not the plus/minus system will be used
- Contact information (instructor’s name, office hours, office location, and campus phone number)
Policy on GPA Requirements for Graduate Programs
Students pursuing a Graduate Degree must maintain a minimum 3.0 (B) average in the formal program and the cumulative grade point average. No grade below a “C” can be counted in the formal program. Any grade of “C-” or below in the formal program must be repeated after an approved course repeat form has been filed. If the student does not receive a “C” or better on the 2nd attempt, the student will be disqualified from the program. A maximum of 6 units in the formal program may be repeated at the graduate level. The repeat grade will appear on the transcript. Departments may have higher standards that take precedence over the University policy.
Credit for work performed in extension or at another accredited institution is subject to the following limitations:
- Transfer of work is subject to the approval of the Graduate Coordinator of the major department and the Associate Vice President of Graduate Studies. An unofficial transcript must be submitted with either the Formal program or course substitution to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval of the specific coursework.
- Only grade “B” or better may be transferred (CR/NC grading is not transferable).
- No more than 9 units in combination of transfer work, extension work or work completed prior to earning a baccalaureate degree can be used toward a degree.
- Both transfer and CSUN coursework may not exceed the 7 year time limit.
- Transfer courses and Undergraduate CSUN course/s petitioned to count for Post-Graduate coursework may not be validated once the course exceeds the 7 year time limit.
- If the course/s petitioned have been taken at an institution where the degree has been granted, the student must provide a memo from the institution indicating the course/s was not used for degree completion.
Extension and Concurrent Enrollment Courses
Courses taken prior to admission to a Master’s degree program through CSUN’s Extension or Concurrent Enrollment programs are subject to the limitations that apply to graduate work taken at other institutions (see Transfer Work section above). Courses taken through Extension or Concurrent Enrollment following admission to a Master’s degree program are subject to departmental approval for use on the formal Master’s program.
Credit for Work Completed Prior to Earning the Baccalaureate Degree
A maximum of 9 units of credit earned at the 500-level during a student’s final undergraduate semester at CSUN may be applied toward a Master’s degree subject to departmental approval. Requests for such credit are filed following admission to a CSUN Master’s program on a Graduate Petition Form (OGS 1). Courses are subject to the following University requirements:
- They may not be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.
- Only coursework of “B” or better will be considered for petitioning.
- Courses petitioned may not have been taken more than 7 years prior to the time of graduation with the Master’s degree.
- A petition is subject to approval by both the department and the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies.
Foreign Language Reading Examination
When competency in a foreign language is a departmental requirement, students may demonstrate competency in one of three ways:
- by passing the Graduate Foreign Language Examination (Princeton Examination).
- by passing a departmental examination. The examination is given by the Department of Foreign Languages in the fifth week of each semester. Candidates who plan to take this examination should notify the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures early in the semester, and enroll in one unit of 499 in the appropriate language.
- by successfully completing a Graduate Reading course in the appropriate language. This course may be taken without prerequisite if the student has completed two semesters of the language.
The Culminating Experience
A culminating experience is required for completion of a Master’s degree program. The University recognizes three types of culminating experiences: Theses, Graduate Projects/Artistic Performances, and Comprehensive Examinations. Each graduate program permits one or more of the culminating experiences as described below. Where more than one option is offered, the specific type of culminating experience is identified on the student’s Formal Program form.
A Thesis is an original scholarly contribution to the student’s field based on a systematic study of a significant problem. Although it may be part of a larger research program, each thesis is unique and written by a single student. The thesis typically explains the problem, sets forth the methodology that was used to address the problem and the limitations of the methodology, reports the results whether those are an analysis of data or a presentation of theory, and explains the significance of the findings in the context of previous work on the topic.
Thesis/Project Committee Selection: As soon as you attain Classified Status you must select the members of your Graduate Thesis/Project Committee. The committee must be comprised of three members one of which will serve as the committee chair. At least two committee members must be full-time faculty from your department. You may have one part-time faculty or off-campus committee member; however the part-time faculty or off-campus committee member cannot serve as the committee chair. The part-time faculty or off-campus committee member must meet the following minimal qualifications to participate on the committee:
- Hold a Ph.D. in the field or in a related field or equivalent degree
- Have experience in the topic or area of your Thesis/Project such as employment with an established institution or agency as a staff member or consultant
- Professional recognition through publications, reports, papers or membership in a national professional organization and/or working committees in their institution or agency
- Once you have formed your Thesis/Project Committee you will need the signature of each committee member on the Thesis/Project Planning Form (OGS 9). Curriculum vitae of a part time faculty or off-campus committee member must be attached to the Thesis/Project Planning Form for approval by your Committee Chair, department Graduate Coordinator and the Associate Vice President of Graduate Studies.
Graduate Project/Artistic Performances are a significant undertaking of a pursuit appropriate to professional fields and fine arts. It must represent originality and independent thinking, appropriate form and organization, and a rationale. A Project/Artistic Performance may be an individual or group effort. Examples of appropriate projects include the development of curriculum, a market research study for an organization, the testing of a therapy on a particular population, or the design of an electronic device. In the arts, examples could include a music recital, a music composition, direction of a theatrical performance or a gallery showing of works of art. The results must be described and summarized in a written document with an abstract.
A comprehensive examination will test the range of subject matter covered in the student’s graduate program. The purpose of the examination is to allow students to demonstrate their ability to integrate content knowledge, independent thinking, and critical analysis. At least three committee members must certify to the success or failure of the student in the examination.
Rules and Procedures Governing Theses, Graduate Projects, and Artistic Performances
The following rules apply to theses, graduate projects and artistic performances.
