California State University-Northridge


California State University, Northridge was founded in 1958 as San Fernando Valley State College. Originally a part of Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences, the University was separated from that institution. The current name was adopted in 1972 by an act of the California legislature.

California State University, Northridge was founded as a branch campus of the Los Angeles State College. It soon became a separate college, San Fernando Valley State College, and became a University in 1972. It is one of the largest campuses of the CSU system. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Its mission statement says in part that its mission is “to promote the welfare and intellectual progress of students” through “programs and activities to help students develop the academic competencies, professional skills, critical and creative abilities, and ethical values of learned persons who live in a democratic society, an interdependent world, and a technological age…” It is classed as a Master’s College and University I by the Carnegie Institute.


Information Summary

Ranks 64th in California and 908th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 81.5
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $22,969
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 22 / 1130
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 33 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 81% / 49%
Enrollment Total (all students) 40,212


CSUN is home to nine colleges offering 60 bachelors degrees and 28 credentials in the field of education, as well as extended learning and other special programs. It is home to nearly 28,00 students and some 3,300 faculty and staff. More than half of the full-time faculty possess the terminal degree in their field, and the student-to-teacher ratio is approximately 21:1.

California State University, Northridge has academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. There are 9 colleges: The College of Arts, Media & Communication, the College of Business and Economics, the Michael D. Eisner College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Roland Tseng College of Extended Learning, the College of Health and Human Development, the College of Humanities, the College of Science & Mathematics, and the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences.

Bachelor’s degrees are offered in a variety of fields within the various academic colleges. Degrees at the bachelor’s level can be received in such areas as accountancy, Asian American studies, deaf studies, engineering, humanities, information systems, nursing, physics, religious studies, theatre arts and urban studies and planning.

Graduate programs are offered in 45 master’s level fields, including anthropology, business administration, counseling, engineering, environmental & occupational health, kinesiology, linguistics, physical therapy, recreation, and social work. There are 28 credential programs in education, including teaching credentials and specialist credentials.

Most Popular Fields of Study


California State University-Northridge 2 California State University-Northridge
Darius Cobbs Point of View :: California State University-Northridge

Unique Programs

The Manufacturing Engineering program prepares students to relieve the monotony of life by automating dangerous, tedious, or repetitive processes. Students are exposed to a diverse array of areas including chemistry, mathematics, physics, electrical engineering, and economics. Senior students are given the opportunity to design and build a robotics project s their capstone work.

The Pan-African Studies department educates students about “the African World Experience” and programs concerning diversity, vibrance, and vitality of African and Caribbean cultures. The program also presents “an Afrocentric analysis” of the world and its workings. Students’ efforts result in a BA in Pan-African Studies.

SAGE (Study, Activity, Growth, Enrichment) is a learning program for retired individuals interested in extending their own knowledge base. The program revolves around research topics that student groups examine and then deliver presentations on. The program is offered by the College of Extended Learning.

California State University, Northridge has an undergraduate Honors Program for students with a high school GPA of 3.7. Students in the Honors program can take general education courses designated as Honors courses.

There is an adult college education program (PACE) with evening and weekend courses offered in compressed sessions. Students enrolled in this program can complete upper division requirements within two years.

Distance and continuing education programs are also offered at both the bachelor’s and master’s level.

Some of the other unique opportunities available at California State University, Northridge include the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), a mentoring program beginning at the high school level and extending through college for low-income students.


Applicants to Northridge will qualify for admission provided they are a high school graduate, have completed the required high school curriculum with a C average or better, and meet the “eligibility index” requirement, a standard across all California State universities. The required high school curriculum includes four years of English, three years of mathematics, two years each of social science/history, laboratory science, and foreign language, and one year each of arts and electives. The eligibility index is a mathematical formula used at state institutions across California to determine applicants’ eligibility for admission. It can be calculated in one of two ways: multiply high school grade point average by 800 and add it to the applicant’s SAT score, or multiply high school grade point average by 200 and add it to ten times the applicants ACT score. California residents must have an index of 2900 (SAT) or 694 (ACT). Non-residents must have an index of 3502 (SAT) or 842 (ACT). Students can receive bonus points on their index for honors courses completed with a C or better. Each unit of honors courses receives 5 points for an A, 4 points for a B, and 3 points for a C, up to eight semesters-worth.

California State University, Northridge has an open undergraduate admissions deadline; students should check with the school to see when applications should be submitted. The application fee is $55. Applications can be submitted on-line. Students who are enrolled in high school at the time of application will need to have their official final high school transcripts sent after graduation to the Admissions Office.

