Table of Contents

Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Freshman Requirements

Generally, first-time freshman applicants will qualify for regular admission if they meet the following requirements:

  1. Have graduated from high school, have earned a Certificate of General Education Development (GED) or have passed the California High School Proficiency Examination;
  2. Have a qualifiable minimum eligibility index (see section on Eligibility Index); and
  3. Have completed with grades of “C” or better each of the courses in the comprehensive pattern of college preparatory subject requirements also known as the “a-pattern (see “Subject Requirements”).

Eligibility Index

The eligibility index is the combination of the high school grade point average and scores on either the ACT or the SAT. Grade point averages (GPA) are based on grades earned in courses taken during the final three years of high school. Included in calculation of GPA are grades earned in all college preparatory “a-g” subject requirements, and bonus points for approved honors courses. Up to eight semesters of honors courses taken in the last three years of high school, including up to two approved courses taken in the tenth grade can be accepted. Each unit of A in an honors course will receive a total of 5 points; B, 4 points; and C, 3 points.

A CSU Eligibility Index (EI) can be calculated by multiplying a grade point average by 800 and adding your total score on the mathematics and critical reading scores of the SAT. Students who took the ACT, multiply the grade point average by 200 and add ten times the ACT composite score. Persons who are California high school graduates (or residents of California for tuition purposes) need a minimum index of 2900 using the SAT or 694 using the ACT. The Eligibility Index Table illustrates several combinations of required test scores and averages. For admission to terms during the 2009-2010 college year, the University has no current plans to include the writing scores from either of the admissions tests in the computation of the CSU Eligibility Index.

Persons who neither graduated from a California high school nor are a resident of California for tuition purposes, need a minimum index of 3502 (SAT) or 842 (ACT). Graduates of secondary schools in foreign countries must be judged to have academic preparation and abilities equivalent to applicants eligible under this section. An applicant with a grade point average of 3.00 or above (3.61 for nonresidents) is not required to submit test scores. However, all applicants for admission are urged to take the SAT or ACT and provide the scores of such tests to each CSU to which they seek admission. Campuses use these test results for advising and placement purposes and may require them for admission to impacted majors or programs. Impacted CSU campuses require SAT or ACT scores of all applicants for freshman admission.

View the Eligibility Index Table for California High School Graduates or Residents of California.

Provisional Admission

CSUN may provisionally admit first-time freshman applicants based on their academic preparation through the junior year of high school and planned for the senior year. The campus will monitor the final two years of study to ensure that admitted students complete their secondary school studies satisfactorily, including the required college preparatory subjects, and graduate from high school. Students are required to submit an official transcript after graduation to certify that all course work has been satisfactorily completed. Official high school transcripts must be received prior to deadline set by the University. In no case may documentation of high school graduation be received any later than the census date for a student’s first term of CSU enrollment. A campus may rescind admission decisions, cancel financial aid awards, withdraw housing contracts and cancel any University registration for students who are found not to be eligible after the final transcript has been evaluated.

Applicants will qualify for regular (non-provisional) admission when the University verifies that they have graduated and received a diploma from high school, have a qualifiable minimum eligibility index, have completed the comprehensive pattern of college preparatory “a-g” subjects, and, if applying to an impacted program or campus, have met all supplementary criteria.

The CSU uses only the SAT mathematics and critical reading scores in its admission eligibility equation. The SAT or ACT writing scores are not currently used by CSU campuses.

Subject Requirements

The California State University requires that first-time freshman applicants complete, with grades of “C” or better, a comprehensive pattern of college preparatory study totaling 15 units. A “unit” is one year of study in high school.

High School Students

Students still enrolled in high school will be considered for enrollment in certain special programs if recommended by the principal and the appropriate campus department chair and if preparation is equivalent to that required of eligible California high school graduates. Such admission is only for a given specific program and does not constitute a right to continued enrollment.

Transfer Policies of CSU campuses

Authority for decisions regarding the transfer of undergraduate credits is delegated to each California State University (CSU) campus. Most commonly, college level credits earned from an institution of higher education accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education is accepted for transfer to campuses of the CSU.