- At the time that a student’s advisory committee is formed and a topic selected, a Thesis/Graduate Project Planning Form (OGS 9) should be signed by the Graduate Coordinator and faculty who have agreed to serve on the student’s committee. This form should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval.
- The thesis must be an individual effort. However, the University recognizes that there are circumstances that warrant group graduate projects and artistic performances. In such instances, an attachment signed by each student and by the culminating experience committee chair must be appended to the Graduate Project Planning Form (OGS 9). The attachment must identify the names of other authors and describe the project and responsibilities of each author. The division of responsibilities specified must be reviewed, endorsed, and evaluated by the students’ committee members.
- Students may not register for more units of Thesis, Graduate Project or Artistic Performance 598/698 than appear on the Formal Program form (maximum 6).
- Students must be registered during the semester in which they expect to submit completed work, including the summer.
- If a student fails to successfully complete/defend the thesis, graduate project, or artistic performance, or any part of it, he/she will be disqualified from the Master’s program in the department and normally not allowed to take the comprehensive examination option.
- Guidelines: The thesis, graduate project or abstract of the artistic performance must be prepared according to the guidelines set forth by the Office of Graduate Studies and available online at Visit the Graduate Studies Website. All theses must be bound and copies retained in the library. In the case of graduate projects and abstracts of artistic performances, binding may not be required. This will depend on the degree of accessibility required as deemed by the department or the student’s committee. If binding is not required, a copy of the project must be retained by the department. It is the responsibility of the committee chair to notify the Office of Graduate Studies when the project or artistic performance has been submitted and approved.
- Time Limit: Theses, projects, or artistic performances must be completed, filed, and approved within 2 years of the first enrollment in 598/698. In some situations, a student is given an RP (Report in Progress) grade for work in progress (see “Definitions of Administrative Grading Symbols”). The “RP” will be converted to a “Credit” or “Letter” grade once the culminating experience has been approved.
Each master’s program that offers a comprehensive examination option is required to maintain University-approved guidelines for the administration of the examination, and these guidelines are to be available on request. The following regulations apply in all cases:
- Students become eligible to attempt the examination during the semester in which all required coursework has been completed. Note that language and statistics requirements must be met prior to taking the examination.
- Ordinarily, the examination is given at least one month before the end of the semester. Arrangements to enroll and take the examination should be made with the Graduate Coordinator in your department.
- If the examination is not completed in the final semester, students must register again for the examination the semester in which they plan to complete their degree. These additional units may not be counted as units toward the master’s degree.
- Students may not take an entire comprehensive examination more than twice.
- Students who fail the examination at the first attempt will be required to register for the examination again for the semester in which the second attempt is offered.
- Students who fail the first attempt will be required to submit a Course Repeat form to the Graduate Studies office with the approval of the Graduate Coordinator once enrolled for the second attempt.
- Failure of the second attempt of the comprehensive examination results in the disqualification from the Master’s program in that department.
- The first attempt is defined as the complete comprehensive examination prescribed by the Master’s program. The second attempt is defined as retaking a second examination on the entire program, or, at the discretion of the department, a supplementary examination on any part or parts of the first examination on which the student failed.
- Graduate Coordinators shall file the result of each examination with the Office of Graduate Studies.
- Once students have chosen the option of the comprehensive exam and enrolled in, and/or attempted the comprehensive examination and failed it (or any part), they are normally not eligible to change to any of the Thesis, Graduate Project, or Artistic Performance options.
Application for the Master’s Degree and Diploma
Students must apply for graduation during the semester immediately preceding the semester in which they wish to have the degree conferred. Application is required of all candidates for the degree. Students may obtain an Application for Master’s Degree and Diploma (AR9090) for graduation from the Office of Admissions & Records or the Graduate Studies Office. In the event that a student changes the completion date to a later time, a Master’s Graduation and Diploma Date Change Form (OGS 6) and a processing fee will be assessed.
Time Limit for Completion
Students must complete requirements for the degree within seven calendar years from the date they were admitted to a program, unless a lesser time is specified by the department or program committee.
Courses that were completed more than 7 years prior to the date on which all requirements for the degree are completed cannot be counted to meet unit requirements unless the student can show current knowledge in the content of the outdated courses by written examination for each course in question. A maximum of 9 units taken in residency at CSUN may be validated in this manner. The departmental Graduate Coordinator must certify this competency by way of a memorandum to the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies. Outdated courses taken at another institution may not be validated. In addition, conversion of the assigned “RP” for a thesis/project or abstract, signifying completion of culminating experience must be finalized within 2 years of the first enrollment in 598/698.
Change of Objective
Enrolled Graduate students may change their objective and seek admission to a new degree program by filling out a change of objective form that can be obtained from the Office of Admissions & Records. Transfer of previously earned units to the new program must have the approval of the department to which the student applies. A request for a change of objective for a student on academic probation is also subject to the approval of the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies.
Academic Performance and Study Load
Numerous requirements exist that specify the grading policies at CSUN and the academic standards and progress expected of students. These regulations are dictated by Title 5 of the California Administrative Code, the California State Universities and College System, and the President of CSUN.
CSUN uses the traditional A to F grading system and a non-traditional system of Credit, No Credit (CR/NC) as explained in the Regulations section of this catalog. Note the following provisions:
- Normal Grading: Credit (CR) is given for A, A-, B+, or B level scholastic performance and No Credit (NC) is given for the equivalent of B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D- or F work in graduate level courses. Graduate program courses may not be taken on a Credit/No Credit basis. Exceptions to this rule are Thesis/Graduate Project (598/698) or Comprehensive Examination (597/697) and certain courses in which the evaluation responsibility is shared by agencies in conjunction with faculty (e.g., field study, internship). The student is advised to request Credit/No Credit grading for courses taken for personal interest or enrichment which are unrelated to the degree objective outside the department or discipline of the major.
