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California State University- Northridge was first founded in 1952 as an extension San Fernando Valley location for Los Angeles State College. In 1959, it famously became the first state college to own a computer lab. After the Vietnam War, CSU Northridge evolved into an independent member of the state's public 23-campus higher learning system. CSUN has the system's largest enrollment with over 36,000 undergraduates and 4,600 post-graduates. On a 353-acre campus, California State University- Northridge is located in the Northridge suburb of Los Angeles, America's second largest city. With over $33 million in grants, CSUN operates more than 50 research institutes. CSU Northridge has an active alumni base over 200,000 strong.

According to the U.S. News, California State University- Northridge is the 70th best regional college and 24th top public school in the West. In particular, CSUN has America's 104th best fine arts, 123rd best social work, and 136th top physical therapy programs. Forbes magazine ranked CSU Northridge the 87th best college in the West and 448th top university overall. In Washington Monthly, CSUN was named the 28th best master's-level university for civic engagement. In 2008, California State University- Northridge was awarded the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction. CSUN also awards the country's seventh highest percentage of bachelor's degrees to Hispanics.

California State University- Northridge Accreditation Details

Last reviewed in 2012, California State University- Northridge is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission. This is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Furthermore, CSUN's art programs are approved by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Engineering degrees meet the standards of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Special education programs align with the Council on Education of the Deaf (CED). Mental health degrees are also accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP).

California State University- Northridge Application Requirements

Getting into California State University- Northridge isn't easy with the selective acceptance rate of 52 percent. First-year applicants must have graduated from high school or have the GED equivalent. Completing at least four years of English, three years of math, two years of history, two years of laboratory science, two years of foreign language, and one year of visual arts is required. Any courses with a grade below C won't count. Freshmen are judged based on their CSU Statewide Eligibility Index. California residents must have a minimum index of 2900 using the SAT or 694 using the ACT. Non-residents are held to 3502 (SAT) or 842 (ACT).

Only upper-division undergraduates who have earned at least 60 units from a regionally accredited college are eligible for CSUN transfer. Holding an associate degree (AA or AS) from a California community college is preferred. Incoming transfers must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 and be in good standing. At the graduate level, applicants must possess a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. or foreign institution. Master's and PhD programs mandate a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5. Scoring at least 3.0 on the Analytic Writing section of the GRE is also required. International students must also score 80 or higher on the Internet-based TOEFL.

Before the November 30th priority deadline, interested students applying to California State University- Northridge must submit the following materials:

• Online CSU Mentor application form
• Sealed, unopened academic transcripts
• College entrance exam score reports
• At least one letter of recommendation
• Verification of English language fluency
• Non-refundable $55 application fee

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate tuition for full-time students is $2,736 per semester. Non-California residents must add $372 for each unit. Full-time undergraduates are responsible for the $92 student fee, $273 union fee, $15 activities fee, $60 health services fee, and $112 campus quality fee. Part-time undergraduates are charged the $1,587 flat rate each semester. Graduate tuition for full-time students is $3,369 per semester. Non-resident graduates must add $372 per unit. There's also a $254 graduate business fee per unit. Doctoral students pay $5,559 every semester. Room and board is estimated at $4,598 annually.

Approximately 75 percent of beginning, full-time CSUN students earn financial aid. Students can borrow low-interest Federal Perkins, Federal Direct Subsidized, Federal Direct Unsubsidized, or Grad PLUS loans. There's also a $300 Matador Bookstore loan. Some students may qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state residents should apply for the Cal Grant, California Chafee Grant, or Middle Class Scholarship. Federal Work-Study (FWS) and graduate assistantships are offered. Private funding is reserved via the California Dream Act. Veterans benefits are available with the GI Bill Program. Scholarships are also abundant, including the Matador Scholarship, Presidential Scholars Award, and Honors at Entrance Scholarship.

Degrees Available at CSU Northridge

California State University- Northridge is split into nine academic colleges to award 68 bachelor's, 58 master's, two doctoral, and 14 teaching certificate programs. Low-income, first-generation college students can participate in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). Many courses are available online via CSUN tablets on Moodle. Despite its high student-faculty ratio of 28:1, the university maintains an above-average retention rate of 76 percent. Two example degrees offered are:

B.A. in Cinema and Television Arts

CSU Northridge was named in America's top 25 film schools by Hollywood Reporter, so the B.A. in Cinema and Television Arts is popular. Within the 120-credit curriculum, undergraduate students select a specialization in Electronic Media Management, Film Production, Media Theory and Criticism, Multimedia Production, Screenwriting, or Television Production. CTVA majors benefit from working in the sound stages, mixing suites, media labs, and visual effects studios housed in Manzanita Hall. Students can also debut their work in the 130-seat Alan and Elaine Armer Theater.

M.A. in Chicano/a Studies

The M.A. in Chicano/a Studies program at CSUN allows graduate students to deepen their understanding of the history, cultural, art, language, and socio-political issues of Latin America to promote positive change. Requiring 33 total units, the curriculum covers courses in Spanish, Mexican literature, racism, Southwest music, research methods, American history, barrio studies, minority creative writing, and world migration. M.A. students can fulfill their capstone with a master's thesis, comprehensive exam, or field project. Majors benefit from participating in the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA).

Other unique degrees granted at California State University- Northridge include the M.S. in Career Counseling, B.A. in Africana Studies, M.A. in Modern Jewish Studies, MFA in Screenwriting, B.A. in Deaf Studies, and M.A. in Public Archaeology.

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