As the first week of classes began, more than 27,000 undergraduate CSUN students walked across the campus to their first class.
With so many students applying to CSUN, the possibility of certain departments becoming impacted isn’t far-fetched. As of now, the finance and the financial service options of business administration are already impacted, which means that the number of applicants for these programs exceeds the number of available spots. This has caused the requirements for acceptance into these programs to become stricter.
This age-old battle of supply and demand greatly affects first-year and transfer students attempting to make one of the impacted majors their choice of study.
Although accountancy is a major that’s not considered impacted, the department has rules that regulate the amount of students that enter the major. The department requires students to be enrolled in pre-accountancy, be at upper-division standing and complete other specific requirements before moving on from pre-accountancy to accountancy.
All students who are accepted to CSUN and who choose to join the pre-accountancy program are accepted and are free to work their way up to the accountancy major. However, a CSUN accounting professor said the biggest problems are the 200 and 300 level classes since many students don’t pass these courses and are not able to move on to the 400 level classes.
Although the Advising Resource Center/EOP Web site lists computer science as an impacted major, Steven Stepanek, department chair of computer science, said the department has been off of impaction for a few years now and is gladly welcoming students.
The finance department at CSUN has been impacted since 2003, and there are currently about 1,000 students enrolled in the program.
“(The major) is very lucrative, and finance is a very interesting topic,” said Donald Bliech, interim department chair of finance, real estate and financial services. “We have a very good department and all of our teachers get high ratings. I think the word is out.” Ever since the major has become impacted, there’s only been a slight decrease in the number of students applying. Although the department has had about 1,100 students at one time, there’s no fixed number of students that can be accepted per semester.
“Anyone with a 2.5 GPA or higher gets in,” Bliech said.
But students can’t rest assured after simply being accepted into this impacted major. Next comes the struggle of enrolling in all of the necessary courses, which could very likely be full.
“Lots of students have attempted to get permission numbers in order to add one of my classes,” said professor James Dow, whose Finance 303 and Finance 432 classes are both completely full. Dow said the only way for more students to receive the classes they require is to hire more finance staff.
This is true for all other CSUN academic departments. Just because certain majors are not impacted doesn’t mean that students in those majors are guaranteed to receive all the classes they need. When a major isn’t impacted, it simply means that upon acceptance, students are allowed to declare that major without meeting any extra requirements.
Unlike CSUN, which only has two impacted majors, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has all of its majors impacted. But there’s a difference in a campus where all of the majors are impacted and a school that’s considered an impacted campus. When a specific major is impacted, the number of applications from fully eligible students for that major exceeds the number of spaces available. This causes departments to develop supplementary criteria for admittance to the major. Still, a student may be allowed to attend school at that campus, but with a different major.
California State universities in Fullerton, Long Beach, San Diego and Sonoma, and Cal Poly Pomona are currently considered impacted campuses. These schools receive more applications than the school can physically accommodate. This might cause the campuses to restrict enrollment from specific categories.
After transferring from Valley College, Bileko Wissa, junior biology major at CSUN, spent one year attending school at Norfolk State University in Virginia.
“Going to school out of state started to get too expensive. I applied to CSUN and was accepted, and I haven’t had any trouble enrolling into any of my classes,” Wissa said.
“If my major was impacted, it would just make me work harder,” Wissa said. “The fact that these majors are impacted just weans out students who are applying to the majors for the wrong reasons. And the pre-accountancy requirement will eliminate the student who’s just applying to accountancy because his father is an accountant.”
But students have a second chance to decide whether they really want to go into the specific field of study. They can avoid campuses with impacted majors by using “CSU Mentor,” an online application process that reroutes applicants to another CSU if they don’t meet extra requirements for the major they initially applied for.
Correction: In the news article, “Computer science, business, finance majors impacted, classes overfilled” by Chrystal King, which was in the Thursday, Sept. 6 edition, it was incorrectly reported that accountancy isn’t an impacted major. The major is impacted.
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