- President: Dr. Judy K. Sakaki
- Founded: 1961
- Mascot: Seawolves
- Campus size: 269 acres
- Motto: "Lux Mentis, Lux Orbis" (Light of the Mind, Light of the World)
- Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Member: Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges
- Endowment = $44 million
- Mid-size campus (9,408 students, 91% undergraduates)
- 63% female to 37% male ratio
- 3,100 residential students, primarily freshmen and sophomores
- Top majors (by number of students in a major):
- Liberal Studies/Hutchins
- Criminology and Criminal Justice
- 64% of students receive some type of financial aid
- SSU awards approximately $1.1 million in scholarships per year
- Graduates 2,000 students per year
- 46 bachelor's degree programs; 15 master's degree programs
- 9 credential programs; 8 certificate programs
Sonoma State University is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. SSU is also a member of the prestigious Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, an association of public colleges and universities whose primary mission is ensuring that fine undergraduate liberal arts and sciences education is available to students in the public systems of higher education. SSU is the only California member of COPLAC.
Individual program accreditations granted by:
- American Chemical Society
- National Association of Schools of Music
- National League for Nursing (Baccalaurate and Master's Programs)
- National Association for Schools of Art and Design
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
- School of Education programs approved by Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
The SSU Alumni Association is a non-profit corporation designed to support and further the development of SSU. The Association's mission is to provide service to Sonoma State University alumni as well as encourage and enhance their life-long relationship with the university. The Association sponsors alumni programs and events and provides student scholarships. Membership is open to graduates, former students, and friends of SSU.
Total Number of SSU Alumni: 65,000+
The SSU Intercollegiate Athletics Program participates in the California Collegiate Athletic Association as a Division II program of the NCAA. Currently, five men's and nine women's intercollegiate teams compete. In addition, there is a wide variety of sports clubs and an active intramural and recreational sports program.
Each year, SSU sponsors hundreds of seminars, workshops, lectures, conferences, exhibits and other public programs. In addition, thousands of North Bay residents attend public performances on campus each year, produced or sponsored by the Department of Music and the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance. The University Art Gallery and University Library Gallery are major attractions for local artists, hosting numerous exhibits each year. Additionally, with the opening of the Green Music Center in 2012, great strides have been made in bringing culturally significant atists, lecturerers and workshops to North Bay residents and students.
Within SSU's 36 academic departments, degrees are offered in 46 majors and 49 minors at the bachelor's level and 15 at the master's level. The university offers a joint master's degree in mathematics with San Francisco State University and a joint doctorate in educational administration with Sacramento State University and the University of California, Davis. There are nine credential programs and eight undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. SSU also offers the one of the only Wine Business programs in the country. Basic teaching credential programs in education include multiple subject, multiple subject BCLAD, single subject, administrative services, reading/language arts (certificater specialist), special education (mild/moderater moderate/severe), pupil personnel services (via the counseling department).
SSU offers upper-division BA degree completion programs in Liberal Studies at the Mendocino College campus in Ukiah; the Napa Valley College campus; and the Solano Community College campus in Vallejo.
SSU's School of Extended and International Education provides access to Sonoma State University’s intellectual, cultural and educational resources to the community and to international students. In addition to summer and winter intersessions, which provide general education and major courses for earlier graduation, the school offers a variety of coursework for professional development and licensure, along with degree programs designed for working adults. Among its community-based programs are the summer youth enrichment program EXCEL, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for older adults (with classes at SSU, Oakmont and Healdsburg). International students can acquire the English language skills they need for business or academics at the Sonoma State American Language Institute.
*Includes management staff and academic staff
|Type of Instructor||Number||Percentage|
American Indian or Alaskan Native
|Two or more Ethnicities||9||1.5%|
|Decline to State||88||14.5%|
Data: Fall 2014
|Tuition and Student Fees||$46.6 million||46%|
|State Tax Appropriation and Lottery Funds||$54.2 million||54%|
|Grants and Contracts||$8.5 million||n/a|
|Donations and Gifts||$10.5 million||n/a|
Sonoma State College was founded in 1961 when Governor Edmund G. Brown signed Senate Bill 43 establishing the college as a member of the California State College system. The college opened in temporary quarters in 1961 under the leadership of founding president Ambrose R. Nichols, Jr. with an enrollment of 265 upper-division students. Most of the faculty and administrators of the Santa Rosa Center of San Francisco State College, which had served the region since 1956, joined the new college. Sonoma State College moved to its present 269-acre site in 1966 when its first two buildings, Stevenson and Darwin Halls, were completed. By then there were more than 1,000 students enrolled. In 1978, University status was granted and the name of the college was changed to Sonoma State University.
