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Sonoma State University

Santa Rosa, CA

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  1. #10 Public University in the Western Region
  2. #3 Ranked for Most Amazing Campus Arts Center
  3. #12 Best Housing in the Nation

About This Campus

Sonoma State University has a tradition of promoting intellectual, cognitive, social and personal growth, leadership opportunities, and technological proficiency, while offering its students a friendly, safe, and informal atmosphere on a beautiful campus setting. The faculty and staff provide collaborative relationships with students and an education that fosters ethical exploration, civic engagement, social responsibility, and global awareness combined with a solid foundation in an academic discipline. Many classes average fewer than 40 students, allowing close interaction between students and faculty. SSU has a commitment to educating students who have the ability to think critically and ethically. There is a strong move to develop a global perspective in much of the curriculum to prepare students for the needs of the 21st century. With 33% of the student body living on-campus in lovely apartment and residential style suites, it is one of the most residential campuses of the CSUs.

Location Information

Sonoma State University is 1 hour north of the San Francisco Bay Area and just 30 minutes from the beautiful Lost Coast. The closest city is Santa Rosa, population 177,586, located just 10 minutes from campus. Sonoma County represents the best of Northern California with more than 425 wineries, miles of rugged Pacific coastline, towering redwood forests, over 50 local craft breweries, farm-to-table dining, rivers, lakes, plus over 50 state and regional parks. https://www.sonomacounty.com/

Helpful Information

Sonoma State is an impacted campus and securing courses can be competitive. This is why we have been able to secure priority registration for incoming NSE students. As such, it is imperative that students follow instructions carefully and complete all required materials on time. SSU is a community-oriented campus, perfect for students looking to get involved, develop as leaders, and explore all Sonoma County and Northern California has to offer.

2021/2022 Placement

Host Payment
Home Payment

2022/2023 Placement

Host Payment
Home Payment
Very Good

Learn more about Chance of Placement
and choosing alternate options.

Fast Facts

Location | Santa Rosa
Population | 43,753
Enrollment | 8,649
Language | English
Calendar | Semester
Canada | Home & Host
Term Dates
Fall | 08/18-12/16
Spring | 01/24-05/20

Campus Diversity

1st Nation/Native | 1%
Asian | 5%
Black | 2%
Hawaiian/P.I. | 1%
Hispanic/Latino | 36%
Two or more | 6%
White | 44%
Other | 5%
International | 0%


  • Campus Catalog
  • Priority: Before seniors
  • Syllabus Request for Course Pre-Approval: Contact Host Coordinator for assistance
Closed Programs
Chemistry, Nursing, Hutchins Program (Structured Liberal Studies Program), and all credential programs.

Communications, Political Science, Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies, Psychology, Kinesiology, and Business/Wine Business are all high-demand majors, therefore access to courses may be limited and specific classes could be restricted. Students in these majors should have flexibility in the classes they wish to take. Students wishing to take upper-division Business classes must meet all of the Pre-Business course requirements: Introduction to Macroeconomics, Introduction to Microeconomics, Introduction to Finite Mathematics or Calculus, Business Statistics or Elementary Statistics or Statistics for Economics and Business, Legal Environment of Business, Financial Accounting, and Managerial Accounting. Students wishing to study Biology must have an advising meeting with a Biology adviser, (over the phone, internet, or other prior submitting course requests.)

