Graduate Student Orientation
Zoom Room Information
Click on Zoom Room to register for our Zoom meetings on Tuesday, August 11th. The following departments are participating: Associated Students, Career Center, Klotz Student Health Center, Office of Graduate Studies, Scholarship Office, University Counseling Center.
Listed below are the departments that provided responses to the questions that were submitted to our office.
Admissions and Records-Student ID
- What will be the process to receive our student ID?
- Will I be able to purchase my ID on campus?
- How would we get a student ID if we are not able to go to the office and take a picture?
In response to questions 1, 2 and 3: To safeguard the health and safety of students and staff, no CSUN photo IDs will be issued to new students for Fall 2020 until further notice. Instead, students will be asked to show another form of government-issued photo ID, such as driver’s license, identification card or passport. We are pursuing alternatives for producing photo IDs. Please visit the Admission and Records website for updates.
- Do online students need a student ID?
No, students IDs are not a requirement
- Is a student ID necessary for the Fall semester?
No, students IDs are not a requirement
- Are we required to purchase our student IDs now, or when campus re-opens? No, students IDs are not a requirement. Students may purchase an ID online at any time, and are free to save the receipt for a later date and may come back when they feel comfortable doing so, which we strongly encourage.
- Can a student living out of state doing distance education only get a student ID?
There is a special ID process that Tseng developed years ago where they pay for the photo, upload a photo to a Canvas page Tseng maintains, Tseng notifies us, we print them and deliver them to Tseng.
We were recently made aware that Nursing students may require a student ID in order to work at a hospital. We are working with Tseng on a solution for newly admitted students that may mirror the one implemented for the distance learning students.
- Do we get our ID cards by mail? This is something we’ve done on a case by case basis since working remotely. If a student had already taken a photo previously (they get saved), and they clearly demonstrate they require it, we have done this before. Currently, we don’t have the technical capability of servicing all new CSUN students in an online way.
- Will there be on-campus jobs opportunities despite learning taking place online?
Yes, there will be on-campus jobs. A few will be in-person and others will be virtual
- Are there any on campus job opportunities in the biology and chemistry departments?
There may be…our recommendation is to contact the departments directly. Or visit our Handshake website.
- Are their an online opportunities for interns, jobs and research on campus this fall?
Yes, there are opportunities, please visit our Handshake website.
- How do I access on campus jobs for graduate students?
Our first recommendation would be to check with your graduate coordinator in your department and to also visit the Handshake website.
- What resources are available to help with job opportunities?
If you have additional questions, please call (818) 677-2878or visit the Career Center website.
- Does FAFSA assist students in master’s programs? Or can we only apply for loans?
File the FAFSA or CA DREAM Act application (CADAA) by March 2nd to apply for a State University Grant and/or program-specific institutional grant. Eligible students who file a FAFSA are also considered for federal Direct student loans, may be eligible for Federal Work Study, and may apply for a Graduate PLUS loan. Some students are only eligible for student loans, but you must file a financial aid application for your eligibility to be determined. For more information see: https://www.csun.edu/financialaid/financial-aid-basics
- What are some options students have for financial help during master's programs?
In addition to filing the FAFSA or CADAA application to apply for grants, federal loans, and work-study, graduate students may also apply for scholarships. Scholarship opportunities for the following academic year will start being posted to the online scholarship application portal in late Fall. For more information see: https://www.csun.edu/financialaid/scholarships
- Financial aid distribution process
Once you are awarded, an email notification is sent and will direct you to more detailed award information on the myNorthridge Portal. Your financial aid funds are released and applied to your outstanding charges with the university starting 10 days prior to the start of each term, and weekly thereafter if: you are enrolled in sufficient units; you are not on a financial aid academic plan for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements; have not been paid; and you have no outstanding items on your financial aid To-Do List. Aid will be applied to tuition first. If you have signed up for eRefund and your charges with the university are paid, any remaining financial aid funds will be deposited into the designated bank account after your charges with the university are paid. If you did not sign up for eRefund, a check will be sent to the address on file with the university by regular mail. For more information see: https://www.csun.edu/financialaid/financial-aid-process
- If we are receiving financial aid, will our tuition to automatically paid for like it was in undergraduate? If not, what is the process?
