California State University, Northridge: Wikis


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California State University, Northridge
Established 1958
Type Public university
Endowment $48.9 million[1]
President Jolene Koester
Faculty 1,700
Students 36,207
Location Northridge, California California, United States United States
Campus Suburban, 353 acres (1.43 km2)
Former names San Fernando Valley State College (1958-72)
Colors Black & Red          
Mascot Matadors
Affiliations California State University system

California State University, Northridge (also known as CSUN, Cal State Northridge) is a public university in the San Fernando Valley, within the city limits of Los Angeles, California, USA. Part of the California State University system, CSUN was founded in 1958 as San Fernando Valley State College and adopted its current name in 1972 [2]. It has become third largest university in California State System behind Cal State Long Beach & Fullerton and 4th largest in the State of California [3].

CSUN offers a variety of programs leading to bachelor's degrees in 61 fields, master's degrees in 42 fields, and a doctoral degree in educational leadership. The university has over 150,000 alumni. It's also home to a summer musical theater/theater program known as TADW (TeenAge Drama Workshop) that leads teenagers through an intensive 6-week training of the fine arts.

Cal State Northridge is home to the National Center on Deafness, and each year the university hosts the International Conference on Technology and Persons with Disabilities.




The establishment of CSUN began in 1952 with the state proposal of a new satellite campus for Los Angeles State College (Now known as California State University, Los Angeles).[4] Thanks to Valley advocates, state officials decided in favor of a valley campus (originally planned in Baldwin Hills on 1955).[5] In July 1958, the campus separated from the Los Angeles State College and was renamed San Fernando Valley State College with enrollment reaching 2,525 and tuition reaching $29 per semester.[6] In 1959 the College had its first computer (a first among all State Colleges).[7] In 1964, the Sierra Hall building Complex was completed and enrollment reached nearly 12,000.[8] Due to complaints of low minority enrollment, the college decided to boost enrollment of Latinos and Blacks in 1967.[9] In March 1968, Presidential candidates Robert F. Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy draw a crowd of 12,000 with student demonstrators burning draft cards.[10] Later on in the year, the Black student Union held 30 staff members hostage. Nobody was hurt and the administration agreed to increase minority enrollment and to investigate discrimination complaints.[11] Some of the students involved were prosecuted for false imprisonment.[12]


The college officially names itself California State University - Northridge on June 1972[13]. On 1975, the construction of the CSUN sculpture begins at the southeast corner of campus[14]. By 1977, the enrollment at the University is 28,023 with tuition at $95[15]. On 1981, the campus officially establishes the foreign exchange student program with Japan, China, Ukraine, South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, and the Netherlands[16]. On 1988, the campus has 31,575 enrollment with a $342 tuition rate[17].


On 1990 the campus establishes: the Marilyn Magaram Center for Food Science, Nutrition, and Dietetics; the Oviatt building east and west wings are added, and the CSU's only fully established Astronomy department with planetarium[18].

The 1994 earthquake, caused $400 million dollars in damage which was the heaviest damaged ever experienced by an American college campus at the time[18]. The epicenter of the quake is within two miles of the campus. On that same month, then Vice President Al Gore visited the campus with promises of funds[19]. The campus was heavily damaged by the earthquake, including entire sections of the main library, art building, etc., but classes continued in alternative structures. The art courtyard survived. Among the structures that were considered too heavily damaged for repair were the Fine Arts building, which was designed by Richard Neutra, and the South Library, which was the oldest permanent building on campus. Due to inadequate earthquake engineering, the parking structure next to the Matadome was completely destroyed, and is currently a grass field used for kinesiology instruction, though the driveway formerly used to enter the structure is still visible from Zelzah Avenue. As of August 22, 2007, the University has completed the rebuilding project.

In the aftermath of the 1994 Northridge earthquake, CSUN civil engineering faculty and students enthusiastically took part in the research on earthquake protection of building structures, in particular, in the field of seismic performance, vibration control, and base isolation.

