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Freshman FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on new student summer orientation. If your question isn't addressed below or on our site, please feel free to reach out to the Office of Student Involvement and Development by email orientation@csun.edu

ADVISEMENT: Will I get academic advisement at NSO?

NSO is separate from Academic Advisement and registering for classes.  All new students will be contacted by an academic advisor who will assist you in selection of classes for the upcoming term.

To learn more about Academic Advisement, you can visit the CSUN Catalog by clicking here. 

COLLEGES / DEPARTMENTS / PROGRAMS: What College am I in? What's the difference between college and major?

To foster a stronger sense of academic community among students who are studying similar subjects and possess similar interests, large universities frequently divide different disciplines, majors, and programs of study into subsections called "colleges." At CSUN for instance, There are 8 traditional Academic Colleges that house all undergraduate majors/minors and program options.  As such, each college maintains its own facilities, research centers, etc., and have a set of administrative leaders like a Dean, Associate Dean, etc..   

CSUN's Academic Colleges can be found here: https://www.csun.edu/academic-affairs/colleges 

Here are a few examples of how we breakdown a student's academic college, department, major, and program/option:

DEGREE/MAJOR: Communication Studies
DEPARTMENT: Communication Studies
COLLEGE: Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, & Communication

DEGREE/MAJOR: Business Administration
DEPARTMENT: Business Law
COLLEGE: David Nazarian College of Business & Economics

DEGREE/MAJOR: Kinesiology 
PROGRAM/OPTION: Exercise Science
DEPARTMENT: Kinesiology 
COLLEGE: College of Health and Human Development

NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION: What is this? What do I learn?

New Student Orientation (NSO) is a multi-phase online experience the university has created to prepare all its new students to integrate into the academic, cultural, and social context of California State University, Northridge. Throughout the orientation experience, new students will be advised on appropriate steps to take in order to achieve academic success in and out of the classroom. Students will also get a chance to meet their peers, both fellow new students and continuing CSUN students, who will offer help and suggestions to assist with a smooth transition.

For incoming Fall 2021 students, NSO will be occurring in four phases (two are optional):

  • NSO Online (required - and should be completed by your NSO Live! date)
  • NSO Live! (required)
  • NSO Resources & Services Fair (optional)
  • NSO Tours (optional)


NSO FEES: Do I pay for NSO? How does this work?

A $75 orientation fee is automatically charged to every first-time freshman in the summer prior to the start of the semester.  Typically, students pay this fee when they make payment for courses.  The fee should be paid as soon as possible to avoid any holds on your student account. 
To view your student account, sign in on your student portal, select the "Financial Matters" tab and click the appropriate links to view your any fees owed to the university.  

NSO TOURS: Are these happening? How can I attend?

NSO will be conducting an optional 1 hour tour of the campus providing information on campus geography and locations for student services to promote your success. 

Registration for this opportunity will occur in late July and tours will be running from August through September.  Please check back with us for information as it becomes available.  

NSO Fees: Does financial aid cover the Orientation fee?

No. Financial Aid does not cover the cost of your orientation fee.  If you are expecting Financial Aid, it will be applied to your current tuition charges first, then housing etc., (pending how much you are awarded).   Financial aid does not get automatically applied to the orientation fee, and it will appear on your student account as a separate charge.  Fees in this category can be found here under 'non-refundable fees/charges'

REGISTERING: How do I register?

Registering to attend NSO typically occurs late June (for students entering in the Fall term). Students will learn about NSO through messages sent by CSUN Email and postcards sent through traditional US mail.    Upon registration you'll be asked to confirm the If there is no registration link posted on the website then please check back in a few days as it the link for registration is taken off the website while we updating student records. 

REQUIRED / MANDATORY: Is it required that attend/participate in NSO?

Yes. NSO is a required activity for all new students. Failure to complete NSO may result with a hold on your student account. 

STUDENT ID #: What is this? Where can I find mine?

When you are admitted to CSUN, your CSUN student ID is issued by the Department of Admissions and Records.

This number is used to identify your academic records and your current student status. The CSUN Student ID number allows you to establish a CSUN User ID and password, to enroll online, to view academic records and check your CSUN student account.  Your CSUN ID number stays with you even if you stop attending, transfer or graduate. You can find this number on correspondence with the university, transcripts and enrollment summary documents.

If you are a student admitted to the university and you do not remember your CSUN Student ID number or password, go online to the portal at www.csun.edu and click "Forgot User ID/Password." For more information, call (818) 677-2504.

You may also sign up for your CSUN email address at your earliest convenience. If you need additional assistance please contact the Office of Student Involvement and Development at (818) 677-4100.

STUDENT INFO: How do I change/update personal information about me?

If your personal information is incorrect, you must correct it through Admissions and Records. For a name change, fill out the Name Change Form and return it to Admissions and Records in Bayramian Hall.

You may change your address or phone number by logging on to myNorthridge Portal. Click on Student Center (SOLAR), scroll to the bottom and click either the address or phone number link, whichever you wish to change.

For additional matters, please visit Admissions and Records in Bayramian Hall or contact them at (818) 677-3700.

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.