Disbursed aid is applied to tuition and fees first. Funds remaining after tuition may be applied to on-campus housing and meal plan charges that are on the student’s account, if applicable. If there are still funds remaining, they are disbursed to the student via eRefund or a mailed check. If you paid your tuition using a credit card, please contact University Cash Services for details regarding the tuition refund process. Generally, a refund is issued to your credit card.
- For financial aid, when will we be able to change erefund banking information? How much is tuition per semester?
Please find information regarding eRefund, tuition, fees, payments, and other student account related questions on the Student Finance department website at: https://www.csun.edu/stufin and https://www.csun.edu/stufin/tuition and https://www.csun.edu/sites/default/files/FeePaymentFlyer.pdf
- I need help braking down cost of attendance when tuition and supplies are such a small percentage for students living at home with their parents.
The Cost of Attendance is an estimated cost that includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, personal/miscellaneous items, and loan fees. For more details and information about the Cost of Attendance, see: https://www.csun.edu/financialaid/2020-2021-fall-and-spring-cost-attendance
- When will financial aid offers be awarded and/or sent out?
Most students have already been awarded for the 2020-2021 academic year, but the awarding process is ongoing. To proceed to the awarding process, students must have a complete file, with no outstanding To-Do List items. If you have previously submitted documents to our office, they may take up to 9 weeks to process. After documents are processed, the student’s file can proceed to awarding.
- How does the loan process work?
To receive a loan that has been offered to you on your myNorthridge portal, accept the loan on your portal. You can accept less than what is offered, but the amount you accept will be divided evenly between the fall and spring semester. There must be a signed and complete Master Promissory Note on file with the Department of Education before loan funds can be released. First-time borrowers at CSUN must also complete Loan Entrance Counseling (LEC). If these requirements are not completed, loan funds will not be distributed. Master’s and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 units of required coursework to receive any aid. For more information see: https://www.csun.edu/financialaid/loans
- If I accepted my financial aid award package, can I decline it later?
Grants are automatically accepted. If you have accepted a loan and you no longer want the loan funds, you have up to 14 days after disbursement to cancel your accepted loan. You must contact the Financial Aid Department to cancel your loan. You will be asked to submit a signed request to cancel the loan, and you will be responsible to repay the cancelled loan amount to CSUN University Cash Services.
- If I don't accept a loan for fall, can I accept it for Spring semester?
All loan offers that are not accepted by a designated date in mid-September will be cancelled. To request a loan after that date, you may submit a Federal Direct Loan Request Form located at: https://www.csun.edu/financialaid/2020-2021-forms-and-documents
- When and how do I start paying back my student loan?
If you have not previously exhausted your Grace Period, your loan payments begin when your Grace Period ends. The best way to determine the length of your grace period is to review the statements you receive from your loan servicer. Your statements will tell you how many months remain in your grace period and when repayment will begin. The length of a grace period is typically six months from the time you separated from school. Always keep your loan servicer informed of your current contact information; they will communicate how to make payments, usually by setting up an online account with your servicer.
- When will we receive information about financial aid?
Students receive an email acknowledgement to their CSUN campus Gmail account when we receive their financial aid application, and an additional email if we request documents from the student. Students receive a separate email when they have been awarded. New students begin receiving emails after they are officially admitted. Continuing students who file their application by March 2nd typically begin receiving acknowledgements and requests for documents in March, and awarding for continuing students typically begins in mid-June.
- What can we do if we don't have any news from Financial Aid/Loans?
First, please see our tutorial on How to View Your Financial Aid Award at: https://www.csun.edu/financialaid/tutorials. If you have been offered a student loan, your awarding process is complete. It is your responsibility to decide whether to accept the loan offer, or pay for tuition out of pocket. If you have no grant or loan offer on your portal, please check your Financial Aid Essentials To-Do List on the Financial Matters tab of your portal to see if you have any outstanding items. Next, check your CSUN campus email account to see if there are any requests for additional information from our office. If you previously submitted documents to our office, they may take up to 9 weeks for processing. After checking all of the above, contact our office.
- Could I set up an appointment to speak with a counselor one-on-one?