On January 17, 1995, then President Bill Clinton visited the campus to commemorate the first anniversary since the quake.[20]


On April 1999, the Board of CSU trustees decide to give $27 million dollars to construct post-earthquake projects[21]. The University opens the first Central American Studies program in the nation on May 2000[22]. On Fall 2006, the University had a 34,560 enrollment and a tuition of $1,260. The University on 2007, with clean energy advocates build the new 1 megawatt fuel cell power plant which is the largest of its kind in any University in the world[23].

California State University trustees on March 15, 2006 voted their unanimous approval of Envision 2035, the Cal State Northridge planning initiative that will help frame the university’s physical development for the next several decades. The vote approved the revised master plan as well as an increase in the campus’ master plan enrollment capacity from 25,000 to 35,000 fulltime equivalent students (FTEs). That growth is equivalent to 1.6 percent annual growth over 30 years. The trustees also certified the final environmental impact report on the plan.

Specifically, the plan defines sites for about 1,900,000 square feet (177,000 m2) of future campus academic and support facilities to accommodate the increased FTE enrollment. Near-term projects will include a 1,700-seat performing arts center; a 163,000-square-foot (15,100 m2) arts, media and communications complex; a parking structure for nearly 2,000 spaces and a centrally located mass transit hub for students, faculty, staff and community members. It also proposes the development of about 600 on-campus faculty/staff housing units, mostly on the North Campus, and allows for student housing, parking and transportation sufficient to handle enrollment growth while maintaining desirable open space.



Cal State Northridge faculty have been recognized for their high quality. Eight faculty members have been awarded prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships for research and creative activity, while 59 have won Fulbright awards to conduct research or teach abroad.

The university draws its freshmen from the top one-third of California high school graduates. CSUN's admissions program is rated as "less selective" in most major fields, but admissions to "impacted" majors, such as accounting, finance, music, computer science and cinema and television are more selective. Nearly eight in 10 CSUN students rate the university's quality of instruction as good or excellent, and the same share say CSUN was their first choice of a university to attend.

The Roland Tseng College of Extended Learning is a division within the university aimed at addressing the educational needs of mid career professionals. The college develops and offers study opportunities which are designed to ensure that the individuals, communities and organizations served by the university achieve their lifelong learning goals.


Recent rankings

According to the National Science Foundation's June 2006 Survey, Cal State Northridge ranks second in the nation, only behind Cal State Long Beach, among more than 550 master's-level colleges and universities in graduating students who went on to earn doctoral degrees (according to data of 1995-2004).

In its May 9, 2006 issue, Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education featured CSUN in its list of the nation's top 100 universities for awarding bachelor's degrees. CSUN was in the top 10 with second in the nation for awarding bachelor's degrees to Hispanics in Hispanic studies; fourth in psychology and home economics; fifth in social services; sixth in social studies, visual and performing arts and communications; eighth in English literature; and ninth in business and marketing.

U.S. News and World Report's 2005 "America's Best Colleges" list ranked CSUN's College of Engineering and Computer Science among the nation's best engineering programs at 39th, tied with seven out-of-state institutions. This is an improvement as the same list ranked the college in 40th place the previous year. Northridge is one of only six California State University programs in the top ranked tier of engineering programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. [24]

In recent times its college of business and economics was ranked a top tier business school ranked 31st between public institutions nationwide in the U.S. NEWS Nov. 2006 edition.

Open Doors 2006, an annual report on international educational exchange, records CSUN’s climb from sixth to second place among U.S. master’s level institutions hosting students from foreign countries. [25]

The Music Department is ranked amongst the top 25 accredited university programs in the nation[26], boasting an array of options beyond the typical "music major", such as music education, music therapy, music industry, music performance, and jazz studies. In June 2003 the university's acclaimed choral group, the Northridge Singers, took the top prize in the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and the title "Choir of the World"[27]

Past rankings

In 1997, the National Science Foundation ranked Cal State Northridge first in the nation among 529 master's colleges and universities for producing undergraduates who go on to obtain doctoral degrees in science and engineering fields. [28]


The campus includes some points of interest.

