Sonoma State University

Set in California’s beautiful wine-growing region north of San Francisco bay, Sonoma State University is one of the few Cal State campuses that is truly a residential setting.  Nearly 46% of the 8,000 students live on campus, and students have a variety of appealing dormitory options, even in their first year.

“Davis tells you how to grow it but SSU tells you how to sell it,” say Sonoma State students and administrators about the school’s wine marketing program.  It’s the only school on the west coast that teaches students how to market and sell wine.

Like many Cal State campuses, Sonoma State University has a number of impacted majors, including criminal justice, business, psychology and nursing.  This means these programs are a bit more competitive for admission, and students admitted to these majors will complete their general education requirements, and then apply into their major.

Sonoma State University has strong environmental studies and kinesiology majors, and a unique program called Hutchins, in which students can focus on teaching, communications or liberal arts studies, is unique to Sonoma State, and guarantees a 4-year graduation (check out the video on the page linked above!). Sonoma has the largest per capita study abroad program in the CSU system.  A complete list of the BA, BFA and BS degrees offered at Sonoma State is here.

Like many other CSU campuses, Sonoma State concentrates on providing a hands-on, practical education, preparing students for employment after graduation.  But unlike most other CSU schools, Sonoma State focuses on building community for their students.  The campus is easy to navigate, with student housing, academic departments, cafes and administration buildings all within close walking distance.  Students describe effective college orientation and transition programs, as well as student activities and organizations to help students make friends at their new home.  If you visit, you may fall in love with this woodsy, residential campus.  Make sure to have a student show you the Bacon, Eggs and Toast quad!

Evelyn and Fay have both visited Sonoma State University, several years apart.  Both of us were struck by the beautiful campus and the relationships students form with their professors on this mid-sized campus.

You can scroll through all of the photos from our multiple visits to Sonoma State below.

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