- Incomplete (I): An incomplete (I) must be changed to a grade within one calendar year immediately following the end of the semester in which it was assigned. This limitation exists whether or not students maintain continuous enrollment in the University. If the assigned work that is required to remove the incomplete is not completed by this time, the incomplete will be computed as an F in all subsequent grade point average determinations. All incompletes must be completed before a degree can be awarded.
- Incomplete Charged (IC): The “IC” symbol may be used when a student who received an authorized incomplete “I” has not completed the required course work within the allowed time limit. The “IC” replaces the “I” and is counted as a failing grade for grade point average and progress point computation
- Report in Progress (RP): A grade of Report in Progress (RP) is assigned for Thesis/Graduate Project and similar courses where assigned work frequently remains to be completed at the end of the semester in which the grade is given. The RP grade must be converted to a traditional letter grade within 2 years. Any extension of the time limit must receive prior authorization by submitting a Graduate Petition Form (OGS 1) to the Associate Vice President of Graduate Studies
Probation and Disqualification
Students enrolled in a degree program will be placed on academic probation whenever their grade point average (GPA) falls below 3.0 in all units attempted. To be removed from probation, students must earn sufficient grade points in the following semester of enrollment to raise their GPA to 3.0 or above. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. (Please refer to Grading in the Regulations section of this catalog to determine grade points assigned per unit value of coursework.)
If a disqualified graduate student wishes to be considered for readmission to a Master’s program, disqualification forms must be submitted for the semester immediately following disqualification notification. Disqualification materials will be emailed to students after final grades are posted. The materials are submitted through the departmental Graduate Coordinator. Students who choose not to file readmission forms for the semester following disqualification will be required to submit a new University application and fee in order to enroll in any future semester. Similar provisions to those stated above apply to post-baccalaureate, Unclassified and Postbaccalaureate and Credential students, except that the required maintenance GPAs are 2.50 and 2.75 respectively.
Repeat of Courses
Students must submit a Course Repeat Form with prior permission of the Graduate Coordinator/Department Chair and Associate Vice President of Graduate Studies. A graduate student may repeat for the purpose of improving the grade, up to 6 units of credit in which a grade of “B-” or below has been received. In these cases only the most recent grade will count.
Maximum Unit Load
15 units is considered to be a maximum course load in any one semester, but in exceptional cases a graduate student may take more units with the approval of the major department. Postbaccalaureate Unclassified students must obtain approval from the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies.
Academic Leave (Leave of Absence)
Graduate students in good standing may take a two-semester leave of absence. Though no formal approval is required, it is suggested that students contact their Graduate Coordinator for academic advisement.
Graduation with Distinction
A student may receive the master’s degree with distinction by maintaining a 3.885 or higher grade point average on all formal Master’s degree program course work. The notation "with distinction," is posted with the degree on the transcript and will also appear on the diploma.
The Interdisciplinary Studies M.A. or M.S. Degree is a restricted program for a student who has professional or academic objectives that are unique and cannot be met by an existing CSUN masters degree. The program will consist of course offerings from at least 2 departments and must provide sharp focus and appropriate coherence. Each individual program is developed jointly by the student, faculty, and the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies. Admission requirements for the Interdisciplinary Studies major include being in good academic standing and having at least a 3.0 grade point average in all 400, 500, and 600-level courses attempted. In addition, the requirements for classified status of the participating departments must be satisfied. More specific information and procedures for developing an Interdisciplinary Studies program may be obtained from the Graduate Studies office.
Advancement to Candidacy Prerequisites
Advancement to Candidacy is the next step after achieving Classified status and signifies approval of a plan of study by the student’s major department, the Associate Vice President of Graduate Studies.
The Formal Program
For the departments that are not yet live on DARS (Degree Audit Reporting System) students will be required to prepare a formal program in cooperation with the departmental Graduate Coordinator. The formal program is a statement of the academic requirements which students must meet for the master’s degree. The formal program requires approval by the department and the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies. Successful completion of all requirements on the program is a prerequisite to receiving the degree. The program is prepared on a form available in the department and should be filed with the Graduate Evaluators in the office of Graduate Studies at least a semester prior to when the students expect to receive the degree. Students may modify the program after it has been filed, provided that they have agreement with the Graduate Coordinator by submitting a Course Substitution Form to the office of Graduate Studies. Modifications are subject to approval by the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies. Modifications must be approved before the final date for change of program in the semester in which students expect to receive the degree. The following University requirements apply to the program:
- It must be composed of a minimum of 30 units of 400, 500, and 600-level work.
- None of the courses on the program may have been used for any other degree earned in the past.
- A maximum of 9 units of 400 level coursework may be used on a Formal Program. Please check with the department for their specific policy on 400 level coursework which could be fewer than 9 units.
- No more than 9 units in combination of transfer work, extension work or work completed prior to earning a baccalaureate degree can be used toward your degree.
- No more than 6 units of independent study may be included in the program, and all independent study arrangements must have prior approval of the instructor and of the department chair.
- The program must terminate with a culminating experience which will consist of a Thesis, Graduate Project, Artistic Performance or Comprehensive Examination.
- Enrollment is required in the semester that the degree is awarded.
- Anthropology, M.A
- Art, M.A.
- Art, M.F.A.
- Assistive and Rehabilitative Technology, M.S.
- Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services, M.S.
- Biochemistry, M.S.
- Biology, M.S.
- Business Administration, M.B.A.
- Chemistry, M.S.
- Chicano and Chicana Studies, M.A.
- Communicative Disorders, M.S.
- Communication Studies, M.A.
- Computer Science, M.S
- Counseling, M.S.
- Education, M.A.
- Educational Administration, M.A.
- Educational Leadership, Ed.D.
- Electrical Engineering, M.S.
- Engineering, M.S.
- Engineering Management, M.S.
- English, M.A.
- Environmental and Occupational Health, M.S.
- Family and Consumer Sciences, M.S.
- Geography, M.A.
- Geology, M.S.
- Health Administration, M.S.
- History, M.A.
- Humanities, M.A.
- Interdisciplinary Studies, M.A.
- Interdisciplinary Studies, M.S.
- Kinesiology, M.S.
- Knowledge Management, M.K.M.
- Linguistics, M.A.
- Manufacturing Systems Engineering, M.S.
- Mass Communication, M.A.
- Materials Engineering, M.S.
- Mathematics, M.S.
- Mechanical Engineering, M.S.
- Music, M.A., Music, M.M.
- Physical Therapy, M.P.T.
- Physics, M.S.
- Political Science, M.A.
- Psychology, M.A.
- Public Administration, M.P.A.
- Public Health, M.P.H.
- Public Policy, M.P.P.
- Recreation, M.S.
- Screenwriting, M.A.
- Sociology, M.A.
- Social Work, M.S.W.
- Software Engineering, M.S.
- Spanish, M.A.
- Special Education, M.A.
- Taxation, M.S.
- Theatre, M.A.
- Director: Bonnie J. Crawford
- Assistant Director: Estela Chacon
- Education (ED) 103
- Hours: M, T, and F: 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- W: 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
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- Phone (818) 677-2586; Fax (818) 677-5722
- Visit the Credential Website
Public school teaching and service credentials in the state of California are regulated by legislative actions that are subsequently interpreted by appropriate regulatory agencies. With guidance provided by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), the University has developed programs for candidates seeking credentials and certificates to serve in a variety of positions in public schools in the state of California. Candidates for all credentials must meet the legal requirements in effect at the time of application for the credential regardless of when the program was started.
The mission of the Credential Office is to serve students by advising students as well as effectively and efficiently processing credential and certificate program applications. In addition, recommending for state licensure, CSUN’s candidates to the State of California. The Credential Office also has the responsibility to assist, in a professional manner, all program applicants and candidates in their pursuit of desired credentials and certificates. The Credential Office functions as the gatekeeper for access into and exit from CSUN’s credential and certificate programs.
CSUN currently offers certificate and credential programs housed in three Colleges. Each of these programs is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The Michael D. Eisner College of Education received full re-accreditation from both the Commission on Teacher Credentialing and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education in November 2009.
There are three major categories of credentials available at CSUN: Basic Credentials (Multiple Subject, Single Subject and Education Specialist), Specialist Credentials and Service Credentials.
The Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential (MS) authorizes the holder to teach all subjects grades K-12 in any self-contained classroom generally found in elementary grades. This credential can be earned through a Traditional program, an Intern program, an Accelerated Collaborative Teacher (ACT) Preparation program, a Freshman Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP), or a Junior Year Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP).
Credential regulations require Multiple Subject candidates to verify their competency in their teaching field by passing the California Subject Examination for Teachers: Multiple Subjects. Many students preparing to teach elementary school at CSUN major in Liberal Studies. A Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies is earned by students who complete the Freshman ITEP option or the Junior ITEP option credential programs. Advisement on course requirements for the Liberal Studies major is available in the Liberal Studies Program Office which is located next to the Credential Office.
The Preliminary Single Subject Credential (SS) authorizes the holder to teach a specific academic subject, K-12 in a departmentalized classroom as generally found in junior and senior high schools. This credential is available with a BCLAD emphasis which authorizes the holder with bilingual capabilities to teach multiple or single subjects to a bilingual student population. This credential can be earned through a Traditional program, an Intern program, an Accelerated Collaborative Teacher (ACT) Preparation program, a Freshman Year Integrated (FYI) program, or Junior Year Integrated (JYI) in English or Mathematics.
The following Single Subject Credentials are offered at CSUN:
Art, Biological Sciences (Specialized), Business, Chemistry (Specialized), English, Foundational Level Mathematics, Geosciences (Specialized), Health Sciences, Home Economics, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Physics (Specialized), Science: Biological Sciences, Science: Chemistry, Science: Geosciences, Science: Physics, Social Science, and Languages Other than English (LOTE): American Sign Language (ASL), Chinese, French, German, Korean, Spanish
California regulations require Single Subject candidates to verify competency in their teaching field by passing the California Subject Examination for Teachers in their subject specific area or by meeting the requirements of a Subject Matter Program at a university with an approved program in that specific subject area. See Subject Matter Programs section.
The Preliminary Education Specialist Credential (SPED) authorizes the holder to teach exceptional children in grades K-12 in a school setting in the following disability areas: Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH), Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), Mild/Moderate (MM) disabilities, and Moderate/Severe (M/S) disabilities.
The DHH, MM, and MS credentials can be earned through a Traditional program, an Intern program, an Accelerated Collaborative Teacher (ACT) Preparation program, a Freshman Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) or a Junior Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP). At this time, the ECSE credential can only be earned through the Traditional or Intern program. For those entering the Preliminary Education Specialist Credential progam in Fall 2010, the Autism Spectrum Disorder Authorization will be part of their program.