  • California State University Northridge Botanic Garden
  • One of the few remaining orange groves in the San Fernando Valley is found on campus. The large eucalyptus trees at the edge of the campus have survived development attempts by campus designers.
  • The Robotics program features a FIRST robot designed by Team 599, the Robot Doctors or RoboDox of nearby Granada Hills High School known as the D.O.C.T.O.R.
  • The CSUN sculpture was designed by John Banks while attending the school in 1976. It was designed so that travelers approaching the campus from the east, (via the San Diego (405) Freeway, for example) will see an abstract sculpture at the edge of the orange grove at the northwest corner of Nordhoff St. and Zelzah Ave, which can be read from several directions as an acronym for the university. This sculpture is an impossible shape, and does not read as CSUN from a northwest view, although that area is covered with trees and is not often walked upon.


Oviatt Library in 2009.

The California State University, Northridge's Oviatt Library provides educational, cultural and information services and resources to the students and faculty. Its primary mission is to support and supplement classroom and independent learning; facilitate student and faculty research; and provide students with lifelong skills in identifying, locating, evaluating and synchronizing information.

All library materials are housed in the Delmar T. Oviatt Library, a 234,712-square-foot (21,805.5 m2) state-of-the-art facility. There are over 1,600 seats for in-house study. Of note are the Collaboratory with its 170 multipurpose computer workstations, 3 computer equipped library instruction labs, and 200 computer workstations devoted to library information resources. Specially equipped computer workstations are located throughout the Library for individuals with disabilities, including four assistive technology equipped study rooms for students. During Fall and Spring semesters, the building is open 90 hours a week. The Library maintains its own server and web pages providing access to electronic information 24 hours a day. The library also maintains its own AS/RS (Automatic Storage and Retrieval System).

The Oviatt Library has a physical collection containing 1.3 million volumes, of which over one million are books, and over 245,000 bound periodical volumes.[29] The Library subscribes to 25,000 online journals, 1,779 print journals, 200 online databases and more than 13,000 ebooks. The microform collection contains 3.1 million pieces. There are over 12,500 sound recordings, 10,000 film and video recordings and nearly 60,000 pictures and other graphic materials. The Special Collections & Archives' holdings exceed 4,000 feet (1,200 m) of materials. The library also has a large collection of materials on Human Sexuality—possibly the "second largest private collection on human sexuality" behind the Kinsey Institute.[30] In addition, the Teacher's Curriculum Center provides a circulating collection of curricular materials for education students and local educators.

The Library is heavily used with 8.2 million uses of its web pages annually, an annual gate count of 1.4 million, and over a half a million interactions per year with Library personnel.

Other campus departments and centers with collections:

  • The Aronstam Library, devoted to communication studies research and scholarship for Communication Studies Department undergraduate, graduate, and faculty members
  • The National Center on Deafness Library, housed in Chisolm Hall
  • The Geography Department's Map Library, housed in Sierra Hall


CSUN Parking

  • Lots B1 and B2, B3 parking structure & B5 parking structure, located off of Darby Street.
  • Lot B6, located off Plummer Street, Lot E6 on Halsted Street.
  • Lots G3 and G4, and G3 parking structure, located off Zelzah Street.

Student Semester Permit: $ 180.00 & Daily Permit: $6.00 All lots and structures are open 7 days a week and parking permits are required at all times in all areas of campus. Parking permits must be properly displayed to avoid parking citations. For more info refer to CSUN's Parking page [1].