General education requirements are the same for all CSU campuses, so California community college articulations of general education courses (about one third of degree requirements) are handled centrally and may be accessed at The Assist Website

Campuses may enter into articulation agreements on either a course for course or program to program basis. Such articulations are common between CSU campuses and any or all of the California community colleges, but may exist between CSU campuses and other institutions. Established CSU/CCC articulations may be found on The Assist Website

No more than 70 semester units may be transferred to a CSU campus from an institution which does not offer bachelor’s degrees or their equivalents, e.g., community colleges. Given the University’s 30-unit residency requirement, no more than 90 total units may be transferred into the University from all sources.

Transfer Requirements

Students who have completed fewer than 60 transferable semester college units (fewer than 90 quarter units) are considered lower division transfer students. Students who have completed 60 or more transferable semester college units (90 or more quarter units) are considered upper division transfer students. Students who complete college units during high school or through the summer immediately following high school graduation are considered first-time freshmen and must meet those admission requirements. Transferable courses are those designated for baccalaureate credit by the college or university offering the courses and accepted as such by the campus to which the applicant seeks admission.

Lower Division Transfer Requirements

Generally, applicants will qualify for admission as a lower division transfer student if they have a grade point average of at least 2.0 (“C” or better) in all transferable units attempted, are in good standing at the last college or university attended, and meet any of the following standards:

  1. Will meet the freshman admission requirements (grade point average and subject requirements) in effect for the term to which they are applying (see “Freshman Requirements” section); or submit an official transcript of all college level work completed. Campuses may rescind admission for any student who is found not to be eligible after the final transcript has been evaluated. In no case may such documents be received and validated by the University any later than a student’s registration for their second term of CSU enrollment.
  2. Were eligible as a freshman at the time of high school graduation except for the subject requirements, and have been in continuous attendance in an accredited college since high school graduation, and have made up the missing subjects.
  3. Applicants who graduated from high school prior to 1988 should contact the Admission Office to inquire about alternative admission programs. (Most CSU campuses do not admit lower division transfer applicants.)

Making Up Missing College Preparatory Subject Requirements

Lower division applicants who did not complete subject requirements while in high school may make up missing subjects in any of the following ways:

  1. Complete appropriate courses with a “C” or better in adult school or high school summer sessions.
  2. Complete appropriate college courses with a “C” or better. One college course of at least three semester or four quarter units will be considered equivalent to one year of high school study.
  3. Earn acceptable scores on specified examinations, e.g., SAT subject tests.

Please consult with any CSU Admission Office for further information about alternative ways to satisfy the subject requirements. Due to enrollment pressures, many CSU campuses do not admit or enroll lower division transfer students.

Upper Division Transfer Requirements

Generally, applicants will qualify for admission as an upper division transfer student if they meet all of the following requirements:

  1. They have a grade point average of at least 2.0 (“C” or better) in all transferable units attempted; and
  2. They are in good standing at the last college or university attended; and they have completed at least sixty (60) transferable semester units of college coursework with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher and a grade of “C” or better in each course used to meet the CSU general education requirements in written communication, oral communication, critical thinking and quantitative reasoning, e.g. mathematics.

The 60 units must include at least 30 units of courses, which meet CSU general education requirement including all of the general education requirements in communication in the English language (both oral and written) and critical thinking and the requirement in mathematics/quantitative reasoning (usually 3 semester units) OR the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) requirements in English communication and mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning.

Provisional Admission

CSUN may provisionally or conditionally admit transfer applicants based on their academic preparation and courses planned for completion. The campus will monitor the final terms to ensure that those admitted complete all required courses satisfactorily. All accepted applicants are required to submit an official transcript of all college level work completed. Campuses may rescind admission for any student who is found not to be eligible after the final transcript has been evaluated. In no case may such documents be received and validated by the University any later than a student’s registration for their second term of CSU enrollment.