Credential regulations require Education Specialist candidates to verify their subject matter competency. Education Specialist candidates who will be teaching multiple subjects in a self-contained classroom must fulfill their subject matter requirement by passing the CSET: MS, as do Multiple Subject credential candidates (see above). Education Specialist candidates who will be teaching only one subject may fulfill their subject matter requirement by passing the appropriate subject area examination as determined by NCLB. Those subject areas are: Art, English, LOTE, Mathematics including foundational level mathematics, music, social science, or science including foundational-level general science and specialized science, or by completing an approved academic program, as do Single Subject credential candidates (see above).
Pathways for Obtaining a Multiple, Single or Education Specialist Credential
In the traditional pathway to a Credential, students attend full or part time and take courses when it best suits their needs. They can begin in either Fall or Spring semester. In addition to the traditional pathway, there are several other pathways to the Credential. Each pathway has its own requirements.
- Accelerated Collaborative Teacher Preparation Program (ACT): ACT is a full time, one year, collaborative program. Fieldwork is required during the day and courses are offered in the late afternoon or evening at CSUN.
- University Intern Program: The University Intern program is a two year program designed for those candidates who are employed in a full time position. Candidates attend classes part time while employed full time in the classroom.
- Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP): This is a program for Freshman or Juniors to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies and a Multiple Subject or Education Specialist credential concurrently.
- Freshman Year Integrated Preparation Program (FYI): Candidates earn a Bachelor’s Degree in English or Mathematics and a Single Subject Credential in English or Mathematics.
- Junior Year Integrated Preparation Program (JYI): Candidates earn a Bachelor’s Degree in English or Mathematics and a Single Subject Credential in English or Mathematics.
- To learn more about the Basic Credential programs, those interested must attend an Information Session. These meetings are scheduled throughout the year in the early evening and last approximately one and one-half hours. Participants view a power point presentation that covers topics including the program application process, program options or credential pathways, subject matter competence requirements, student teaching requirements, and costs. Consult the Credential Office for the schedule of these sessions or visit the Credential Office website.
Subject Matter Programs
The following Subject Matter Programs are active and accepting applicants as of the publishing of this catalog. Art, English, Health, Home Economics (FCS Department), Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Social Science (History Department), and Spanish (MCLL Department) students who complete these programs will meet the subject matter requirement and waive the CSET requirement. Please contact the Specific Department Office for academic advisement relating to Subject Matter Programs.
Subject Matter Programs with Admission and Sunset Dates Due to Program Changes
The following Subject Matter Programs are only available to those students whose coursework meets the required admission and completion dates.
- Science: Biological Sciences,
- Science: Chemistry,
- Science: Geosciences,
- Science: Physics,
- Social Science (Chicana/o Studies).
Candidates not enrolled in an approved subject matter program may meet the subject matter requirements by passing the appropriate examination(s). Additional options exist for specialized science areas. See an advisor in the Credential Office for more information.
Many specialists in the public schools must earn credentials or certificates authorizing service in the area of specialization. Some credentials or certificates are dependent upon the applicant holding a Prerequisite Credential. These include Clear Education Specialist, Reading Specialist, Resource Specialist and Adapted P.E.
Individuals providing certain school services such as administration and pupil personnel must hold a credential authorizing that service. Services credentials offered are Administrative Services, School Nurse, Pupil Personnel Services including Counseling and School Psychology, and Speech- Language Pathology Services.
CLAD Certificate through CTEL coursework
The CLAD Certificates authorizes instruction to English Learners (EL).
Key Definitions: Student Status
A distinction is made between an “applicant” and a “candidate.” An individual who applies to a credential or certificate program is considered an applicant, while an individual who is admitted to and enrolled in a credential or certificate program is considered a candidate. An “admission date” is the date documented in the candidate’s paper/electronic file that the members of the Selection, Admission, and Retention Committee indicate their decision of applicant acceptance into a specific credential or certificate program.
This date does not change and is only linked to this particular program. An “enrollment date” is the first day of the term to which an applicant has been admitted to a credential or certificate program. For an applicant to a CSU Northridge University Intern Program, the first day of the term is the issuance date of the Intern Credential. For all others, enrollment begins the first day of the term to which the applicant was formally admitted by the Credential Office to a credential or certificate program. Students not meeting enrollment requirements may be subject to changes in re-admission requirements and program requirements. See University/College Policies Related to Credentials.
Requirements for Application
Prospective students should submit a complete application package before the deadline date. After the priority deadline of March 1st for Fall term and October 1st for Spring term, complete credential or certificate program applications will be accepted by the Credential Office with no guarantee of program admission, preferred term admission, or priority registration date eligibility. NOTE: Credential and certificate program application requirements and deadline dates may change. Current program applications are available in the Credential Office as well as on the website. Visit Credential Website.
All credential program applicants must:
- Complete an application form.
- Submit official transcripts from all schools and institutions attended. CSUN transcripts may be official or unofficial. Foreign transcripts must have a detailed evaluation from an approved agency. Contact the Credential Office for a list of approved agencies.
- Submit the application processing fee. The application processing fee must be in the form of a money order, or a cashier’s check payable to CSU Northridge. Cash or personal checks will not be accepted. This is a one-time non-refundable fee.
- Apply to the University. If an applicant is currently enrolled as a graduate student in the University, Admissions & Records must be notified of the additional career objective (credential or certificate program). If an applicant is not currently enrolled as a CSUN graduate student, an application must be submitted through CSU Mentor online, Visit the CSUMentor Website.