|1961||SSU Becomes part of the California State College system (now the California State University)|
|1962||First bachelor of arts degree (elementary education)|
|1962||First four-year program offered|
|May 1966||First graduating class|
|1966||First master's degree offered (biology, psychology)|
|1978||University status attained|
|1999||SSU invited to join the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges as sole member from California|
|2000||The Jean & Charles Schulz Information Center is built|
|2001||The Lifelong Learning Institute for students over the age of 50 is founded. The Osher Foundation gave a large gift which resulted in the name change to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.|
|2004||The University is gifted its first Endowed Chair. The $1.5 million gift came from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria to fund a teaching position in Native American Studies.|
|2005||Renovation of Darwin Hall, the University's second original building, begins|
|2005||The University is gifted a 3,500 acre nature preserve northwest of Cloverdale, CA, called the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve|
|2005||The newly-constructed Recreation Center receives the Outstanding Sports Facilities Award by the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association for its functional use of space and incorporation of sustainable building techniques.|
|2006||Darwin Hall re-opens as a 21st century science building|
|2006||Construction of the Donald & Maureen Green Music Center begins|
|2007||Green Music Center construction is moving along quickly|
|2008||Work on Tuscany Village, the newest phase of housing, begins|
|2008||Music Education Hall in the Green Music Center complex opens|
|2011||Sonoma State celebrates 50th Anniversary|
|2012||Green Music Center opens|
|2013||Student Center opens|
|Ambrose R. Nichols. Jr.||1961-1970|
|Thomas H. McGrath||1971-1974|
|Marjorie Downing Wagner||1974-1976|
|David W. Benson||1984-1992|
|Judy K. Sakaki||2016-present|
Sonoma State is a residential campus, with 90 percent of the freshmen class and 37 percent of all undergraduate students choosing to live on campus. Nationally recognized in the Princeton Review for “Dorms Like Palaces,” SSU’s housing goes above and beyond the typical dorm experience by providing suite-style living within six residential villages, with a total of 3,100 units. All suites and apartments are fully furnished and carpeted with their own living rooms and bathrooms, and all apartments have their own kitchens and provide wireless connectivity to the University's computer network.
The library has a collection of more than 670,000 volumes, with 8,000 new titles added each year. Current periodical subscriptions numberover 35,000 (in both print and electronic formats).
- North Bay Regional Collection
- Extensive children’s book collection
- Wine business resources
- Jack London collection including first editions, letters, and original serialized stories
- Research assistance
- Innovative study spaces
- Extensive computing resources
Roughly 275,000 items each year.
There were more than 630,000 visits by students, faculty, staff, and community users in 2012.
From the library web site, students, faculty, and staff have access to the library catalog, more than 160 databases covering all academic subject areas, and a continuously increasing number of full-text journal articles.
Size and Location
269 acres, located in Rohnert Park at the foot of the Sonoma Mountains. The campus is an hour’s drive north of San Francisco and centrally located between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the wine country to the north and east.
Buildings and Facilities
|Facility Name||Square Feet|
|Ruben Salazar Hall||116,186|
|Rachel Carson Hall||20,000|
|Evert B. Person Theatre||20,655|
|Schulz Information Center||215,500|
|Environmental Technology Center||3,120|
* Total includes all facilities, not just those listed above.
Enrollment — 2014-2015
|American Indian or Alaskan Native||0.5%|
|Two or More Ethnicities||6.6%|
|Decline to State||7.3%|
|Type of Aid||Number of Students||Percent of Total Students||Total Aid||Average Aid Per Student|
|Grants or Scholarships||3,455||41%||$29.5 million||$8,528|
|Pell Grants (Federal)||2,663||32%||$11.2 million||$4,196|
|Federal Student Loans||3,423||41%||$22.2 million||$6,502|
|Arts & Humanities||394||20.6%|
|Business & Economics||413||21.6%|
|Science & Technology||328||17.2%|
Visit the Registration and Fees page for a full overview of chargers and fees per semester for each academic year.