Sonoma State University

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Sonoma State University (also referred to as SSU or Sonoma State), is a public four-year university and one of 23 campuses in the California State University (CSU) system. The school’s main campus is located in Rohnerk Park, California about 50 miles north of San Francisco. SSU offers over 65 undergraduate and graduate degrees and is one of the smallest universities within the CSU system.

With substantial involvement and support from San Francisco State University, Sonoma State College was established in 1960 as part of the California State College system. In 1978 Sonoma State College became Sonoma State University and it was transitioned into the California State University (CSU) system. The University started offering four-year college degrees in 1961. Today SSU offers an extensive selection of both graduate and undergraduate degree programs.


While Sonoma State is well-known for its exceptional business, economics and nursing programs, it is still considered a liberal arts university. The most popular subjects of study at Sonoma State are business, psychology and liberal arts. The University operates on a non-traditional semester system which includes a short-term in August known as "intersession" and three more traditional semesters for fall, spring, and summer.

Academic Schools and Programs

Sonoma State University is composed of 65 individual departments and programs, which in turn belong to one of the University’s seven academic schools. All seven schools at Sonoma State offer both graduate and undergraduate programs and many also offer minors and doctorates.

Sonoma State’s schools include Arts and Humanities, Business and Economics, Education, Science and Technology, Extended Education Certificate Programs, Social Sciences Anthro Studies Center and California Cultural Studies.

Sonoma State University is also well-known for its wine business programs. In fact, the school’s Wine Business Institute was the first in the United States to offer degree and professional certificate programs focused on the business of wine. The following wine business programs are offered at the university:

  • The Sonoma MBA for Professionals (Part-time and Full-time formats available)
  • Sonoma MBA in Wine Business (Part-time and Full-time formats available)
  • The Sonoma Executive MBA (part-time format)
  • Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business (Part-time format)
  • Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business (Hybrid version)
  • Wine Business Management (Online Program)
  • QuickBooks for Wine Businesses (Online Program)

The following is a list of the academic schools and special programs offered at Sonoma State.

  • School of Arts & Humanities
  • School of Business & Economics
    • The Sonoma MBA for Professionals (Part-time and Full-time formats available)
    • Sonoma MBA in Wine Business (Part-time and Full-time formats available)
    • The Sonoma Executive MBA (part-time format)
    • Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business (Part-time format)
    • Wine Business Management (Online Program)
    • QuickBooks for Wine Businesses (Online Program)
  • School of Education
  • School of Science & Technology
    • Galbreath Wildlands Preserve (provides research and educational programs in hydrology, geology, vegetation, vertebrates and climate)
    • Fairfield Osborn Preserve (provides research and educational programs in hydrology and ecology)
    • Sonoma State Observatory (provides research and education programs in astronomy)
  • School of Extended Education Certificate Programs
    • EXCEL for Youth
    • Contract Credit Programs
    • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (noncredit courses for adults over 50)
    • Bachelor of Art Degree Completion Program in Liberal Studies
    • Master of Art in Interdisciplinary Studies: Action for a Viable Future
    • Art Therapy
    • Organization Development Program
    • Depth Psychology
    • Master of Science in Computer and Engineering Science
    • Open University
    • Sonoma State American Language Institute
    • Master of Art in Spanish
    • Summer Session
  • School of Social Sciences AnthroStudies Center
  • Other Majors California Cultural Studies
    • Special Major in Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Special Major in Global Studies
    • Planning
  • Other Minors
    • Minor in Women's Health
    • Women's and Gender Studies
    • Special Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies


    Known as the Seawolves, Sonoma State’s teams compete in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, which exists within the NCAA Division II. The school is best known for its strong soccer and baseball programs, with the latter considered particularly noteworthy.

    Financial Aid

    Sonoma State offers grants, scholarships, loans and fee-paying resources as means of helping students defray the cost of attendance. All applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

    Library System

    The Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center opened in 2000. It is home to the university library, information technology, the Center for Distributed Learning, the Writing Center, the Faculty Center, the Center for Community Engagement and Charlie Brown’s Cafe. The property encompasses 215,000 square feet, with 50,000 feet of shelving.

    Student Housing

    Most first-time freshmen live in suite-type arrangements, with some apartments available. Living Learning Communities are also available for those who are interested. The suite and room types are Double Suites, Single Suite, Cabernet Apartments and Sauvignon Apartments.

    General Information

    Admission Office
    1801 East Cotati Avenue
    Rohnert Park, CA 94928-3609
    (707) 664-2778
    Fax: (707) 664-2060
    Contact: Gustavo Flores
    Director, Admissions
    Main Address
    1801 East Cotati Avenue
    Rohnert Park, CA 94928-3609
    (707) 664-2880

    Total undergrads: 7,709
    First-time degree-seeking freshmen: 1,655
    Degree-seeking undergrads: 7,709
    Graduate enrollment: 1,212

    Suburban setting
    Large town (10,000 – 49,999)
    Commuter campus

    Degrees offered:

    Admissions Information

    Application Fee
    College has an application fee: Yes
    Regular application fee: $55
    Online application fee: $55
    Enrollment Rates
    Percent applicants admitted: 76%
    Percent students who return sophomore year: 74%