- Meet any program specific requirements. See below for additional requirements
Additional Application Requirements for Basic Programs: Multiple Subject, Single Subject, or Education Specialist, Preliminary Credential
- Two Letters of Recommendation ( Education Specialists will submit disposition forms instead)
- Self reflection form (Education Specialist only)
- Tuberculosis Clearance
- Statement of Objectives
- Verification the Basic Skills Requirement has been attempted or passed (see exams section)
- Verification of Completion of Early Field Experience
- Valid CTC issued credential or certificate
- Signed and dated Responsibilities Form
- Proof of Subject Matter Competency—See Basic Credential Section for more information (not applicable to blended programs for admission.)
- Additional for Interns: Must submit passage of Basic Skills Requirement, U.S. Constitution, Bachelor’s degree, Intern Authorization for Employment form, and Preservice Component form in addition to above requirements
- Additional for ACT: Must submit a separate application to the ACT office in addition to above requirements.
Additional Application Requirements for Clear Education Specialist Credential (ECSE, DHH, MM, and MS)
- Copy of valid Preliminary (Level I) credential (NOT Certificate of Eligibility)
- Two Letters of Recommendation (if preliminary completed outside of CSUN)
- Statement of Objectives (if preliminary completed outside of CSUN)
Additional Application Requirements for Specialist Programs
Adapted Physical Education Credential
- Copy of valid credential authorizing teaching of Physical Education
- Two Letters of Recommendation
- Verification of 1 year of teaching experience
- Copy of valid Basic Teaching credential
Reading and Language Arts Credential
- Verification of 1 year of teaching experience
- Copy of valid Basic Teaching credential
- Two Letters of Recommendation
- Copy of valid Basic Teaching credential
- Copy of valid Special Education credential
- Verification of at least two years of teaching experience (combination of regular and special education)
Additional Application Requirements for Service Credentials
Preliminary Administrative Services Credential
- Two Letters of Recommendation from School Administrators
- Copy of valid California Teaching credential or appropriate alternate credential
- Verification the Basic Skills Requirement has been attempted or passed
Clear Administrative Services Credential
- Copy of Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (NOT Certificate of Eligibility)
- Verification of Employment (Form CL 777.1 available on the Credential Office website)
Speech- Language Pathology Services Credential
- Valid CTC issued credential or certificate
- Verification the Basic Skills Requirement has been attempted or passed.
- Verification of admission to Master of Science, Communication Disorders program in Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences, College of Health and Human Development
Pupil Personnel Services Credential: School Counseling or School Psychology
- Valid CTC issued credential or certificate
- Verification the Basic Skills Requirement has been attempted or passed
- Verification of departmental admission
School Nurse Services Credential
- Two letters of Recommendation
- Copy of valid California Registered Nurse license
- Copy of valid Preliminary School Nurse credential
- Copy of valid credential
Once a completed application package is submitted to the Credential Office, the application package’s content and its representation of the applicant will be evaluated on the basis of academic achievement, commitment to teaching, and ability to communicate. Note: It is to an applicant’s benefit to submit a neat and orderly application package.
All applicants to a BASIC credential program are required to complete a successful interview with the appropriate department representatives prior to admission. Admission to a credential program will not be granted without a completed Interview Assessment Form on file in the Credential Office.
Grade Point Averages (GPA)
All applicants to a BASIC credential program are expected to have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.67 in all baccalaureate and postbaccalaureate course work or a GPA of at least 2.75 in the last 60 semester units attempted at the time of application submission. ITEP candidates are admitted using the cum GPA only. All applicants to a SERVICE or SPECIALIST program are expected to have a GPA of at least 2.75 for their last 60 credits of course work at the time of application submission.
When the members of the Selection, Admission, and Retention Committee reach a decision, the applicant will be notified in writing by the Director of the Credential Office. If admitted, the applicant will be issued a letter by email indicating the decision.
If an applicant does not meet admission requirements for GPA or exam requirements they may be considered under exceptional admission. The CSU system Executive Order 1032 allows a very limited number of candidates to be admitted to basic programs under exceptional admission.
After an applicant is formally admitted to a program, the applicant becomes a credential candidate. The candidate may then enroll in the required courses in the professional education sequence applicable to the desired credential or certificate. An applicant not formally admitted to a program is strongly discouraged from taking courses believed to count toward a credential. Regulations and policies may change with little or no notice. Without formal admission and enrollment, an applicant has little or no guarantee courses taken will later apply to the desired credential program.
Admission to one term cannot be transferred or deferred to another term without formal written notification to and approval by the Credential Office. The applicant will be subject to a new “enrollment” date. If no notification and approval has transpired, the applicant must reapply (including all fees) for a future term during the appropriate filing period.
Public Law 107-110, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act: This Act demands that classroom teachers be certified as “subject matter competent.” For Multiple Subject credential candidates, this competency may only be certified at this time by passage of an approved examination. For further information, Visit the CTC Website.
For Specific requirements check the individual program for exams required specific to a program. Exam contact information is available on the website.
Basic Skills Requirement
This requirement may be met in several ways.
- For those seeking a Multiple Subject Credential or a Special Education Credential who are planning to teach in grades K-6, the CSET Multiple Subject Exams (101,102, & 103) with the writing exam (142) will satisfy the Basic Skills Requirement.
- For those seeking a Single Subject Credential or a Service or Specialist Credential that requires the Basic Skills Requirement to be met, the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) is the one most commonly used.
- For those who have passed a Basic Skills Exam in another state, a list is available in the Credential Office of those exams deemed equivalent.
California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET)
All Multiple Subject candidates, and Education Specialist candidates who are planning to teach in grades K-6, must pass the CSET Multiple Subjects (Exams 101, 102 & 103) to satisfy the subject matter requirement.