Notable Academic Programs

  • Business - Something very special happens when humanist psychologists create a school of business and economics. It attracts a different kind of faculty that aren't just teachers, and aren't just researchers: it attracts faculty who are reachers. It nurtures educators, students, alumni and staff to teach, support, and learn well beyond their specific discipline. http://sbe.sonoma.edu/
  • Psychology - The SSU Psychology department was a pioneer in the field of Humanistic Psychology. The program has evolved to include contemporary topics such as health and wellness, mindfulness, ecopsychology, optimal development, and multi-cultural competence. http://web.sonoma.edu/psychology/home/history.html
  • Astronomy and STEM - NASA has awarded Sonoma State almost $5 million to fund NASA’s Neurodiversity Network, or N3, a program designed to get neurodiverse learners, such as students with autism, involved in STEM. According to NASA’s N3 website, this five-year program aims to provide neurodiverse learners with education and experience in STEM-related fields so that they may pursue careers at NASA or in similar professional pathways. Physics & Astronomy professor Dr. Lynn Cominsky, who has taught at Sonoma State University for more than 30 years, has been recognized by the American Astronomical Society as one of the central historical figures within her industry. The Americans Astronomical Society, the foremost organization for professional astronomers in North America, has named Cominsky as part of its inaugural class of Legacy Fellows for her extraordinary achievements in the field.

Unique Academic Programs

  • Wine Business - Sonoma State offers a concentration in Wine Business Strategies as part of the undergraduate degree in Business Administration. The degree includes a pre-business program and a set of core course requirements that cover the basics of business operations. The concentration will provide an opportunity for a comprehensive education in wine production, operations, marketing and array of electives. Sonoma State is the first in the United States to offer an undergraduate degree (since 1998), an MBA (since 2008), and most recently an Executive MBA (since 2012) focused on the business of wine. http://www.sonoma.edu/sbe/wine-business-institute/
  • Holocaust and Genocide Studies - https://www.sonoma.edu/holocaust/history.html

Undergraduate Majors Open to NSE Students

  • Accounting
  • Adapted Physical Education
  • Advertising
  • American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Applied Biology
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Applied Physics
  • Aquatic Biology
  • Archaeology
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics
  • Athletic Training
  • Biology/Life Science
  • Botany/Plant Sciences
  • Broadcasting
  • Business Administration
  • Business Management
  • Cell Biology
  • Ceramic Art/Ceramics
  • Child Development
  • Classical Studies
  • Communication
  • Comparative Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminology
  • Dance
  • Digital Arts
  • Drawing
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Earth Science
  • Economics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Elementary Education
  • English
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Ethnic Studies
  • European History
  • European Studies
  • Exercise Science
  • Film
  • Finance/Banking
  • Fine Art
  • French
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • German
  • Government
  • History
  • Human Development
  • International Business
  • International Relations
  • International Studies
  • Jazz Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • Journalism
  • Kinesiology
  • Latin American Studies
  • Law Enforcement/Police Sciences
  • Literature
  • Marine Biology
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Music
  • Music Education
  • Music History
  • Music Theory and Composition
  • Native American/American Indian Studies
  • Natural Resources Conservation
  • Painting
  • Performance and Directing
  • Performing Arts: Voice
  • Philosophy
  • Photography
  • Physical Education
  • Physical Sciences
  • Physics
  • Physiology
  • Planetary and Space Sciences
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Policy Studies
  • Public Relations
  • Queer, Gay and Lesbian Studies
  • Radio and Television Studies
  • Sculpture
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Statistics
  • Studio Art
  • Sustainable Resource Management
  • Teacher Education
  • Theater Arts/Drama/Acting
  • Urban Planning
  • Urban Studies
  • Visual Arts
  • Women and Gender Studies
  • Zoology


GPA and Other Academic Requirements
  • No students accepted from NSE members within my own state
  • 2.5 GPA
  • Students must meet the individual requirements for any courses they wish to take. It is often a requirement for students to be declared that or a related major. Upper-division classes often have lower-division class prerequisites.
Exchange Preferences
  • Full-year exchange Accepted
  • Single term exchange Accepted
Mid-Year Exchange (Exchange that begins with the Spring/Winter Term)
  • Available
Non-Native English Speakers
  • TOEFL: must have a score of 500.00 paper, N/A computer or 61.00 Internet
  • IELTS: must have a score of 6.00
Summer Exchange
  • Host Pay with full-term enrollment
International Students (Visa Students)
  • Will accept on either