Until further notice, counselors are only available via phone. To speak with a financial aid counselor, you must first speak with a financial aid representative at (818) 677-4085. The representative will discuss your questions with you and they are frequently able to answer the questions you have. If the representative determines your questions or concerns are best discussed with a financial aid counselor, they will refer your contact information to the designated counselor to call you.
- What has been discussed about reimbursing certain student fees pertaining to services or amenities not accessible to us during this pandemic, i.e. SRC, etc. Thank you. Will tuition increase due to budget cuts?
Matters pertaining to student fees are not determined by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Department. Please see https://www.csun.edu/ for COVID-19 information.
Learning Resource Center
- What resources are offered at the Learning Resource Center that could help graduate students?
The Leaning Resource Center offers online tutoring through the Online Writing Lab. The Online Writing Lab offers individual consultations over ZOOM for students at any stage of writing a paper, researching, presenting, or completing a project, thesis, or dissertation, in classes in any discipline, from undergraduate to graduate courses. The Online Writing Lab Consultants are part-time faculty at CSUN. Students can access the Online Writing Lab by enrolling to the Canvas page and signing up through the calendar (all of which is further explained on the Learning Resource Center’s Online Writing Services page).
Graduate students are also welcome to submit parts of their projects, theses or dissertations to Graduate Student Asynchronous Feedback. The Graduate Student Asynchronous Feedback (for thesis and larger projects) offers asynchronous feedback on your writing. Students will send an excerpt or project (length is determined depending on the type of help they need) and within 72 hours, consultants will return their work with feedback containing suggestions for revision. The GSAF can be accessed by enrolling to Online Writing Lab Canvas page here or by emailing us at email@example.com for more details.
- Is there tutoring available for graduate students?
Yes! The Online Writing Lab is staffed with Part-Time Faculty from CSUN who look forward to working with graduate students. For more information, please visit the Online Writing Services page.
- Are there any study areas in the LRC for graduate students?
While our Online Writing Lab consultants will be working with students in half-hour appointments over ZOOM around the clock, the Learning Resource Center will not be open for in-person consultations or meetings during the Fall semester.
- Will the LRC be open during the fall; even half time?
The Online Writing Lab will be open full-time!
- Will there be any campus facility where we can do homework?
Unfortunately, no in-person gatherings or meetings will be available at the LRC.
- I just graduated from CSUN, and my only question is, do we still have the same access to the same resources on campus or does it change? For example, access to the LRC, wellness center or the SRC?
At this time, Alumni are welcome to one consultation with an Online Writing Lab consultant per semester.
If you have additional questions, please call (818) 677-2033 or visit the Learning Resource Center website.
As we are working on a new online format, how can we best take advantage of the Oviatt Library resources from home?
In addition to the resources described below for accessing electronic resources, the Library offers other online tools to help students develop search strategies and identify resources for their research needs. The Ask a Librarian service is a great place to start with general questions and find out the contact information for the librarian subject specialist by major, and set up a virtual appointment. The subject specialists also create specific research guides by major and/or courses and can provide virtual instructional support in partnership with course faculty. Self-guided tutorials are also available as are guides for citing your sources.
Will we be able to access books within CSUN library?
Will students have access to library resources online?
How do we access the library resources?
May I still rent out books from the library with the pandemic going on?
In response to questions 2, 3, 4, and 5: The Library is currently virtual and may need to remain that way in the fall and/or spring semesters, based on public health protocols. Fortunately, the Library has over 1.2 million e-books, e-journals, streaming media titles, and unique digital collections that are available to students online via its website, by entering one’s CSUN user ID and password when prompted to login. Access is provided via the Library’s OneSearch system, specialized databases, streaming video collections, and digital collections. In addition, remote help in using these resources is provided by librarians via their Ask a Librarian services.
However, for print books and physical media, the library will be offering a paging service. Students will use OneSearch to identify needed materials in the Library, and once logged in with their CSUN user ID and password, use the Request feature to select available physical books/media to be mailed to their current address. The Library is also working on acquiring exterior lockers so that students can pick up their books outside the Library, even when it is closed. Students can borrow most books and media for 16 weeks and renew them once, and they can be returned to one of many book drop bins available on campus.