Single Subject candidates and Education Specialist candidates who are planning to teach in a departmentalized setting, typically grades 7-12, who will not be completing a Subject Matter Program, must pass the CSET exams required for the subject area they plan to teach. Exam information specific to the subject is available in the Credential Office as well as at, The Teacher Certification Testing Website.
Candidates with a BCLAD emphasis must pass the CSET:LOTE in their target language. Test II for Armenian; Test III for Korean or Spanish This program will no longer admit students after Fall 2010 and must be completed by 12-31-12.
Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA)
All Multiple Subject candidates as well as Education Specialist candidates must pass the RICA requirement prior to being recommended for their credential.
Note that Education Specialist candidates who are determined Pre-Lingually Deaf may be eligible for Basic Skills Requirement and RICA waivers. Please contact the Credential Office for further information.
SB 2042: Multiple Subject and Single Subject Clear Credential
Many Multiple Subject and Single Subject Preliminary Credential holders will earn their Clear Credential through the CSUN / Los Angeles Unified School District Joint Induction/Master’s Program. Others will earn it through a district induction program.
University and College Policies Related to Credentials
Generally, the policies upheld by the Credential Office parallel, supplement, and complement those of the University. Currently, policies regarding Fieldwork, Student Teaching, Risk Management, Deferred Admission, probation, and Academic Disqualification, among others, are revised as needed to stay current with University policies. Please check with the Credential Office for specific information.
Candidates applying for all credentials and certificates must meet the legal requirements and are governed by CSUN policies and regulations in effect since their most recent enrollment dates, regardless of when their programs were initially started. The enrollment date is defined as the first day of the term to which an applicant has been admitted. For Due to changes in credential and certificate program requirements, contact the Credential Office for the most recent program information.
A credential or certificate candidate who takes at least one course or attempts to complete at least one program requirement during at least one term per academic year and keeps the Credential Office informed of this progress with documented evidence is considered an “Active Candidate.” A credential or certificate candidate who appears to not be “active” for 3 consecutive terms is considered an “Inactive Candidate.” Once admitted to and enrolled in a credential or certificate program, a candidate in good standing may be CSUN inactive for two consecutive semesters without detriment or approval.
If the candidate does not become both University and credential program active, or provide evidence of credential program activity outside of CSUN, by the conclusion of the third consecutive semester, the candidate will be involuntarily withdrawn and dis-enrolled from the program. The candidate must reapply for admission to both the University and the Credential Office, including applicable fees. If admitted, the candidate has a new “enrollment” date and is subject to program requirements effective with the new “enrollment” date related to NCLB and CTC timelines. Information is available at the Credential Office as well as our website. Applicants and candidates are responsible for keeping abreast of all requirements applicable to their desired credentials or certificates.
Credential Candidate Expectations
Given appropriate information and materials related to requirements, regulations and policies, credential candidates will: complete and submit program applications, make timely progress in their selected programs, and submit student teaching and credential requests before posted deadlines.
Maintaining Grade Point Average (GPA)
After admission, candidates must maintain an overall GPA of 2.75 for all coursework taken after enrollment and must maintain a 3.00 GPA for all professional education coursework. A grade of “C” or better in required courses. Academic departments may have different minimum GPA requirements in subject matter areas. Check with the applicable department for any additional GPA requirements.
Students who fail to earn a grade of “C” or better in a credential program course may be eligible to retake the course with prior written permission. Refer to the Office of Graduate Studies, Research and International Programs and check with the Credential Office for current policies.
Time Limits: CSUN coursework more than seven years old is considered expired unless a lesser time is specified by the applicable academic department. Professional education courses completed more than seven years prior to the date the program was completed and regardless of attended postsecondary institution cannot be counted to meet any credential requirements.
Test scores do have a shelf-life, in other words, some test scores have expiration dates. It is the applicant’s and candidate’s responsibility to submit all required test scores to the Credential Office.
The Multiple Subject and Single Subject programs can be completed in 1 year of full time enrollment. The Education Specialist programs can usually be completed in 3 to 4 semesters. With changes due to laws and regulations always possible, it is to a candidate’s advantage to complete the credential program in a timely fashion.
The Credential Office has the responsibility of processing all applications to credential and certificate programs and making all recommendations for state-issued credentials and certificates. It is imperative all deadlines are enforced and requirements are documented as fulfilled in a timely manner to ensure an efficient and effective process. Applicants and candidates are responsible for keeping abreast of all deadlines applicable to their desired credentials or certificates. Information is available at the Credential Office and its web site.
Candidate Assessment and Evaluation and Teaching Performance Expectations: CSUN is committed to the concept that continuous screening, assessment, and evaluation are necessary to ensure candidates who complete credential and certificate programs are well-prepared, all candidates should expect to be evaluated on possession of basic skills, personal qualifications, and performance factors in addition to successful completion of required courses.
In evaluating these factors, the Michael D. Eisner College of Education may determine that a particular candidate does not possess or exhibit these attributes in sufficient quality to permit the candidate to continue in the program. For example, unsuccessful student teaching assignments will certainly cause the college to question the ability of a candidate. A procedure exists by which a review of the candidate’s qualifications can be initiated and a decision made concerning involuntary withdrawal of the candidate. The rights of candidates are protected including the right to examine all documentation presented in support of withdrawal and to confront witnesses supporting the withdrawal. The decision of the College’s Selection, Admission, and Retention committee is final. Details are available in the Credential Office.