    Tuition & Fees

    Estimated Expenses for Academic Year 2008-'09 2009-'10 2010-'11 2011-'12 % change 2010-'12
    Tuition and fees $3,946 $4,272 $5,290 $5,508 +4.12%
    Books and Supplies $1,386 $1,656 $1,732 $1,704 -1.62%
    Living Arrangement – On Campus
    Room and Board $9,730 $10,115 $10,418 $10,522 +1.00%
    Other $3,672 $3,990 $4,110 $4,074 -0.88%
    Living Arrangement – Off Campus
    Room and Board $10,710 $11,472 $11,970 $12,414 +3.71%
    Other $3,798 $4,008 $4,128 $4,086 -1.02%
    Total Expenses 2008-'09 2009-'10 2010-'11 2011-'12 % change 2010-'12
    In-state On Campus $18,734 $20,033 $21,550 $21,808 +1.20%
    In-state Off Campus $19,840 $21,408 $23,120 $23,712 +2.56%
    In-state with Family $5,332 $5,928 $7,022 $7,212 +2.71%

    Financial Aid

    Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students
    Type of Aid Students Percent Amount Average Per Student
    All students financial aid 769 47%
    Grant or scholarship aid 478 29% $3,082,597 $6,449
    – Federal grants 243 15% $1,172,794 $4,826
    – Pell grants 243 15% $884,266 $3,639
    – Other federal grants 233 14% $288,528 $1,238
    State and local government grant or scholarships 354 22% $762,304 $2,153
    Institutional scholarships or grants 320 20% $1,147,499 $3,586
    Student loan financial aid 543 33% $2,400,292 $4,420
    – Federal student loans 533 33% $2,127,459 $3,991
    – Other student loans 28 2% $272,833 $9,744

    All Degrees and Programs

    Program Completions for Most Recent Year BA/BS MA/MS Doctor AA/AS CERT
    Grand Total of All Programs 1701 225
    Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender,
    and Group Studies
    African-American/Black Studies 10
    Hispanic-American, Puerto
    Rican, and
    Mexican-American/Chicano Studies
    Women's Studies 12
    Biological and Biomedical
    53 7
    Biochemistry 8
    Biology/Biological Sciences,
    45 7
    Business, Management,
    Marketing, and Related Support
    355 25
    Business Administration and
    Management, General
    355 25
    Communication, Journalism, and
    Related Programs
    Speech Communication and
    Computer and Information
    Sciences and Support Services
    Computer Science 27
    Education 69
    Counselor Education/School
    Counseling and Guidance Services
    Education, General 43
    Engineering 3 4
    Engineering Science 3 4
    English Language and
    75 8
    English Language and
    Literature, General
    75 8
    Foreign Languages, Literatures,
    and Linguistics
    French Language and Literature 3
    Spanish Language and Literature 24
    Health Services/Allied
    Health/Health Sciences, General
    44 43
    Registered Nursing/Registered
    44 43
    History 40 6
    History, General 40 6
    Homeland Security, Law
    Enforcement, Firefighting and
    Related Protective Services
    Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 62
    Human Services, General 7
    Public Administration 7
    Liberal Arts and Sciences,
    General Studies and Humanities
    Liberal Arts and
    Sciences/Liberal Studies
    Mathematics and Statistics 18
    Applied Mathematics, General 1
    Mathematics, General 16
    Statistics, General 1
    Studies, General
    Cultural Resource Management
    and Policy Analysis
    Studies, Other
    Natural Resources and
    Environmental Science 68
    Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and
    Fitness Studies
    96 4
    Health and Physical
    Education/Fitness, General
    96 4
    Physical Sciences 15
    Chemistry, General 5
    Geology/Earth Science, General 4
    Physics, General 6
    Psychology 181 29
    Psychology, General 181 29
    Social Sciences 198
    Anthropology 24
    Economics, General 35
    Geography 6
    International Relations and
    Political Science and
    Government, General
    Sociology 89
    Visual and Performing Arts 92
    Art/Art Studies, General 15
    Drama and Dramatics/Theater
    Arts, General
    Fine/Studio Arts, General 33
    Music, General 23
    Work and Family Studies 47
    Human Development and Family
    Studies, General

    Above data represent
    first majors only.

    (-) Indicates that
    Indicates that program is not offered
    at this award level.

    Undergraduate Majors

    Area, Ethnic, Cultural, & Gender Studies
    African-American Studies B
    Hispanic-American Studies B
    Women's Studies B

    Arts, Visual & Performing
    Art History/Criticism/Conservation B
    Arts – General B
    Drama/Theater Arts B
    Fine/Studio Arts B
    Music – General B

    Biological & Biomedical Sciences
    Biochemistry B
    Biology B

    Business, Management, & Marketing
    Business Administration/Management B
    The Sonoma MBA for Professionals (Part-time and Full-time formats available)
    Sonoma MBA in Wine Business (Part-time and Full-time formats available)
    The Sonoma Executive MBA (part-time format)
    Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business (Part-time format)
    Wine Business Management (Online Program)
    QuickBooks for Wine Businesses (Online Program)

    Communications & Journalism
    Communications/Rhetoric B

    Computer & Information Sciences
    Computer Programming – General B
    Computer Science B

    Computer Engineering – General B

    English Language & Literature
    English Language & Literature –
    General B

    Family & Consumer Sciences
    Human Development/Family Studies B

    Foreign Language & Literature
    French B
    German B
    Spanish B

    Health Professions & Clinical Sciences
    Nursing (RN) B

    History – General B

    Liberal Arts & Sciences
    Liberal Arts & Sciences B

    Mathematics – General B

    Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies
    Global Studies B

    Natural Resources & Conservation
    Environmental Studies B
    Natural Resources & Conservation – General B

    Philosophy & Religion
    Philosophy B

    Physical Sciences
    Chemistry B
    Geology B
    Physics B

    Psychology – General B

    Security & Protective Services
    Law Enforcement Administration B

    Social Sciences
    Anthropology B
    Economics B
    Geography B
    Political Science/Government B
    Sociology B

    Degree levels for each major are designated by the following letters:

      A = Associate degree
      B = Bachelor's degree
      C = Certificate or diploma

    *We do not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.

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