Test Requirements

Freshman and transfer applicants who have fewer than 60 semester or 90 quarter units of transferable college credit are strongly encouraged to submit scores, unless exempt (see “Eligibility Index” on page 21), from either the ACT or the SAT of the College Board. Persons who apply to an impacted program may be required to submit test scores and should take the test no later than November or December. Test scores also are used for advising and placement purposes. Registration forms and dates for the SAT or ACT are available from school or college counselors or from a CSU campus testing office. Or students may write to or call:

The College Board (SAT) ACT Registration Unit
Registration Unit, Box 6200 P.O. Box 414
Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6200 Iowa City, Iowa 52240
(609) 771-7588 (319) 337-1270
Visit the CollegeBoard Website Visit the ACT Website

TOEFL Requirement

All undergraduate applicants whose native language is not English and who have not attended schools at the secondary level or above for at least three years full time where English is the principal language of instruction must present a score of 61 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Applicants taking the Computer Based Test of English as a Foreign Language must present a score of 173 or above.

All graduate applicants whose native language is not English and who have not attended academic institutions for at least three years full time where English is the principal language of instruction must present a score of 79 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language or a score of 6.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants taking the Computer Based Test of English as a Foreign Language must present a score of 213 or above. Some graduate majors require a higher score for admission and it is advisable to check the department web site.

CSU minimum TOEFL standards are:

Internet Computer Paper
Undergraduate 61 173 500
Graduate 79 213 550

Systemwide Placement Test Requirements

The California State University requires that each entering undergraduate, except those who qualify for an exemption, take the CSU Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) examination and the CSU English Placement Test (EPT) prior to enrollment. These placement tests are not a condition for admission to the CSU, but they are a condition of enrollment. These examinations are designed to identify entering students who may need additional support in acquiring college entry-level English and mathematics skills necessary to succeed in CSU baccalaureate-level courses. Undergraduate students who do not demonstrate college-level skills both in English and in mathematics will be placed in appropriate remedial programs and activities during the first term of their enrollment.

Students placed in remedial programs in either English or mathematics must complete all remediation in their first year of enrollment. Failure to complete remediation by the end of the first year may result in denial of enrollment for future terms. Students register for the EPT and/or ELM at their local CSU campus. Questions about test dates and registration materials may be directed to The Testing Center’s Website .

English Placement Test (EPT)

The CSU English Placement Test (EPT) is designed to assess the level of reading and writing skills of entering undergraduate students so that they can be placed in appropriate baccalaureate-level courses. The CSU EPT must be completed by all entering undergraduates, with the exception of those who present proof of one of the following:

Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) Placement Examination

The Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) Placement Examination is designed to assess the skill levels of entering CSU students in the areas of mathematics typically covered in three years of rigorous college preparatory courses in high school (Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry). The CSU ELM must be completed by all entering undergraduates with the exception of those who present proof of one of the following:

Adult Students

As an alternative to regular admission criteria, an applicant who is twenty-five years of age or older may be considered for admission as an adult student if he or she meets all of the following conditions:

  1. Possesses a high school diploma (or has established equivalence through either the General Educational Development or California High School Proficiency Examinations).
  2. Has not been enrolled in college as a full-time student for more than one term during the past five years.
  3. If there has been any college attendance in the last five years, has earned a “C” average or better in all college work attempted.
  4. Consideration will be based upon a judgment as to whether the applicant is as likely to succeed as a regularly admitted freshman or transfer student and will include an assessment of basic skills in the English language and mathematical computation.

Graduation Requirement in Writing Proficiency

All students must demonstrate competency in writing skills as a requirement for graduation. Information on currently available ways to meet this graduation requirement may be obtained online Visit The Learning Resource Center .

Student Outreach and Recruitment Services (SOARS)

Student Outreach and Recruitment Services provides outreach, recruitment and informational services to high school and community college students. Services include the provision of general campus information, recruitment visits to schools, classroom presentations, campus tours, admissions and pre-enrollment advisement aimed at prospective undergraduate students. Units involved in the coordination and implementation of these student services include: Outreach/ Application Generation Services, Yield and Special Programs, Student Services Center Information Desk, The University Testing Center, Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound and Student Marketing and Communications. Moreover, Student Outreach and Recruitment administers pre-collegiate programs for middle and high school students, elementary school children, and parents. Community Services are offered to agencies, business and industry enterprises. Outreach and Recruitment coordinates University-wide admissions and pre-enrollment activities to include: CSUN Days at selected community colleges, Discover Northridge, College: Making It Happen family conference, Honors Day for Juniors and Preview Day.