As a part of the admission process, applicants are advised that conviction records may prevent an applicant from being admitted to a program or obtaining a credential or certificate. Although a wide variety of convictions will not prevent admission or issuance of a credential or certificate, the Education Code does stipulate that certain conviction records will mandate the denial of a credential or certificate.
Applicants who do not already hold a valid CTC credential or certificate, will be required to secure a Certificate of Clearance from the CTC prior to admission. Credential and certificate candidates who develop a conviction record during program matriculation must notify the Credential Office immediately and may be disqualified from their programs.
Credential Recommendation and Processing
When to Apply: Candidates are to submit a request for their credential or certificate to be processed during the first 2 or 3 weeks of the semester they expect to complete their program. (Note that all requirements except coursework in progress must be completed.)
Complete Credential Request
The Credential Office processes all applications. Requests are based on the date they are verified as “complete.” When submitting the Credential Request form, applicable transcripts, and any other item(s), a checklist is used by a Credential Analyst to verify all required items (including passing scores of all required tests) have been submitted and completed appropriately. If something is missing or incomplete, the candidate will be notified by e-mail. NOTE: The candidate’s file will not be evaluated for qualification for a credential or certificate recommendation at the time of request submission.
Once the Credential Request is received, it is reviewed to determine that all requirements have been met for the requested credential. The length of time between verifying a “complete” package file and generating an “electronic recommendation” depends upon the time of year and the volume of applications. Because of the time involved in processing a credential or certificate application from submission of request to credential recommendation, the Credential Office strongly encourages candidates to be aware of all deadlines. Credential requests are processed in the order that they are received. Candidates should not wait until the last minute to apply for a credential or certificate. An early submission of your request will assist us in meeting your employment verification needs.
Post-Baccalaureate University Certificate Programs
University Certificate Programs are academic credit certificate programs designed to provide an integrated and focused program of study in selected academic fields. Designed to allow those in different majors to add an area of professional expertise to their credentials, University Certificates are added and updated to offer highly valued fields of study in the contemporary marketplace. They also allow those with advanced degrees to add fields of study to their academic record thus allowing them to enrich or shift their career options or advance in their current professions.
Those who complete University Certificate programs successfully have the award of the University Certificate noted on their transcripts and they are issued a formal University Certificate approved by the Office of Graduate Studies and signed by the president. The Post-Baccalaureate University Certificates currently offered are listed below.
For detailed information on all of the following the post-baccalaureate certificate programs, please Visit the Graduate Studies Website.
Graduate Certificate in Business Administration
This certificate program has its academic home in the College of Business and Economics. For questions contact Deborah Cours, the academic director, by phone at 818 677-2467 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
California Teachers of English Learners (CTEL) Certificate Program
This certificate program is for the Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education. For more information, contact the office of Elementary Education at (818) 677-2621, Education (ED) 1206, or the office of Secondary Education at (818) 677-1200, Education (ED) 1204.
Career Development or Career Education and Counseling
This Post-Master’s certificate program has its academic home in The Michael D. Eisner College of Education. For questions contact Dr. Greg Jackson, by phone at 818 677-4977 or by email at email@example.com.
College Counseling and Student Services
This Post-Masters certificate program has its academic home in The Michael D. Eisner College of Education. For questions contact Dr. Merril Simon by phone at 818 677- 2558 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early Intervention for Children with Special Needs/Birth to 5 Years
This certificate–also referred to as the Advanced Certificate in Transdisciplinary Intervention– has its academic home in The Michael D. Eisner College of Education. For questions contact the Special Education Department at 818 677- 2596.
This Post-Master’s certificate program has its academic home in The Michael D. Eisner College of Education. For questions contact the Educational Therapy Advisor, Marcy Dann, by phone at 818 677- 4161 or by email at email@example.com.
Geographical Information Science and Technology
This certificate program has its academic home in the Tseng College. For questions, contact Scott Dunlap, by phone at 818 677-7763 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Apply at http://tsengcollege.csun.edu/gist/apply.html
This certificate program has its academic home in the College of Health and Human Development. For questions contact Debra Sheets, PhD, MSN, RN, the academic director, by phone at 818 677-2344 or by email at email@example.com.
Infant-Toddler-Family Mental Health
This certificate program has its academic home in The Michael D. Eisner College of Education. For questions contact Dr. Carrie Rothstein-Fisch, by phone at 818 677-2529 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Instructional Design and Adult Development
This online certificate program has its academic home in The Michael D. Eisner College of Education. For questions contact Dr. Carolyn Jeffries, by phone at 818 677-2835 or by email at email@example.com.
Mediation and Conflict Resolution
This certificate program has its academic home in the Tseng College. For questions, contact Patricia Lyon, by phone at 818 677-4607 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Apply at http://tsengcollege.csun.edu/mediation/apply.html.
Non-Profit Sector Management
This certificate program has its academic home in the Tseng College. For questions, contact Patricia Lyon, by phone at 818 677-4607 or by email at email@example.com.
This Post-Master’s certificate program has its academic home in The Michael D. Eisner College of Education. For questions contact Dr. Carrie Rothstein-Fisch, by phone at 818 677-2529 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This certificate program has its academic home in the Department of Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management in the College of Engineering and Computer Science Please visit /www.csun.edu/~msem/ or contact the academic director by phone at 818 677-2167 or by email at email@example.com.
Reasoning, Writing and Research for Professionals An on-campus certificate program.
Contact: Jennifer Kalfsbeek at (818) 677-3332 or see http://tsengcollege.csun.edu/certs-gradcred.html
Urban Studies and Planning
This certificate program has its academic home in the Tseng College. For questions, contact Alice Lu, by phone at (818) 677-5635 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.