Spring 2020 First-Time International Student Advising Checklist
Welcome to California State University, Northridge! This international student checklist will guide you through the necessary steps toward a successful first semester at CSUN.
1) ACTIVATE YOUR CSUN ACCOUNT. Set up your CSUN account and email as explained in the “Activate Your CSUN Account” email from Admissions and Records which was sent to the email address you provided on your admission application. For help visit the Information Technology Center. Check your CSUN email account regularly!
2) NOT ANYMORE-TITLE IX TRAINING. All students MUST complete the “Not Anymore” training before they can be pre-enrolled in classes. The Not Anymore Training link can be found in your CSUN portal, under "MyChecklist".
3) ONLINE PRE-ENROLLMENT WORKSHOP. All international student MUST complete the Online Pre-Enrollment Workshop in order to be enrolled in classes for the first semester. The workshop will serve as academic advisement for new international students. Meeting with an academic advisor in-person is NOT mandatory for the first semester. However, if students wish to meet with an International Academic Advisor or have academic questions, they can call 818-677-6968 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
4) RESPONSE QUESTIONNAIRE. All students MUST complete the Response Questionnaire to be enrolled into classes by an academic advisor. The Response Questionnaire should be submitted within 14 days of admission for best placement into classes. Since many international students generally do not arrive in Northridge until one or two weeks prior to start of the semester, and classes can become full if you wait, this practice ensures that students are enrolled into the classes that they need and have at least 12 units to meet their visa requirements
5) PLACEMENT TESTS
Math: All freshman students need to take the Math Selection Assessment (MSA) to determine the math level they are prepared to take in the first semester. Some transfers may also be recommended to take the exam based on the math course required for their major. Students who need to take the MSA will be enrolled in an online preliminary assessment called ALEKS. Students can practice for the MSA through ALEKS online, then take the CSUN-proctored Math Selection Assessment in January, during the two weeks before classes begin. You will be sent a notification from the MSA instructor if you are required or recommended to take the MSA exam.
English/Writing: Placement into a freshman composition (writing) course will depend on transferable college courses or other external placement exams. There are currently no additional placement exams for English/writing being offered by CSUN. The TOFEL/IELTS exam does not exempt international students from needing to take freshman composition.
Chemistry: Students in Engineering, Computer Science, Math, Health Sciences, or other science majors may need to take the Chemistry Placement Test (CPT). Students must pass the CPT before enrolling in CHEM 101/101L, if interested in this exam students must register by themselves online.
Test Exemptions: Some students are exempt from the placement exams based on their transfer coursework or other external placement exams. Students who do not take the placement exams (or do not have exemptions) may be placed into lower level prerequisite courses, which can add semesters to their graduation plan. Consult with an advisor if you are unsure if you are exempt from one or more of the placement exams.
6) TRANSCRIPTS. Official final transcripts must be mailed, sent electronically, or hand delivered to the International Admissions Office Bayramian Hall, Room 160 by November 15, 2019. This includes high school transcripts (for freshmen and some lower division transfers) and all transcripts from colleges and universities attended.
7) DEGREE PLANNING TOOLS .Review and become familiar with the tools that outline your degree requirements at CSUN.
The Degree Progress Report (DPR) and Planner, can be used to check the placement of your transfer courses into CSUN degree requirement sections and plan out your remaining requirements at CSUN.
The University Catalog describes every major, all courses CSUN offers, and provides vital information about academic policies and university regulations.
The Degree Road Map helps you plan and preview your recommended course sequence to complete your degree in 2-4 years. Remember that the Degree Road Map is just a recommendation and may not fit each student the same due to different transfer work and placement exam results. Actual degree planning should be made in consultation with an academic advisor.
8) INTERNATIONAL NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION. New Student Orientation is mandatory! This half day event will welcome you to the university, provide important first semester information, and enable you to meet fellow international students. New International Student Orientation is January 15th, you are not required to attend any other orientation day. Be aware registration may not be available until late December.
9) TUITION AND FEES. Pay your tuition and other fees on time. Tuition for first semester international students can be paid as soon as you are enrolled in classes, but no later than January 24, 2020. Get details on tuition and fees, payment due dates, installment plans and more at Student Finance.
10) HOLDS. All international transfer students will have an "International Advisement Required" or "V" hold on their account. The advisement hold prevents students from making schedule changes without consulting with an advisor first. This hold will not be removed for the first semester.
