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California State University, Northridge is a vibrant, diverse university community of 38,310 students and more than 4,000 faculty and staff, sited on a 356-acre campus in the heart of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley. As you explore the university's web site, you will find ample evidence of Cal State Northridge's commitment to the educational and professional goals of students, and its extensive service to the community.
California State University, Northridge exists to enable students to realize their educational goals. The University’s first priority is to promote the welfare and intellectual progress of students. To fulfill this mission, we design 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; we seek to foster a rigorous and contemporary understanding of the liberal arts, sciences, and professional disciplines, and we believe in the following values.
Commitment to Teaching, Scholarship, and Active Learning. We demonstrate excellence in teaching.We honor and reward high performance in learning, teaching, scholarship, research, service, and creative activity. Because the quality of our academic programs is central to our mission, we encourage intellectual curiosity and protect the multiple expressions of academic freedom.
Commitment to Excellence. We set the highest standards for ourselves in all of our actions and activities and support the professional development of faculty, staff and administrators. We assess our performance so that every area of University life will be continually improved and renewed. We recognize and reward our efforts of greatest distinction and through them provide state and national leadership.
Respect for All People. We aspire to behave as an inclusive, cooperative community. Our behaviors, policies, and programs affirm the worth and personal dignity of every member of the University community and contribute to a campus climate of civility, collegiality, tolerance, and reasoned debate.
Alliances with the Community. We seek partnerships with local schools, community colleges, businesses, government and social agencies to advance the educational, intellectual, artistic, civic, cultural and economic aspirations of our surrounding communities.
Encouragement of Innovation, Experimentation, and Creativity. We seek to provide an environment conducive to innovation, experimentation, and creativity. We encourage all members of our community to take intellectual and creative risks and to embrace changes that will enhance the fulfillment of the University’s mission.
Since 1958, California State University, Northridge has been elevating Los Angeles and beyond. The university’s commitment to student success, inclusive excellence and service to the community has made it a national model for institutions of higher learning. CSUN’s history began as San Fernando Valley State College in portable classrooms on former agricultural land and has evolved into the second-largest public master’s university in the nation.
As of 2018, 360,000 alumni serve as the economic spark for Southern California and beyond. CSUN graduates more than 11,000 students annually, who go on to lead industries as varied as tech, entertainment, business, education, the arts, health and science. CSUN has catapulted Matador students and alumni to create social change, make new discoveries and better our world.
In many ways, Cal State Northridge began like many other Valley institutions: Trees were cleared and foundations poured at sites that were once orange, lemon or avocado groves. Hand-lettered signs gave directions to temporary buildings connected by plank pathways. But before that humble start, there was a great deal of political maneuvering to ensure that a four-year college would even be located in the Valley. in 1952, state officials had originally identified Baldwin Hills as the site of a satellite campus for Los Angeles State College (now Cal State Los Angeles). In reaction to the decision, Valley leaders organized to successfully overturn the legislation and to later ensure that a four-year college would be sited in the San Fernando Valley. On December 21, 1954, advocates for a Valley four-year college hosted 23 legislators for dinner at the Brown Derby on Wilshire Boulevard. Armed with demographic projections, they pitched the Valley as the only logical place for the next state college. The pitch worked. In 1955, state Assemblyman Judge Julian Beck sent the legislation for approval to purchase land in the north San Fernando Valley for a new satellite campus to Los Angeles State College.
California State University, Northridge is inspired by the belief that our commitment to educational opportunity, inclusion and excellence will extend the promise of America to succeeding generations. Our graduates will be the vanguard of leaders—committed to sustaining a democracy in which diverse people share in the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, proficient in applying technology to wise purposes, and dedicated to securing a humane world community and sustaining the bounty of the Earth.
As an institution of higher learning:
We will create a community of shared values in which faculty, students, staff, administrators and alumni will experience personal satisfaction and pride in our collective achievements;
We will be the first choice for university applicants who seek a rigorous, collaborative teaching/learning experience in a technologically rich environment;
We will be the leader in enhancing the educational, cultural and economic resources of our region; and
We will receive local and national recognition for our distinctive achievements in teaching, learning, scholarship and service.