CSUN Public Transportation

CSUN is served by

Metro Bus Lines

  • 152 North Hollywood Station via Fallbrook Ave. - Roscoe Blvd (Connection needed at Reseda Bl with Line 240/741)
  • 158 Chatsworth Station – Sherman Oaks via Devonshire St & Woodman Av
  • 166 Chatsworth Station – Sun Valley via Nordhoff St, Osborne St
  • 167 Chatsworth Station - Studio City via Plummer St, Coldwater Canyon Av
  • 168 Chatsworth Station - Pacoima via Lassen St & Paxton St
  • 239 Sylmar Station - Encino via Rinaldi St, Zelzah Av, Lindley St, White Oak Av
  • 240 Northridge - Universal City Station via Reseda Bl, Ventura Bl
  • 353 North Hollywood Station via Roscoe Bl. - Lankershim Bl. Limited (Connection needed at Reseda Bl with Line 240/741)
  • 364 Chatsworth Station – Sun Valley via Nordhoff St, Osborne St Limited
  • 741 Northridge - Tarzana via Reseda Bl Rapid-Limited

Lines 240/741 connects with the Metro Orange Line at Reseda Station. The Metro Orange Line (Warner Center - Van Nuys - North Hollywood) connects with the Metro Red Line (North Hollywood - Hollywood - Downtown Los Angeles) & Santa Clarita Bus Line 757 at North Hollywood Station.

AVTA Bus Line

  • 787 West San Fernando Valley - Lancaster/Palmdale Express.

Route Stops at Plummer St & Reseda Bl. See AVTA for details on trips [2].

LADOT Bus Lines

  • DASH Northridge - serves Northridge Metrolink Station, Northridge Fashion Mall, and Reseda Community.
  • 419 Chatsworth - Mission Hills - Downtown Los Angeles via Devonshire St Express

Metrolink/AMTRAK Shuttle

  • CSUN - Northridge Station. See CSUN website for details [3].

Proposed: CSUN Transit Center

In a presentation to the San Fernando Valley Governance council, CSUN revealed the proposal for a Transportation Center on Vincennes Street between Darby St and Etiwanda Ave. The Transit Center will most likely look like that of North Hollywood Red Line Station. The Center will give access to Metro, LADOT and other bus services. The transit center will also include bicycle parking and a CSUN Tram stop as well[4].

Metro is already including bus line changes to serve the Transit Center in its June 2010 service changes [5].

National Center on Deafness

The National Center on Deafness was established in 1978 as a way to serve students with hearing loss at the university. Support services such as sign language interpreters, real-time captioners, and notetakers are coordinated from this center, as well as serving as a location of academic advisement and gathering of hearing impaired students. For the 2008 Fall semster, approximately 200 students with hearing loss are served by the National Center on Deafness.

Film and television shoots

Because of its proximity to Hollywood, the campus has been featured in dozens of films and television shows, including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Commander in Chief, Van Wilder, Six Feet Under, The Karate Kid, Battlestar Galactica, The Office, McMillan and Wife, Son In Law, Bring It On Again, The Glass Bottom Boat, Legally Blonde 2, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Roswell, The Nick Cannon Show, Quincy, M.E., Georgia Rule, and Sky High (where the Oviatt Library is prominently featured). Recently, the Barry Levinson directed What Just Happened filmed at the Oviatt Library and featured Robert DeNiro and Sean Penn. The pilot of the remake of the television series "Knight Rider" filmed a car chase on campus, acting as Stanford University. During spring break 2008, the library acted as Starfleet Academy for Star Trek (the 2009 version)[31]. The parking lots to the north of the campus were featured in the movie, "Superbad"

Groups and organizations

Demographics of student body
African American 9.0%
Asian American 12.5%
White American 30.1%
Hispanic American 25.9%
Native American 0.4%
International 5.2%
Ethnicity unreported/unknown 13.9%

Living learning communities

CSUN Residence Halls are divided into fields of related student's interests. These Residence Halls are called Living Learning Communities. One of the most prominent LLC is the Cinema and Television Arts (CTVA) located at Rose Crown Hall building 14. In these LLC's students can learn together and create their own projects. They were recently rebuilt for more stability. Another popular LLC is 'the Lighthouse'...for deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf studies majors who want to learn from having full immersion in a 2nd culture.