The "Foreign" hold is placed by the International & Exchange Student Center (IESC) for proof of health insurance. IESC also requires students to complete their immigration requirements which includes transfer of your sevis record, an online immigration session, and check-in upon arrive with copies of your immigration documents. Please see “Immigration Requirements for Spring 2020 Admits” for details.
11) HEALTH INSURANCE. International Students are required to have adequate health insurance throughout the duration of their F-1 student status as mandated by the California State University Chancellor's office. Please review details and instructions for CSUN Health Insurance Requirement. Students will need to purchase or submit proof of health insurance to IESC by January 9, 2020 or preferably within two weeks of enrollment. Students may risk being dropped from classes if insurance requirement is not met.
12) CSU IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS. All international students must submit proof of immunization to
. Proof of immunization required includes the measles (rubella/rubeola) and hepatitis B for students under 18 years of age. For more information, see the Klotz Student Health Center website Immunization Requirements.
13) UPPER DIVISION WRITING PROFICIENCY EXAM (UDWPE). If you are transferring to CSUN with at least 60 units, then you are eligible to take the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE). Undergraduate students are encouraged to take the UDWPE as early as possible, but must take the exam no later than the semester in which 75 units will be completed. Students who have not attempted the UDWPE by the completion of 75 units will have a hold placed on their subsequent class registration.
14) ENJOY YOUR FIRST DAY OF CLASS!
Spring 2020 weekday classes begin Tuesday, January 21, 2020.
Saturday-only classes and Saturday and Sunday classes begin Saturday, January 18, 2020.
For complete 2019-2020 Academic Calendar, including holidays, click on calendar image to the left.
WITHDRAWAL NOTICE: It is the sole responsibility of the student to notify International Admissions and the International Advisor of your intent to withdraw from classes as soon as possible or within the first THREE WEEKS of the semester. Failure to follow formal withdrawal procedures may result in an obligation to pay fees, the assignment of failing grades, and the need to reapply for admission to CSUN.
How do I enroll in classes for the first semester?
An advisor will enroll new F-1 international students into courses for their first semester, once Pre-Enrollment Steps #1-3 are complete. Once enrolled students will have the opportunity to review the schedule and request changes. To begin this process please click the drop down box labeled “1st Semester Academic Advisement Instructions”.
What happens if I complete the Pre-Enrollment Steps late?
Students who complete the Pre-Enrollment Steps late may be enrolled into courses that do not meet during their ideal schedule preference and/or may risk important major classes closing. Late is considered July/August for fall and December January for spring. Students who wait until after the semester begins to let us know they plan to attend may have to run for permission numbers to be enrolled into classes.
Can I choose my own classes?
Students are encouraged to review their Degree Progress Report (DPR) and the CSUN catalog to help them understand their degree requirements. Students who would like to select specific classes are welcome to email their course preferences to the academic advisor, who will review them for degree applicability, student eligibility, and course availability. Students may not be eligible for some major courses if they have prerequisite transfer work in progress, require course substitutions, or need to take any placement exams. Additionally, all students should plan to incorporate general education courses into their schedule, including transfer students who must take 9 units of upper division general education at CSUN.
Am I required to make an academic advisement appointment for the first semester?
It is recommended, but NOT required that students come in for advisement before the start of the semester. We understand that many students are still abroad until at least a week before school starts and may not be able to come in. Completing the mandatory online workshop will serve as advisement. Additionally students may receive advisement via email, phone call, or zoom. To make an appointment please call 818-677-6968 or email
When will my tuition be due once I am enrolled?
Tuition is due no later than the Friday of the first week of classes. You may see an earlier fee due date on your portal, however international students are given extra time to pay during their first semester. For tuition information, please visit Student Finance. If you need a print out of your personal tuition fees please call student finances at 818-677-8000 (choose option #2) or email
If I drop a class will I receive a refund?
Students are entitled to a refund only if there is a decrease in the number of units in which they are enrolled. Refunds are prorated after the start of the semester up until week 3. More information on refunds can be found on the Student Refund web page.
I have decided to withdraw or defer my admission to a future semester. What do I do?
Students who decide to completely withdraw or defer their admission after enrollment should notify International Admissions and our International Academic Advisement Center as soon as possible, so that we can drop you from classes and so that enrollment fees can be removed from your account.
I have an International Advisement Required hold on my portal. What do I do?
