Resident Advisor

The Resident Advisor position in Student Housing is one of the most unique student leadership opportunities at California State University, Northridge. The RA role is an incredible student leadership experience.

On this page, we provide all the tools you will need to complete the application and interview process. Feel free to check back often as we will make updates periodically throughout the process.

Thanks for visiting, and we look forward to meeting you!

The Residential Life team

Have Questions? We have answers!

Should you have additional questions after looking over the materials below, please contact us at ra@csun.edu.

RA Application Information and Materials

  • Resident Advisor Position Description: Position Description (PDF).
  • RA Selection Process Timeline:
    • 11/27: Applications Posted
    • 12/4, 12/5, 1/22: Information Sessions
      • Every hour on the hour beginning at 6pm. Final info session begins at 9pm.
    • 1/26: Applications Due
    • 2/3: Group Process (Please allot 5 hours for this process)
    • 2/12 - 2/26: Individual Interviews
    • 3/16: Decisions Go Out to Candidates
    • 3/30: Decision Deadline for Candidates
    • 4/13: Spring Leadership Training, 1pm - 5pm
  • RA Resume and Cover letter: Form (PDF) and Cover Letter (PDF)
  • Resident Advisor Application: Resident Advisor Application.
    • A Resume and cover letter need to be submitted to accept your application.
    • Two References with a phone number and email address must be listed.

For cover letter and interview help, please use the Career Center as a resource: https://www.csun.edu/career/services

If you require special accommodations or an interpreter for any aspect of this process contact Liberty Freeman at liberty.freeman@csun.edu. Please explain what services you will need and we will contact you if we have any questions and/or to confirm your request. We look forward to your application!

RA Application

What is a Resident Advisor (RA)?

Resident Advisors have many different roles. They are peer counselors, community builders, academic resource people, programmers and administrators. RAs spend a significant amount of time getting to know residents as individuals and generating enthusiasm as they bring students together to create floor and hall communities.

RAs are responsible for other students and to be successful they must be sensitive to the needs of many different people. Recognizing differences takes sensitivity, understanding, self-confidence, strength and character.

As residence hall community leaders, RAs encourage residents to respect one another, get involved with floor, hall and area activities and provide information about campus resources.

Finally, RAs are expected to be strong team players as members of a residence hall staff and residential programs. They are expected to display a commitment to the development of an effective hall staff.

*Adapted from Cornell University’s definition of a resident advisor.

I want to apply to be an RA. When can I apply?

The online Resident Advisor application process will go live around November and will be available until late January. Applicants can apply at any time during this period. Late applications will not be accepted. Late applications will only be viewed after the selections have been made and the alternate pool from the selection process has been depleted.

Can I submit a paper application?

All applications must be submitted online. The online application prompts candidates to upload the cover letter and resume (PDF format) as well as list references, with their email and phone numbers.

I am a graduate student. Can I apply for an RA position?

Of course! You must be enrolled and attending classes at CSUN with the minimum of 12 undergraduate units or 8 graduate units. If hired, your supervisor must approve more than 15 undergraduate units or 8 graduate units of coursework.

If my GPA is just below the requirement, will you still consider me?

You must have a cumulative 2.5 GPA in order to be eligible for the RA position. No exceptions will be made.

How does the RA job differ depending on where you are placed?

Apartments at University Park RA (Buildings 1 - 15)

RAs in this area work with generally assigned students whose year in school varies. RAs in this area are compensated with a single bedroom and a meal plan.

Suites at University Park RA (Buildings 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21)

RAs in this area work with first year students. RAs in this area are compensated with a single bedroom and a meal plan.

Apartments at University Village RA (Buildings A-K)

RAs in this area work primarily with graduate students and students with families. RAs in this area are compensated with a one or two bedroom apartment, depending on their own needs, and a meal plan.

Living Learning Community (LLC) and Themed Living Community (TLC) RA

RAs in these areas work primarily with students who have self-selected a specific themed living community. A list of these communities is listed below. Compensation for these areas is relative to what is listed above.

