Counselor Newsletter, Vol. 1

September 4, 2020

Welcome to the 2020-2021 academic year! We’ve created this newsletter to provide critical information to support the work you do for your students. On this page, you’ll find updates on California State University, Northridge admissions requirements and information about CSUN ethnic studies departments.

Admissions updates (as of August 2020)

As you’ve probably heard, California State University admissions criteria have changed for high school students graduating in 2021. At CSUN, we have additional changes, and we’ll help you understand how the process will work this year. Here are a few highlights:

  • This year's application filing period is Oct. 1-Dec. 15, 2020.
  • California State University will not use SAT or ACT scores for admissions.
  • The new minimum GPA for California State University admissions is 2.50.
  • The new minimum GPA for CSUN admissions is 2.65.
    • Students who have less than the eligible GPA will be considered for admissions by using multiple factors that include:
  1. Application fee waiver
  2. Free or reduced lunch
  3. First-generation status
  4. Foster youth
  5. Additional California course requirements (A-G courses) taken above the 15-course minimum

We’ll provide more details when the application filing period opens. Visit Prospective Students to learn more about eligibility for freshman admissions.

Services provided by Student Outreach and Recruitment this fall

Here are creative activities and informative services to expect from our outreach counselors:

  • Cal State Apply workshops via Zoom for high school seniors and community college students
  • Campus informational webinars hosted by Student Outreach and Recruitment, with additional support from departments across campus
  • Class or group meetings and conversations with prospective students about applying to CSUN
  • Counselor Q&A sessions via Zoom
  • Discover CSUN presentations
  • Live Chat
  • One-on-one meetings with community college students and high school seniors, as well as their families, via Zoom
  • Table Talks With University Ambassadors
  • Virtual tours

Outreach counselors will contact their assigned schools to assess the best way to work with your students. They will also be available to work with schools that are not assigned to anyone specifically.

Fall 2020 events

Here are some of the events CSUN will participate in during the fall. We hope you’ll join us for counselor events and encourage your students to connect with us during the student events.


CSUN will also host virtual events for students to learn more about our academic colleges, admissions, housing, student life and more. Check Student Outreach and Recruitment for updates in the coming weeks.

International admissions Q&A

Here are some frequently asked questions to assist counselors in understanding the admissions criteria for international students. We hope it helps as you work with your students.

Question: Are international students affected by impaction?

Answer: No, international students are not affected by major impaction or geographic impaction.

Q: Can international students only apply for fall admission?

A: No, international students can apply for both spring and fall admission.

  • Fall admissions application period: Oct. 1-May 3
  • Spring admissions application period: Aug. 1-Oct. 30

Freshmen-specific questions

Q: Do international students need to meet A-G requirements?

A: No, international students aren’t required to complete A-G course requirements, but we encourage students to complete A-G courses, if possible.

Q: Can English proficiency requirements be waived if international students are studying in a U.S. high school?

A: If a freshman applicant has attended a high school in the U.S. for three or more years, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or other English proficiency exam is not required.

Q: Which English proficiency exams do you accept, other than the TOEFL and the International English Language Testing System?

A:  We accept eight different English proficiency exams. For more requirements, visit Apply First-Time Freshmen.

Transfer student-specific questions

Q: Do you accept lower-division transfer applications from international students?

A: Yes, we accept lower-division transfer students if they have fewer than 60 transferable semester units or 90 quarter units. For lower-division transfer admissions requirements, visit Apply Transfer Student.

Q: Do international students need to submit a financial affidavit for admission?

A: No. As of fall 2020, international students only need to submit a financial affidavit after they have been admitted.

Ethnic studies update

CSUN has one of the largest ethnic studies programs in the California State University system — but it wasn’t easy achieving that.

In 1968 Black and Chicana and Chicano students had to fight for representation. Among other things, they demanded that CSUN:

  • Recruit more students and faculty of color
  • Establish programs to meet the needs of Black and Indigenous students and students of color
  • Create the Department of Pan African Studies (now Africana Studies) and the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies
  • Provide the necessary support services for underrepresented students to succeed and graduate.

Today we’re proud to offer degrees in Africana studies, American Indian studies (minor), Asian American studies, Central American studies, Chicana and Chicano studies, Jewish studies, and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies.

Faculty and staff within ethnic studies departments provide opportunities for students to do fieldwork, internships, research and service learning.  

Ethnic studies students can pursue many careers, including in:

  • Higher education and teaching
  • History
  • Law and political science
  • Psychology and sociology

Students in other majors can satisfy general education course requirements by taking an ethnic studies course.