In addition to the Library’s collections, through the Interlibrary Loan Service, physical books/media can be borrowed from other libraries, which will also be mailed to students, or placed in lockers for pickup. This service also obtains electronic copies of journal articles and books chapters from other libraries, which are then emailed to students.
Will all the recommended books by the Professors be available online via Oviatt Library?
Can graduate students have access to the library textbooks online?
In response to questions 6 & 7: The Library provides free online access to over 1 million e-books through its OneSearch system and 260+ databases. Therefore, if the Library already owns or can purchase the e-book, the books will be available online for students to access directly, and faculty can add links to them in their course Canvas.
Unfortunately, several major textbook publishers refuse to sell the electronic version of their textbooks to libraries, and not all books are available in electronic format, so the Library will not be able to provide full access to all required books and textbooks online. While the Library is planning to provide a book paging and mailing service as described above for regular circulating print books, access to print textbooks on reserve that are normally limited to two-hour, in-library use only, will not be available. This is due to the likely need for the library to remain closed to the public in the fall and/or to quarantine books for 72 hours between uses, due to public health protocols.
However, there are possible solutions to this problem: First and foremost, there are many sources for affordable textbooks and other learning resources that faculty may adopt, if feasible. However, in most cases, faculty will at least be able to request instructional materials scans of about 10% of a required text and provide it to students via Canvas. In addition, many books and textbooks are available for rent in electronic or print form, which is typically less expensive than purchasing the print, and the following websites do this:
Most classes are virtual, but I want to ask do we still have access to Library?
While virtual services and paging will allow access to most of the library resources, once cleared to be partially open, CSUN students will have limited access to individual study spaces and desktop computing located on the main floor of the library. The usual requirements for 6-feet of physical distancing and face coverings will apply, and reservations may be offered. However, access to the upper floors, books stacks, group study rooms, and paging of books on demand will not be available due to public health protocols. Please check the Library’s homepage for updates.
If you have additional questions, please visit the Oviatt library website.
- Do you know where I can find scholarship opportunities? I am having a hard time finding scholarships to apply for with my specific major.
The Scholarship Office offers a number of general scholarships (not major specific). These scholarships run from February through May on the myMatador Scholarship portal: csun.edu/scholarships. These are great opportunities to apply for as most students meet the eligibility requirements. Some academic departments run their scholarship opportunities through the scholarship portal, thus it is advised that students log on to the portal in November and submit a general application profile that is used to match student to potential scholarship opportunities. Once opportunities that match the student profile are opened, the student will receive an email notification prompting them to submit an application. For scholarships specific to student majors, it is best that students contact the administrative office of their academic department and inquire about what scholarships are offered and the timeline of these awards. The majority of major specific scholarships are managed by the corresponding academic department.
- Are there any scholarships available to first generation students?
There are scholarships available to first-generation students. These scholarships run from February through May on the myMatador Scholarship portal: csun.edu/scholarships
It is advised that students log on to the portal in November and submit a general application profile that is used to match student to potential scholarship opportunities. Once opportunities that match the student profile are opened, the student will receive an email notification prompting them to submit an application.
- Are there any scholarships incoming graduate students can apply for?
There are a number of scholarships incoming graduate students can apply to. Some of these opportunities are offered by the Graduate Studies office, students should contact this office to inquire about opportunities and timelines. The Scholarship Office runs our Matador Scholarship Program, which offers scholarships for incoming students (including graduate students), from February through May on the myMatador Scholarship portal: csun.edu/scholarships. It is advised that students log on to the portal in November and submit a general application profile that is used to match student to potential scholarship opportunities. Once opportunities that match the student profile are opened, the student will receive an email notification prompting them to submit an application. Additionally, it is best that students contact the administrative office of their academic department and inquire about what scholarships are offered and the timeline of these awards. The majority of graduate student scholarships are offered directly by the academic departments.
- Can graduate students apply to merit scholarships?
Yes, graduate students can apply to merit scholarships. Any scholarship offered through the myMatador Scholarship Portal will have a clear list of eligibility requirements.
- Do you have any scholarships for second-year master's students (specifically MPA)?
