First-Time Freshmen Orientation


The New Student Orientation (NSO) experience is a required for all entering Freshman students and will occur over the summer leading up till the Fall semester. All new students will partake in the following:

NSO Online - Is a set of comprehensive modules that address university programs, services, and resources available in a virtual and eventual on-campus capacity. You will be able to complete NSO Online at your own pace throughout the month of July.

NSO Live! - Is our way of engaging with you! NSO Leaders will be facilitating small groups through Zoom on a wide set of topics including Student Involvement and Belonging, Academic Success, and Information Technology. These smaller virtual gatherings can assist in answering lingering questions and offer a more individualized opportunity to connect with other CSUN students.  

On-Campus Tours - Following COVID-19 safety guidelines, we will be offering optional one-hour on-campus tours to get you familiar with the university. 

Registration will begin Mid-January. All new students will receive emails and postcards signaling they can begin the NSO registration process.  

Use the drop tabs below to find more information.  

NSO Online

The NSO Online platform is the first step in the NSO process and it offers a set of comprehensive modules that address university programs, services, and resources available to you in a virtual and eventual on-campus capacity. Complete this online program at your own pace. 

NSO Live! Dates

Spring 2022 Dates:

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 Morning Session- 9:45 AM to 12:15 PM
Tuesday, January 18, 2022Afternoon Session- 2:45 PM to 5:15 PM

NSO Live! Tentative Agenda

Morning Session

9:45 amSoft Check-In for Students
10:00 amNSO Live! Begins/ General Welcome
10:15 amPersonal Welcome & Meeting Others
10:30 amStudent Involvement and Belonging
11:15 amAcademic Success
12:00 pmLunch Break
12:30 pmInformation Technology
1:00 pmTAKE 33
2:00 pmNSO Live! Concludes

Evening Session

3:45 pmSoft Check-In for Students
4:00 pmNSO Live! Begins/ General Welcome
4:15 pmPersonal Welcome & Meeting Others
4:30 pmStudent Involvement and Belonging
5:15 pmAcademic Success
6:00 pmDinner Break
6:30 pmInformation Technology
7:00 pmTAKE 33
8:00 pmNSO Live! Concludes

NSO Live! Essentials

  1. Be prepared
    1. Arrive on time
    2. Bring a Pen & Paper for notes
    3. Show your CSUN Pride by wearing your CSUN gear!
  2. Be aware of your audio and video settings
    1. Make sure you have internet access
    2. Become familiar with your laptop and its settings in case of a technical issue
    3. Make sure your sound and camera is operable
    4. Be aware that when you log onto zoom, attendees will be able to see and hear you 
  3. Tips for the best look!
    1. Good lighting (The light should be in front and facing you!)
    2. Correct angle to show your whole face
    3. Have a clean and clear virtual background
  4. Try your best to eliminate any distractions
    1. Notify others in your home that you will be on zoom for a specified amount of time
    2. Have a clean space prepared
    3. Don’t have any inappropriate images or obscure room decor visible
  5. Show us who you are by listing your pronouns (Optional)
    1. Pronouns: How you choose to identify yourself or how you wish to be addressed as an individual   
    2. Why do we do this?
      1. We want to be as inclusive and respectful as possible. As people transition into their college years as their most authentic selves it is important that we not only respect each others differences but address each other as we wish to be represented. To clarify this section is optional and NOT mandatory.
      2. Example: Alex (She / Her / Hers) or Rave (He / Him/ Hers) or Charlie (Them / Their / Thiers)
  6. Private Messages are NOT private
    1. The host can see private messages
    2. Be mindful of who you’re speaking with and what you’re saying

NSO Components and Learning Outcomes

First Time Freshman
Components and Student Learning Outcomes

In keeping with the goal of New Student Orientation, we have designed this program to meet the needs of incoming first-time freshmen by:

  • Providing the opportunity for students to gain knowledge and information about campus resources and services
  • Informing students on how to achieve academic success
  • Encouraging interaction among current and new students to ensure a smooth transition
  • Connecting and networking with college administration, faculty and staff
  • Informing students of involvement opportunities in a range of areas

Below are a listing of program components with their associated Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs).


Component: University Welcome & Group Meetings
The University Welcome and Group Meetings convey the purpose of higher education and the mission of Cal State Northridge. These meetings will include icebreakers and activities that will allow students to feel more comfortable in their new surroundings and with their Orientation groups. Meetings will be designed with strategic probing questions in order to encourage interaction between students and orientation leaders.

Learning Outcomes:

  • New students will express familiarity with the purpose of higher education and begin to identify how it relates to their educational goals.

 Component: Group Meetings and Transitions

In these group meetings students will be provided with campus facts and information, lead to key locations students should be familiar with on campus, and informed of services/classes offered in the buildings pointed out. There will also be opportunities for students and group members to share informal information about college life and discuss any concerns that students may have. Orientation leaders will be prepared to answer any questions that students may have or provide guidance as to where a student can be better assisted. This group will allow students to develop an initial network of support at CSUN through interaction on the day of Orientation, during Welcome All Matadors Week and the Presidents Celebration, and will follow-up with contacts on emails and informal gatherings from orientation leaders/mentors.

