Sonoma State University

2014 Quick Stats
1801 E. Cotati Avenue

Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Phone: (707) 664-2880
2013-2014 Tuition
male /
Dec. 31
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#42 Overall Score: 41 out of 100. Regional Universities (West)

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Sonoma State University is a public institution that was founded in 1960. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 8,122, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 269 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Sonoma State University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities (West), 42. Its in-state tuition and fees are $7,234 (2013-14); out-of-state tuition and fees are $18,394 (2013-14).

Located in the middle of wine country, the Sonoma State University (SSU) campus is about an hour north of San Francisco in Rohnert Park, Calif. Undergraduates as SSU can choose from about 45 bachelor’s degree programs, and graduate students can earn degrees in about 15 fields of study, including nursing and business. The School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State offers the nation’s only program that focuses exclusively on the business side of the wine industry. The Wine Business Institute offers both a bachelor’s and master’s degree concentration, with courses such as Wine Business Strategies and Wine Production, Operations, and Distribution.

Outside the classroom, SSU students can join more than 100 clubs and pledge with more than 20 fraternities and sororities. SSU students can volunteer through the Join Us Making Progress (JUMP) community service program and attend numerous campus events ranging from video game contests to karaoke nights. Student athletes can play at the intramural level or try out for the Sonoma State University Seawolves varsity sports teams, which compete in the NCAA Division II California Collegiate Athletic Association.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Sonoma State University is a relatively small (8,500 students), residential, public university committed to student retention, graduation and satisfaction. As California's premier public undergraduate institution, SSU has a commitment to graduating students who have the ability to think critically and ethically and can effectively use information technology. Its primary mission is to develop and maintain excellent programs of undergraduate instruction grounded in the liberal arts and sciences. Instructional programs are designed to challenge students not only to acquire knowledge but also to develop the skills of critical analysis, careful reasoning, creativity, and self-expression. SSU offers 41 bachelor's degree programs and 14 master's degree programs. In addition, the University offers a joint master's degree in mathematics with San Francisco State University and a joint doctorate in educational administration with California State University, Sacramento and the University of California, Davis. The University offers nine credential programs and eight undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. The quality of the educational experience at Sonoma State University depends upon close human and intellectual relationships among students and faculty to foster the open exchange of ideas. The university is committed to creating a learning community in which people from diverse backgrounds and cultures are valued for the breadth of their perspectives and are encouraged in their intellectual pursuits. Sonoma's faculty maintain active scholarly lives and the University encourages faculty projects that involve students in research and other creative activities. Currently 2,400 students live on campus and housing for an additional 700 students is underway. The SSU residential community offers a variety of accommodations from shared bedrooms in residential suites to private bedrooms and baths in apartments. SSU's 59,000 square foot sustainable building design recreation center, complete with a climbing wall, received the Outstanding Sports Facilities Award by the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association. Additionally, a renovated 21st century Darwin Hall, the university's science building, has new laboratories and classrooms supporting the needs of modern science curriculum. Currently under construction is the $110 million Donald & Maureen Green Music Center which includes a 1,400 seat world-class concert hall, Schroeder's Recital Hall (named for one of the characters of the famed cartoonist Charles Schulz) and a music education building. The University was gifted the Fairfield Osborne Preserve, located within a mile of campus, which is dedicated to protecting and restoring natural communities and fostering ecological understanding through education and research. Additionally, the University accepted a 3,500 acre wilderness preserve in northern Sonoma County, called the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve to promote environmental education and research, as well as to steward the diverse landscape of the preserve. The Sonoma State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics sponsors 13 intercollegiate sports, five men's and eight women's: men's baseball, basketball, golf, soccer and tennis; women's basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball, and water polo. SSU's teams, named the Seawolves, are a member of the NCAA Division II and they compete in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), the premiere intercollegiate athletic association in the country, and have won several national titles.

General Information

School type public
Year founded 1960
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting suburban
2012 Endowment $28,137,286


When applying to Sonoma State University, it's important to note the application deadline is December 31. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due December 1. The application fee at Sonoma State University is $55. It is less selective, with an acceptance rate of 81.9 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity less selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 81.9%
Application deadline December 31
SAT/ACT scores must be received by December 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Sonoma State University is 25:1, and the school has 37.7 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Sonoma State University include: Business Administration and Management, General; Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies; Psychology, General; Sociology; and Environmental Studies. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 79.8 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 25:1
4-year graduation rate 27%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Business Administration and Management, General 22%
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 8%
Psychology, General 8%
Sociology 6%
Environmental Studies 5%

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Student Life

Sonoma State University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 8,122, with a gender distribution of 40.1 percent male students and 59.9 percent female students. At this school, 37 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 63 percent of students live off campus. Sonoma State University is part of the NCAA II athletic conference.

Total enrollment 9,021
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA II

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Campus Info & Services

Sonoma State University offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, day care, and health service. Sonoma State University also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Sonoma State University, 98 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Sonoma State University.

Students who have cars on campus 98%
Health insurance offered No

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Paying for School

At Sonoma State University, 45.9 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $9,821.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

In-state tuition and fees $7,234 (2013-14)
Out-of-state tuition and fees $18,394 (2013-14)
Room and board $11,545 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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