First-Time Freshmen Orientation

Greetings Matador!

We are excited to officially welcome you to the Matador Family! NSO is a required activity for Freshmen that will occur in two phases this summer which are explained below. 

NSO Online 
NSO Online is a set of comprehensive modules that address university programs, services, and resources available in a virtual and eventual on-campus capacity. Students are able to complete NSO Online at their own pace throughout the month of July. it's important to have NSO Online completed by the time students participate in NSO Live!  Note: NSO Online occurs through July for students entering in Fall, Through January for students entering in Spring.

NSO Live! 
NSO Live! is our way of engaging with our newest Matadors! NSO Leaders will be facilitating small groups through Zoom on a wide set of topics including Student Involvement & Belonging, Academic Success, and Diversity and Inclusion. These smaller virtual gatherings can assist in answering lingering questions and offer a more individualized opportunity to connect with other CSUN students. Note: NSO Live! occurs through August for students entering in Fall, Through January for students entering in Spring

NSO Live! session groups are organized by academic college/major or student groups (ex: EOP, Housing, etc.).  This is to help connect participants to others that may be affiliated with similar interests and schedules.  If you can’t register for the NSO Live! session dedicated to your college/major/group affiliation, then please reach out to the NSO staff right away.   

What Next? 
Postcards and emails are sent to all new students prompting them to register for NSO. The information in those communications are as follows:

  1. Click the "Register" button (located on the left side of the freshman NSO webpage). 
  2. Enter CSUN portal username & password.
  3. Follow prompts and select your NSO LIVE! date for August.
  4. Check for confirmation email (sent to CSUN email address) and utilize the appropriate links to NSO ONLINE and NSO LIVE! at the times indicated.

 Feel free to click on the drop-down tabs below to learn more about NSO online and the NSO Live!

NSO Online

The NSO online link should be active starting Wednesday, July 15th, by 5pm. 

We are excited to offer new incoming students an online orientation experience. 

All new students are required to participate in NSO Online which is a virtual platform providing the ability to learn about CSUN resources, policies, and procedures from the comfort of your own space, and at your own time. The platform is accessible to you throughout the entirety of your time at CSUN so you can always feel free to use it as a reference.  

Postcards and emails with further registration instructions will be sent to all students in July. 

NSO Live! Dates

All First Time Freshmen will also be participating in NSO Live! (in August for new students entering in the Fall term, in January for new students who are entering in the Spring term)t.  All freshman will confirm their NSO Live! date when registering.  To help building your CSUN network quickly, we have organized the NSO Live! dates by College or Student Group.  You will have to attend only one 4-hour session

NOTE: Dates for Spring 2020 will be released soon. Please check back with us at a later time. 

FALL 2020 Dates:

Dates for FreshmenCollege/GroupTime
Tuesday, August 4th

Health & Human Development #1
& Social & Behavioral Sciences #1 

10am - 2pm
3pm - 7pm
Wednesday, August 5th Exploratory Students 10am - 2pm 
3pm - 7pm
Thursday, August 6th

Mike Curb College of Arts, Media,
& Communications

 10am - 2pm 
3pm - 7pm
Friday, August 7thDavid Nazarian College of Business
& Economics 
 10am - 2pm 
3pm - 7pm
Tuesday, August 11thEngineering & Computer Science #1 10am - 2pm 
3pm - 7pm
Wednesday, August 12thSocial & Behavioral Sciences #2 10am - 2pm 
3pm - 7pm
Thursday, August 13th Science & Mathematics  10am - 2pm 
3pm - 7pm
Friday, August 14thHumanities
Exploratory Students
Engineering & Computer Science #2
 10am - 2pm
Monday, August 17thFresh Start & Exploratory Students 10am - 2pm 
3pm - 7pm
Tuesday, August 18thMichael D. Eisner College of Education
Health & Human Development #2
 10am - 2pm 
3pm - 7pm
Friday, August 21stHousing Students
Exploratory Student 
 10am - 2pm 
3pm - 7pm