Campus Tours

Guided tours of the campus are provided by University Ambassadors to individuals and groups on Monday through Friday at various times. Saturday Tours are offered on selected Saturdays at 11:00 am. All tours require a reservation, except self-guided tours. For tour reservations, please call or email us.

Admissions and Records

The Office of Admissions Records, a support unit for Academic Affairs, provides on-going services that will foster student success at the University beginning with submitting the application and culminating in graduation. Our student services encompass: admitting eligible domestic and international applicants, evaluating domestic and international coursework, registering students in classes, verifying and confirming the satisfaction of baccalaureate degree requirements. Admissions and Records acts as the catalyst between instruction and students, preserving the established academic standards.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Department

The Financial Aid and Scholarship Department provides financial assistance and guidance to empower students to fulfill their academic goals. Financial aid awards and services are not based on race, color, national origin, age, gender, marital status, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

CSUN has four major types of financial aid available to students and their families: grants, work-study, loans and scholarships. Most financial aid is funded by the federal government, with the state government, the institution and private donors providing the balance.

  1. Federal and State Grants are need-based funds that do not need to be repaid.
  2. Federal Work-Study funds are need-based and must be earned through authorized work experience.
  3. Federal Loans are need-based and non-need-based and must be repaid upon leaving the University or dropping below half-time enrollment. A loan entrance counseling session and a Master Promissory Note is required for all new borrowers.
  4. Most scholarships are need-based, although a limited number of merit-based scholarships are available. Scholarships require separate applications and are awarded competitively. In most cases they do not require repayment. Scholarship information and applications can be found at: The Scholarships Website .

To apply for Financial Aid, complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on-line at: The FAFASA Website. The Title IV school code for CSU-Northridge is 001153. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) no earlier than January 1 and no later than March 2 for priority consideration to receive aid in the following academic year. This form is used to determine your eligibility for all federal, state, and institutional funds. Submit all additional forms requested by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Department as soon as possible. Many funds are all awarded before the school year begins. More information is available at The Financial-Aid Website.

If you are unsure whether your file is complete, then use the MyNorthridge Portal to check your status. Please keep your contact information updated on the portal to ensure receipt of important notices. Please check your CSUN e-mail regularly for any important communications. You must inform our office of any changes in housing plans or enrollment status.

Financial aid applicants are expected to: know application deadlines and to apply early; respond immediately to requests for documents: read all financial aid correspondence and e-mails carefully and promptly: keep copies of all forms submitted; and create a special file for Financial Aid documents.

Cal State Northridge offers Bookstore Debit Card Loans for purchasing books and supplies in the Matador Bookstore. Applications are available at the Financial Aid and Scholarship Department window in Bayramian Hall or on line at The Financial-Aid/Bookstore Website . The application period typically begins 2 weeks prior to the start of the semester. Refer to the financial aid website for exact application dates and deadlines.

Most students are eligible for some financial funding. For more information about financing your education, refer to the financial aid website at The Financial-Aid Website.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

An annual review of progress toward an eligible degree or certificate is required by federal, state, and institutional rules as one condition for determining student financial aid eligibility. Your academic progress will be reviewed in several areas: units attempted versus units earned, academic disqualification, and maximum units to complete a degree. If you fail to meet satisfactory academic progress in any of these areas, you will be ineligible for financial aid funding and your aid will be canceled. You may be able to restore your aid if there are qualified extenuating circumstances for an appeal. The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy is available online at The Financial-Aid/SAP Website .

Enrollment Adjustments for Financial Aid Recipient

Financial Aid Awards are based on full-time enrollment at 12 units for undergraduates and 8 units for graduates. Most adjustments for less than full-time are made after the semester begins. If you are enrolled less than full-time, your disbursement will be reduced or canceled. You must stay enrolled to maintain eligibility. In some cases, you may be required to repay Financial Aid if you drop or withdraw from classes.

Withdrawing from the University

Students who receive financial aid funds must consult with the Financial Aid and Scholarship Department prior to withdrawing from the University regarding any required return or repayment of grant or loan assistance received for that academic term. If a recipient of financial assistance under federal Title IV financial aid programs withdraws from the institution during a payment period, the amount of grant or loan assistance received is subject to return and repayment provisions governed by federal law Federal law.