Learning Outcomes:
New students will:

  • Establish at least one interpersonal connection with a peer of sufficient depth.
  • Identify at least one peer who could serve as a resource and support that would continue after New Student Orientation.
  • Express familiarity with the physical layout of the campus.
  • Identify the location of campus buildings, parking structures and lots, and more specifically where their classes will be held.
  • Identify location of business resources on campus and other major resource areas such as the Klotz Student Health Center (SHC), the Oviatt Library, the University Student Union (USU), and the Student Services Building.
  • Identify their new orientation leaders as support systems within the university.

Component: Steps to Academic Success
This component will be presented by staff members from a college advising center. A template will be created to provide basic information and follow-up reinforcement of the student's academic advisement. The template will then be personalized to incorporate specific college information, including students' major/program/option of interest. Key components will include a refresher introduction to the college structure and build awareness around tools and resources that will allow students to take control over one’s own education.

Learning Outcomes
New students will:

  • Be able to identify the college in which their major exists.
  • Develop a familiarity with the utility EOP Satellite Centers.
  • Develop a familiarity with the utility of online services such as the University Catalog and “How To” guides.
  • Become familiar with requirements/components in obtaining a degree.
  • Develop a familiarity with basic academic policies

Component: Virtual & Physical Tour, and Resources/Services Fair
Occurring in three separate  parts, these components introduce new students to key service areas of the campus promoting resources designed to support academic, social, and cultural needs to enable success.   Location, hours of operation, and accessibility are also covered.  The virtual tour component is a filmed set of video clips to help set the stage of a physical tour.  Departments/Service areas will directly interface with new students during a Resource/Services Fair.  These components supplement each other to maximize differing learning styles.

Learning Outcomes:
New students will:

  • Express familiarity with key campus services and resources that are available to them.
  • Identify areas and be able to state services available within these areas.

Component: Classrooms & Community
A continuing component, Classrooms & Community will feature a panel of 1-3 students, which will highlight their individual success stories of how they are achieving their academic goals. A trained faculty or staff member facilitator will provide an interactive discussion regarding the university classroom, including differences between high school and college, appropriate classroom conduct, meeting faculty expectations, ethical issues (i.e. cheating, plagiarism including using the Web and internet resources for cheating), and campus community standards. This facilitation will also focus campus, local, state, and federal laws as they relate to student safety and well-being – including sections on Title IX, sexual assault, Violence Against Women Act, student records, and FERPA rights, and credit card information.

Learning Outcomes:
New students will:

  • Be able to identify some differences between the high school classroom, university classroom
  • Have awareness of appropriate classroom conduct.
  • Become aware of at least one example of a student success strategy as told by their peers.
  • Become aware of university academic expectations as it relates to the student conduct code, and its references to cheating and plagiarism.
  • Become aware of the university’s services, resources, and responses surrounding various laws, policies, and executive orders promoting student safety and education (incl. AB 1088, EO 1098 - Title IX, Sexual Assault, Violence Against Women Act, FERPA, etc.)
  • Become familiar with adult responsibilities as they relate to credit card information.

Component: TAKE Performance & TAKE Small Group Discussions

TAKE is an interactive stage performance. CSUN student peer educators write, produce and perform skits surrounding challenging social issues that college students may face today, including body abuse, relationships, prejudice and transition. A facilitated discussion with small groups will occur immediately afterwards.

The TAKE small group discussions are facilitated by specially trained student orientation leaders in tandem with a member of the TAKE cast. Students have the opportunity to further explore the issues presented in TAKE in a more intimate environment. With the help of the facilitator, more in depth discussion and further questions and probing will occur.

Learning Outcomes:

  • New students will develop a basic understanding of some of the issues they may face as developing adults in a college environment.
  • New students will be able to understand and identify various resources on and off campus that can assist in overcoming academic, cultural, and social issues/problems prevalent in a college student's life.



Extended programs beyond NSO

There are various entities on campus that provide additional programming for interested students which typically occur after NSO. Feel free to contact these departments for additional information:

Student Population:Hosted by:Date:More information:
Veteran Students USU Veterans Resource CenterTBDwww.csun.edu/vrc/events
LGBTQ+USU Pride Center


DACA/Dream ActEOP Dream CenterTBDbit.ly/undocu-studentorientation


Please visit our FAQs page to better prepare you for your orientation experience. 

On-Campus Tours (In-Person)

This is about a 45-minute experience with student leaders to introduce you to your new campus. Spring 2022 students may register for the optional supplement now; please ONLY select ONE time and day as it is first come and first serve basis. To officially sign up for a tour, you can select the "On-Campus Tours Sign Up" button below

Our office does appreciate your patience and flexibility as we accommodate all incoming students to the best of our ability. 


Disclaimer: The New Student Orientation website contains information authorized and available at the time of publication. Its content, including dates and fee amounts, is subject to change without prior notice or obligation.