Yes, the majority of scholarships offered through the myMatador Scholarship Portal are open to continuing second year graduate students. The Chancellors Office also offers the CSU Robert M. Odell Endowed Scholarship in Public Administration through CSUN and the CSUN Scholarship Office offers the Associated Students Joyce Gerrity Scholarship (MPA Majors). The applications are available through the myMatador Scholarship portal: csun.edu/scholarships - open February – April.
- Is it too late to apply for scholarships? Where can I browse for scholarships?
The majority of scholarships are offered near the end of the Fall term or early Spring (students should contact their academic departments for exact timelines). The Scholarship Office runs it’s scholarship applications February- May and they can be accessed through the myMatador Scholarship portal: csun.edu/scholarships
- Do you know where I can find scholarships for students through the disabled program? I am deaf/hearing impaired. I am look for a program in Diverse Community Development Leadership.
There are a number of scholarship offered through both the Scholarship Office and the DRES office for disabled students. These scholarship are offered through the myMataodr Scholarship Portal and are open as early as November. It is advised that students log on to the portal in November and submit a general application profile that is used to match student to potential scholarship opportunities. Once opportunities that match the student profile are opened, the student will receive an email notification prompting them to submit an application.
- What are some recommended scholarships that graduate students can apply for?
There are number of scholarships Graduate Students can apply for. Two prominent opportunities are offered by the Graduate Studies Office, the Graduate Equity award and the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholarship. There are additional scholarship opportunities run through the myMatador Scholarship portal, the majority of opportunities are run February – May.
Some general scholarship include the:
- Associated Students Dr. James W. Cleary and Mary Cleary Honorary Scholarship
- Associated Students Dr. Terry Piper Memorial Scholarship
- Associated Student General Scholarship
- Alumni Association Graduate Student Scholarship
- James Russel Simpson Student Scholarship
- Alumni Association First-Generation Scholarship
- Associated Students Joyce Gerrity Scholarship
- CSU Glenn and Dorothy Dumke Fellowship
- CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement
- CSU William and Janet Lahey Art Education and Visual Arts Scholarship
These are only a few of the scholarship opportunities offered by the Scholarship Office through the myMatador Scholarship portal. Students need to be proactive and submit a general application in order to receive notices of when these opportunities go live.
If you have additional questions, please call (818) 677-4907 or visit the Scholarship Office website.
University Student Union
- Do students still have the same access to the same resources on campus or has it changed since COVID? For example, access to the wellness center or the SRC.
Student Recreation Center: All CSUN Alum are eligible to purchase a membership to the SRC, which would grant access to the facilities, programs, and services offered by the SRC. Please check out our website https://www.csun.edu/src/membership for current pricing and further details regarding offered services. Note that at this time and until further notice, the SRC is closed due to COVID-19 and related mandates. Please know that we are now offering our CSUN community virtual access to a wide range of fun and challenging fitness programs on demand — every day of the week. We encourage you to join us to participate online as frequently as you can. Rest assured, we are also doing everything we can to re-open as soon as possible while maintaining the safety and wellbeing of our members. If you have any questions or suggestions for additional virtual programming, we'd love to hear from you!
Oasis Wellness Center: CSUN Alumni are able to access the Oasis as part of their SRC membership during the summer term only. Due to the closure, The Oasis Wellness Center is offering all of the CSUN community the opportunity to connect to the virtual wellness resources and services that are available to you now. Join in our engaging workshops by signing up through MINDBODY and attending through Zoom to stay healthy and mindful! Visit our website https://www.csun.edu/oasis for more details.
- Will there be any USU resources offered during the semester and will their department offices be open?
The University Student Union is offering the CSUN Community some exciting opportunities to connect, stay engaged, and access virtual resources and services all semester long. Please visit https://www.csun.edu/usu for consistent updates on events, programs and services as well as our calendar for individual event details.
- Will there be any open facilities in the USU where students can do their homework?
At this point there are no facilities scheduled to be open for students to use at the USU. As soon as the current health orders, and University officials, approve facilities to reopen on campus the USU will make spaces available for students where precautions can be instituted to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Will student printing services become available for the Fall semester?
At this time, the USU printing will become available once the campus reopens. We are looking into other possible solutions where students can print remotely from anywhere.
If you have additional questions, please call (818) 677-2251 or visit the University Student Union website.