NSO Live! Agenda

Example Morning Session:

9:45amSoft Check in 
10:00amNSO Live start - Welcome
10:20amStudent Involvement & Belonging
11:15amAcademic Success 
12:45pmTAKE 32 & Debrief
1:45pmFinal Questions & Wrap Up

Example Evening Session:

3:00pmNSO Live start - Welcome
3:20pmStudent Involvement & Belonging
4:15pmAcademic Success 
5:45pmTAKE 32 & Debrief
6:45pmFinal Questions & Wrap Up

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: Ciana (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

Components and Learning Outcomes

The goal of New Student Orientation is to support the continuous process of integrating new students into the academic, cultural and social context of California State University, Northridge. 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.

Component #1: Personal Welcome and Meeting Others (30-45 minutes)
Facilitated by NSO Leaders, this zoom component will help set a tone for the rest of the zoom sessions.  Student Leaders will create a comfortable environment and lead the new students in a series of ice-breakers and short discussions on what they can expect for other components to come.  

  • SLO: Establish at least one interpersonal connection with a peer of sufficient depth.
  • SLO: Identify at least one peer who could serve as a resource/support that would continue after NSO.
  • SLO: Identify their new orientation leaders as support systems within the university.

Component #2: Student Involvement(30-45 minutes)
Facilitated by NSO Leaders - a quick video commercial will be shared that details various aspects of student life which include programing and services from the Associated Students, University Student Union, Matador Involvement Center, and International & Exchange Student Center.  Student facilitators will promote conversation around resources and services that support student life on campus including the use of Matasync, and partaking in leadership opportunities, volunteering, and other academic, cultural, or social clubs/organizations.

  • SLO: Express familiarity with key campus services and resources that are available to them.
  • SLO: Identify locations and utility of campus centers as they relate to personal interests and affinities.

(ex: Pride Center, Veterans Resource Center, Dream Center, & Matador Involvement Center, etc.)

  • SLO: Become aware of opportunities surrounding student clubs & organizations.
  • SLO: Identify Matasync as a primary online tool used for involvement.

Component #3: Academic Success (30-45 minutes)
Facilitated by an NSO Leader and CSUN Peer Mentor, this session will remind and underscore the importance of academic success revisiting messages provided to students during NSO online.  Through group discussion facilitators will also discuss tips and techniques on studying, taking tests, developing personal goals and creating success strategies

  • SLO: Develop a better understanding with the utility of Academic Advisement.
  • SLO: Be able to identify their major/college (or potential majors/colleges for exploratory students) and sources of academic support.
    • SLO: Become familiar with requirements/components in obtaining a degree.
    • SLO: Become aware of student success strategies through group discussion.

Component #4:TAKE (approx. 45 minutes)
Facilitated by two TAKE cast members, this session starts with several short videos (2 to 3 minutes each) showcasing challenging social issues college students may face as they transition into college and include topics on relationships, body/mind/sprit, and prejudice. A facilitated discussion afterward allow for students to form commonalities, celebrate differences, and learn better understand how resources on and off campus can be accessed/utilized to support them. 

  • SLO: Develop a basic understanding of prevalent issues students may face as developing adults in a college environment.
  • SLO: Understand and identify resources on and off campus that can assist in overcoming academic, cultural, and social issues/problems prevalent in a college student's life.
    • SLO: Become aware of commonalities and differences one shares with other students

Component #5 Live Virtual Tour/Q&A-(approx. 45 minutes)
Facilitated by NSO Leaders, students will be have the chance to ask questions about locations on campus, and map out their day when we switch back to a traditional learning environment on campus vs. a fully virtual experience. NSO Leaders can showcase the campus live on zoom or narrate over a prerecorded video.

  • SLO: Express familiarity with the physical layout of the campus.
  • SLO: Identify the location of campus buildings, parking structures and lots, and more specifically where their classes will be held and services they may need to access. 



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. 

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.