The advisement hold for new international students will stay on for the first semester only. You DO NOT need to get this hold removed. This process is followed so that new international students consult with an academic advisor before adjusting their schedule; this guarantees that students maintain proper enrollment status. The International Advisement hold will be removed when it is time for students to register for the 2nd semester.
I have a Title 9 hold on my portal. What do I do?
To maintain a safe environment, CSUN staff and students are required to complete "Not Anymore" an online, video- based, violence prevention program. Students can complete this course, by clicking the "Not Anymore" link under incomplete task in their checklist. Once you complete the training, your hold should be lifted within 24 hours.
I have a Foreign Hold on my portal. What do I do?
The International & Exchange Student Center (IESC) places the Foreign or “F” hold. To clear the Foreign hold, you must submit proof of health insurance to IESC at email@example.com. Insurance is not included in your tuition. For more information, please visit the IESC website.
I have a Rubeola/Rubella hold on my portal. What do I do?
The Klotz Student Health Center places the Rubeola/Rubella hold. You can submit proof of immunization by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 818-677-3666 if you need to schedule an appointment. For more information visit the Student Health Center website.
Am I required to take a math placement exam?
All freshman are required to complete the Math Selection Assessment (MSA). The MSA determines placement into pre-college math up to Calculus I. Students who do not take the MSA or are not exempt via transfer work or an external exams (AP, IB, GCE A-levels, etc.) may be placed into the lowest level math course. Some transfer students may be recommended (but not required) to take the MSA if they need a more advanced math course for their major, than what they transferred in with. Students will be notified by an academic advisor if they are required or recommended to take the MSA, which will be offered during the two weeks before school begins.
Am I required to take a writing/English placement exam?
CSUN currently does not offer a writing/English placement test. Freshman students are encouraged to take the SAT or ACT to determine placement into freshman writing. Transfer students should transfer in with a freshman writing course. Students who do not transfer in with a writing course or are not exempt via an external exam (AP, IB, GCE, A-levels, etc.) will be placed into the two semester writing sequence. Please note the TOFEL and/or IELTS exam is not a writing placement test.
What is the upper division writing exam and when am I required to take it?
The UDWPE is an exam that all students must attempt by the semester in which they will complete 75 units. For transfer students with 60 or more units, this typically means the first semester. Students who do not attempt the exam in time will have a “WPE” hold placed on their account. Neither the TOFEL, IELTS, nor any other placement exam score can exempt you from the UDWPE. To register and view test dates please visit the Writing Proficiency Exam webpage.
How do I obtain my I-20?
The office of International Admissions distributes the initial I-20, once you transfer your sevis records. For questions regarding your initial I-20 please contact International Admissions.
Who do I contact regarding immigration issues (visa concerns, work request, concurrent enrollment, etc.)
The International and Exchange Student Center (IESC) is responsible for enforcing immigration requirements. Upon arrival to the United States, please make sure to complete the mandatory immigration requirements at IESC 6 steps for Immigration.
My sponsor/embassy/cultural mission requires that I submit a study plan before paying my tuition. How can I obtain a study plan?
You should obtain a Study Plan form (if required) from your sponsor and fill it out to the best of your ability, you can use the Degree Road Maps as a guide to help you plan your courses for graduation. You can then request a letter from Admissions & Records to confirm the accuracy of your plan and add any additional information you may need. To request this letter please fill out the Letter Request Form and submit it (with your study plan if applicable) to International Admissions in Bayramian Hall (BH 160) or email it to email@example.com. Once submitted, the Letter Request process takes approximately 10 business days to complete.
I cannot access myNorthridge Portal/CSUN Gmail Account/Canvas. What do I do?
If you have any technology issues you can chat with CSUN’s Helpdesk, or you can call 818-677-1400. Students can also visit the CSUN Information Technology website for further assistance.
I am a international student athlete. Who do I contact for advisement?
Student athletes should contact their athletic advisor in the Matador Achievement Center.
I am a J-1 international student. Who do I contact for advisement?
J-1 International students should contact the Associate Dean of their major department.
I am a graduate international student. Who do I contact for advisement?
International graduate students should contact the program advisor for their major. To contact your major advisor please find your program on the CSUN Catalog
I am Semester at CSUN (SAC) student. Who do I contact for advisement?
The SAC program is offered through Tseng College’s International Programs and Partnerships (IPP). For questions about the program or assistance with the enrollment process, please call 818-677-5948, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit he SAC Program webpage.