As part of their application, students should submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores. To be admitted, students will need to satisfy the California Sate requirements: 4 units of English, 3 units of mathematics, 2 units of history and social studies, 2 units of science, 2 units of a foreign language, 1 year of visual or performing arts, and 1 year of electives. Students must have a GPA of 2.0 or better in these courses. Eligibility for admission is determined by a combination of test scores and GPA.

Transfer students and international students will have varying requirements depending upon their prior educational background.

Students applying to the graduate programs at California State University, Northridge should consult the individual department and/or school to which they are applying. Applications can be submitted on-line, and the application fee is $55. General requirements include the GRE or other appropriate test scores (such as the GMAT) and a bachelor’s degree. The graduate application deadline varies with the program.

Financial Aid

Students and applicants can complete the FAFSA and contact the University’s financial aid office about the possibility of federal grants, loans, or work study. General scholarships (i.e. at Northridge are awarded to more than 300 students every year and average about $1,500. The numbers and sizes of these awards depend on endowment earnings and may vary each year. Incoming students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.00. The financial aid office also encourages students to pursue their own scholarship search by beginning in their local community.

Registration and fees at California State University, Northridge were $1,518 per semester for the fall 2005 semester for in-state, undergraduate students attending full-time. Students applying from out of state and graduate students have higher costs.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. Work-study programs are also available for some students. Students who seek financial aid will need to fill out the Federal Student Financial Aid Form, available on-line. Other scholarships, grants, and loans may require additional applications.

Graduate students may also receive financial aid in the form of teaching or research assistantships, including a stipend and a waiver of some or all of the tuition and other fees. Graduate students should consult with their individual department about what sort of assistantships or fellowships are available and about the details of the application process.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 5578th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in California.


Northridge is home to dozens of student organizations, including a very vibrant and active Greek community. The student activities office has done a good job of making policies and procedures available to student organizations, as well as any forms necessary to start a new organization or maintain an existing one. The University Student Union includes study areas, places to eat, the Performing Arts Center, University events, films, meeting areas, and recreational activities. The intramural sports program offers athletic competition for all students, and also has separate leagues for fraternity and sorority members.

Student life at California State University, Northridge includes opportunities in a diverse range of activities and organizations. The Center for the Visual and Performing Arts offers various shows and exhibits. Students can also see plays, go to art galleries, or attend films. Recreational and sporting activities are available, and student organizations include fraternities, academic and career clubs, political and religious organizations, and cultural groups. There is a student newspaper.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Cal State Northridge Matadors compete in the NCAA and the Big West Conference. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, track and field, and volleyball. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and water polo. Matador Gymnasium—nicknamed “The Matadome”—is home to basketball and volleyball at Northridge. It seats 1,600, but once filled to over 3.100 to accommodate fans for an international exhibition volleyball match between the United States and Japan. The Matadome includes men’s and women’s locker rooms, equipment storage, and training space. Adjacent to it are the Matadors’ competition swimming and diving facilities, a fitness center, and six racquetball courts. Other facilities include Matador Diamond (softball), Matador Pool, Matador Soccer Field, Matador Field (baseball), the Matador Tennis Complex, and Matador Track. In 2004-2005, the Matador men’s basketball team posted a record of 18-13 overall and 12-6 against conference opponents. The women’s basketball team posted a record of 18-11 overall and 11-7 against conference opponents.

California State University, Northridge is an NCAA Division I School. Teams compete in the Big West Conference. Men’s sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, track & field, and volleyball. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and water polo. The sports teams are supported by a co-educational spirit squad. The team nick-name is the Matadors.

Athletic facilities at California State University, Northridge include a baseball diamond, a softball field, a tennis complex, a soccer field, a pool, a track, and the “Matadome,” a gymnasium which is home to basketball and volleyball. The seating capacity is 1600.

The athletic program was initially an NCAA Division II program, and moved up to Division I in the 1990-91 season. Among the championships and awards that California State University, Northridge has received are 30 NCAA championships at the Division II level, 23 Division I conference titles, and several individual championships. Students have also received All-Conference awards and Player of the Week or Player of the Year titles.

Local Community

California State University, Northridge is located in Northridge, California, in the San Fernando Valley and near the city of Los Angeles. The surrounding environment is urban. Near-by attractions include museums, theme parks, movie studios, and parks. Students have access to all that a metropolitan area can offer.

Northridge is actually a community of Los Angeles, California, in the San Fernando Valley. In addition to the University that is there, other points of interest include the Botanical Gardens and the Northridge Fashion Center, a shopping mall. Northridge is located in the Santa Susana Mountains, allowing its residents a good deal of outdoor and recreational activities. Though the area’s population dates back to the 1700s, it was not truly populated until water was brought to the area in the early 1900s. Today, many residents of Northridge are working to make the area its own independent community, a concept that the residents of Los Angeles voted down in 2002.

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