Tuition / Finances

Figures per Semester are current as of 06/04/21

  • Campus Budget
  • Fees are subject to change without notice.
  • Two semesters = one academic year
  • Three quarters = one academic year
Tuition and Fees Per Semester - Host Payment Students
  • Estimated cost: $3994.
  • Expect 5-15% increase for the subsequent academic year.
  • Figures are based on 15 hours. Actual costs may be greater or less depending upon your actual enrollment.
  • Figures do not include costs you will incur for course specific enrollment (e.g., laboratory courses, student teaching, studio art)
  • See below for credit hour restrictions and/or miscellaneous fees applicable to Host Payment students.
Tuition and Fees - Home Payment Students
  • No tuition/fees are paid to the host campus.
  • Figures do not include costs you will incur for course specific enrollment (e.g., laboratory courses, student teaching, studio art)
  • See below for credit hour restrictions and/or miscellaneous fees applicable to Home Payment students.
Maximum Credit Hours Per Semester
  • Host Payment: 20
  • Home Payment: 20

Financial Aid - Host Payment
For Host Payment U.S. students, aid is awarded by and disbursed from your host campus. Students apply for federally funded financial aid by using the FAFSA code of their host campus. Host campuses award aid to eligible incoming Plan A students on a first-come, first-served basis as long as funds are available. Ask your home campus NSE coordinator if your campus awards aid to their own outgoing students. If so, do not apply for aid from your host campus.

For eligible Host Payment applicants U.S. federal financial aid may be available in the following programs:

  • Pell
  • CWS
  • Perkins
  • SEOG
  • DL
  • Plus
Use FAFSA CODE: 001156

Financial Aid - Home Payment
For eligible Home Payment students, aid is awarded by and disbursed from your home campus.

Financial Aid - Canada
Regardless of Payment Plan, students exchanging to or from Canada, apply for financial aid at their home campus.

Miscellaneous Fees - Per Semester

Purpose Amount Period Plan Status
Housing Deposit $300 Year Host & Home Optional
Parking Fee $94 Semester Host & Home Optional

Important Notes: For information on additional fees, such as class lab fees, visit this website: http://seawolfservices.sonoma.edu/fees/description

Room / Meals

Figures are current as of 06/04/21

On-Campus Housing Per Semester
  • On-Campus Housing
  • 33% living on campus
  • Apartment: $7263 (includes meals)
  • Per semester unless otherwise noted
  • On campus living is limited
Off-Campus Housing
  • Off-Campus Housing
  • Approximate monthly cost: $1,000
  • Proximity to campus: 1 mile
  • Local Public Transportation Available to Campus
Notes About Housing
On-campus housing is strongly encouraged for all incoming NSE students due to limited, competitive, and costly off-campus housing. Space in housing is generally available for students who are placed at the March conference. Any student accepted post-conference cannot be guaranteed a space in on-campus housing, though usually we are able to offer every student a spot as long as documents are completed on time. Housing contracts are signed for a full year. Students who are staying for only one semester must hand in the "Petition to Vacate" by November 15 to avoid a $250 fee. For on-campus housing information: http://housing.sonoma.edu/

Meal Plans

Notes About Meal Plans
A description of the meal plans available is listed here: http://culinary.sonoma.edu/meal-plans


Figures per Semester are current as of 06/04/21

Purpose Amount Period Plan Status
Health Insurance $500 Year Host Pay Waiver Available

Important Notes about Health Insurance
Health Insurance is only available, and required, for international students. A waiver is available for international students that have sufficient coverage. More information can be found here: http://web.sonoma.edu/cie/international-students/health-insurance

Exchange with Canada - Health Insurance


  • Health records due by: Start of classes
  • Home campus copy acceptable
  • Immunization before residence hall move in
  • Health / accident insurance (encouraged)
  • Immunization: DTap (diptheria, tetanus, pertussis)
  • Immunization: MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
  • Immunization: Meningococcal
  • Immunization: Tuberculosis
  • Immunization: Hep B required if under 19

All data in this document is the responsibility of the campus and has been provided by the campus NSE coordinator.
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