United Campus Ministries

United Campus Ministries (UCM) is a governing body over other campus ministries on the CSUN campus.

Every spring the UCM and other Christian ministries host Jesus Week on the campus. These ministries are on campus to allow for Christian students on campus to socialize and pray.

Traditional festivities

Native Americans have used the campus to converge on for ceremonies, on a yearly basis.

The drama department celebrates year-end by staging the local version of Yosemite's Bracebridge Dinner. The artistic events that occur on the campus are often very distinguished and popular. Also, the university has a highly regarded music department with an assortment of acclaimed performance ensembles, among which notably is the jazz band. "Matador Nights" are hosted throughout the school year, during this event there is music, food and games. The Associated Students holds an annual full-scale headlining concert known as the Big Show. The headlining acts have been as follows:

2009 -Talib Kweli & Lupe Fiasco - 2008 - Ludacris - 2007 - Neyo 2006 - Common 2005 - Jimmy Eat World 2004 - The Ataris 2003 - Unwritten Law 2002 - 2001 -

CSUN Jazz Studies

As part of its Jazz Studies curriculum, CSUN's Department of Music features a world-class jazz band. The Jazz 'A' Band has garnered a reputation as one of the more prominent university jazz bands in the country. In recent years, the Jazz 'A' Band has made several overseas tours, including appearances in Europe and China, and has built an eclectic international following.

Alex Iles was the jazz and trombone instructor in this department but retired the beginning of the 2007 fall semester. He was replaced with Bob McChesney who also plays trombone and is the author of the most popular exercise book to learn the technique of "doodle tonging."

Community services

  • KCSN radio
  • Daily Sundial - college newspaper

The Daily Sundial is the university's financially independent and student-run newspaper publication. Staff writers and editors of the 8,000-circulation daily publication are typically juniors and seniors in the school's Journalism Department, and the staff is generally around 50 people during the fall and spring semesters. There is also a weekly summer edition published between June and August.

The first edition of the Daily Sundial begin in 1958 just as the university was established and had recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

The Sundial competes annually in the Society of Professional Journalists and Hearst journalism award competitions, where it has won several awards. The newspaper is criticized by some members of the campus population, and one of the school's most famous professors once called it the "Scumdial" — and the name stuck (missing citation, not verifiable). An underground paper, "The Moondial", circulated briefly in 1995.

  • Matador TV - college Television station

Matador TV is broadcasted throughout the CSUN dorms on channel 6.

  • Communicating Common Ground

The Communicating Common Ground project is designed to alleviate tensions between the Latino and Armenian student populations. The community service learning project represents a coordinated effort between CSUN's Communication Studies department and Grant High School.

  • The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)

The mission of the California State University, Northridge, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is to be a valued community partner in the culturally and linguistically diverse San Fernando Valley area. The VITA program provides timely and relevant federal and state information to the community concerning taxpayers’ rights and responsibilities. In addition, this program satisfies the widespread need for free tax return assistance, primarily for low-income individuals, senior citizens, non-English-speaking individuals, and the disabled located in CSUN’s surrounding community.

Before going into the field, volunteers attend a 24-hour training program during January. Through this program, Students gain valuable “hands-on” experience preparing federal and state tax returns to help service and stimulate the local economy.[32]

CSUN Model United Nations

CSUN at NMUN 2007‎

The Political Science Department's Model United Nations received first-place honors at the National Model United Nations Conference of 2000, 2007, and 2008 in New York. The CSUN Model United Nations Program is one of the best in the nation. The team also competed in the first international conference in Xian, China (2008) and received first place honors as well.

CSUN Speech & Debate

The CSUN Speech and Debate Society is an intercollegiate forensics program committed to excellence. The team consists of Inter-Collegiate policy debate, Parliamentary Debate, and individual events and travels throughout the state and country. In Spring 2009, the team sent three students to the American Forensics Association National Tournament, held in Akron, Ohio. Additionally, the team has hosted public debates with visiting debaters from Japan, Great Britain, and China.


