Student Leader Recruitment

Resident Advisor & Academic Mentor Recruitment

The Resident Advisor/ Academic Mentor position in Student Housing is one of the most unique student leadership opportunities at California State University, Northridge. The RA/AM 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

Join us for the info sessions listed below to learn about how to become an RA/AM for the 2019-2020 academic year. All information you need to apply for the upcoming academic year will be provided in depth at the info sessions below! 

*You must attend an info session in order to receive a link to the application* 

 Applications go live at the first info session, Monday, November 26th and will close on Friday, January 25th at 11:59 pm. 


 November 26th from 7-9pm in 21-MPR

 Regular Info Sessions:

  •  December 6th from 4-6pm in 21-MPR
  •  December 7th from 1-3pm in 21-MPR
  •  December 9th from 7-9pm in 21-MPR
  •  December 12th from 5-7pm in 21-MPR
  •  December 17th from 4-6pm in 21-MPR
  •  January 15th from 6-8pm in UVA Rec Room  (Specifically for those interested in the University Village [family & graduate housing], specific information about the UVA RA position will be given at this session)
  •  January 22nd from 7-9pm in 21-MPR

 Affinity Group Info Sessions:

  •  We Are Pride!: November 27th from 7:30-9:30pm in 21-MPR
  •  Latinas Rising: November 28th from 7-9pm in 21-MPR
  •  NCOD/Lighthouse: November 29th from 4-6pm at NCOD MPR
  •  Black Girl Magic: December 3rd from 6:30-8:30pm in 21-MPR
  •  First to Go: December 11th from 7-9pm in 21-MPR

*Attending an affinity group or NCOD info session will suffice as your attendance to an info session and you will receive a link to the application following the session* 

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

RA/AM 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.

What is an Academic Mentor (AM)?

Housing academic leaders that serve as resources for coaching students to academic and personal success. Our AMs meet with students one-on-one, tutor students in the Student Housing tutoring center, and consistently provide students with academic campus resources.

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Perk/Benefit: Double Room and Meal Plan

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

The online Resident Advisor/Academic Mentor application process will go live November 26th and will be available until January 25th. Applicants can apply at any time during this period but must attend an info session to receive a link to the application. Late applications will not be accepted. 

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/AM 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 and semester GPA of 2.5 for RA and 3.0 for AM to be eligible for the positions. No exceptions will be made. If you drop below throughout the semester, you will have a formal hearing for your employment and may be placed on probation or terminated from the position. 

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

Apartments at University Park RA (Buildings 1 - 15)

RA/AM’s in this area work with generally assigned students whose year in school varies 

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

RA/AM’s in this area work with first year students. 

Apartments at University Village RA (Buildings A-K)

RA’s in this area work with primarily graduate students and students with families. Please note: there is NO AM position for the UVA.

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.
  • MataExplore - The MataExplore 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.
  • SPEAK (Stand Process Empower Advocate Knowledge) - The SPEAK Themed Living Community is a community that fosters cultural education among 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?

You need to submit 2 references, your first reference should be a current/previous CSUN student leader that you’ve worked with or under previously. Your second reference should be current/past supervisors, professors, mentors and/or academic advisors. Please do not have references be 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. You will receive a link to give to your references upon completion of the application. 

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 Friday, February 8th from 9am-5pm. We hope to get to know our candidates better this way and share more about the RA/AM position ahead of time so students are aware of all the elements of the RA/AM position. A screening will take place at the end of the group process. Candidates who demonstrate strong RA/AM qualities will be invited to an individual interview held on Wednesday, February 20th from 9am-5pm. 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 as soon as possible. After Friday, January 25, 2019 no arrangements will be made and the group process and individual interview times will be firm and non-negotiable.

What if I can’t make one of the mandatory deadline/dates for the semester commitments?

All deadlines & dates require mandatory attendance as they are a part of the position descriptions. If for any reason you have an individual accommodation that needs to be made, please contact RA@csun.edu or AM@csun.edu for prior discussions on those exemptions. 

What if I’ve been documented judicially, but nothing came of it? Am I still considered “good judicial standing"?

As long as you haven’t been found responsible for any judicial matters you are considered in good judicial standing. If you’re unsure, please feel free to apply and we will contact you if your judicial standing has affected your application status. We do these checks throughout the whole application process and even after the hiring decisions have been made.

What if I don’t think I’m qualified and/or have confidence in tutoring, can I still apply to be an AM?

Ample training and how to tutor students will be provided throughout the training process if hired for the position. 

What are you looking for that would make me a great candidate for the RA/AM positions?

There is no right answer to this question! We hire all kinds of folks. We aren’t looking for one cookie cutter individual that would make a great RA/AM—we really look for the whole wide array of individuals. Which is why we want folks that identify as introverts as well as extroverts. Folks who are confident in their identity and those that aren’t. We believe that our training & development processes are strong enough to help develop you and make you the best RA/AM possible! Please don’t discredit yourself just because you don’t believe you fit a certain mold—we want a variety of folks on our teams and for our residents! 

I want to apply for both RA and AM positions. Will I be able to mark my preference over the two positions?

You absolutely can apply for both positions! In the application you can mark “apply for Both RA and AM positions” and then during the individual interview process you will be able to express whether offered a position if you would prefer to be an AM or an RA. We will take that into consideration, but overall we will make decisions on what’s best for the department and our residents. 

If I’m hired as an alternate, does that mean I’m never getting the position or should I still hold hope?

Always hold out hope! When we offer you an alternate position it means “We want you! But we don’t currently have space for you”. We always try to tell folks getting an alternate position should be just as exciting as getting a position. We often hire from the alternate list before the Fall semester even begins! Our alternate list is often exhausted pretty quickly, which is why we place a good amount of folks on the alternate list. I know it can sound discouraging, but remember we’re constantly doing academic, judicial and financial checks—which often opens space for an alternate at odd times throughout the year. When we call to offer to an alternative, it’s often a quick turnaround. If that anticipation is too much for you, you can always turn down an alternate position and reapply for the following year! 

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.