Sonoma State University

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In-State Tuition
A-List Ranking
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In-State Tuition
A-List Ranking

Sonoma State University (also referred to as SSU or Sonoma State), is a public four-year university and one of twenty three 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 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.

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

  • School of Arts & Humanities
  • School of Business & Economics
    • Wine Business 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 Anthro Studies 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’s 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 Caf©. 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 Suite, Single Suite, Cabernet Apartments and Sauvignon Apartments.

    General Information

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

    Admissions Information

    College has an application fee: Yes
    Regular application fee: $55
    Online application fee: $55
    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 28
    African-American/Black Studies 10
    Hispanic-American, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-American/Chicano Studies 6
    Women's Studies 12
    Biological and Biomedical Sciences 53 7
    Biochemistry 8
    Biology/Biological Sciences, General 45 7
    Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 355 25
    Business Administration and Management, General 355 25
    Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 96
    Speech Communication and Rhetoric 96
    Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services 27
    Computer Science 27
    Education 69
    Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services 26
    Education, General 43
    Engineering 3 4
    Engineering Science 3 4
    English Language and Literature/Letters 75 8
    English Language and Literature, General 75 8
    Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 27
    French Language and Literature 3
    Spanish Language and Literature 24
    Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General 44 43
    Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 44 43
    History 40 6
    History, General 40 6
    Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 62
    Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 62
    Human Services, General 7
    Public Administration 7
    Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 176
    Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 176
    Mathematics and Statistics 18
    Applied Mathematics, General 1
    Mathematics, General 16
    Statistics, General 1
    Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, General 23
    Cultural Resource Management and Policy Analysis 10
    Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 13
    Natural Resources and Conservation 68
    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 Affairs 10
    Political Science and Government, General 34
    Sociology 89
    Visual and Performing Arts 92
    Art/Art Studies, General 15
    Drama and Dramatics/Theater Arts, General 21
    Fine/Studio Arts, General 33
    Music, General 23
    Work and Family Studies 47
    Human Development and Family Studies, General 47

    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-AmericanStudies B
    Hispanic-AmericanStudies B
    Women's Studies B

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

    Biological & Biomedical Sciences
    Biology B

    Business, Management, & Marketing
    Business Administration/Management B

    Communications & Journalism

    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
    EnvironmentalStudies B
    Natural Resources & Conservation – General B

    Philosophy & Religion

    Physical Sciences
    Geology B
    Physics B

    Psychology– General B

    Security & Protective Services
    Law Enforcement Administration B

    Social Sciences
    PoliticalScience/Government 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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