CSUN fields 18 sports at the NCAA Division I level. The mascot for CSUN is the Matador, which was suggested in 1958 by student submissions. The Matador was chosen over the other four finalists, the Apollos, Falcons, Rancheros and Titans. The Matador is said to reflect the region's Hispanic heritage. CSUN fields both men's and women's teams in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, track and field, and volleyball. CSUN has a men's baseball team, and women's softball, tennis, and water polo teams. Currently, Men's Soccer is the powerhouse of the school, reaching the NCAA 3rd Round in the 2005-2006 season, knocking out Big West Conference rival UC Santa Barbara in the 2nd Round. However, both the men's and women's Track & Field teams won Big West titles in 2007. In 1978, 1979 and 1980, the women's outdoor track and field team won AIAW national championships.

The University was a significant contender in west coast collegiate fencing during the 1970s under the guidance of head coach Muriel Bower, first woman fencing master in the United States. She has been inducted into CSUN's Hall of Fame.

CSUN was a member of the Big Sky Conference until 2001 when it joined the Big West Conference. The men's basketball team won the Big Sky in its final season. there. CSUN made the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament during the 2008-09 Basketball season seeded #15 in the Western Region losing to #2 Memphis Tigers in the first round of play. CSUN has several sports clubs [6] including ice hockey, water skiing, karate, a Hip Hop Dance Team, and a cheerleading squad which placed 2nd in the small co-ed cheer division at the United Spirit Association Nationals in February 2008.

Student organizations

CSUN is a very multicultural university, which is evident in the multitude of ethnic and cultural student organizations that have formed root nearly a quarter century ago. Some of them are the CSUN Armenian Student Association, founded in 1976; CSUN Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan, founded in 1968; and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Alliance (LGBTA), founded in 1972.

The University is also home to many fraternal organizations including twelve North-American Interfraternity Conference members and six National Panhellenic Conference members. The campus also has seven United Sorority and Fraternity Council members, two Armenian Greek Council members, seven National Pan-Hellenic Council members, and two Christian fraternal organizations Alpha Lambda Mu Lambda Psi.

There are also many independent local fraternities as Beta Gamma Nu Fraternity, which was founded at USC in 1997, and at CSUN in 1998.

In addition, there are two main 'Deaf Greeks' on campus - Alpha Sigma Theta sorority, and Lambda Sigma Pi fraternity. Both organizations are always actively recruiting new members, as long as the person is willing to have American Sign Language as the primary mode of communication within the organization. Both organizations have been active for more than 15 years at CSUN.

Notable alumni and former students


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 2, 2010. 
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  12. ^ John Chandler, "Professor's Chronicle Takes a Hard Look at History of CSUN," Los Angeles Times (12 December 1993).
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  24. ^ "America's Best Colleges" List Ranks Cal State Northridge Among Top 50 Undergraduate Engineering Programs. CSUN News Releases. Accessed November 16, 2006.
  25. ^ Cal State Northridge:) Rises in Ranks as Hosting~! for International Students. CSUN News Releases. Accessed March 17, 2007.
  26. ^ Department of Music Graduate Program Accessed June 2007
  27. ^ Choir of the World at Llangollen Accessed June 2007.
  28. ^ 1995 National Science Foundation Ranks CSUN #1 in Undergraduate Performance. CSUN Press Releases. Accessed November 16, 2006.
  29. ^ Collection Statistics
  30. ^ Dave MacNeal, "Porn Connection: A Tale of two stashes," Daily Sundial (4 December 2008).
  31. ^ Ain't It Cool News Accessed March 2008
  32. ^

External links

Coordinates: 34°14′30″N 118°31′42″W / 34.24167°N 118.52833°W / 34.24167; -118.52833

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