  • Cinema and Television Arts (CTVA) - The CTVA Living Learning Community brings together CTVA majors and is supported by the Department of Cinema and Television Arts. Students in this building work on projects together and support each other in getting as much on-the-job training as possible.
  • Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) - The ECS Living Learning Community brings together engineering and computer science majors in a supportive, academically focused living-learning environment. This program is supported by the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
  • Fireshman Year Experience (FYE) - The FYE Living Learning Community focuses on the social and academic needs of first year students. This program is supported by the Office of Undergraduate Studies, the Office of First Year Programs and the Career Center.
  • Honors - The Honors Living Learning Community provides an opportunity for residents accepted into the General Education Honors program to live together in an academically supportive environment. Programs and activities will be geared to help residents meet their academic goals at the university by engaging and challenging students within the residence halls. (one position)
  • IEP (Intensive English Program) - The IEP Themed Living Community is intended for students enrolled in intensive English classes. Students are usually international students who are studying abroad for a short time here at CSUN.
  • Living Above the Influence - The Living Above the Influence Themed Living Community brings together students who desire to live in an environment free from alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
  • Matasphere -The Matasphere Themed Living Community brings together students who are interested in sustainability and environmental  conservation to plan and implement efforts to reduce waste and consumption in Student Housing.
  • Mata+More - The Mata+MORE Themed Living Community brings together students who are in their second year of college in a supportive and fun environment where you will find others who are in your same year of college.
  • Music - The Music Living Learning Community is designed for students from all different majors within the music program and is supported by the Department of Music. Residents have the opportunity to live in a supportive and academically focused building, with access to practice rooms and a recording studio.
  • The Lighthouse - The Lighthouse Living Learning Community is for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf studies majors or those who have an interest in deaf culture. This program is supported by the National Center on Deafness (NCOD) and the Department of Deaf Studies. Applicants for these positions must be competent in American Sign Language (ASL).
  • The Health and Wellness Studies - The Health and Wellness Living Learning Community consists of many different health and wellness studies majors, so you can live with other students who share in an academic and professional interest.
  • VOICE (Valuing Opportunities In Cultural Education) - The VOICE Themed Living Community is a community that fosters cultural education amongst residential students. Students in this community will be given a voice and an opportunity to foster their academic and personal development through investigating issues regarding identity as it relates to self and others.

Who should my references be?

References should be current/past supervisors, professors, mentors or Resident Advisors.  Please do not submit references from roommates, family members or close friends. The online application prompts candidates to upload the cover letter and resume (PDF format) as well as list references, with their email and phone numbers.

Will you consider me for a mid-year position if I turn in my application early?

All applicants that apply during open application period are eligible for mid-year positions for spring. Should a position become available during the spring semester we will first exhaust our current alternate pool before turning to new applicants.

What happens after I turn in my application?

Each applicant will undergo a grade, conduct, and completed application check to confirm eligibility. All applicants will be contacted, by CSUN email ONLY, with information on whether they are eligible. Eligible candidates will be required to participate in our group process. The group process will take place on February 3rd, 2018 (9am - 1pm and 1pm - 5pm). Candidates will be assigned to one or two group process times.  We hope to get to know our candidates better this way and share more about the RA position ahead of time so students are aware of all the elements of the RA position. A screening will take place at the end of the group process. Candidates who demonstrate strong RA qualities will be invited to an individual interview. Location, dates, and times for all aspects of the process will be forthcoming via applicants’ CSUN email address only.

What if I cannot make it to the group process or my individual interview?

Special arrangements will only be made for individuals who cannot attend these events because of academic commitments that cannot be rescheduled. Be prepared to document and verify this if it is the case. If you have a special situation please email at ra@csun.edu as soon as possible. After Friday, January 26, 2018 no arrangements will be made and the group process and individual interview times will be firm and non-negotiable.

What is a Community Advisor and how do I apply to be one?

Community Advisors (CAs) are paraprofessional staff in the Office Residential Life who have previous experience as an RA or in another high-level student leadership position. CAs are ultimately assistants to Community Directors in the residence halls. They also advise Park Council Directors within RHA, participate as a judicial hearing officer in low-level cases, shadow professional staff on On-Call duty, facilitate conference group leadership, and develop staff morale. They work alongside a full-time staff member to provide any number of services for residents. If you are interested in learning more about this position and feel you may be eligible to apply, please contact Liberty Freeman at lfreeman@csun.edu for more information.