1. Who is considered an international student for admission purposes by Sonoma State University?

ONLY those students who require an F1 or J1 nonimmigrant visa to study in the U.S. All others should follow the standard application procedures.

2. What are the deadlines for submitting an international application?

The general filing periods for international students are

  1. For Fall admission - October 1 through April 30
  2. For Spring admission - August 1 through September 30

Majors may stop accepting applications at any time during this period and the most current information about deadlines and which majors are open can be found on the CSU Mentor web site. Graduate applicants should always check with their program for closure information.

3. How do I apply?

The international application for both graduate and undergraduate applicants can be accessed at www.csumentor.edu

4. What is the estimated annual cost of attendance at Sonoma State University?

Sonoma State University provides a qualify education at a reasonable cost. The following is a comprehensive estimate of the cost for full-time undergraduate and graduate attendance.

Estimates of Annual Undergraduate and Graduate Costs at Sonoma State University

These amounts are estimates and are subject to change without notice. Actual expenses may vary.

Tuition and fees are subject to change by the Trustees of the CSU or the California legislator without prior notice. They usually increased each academic year.

Expense Undergraduate
(12 units/sem) x 2
(8 units/sem) x 2
California State Tuition fees plus Campus-based fees* 7276.00 8500.00
Non-resident Tuition/Fees ($372 per unit) 8928.00 5952.00
Books and materials 1788.00 1788.00
Housing/Food (full meal plan: 17 meals per week) 11545.00 11545.00
Personal expenses 3500.00 3500.00
Health Insurance (annual fee 2014-15)** 1189.00 1189.00
TOTAL: 34226.00 32474.00

*The California State University (CSU) makes every effort to keep student costs to a minimum.  Fees listed in published schedules or student accounts may need to be increased when public funding is inadequate. Therefore, CSU must reserve the right, even after initial fee payments are made, to increase or modify any listed fees, without notice, until the date when instruction for a particular semester has begun. All CSU listed fees should be regarded as estimates that are subject to change upon approval by the Board of Trustees.

Go to Registration Fees, Campus-based fees for a list of fees broken down.

Non-resident Students

Non-residents and foreign visa students are required to pay non-resident tuition fees in addition to fees charged to all students.

Non-Resident Tuition did not increase in 2010/11 nor 2011/12, however at the June, 2010 meeting, the CSU eliminated the maximum academic year total number of units for which this fee applies. All units taken by nonresident students are now charged the nonresident tuition rate.

Tuition for Non-Resident Students in addition to registration fees:
Per Unit $372

Non-resident students are eligible for an installment payment plan. There is a 15% service fee on the plan. Contact the Seawolf Services Office for details prior to July 1, 2014, or pay fees in full by that date.

** Health Insurance typically increases annually so this estimate is probably a little low.

For MBA only - $278  per unit professional fee (additional $4448 per year).

Please note that international travel and extraordinary personal expenses are not included in the cost estimates above.
Family Members: Students who will be accompanied by a spouse and/or children will need to submit additional documentation of financial support ($3700 for spouse and $2900 for each child.)

(If you will be a graduate student in either the CES, PSYCHOLOGY, ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, SPANISH or EMBA Program you will pay through our Extended Education Division and the tuition/fee structure is different. Housing, food, personal expense and health insurance estimates remain the same.)

5. Is there financial aid available for international students?

Students on F1 or J1 visas are not eligible for U.S. Government or state financial aid. However, International students are eligible to apply for university scholarships which are offered on an annual basis. For more information about this please go to www.sonoma.edu/scholarship

6. What is the form "Documentation of Financial Support"?

For students who plan to enter the U.S. on an F1 or J1 visa, certificates of eligibility (form I-20 or DS-2019) for obtaining the visa cannot be issued until the applicant has proven the ability to provide full financial support for the first year of his/her stay at Sonoma State.

The form documenting financial support can be downloaded at the end of the international application. All international applicants must complete it, and then submit the original signed document with official bank certification from the sponsor showing funds in the amount of the annual estimated expenses. The date on the bank certification must be current.

8. When will I know whether I have been admitted?

When your application arrives at the international admission desk, we will contact you via email to request documents. Once we have received all of the necessary documents it generally takes about two weeks to arrive at an admissions decision for undergraduates.

Postgraduate applications typically take longer because once they have been reviewed for general university admissibility; they are forwarded the academic department for the final decision.

9. How can I improve my English skills?

If your English skills are not sufficient for University admission or if you would simply like to improve your current skill please consider the Sonoma State American Language Institute (SSALI). SSALI offers a variety of services that help students of all ages develop fluency in English communication while introducing them to various aspects of American culture and society. SSALI offers

  1. Intensive English
  2. Conditional University admission
  3. Concurrent University enrollment when appropriate

SSALI is authorized to issue certificates of eligibility for F1 student visas. For more detailed information about this program please go to the SSALI web site at http://www.sonoma.edu/exed/ssali

10. What are university "placement tests"?

English Placement Test (EPT)

The CSU English Placement Test is designed to assess the level of reading and writing skills of entering undergraduate students so they can be placed in appropriate baccalaureate-level courses. The CSU EPT must be completed by all entering undergraduates, with the exception of those who present proof of one of the following:

  • A score of 550 or above on the verbal section of the SAT I taken April 1995 or later
  • A score of 680 on the writing portion of the SAT
  • A score of 3, 4, or 5 on the Language and Composition or the Composition and Literature AP exam
  • Completion and transfer of a course that satisfies the General Education-Breadth written communication requirement, provided such a course was completed with a grade of C or better. Most English composition courses completed outside the U.S., UK or Canada will not satisfy this requirement.

You will find information about the EPT on the internet at http://www.sonoma.edu/sas/testing/testing_info.shtml

Entry Level Mathematics Test (ELM)

The ELM is designed to assess the skill levels of entering CSU students in the areas of mathematics typically covered in three years of rigorous college preparatory mathematics at the secondary level. The CSU ELM must be completed by all entering undergraduates, with the exception of those who present proof of one of the following:

  • A score of 550 or above on the mathematics section of the SAT I
  • A score of 3 or above on the AP Mathematics examination (AB or BC) or the AP Statistics examination
  • Completion or transfer of a course that satisfies the General Education-Breadth transfer requirement provided the course was completed with a grade of C or better. Appropriate Mathematics courses completed outside the U.S. are often acceptable to meet this requirement.

You will find information about the ELM on the internet at http://www.sonoma.edu/sas/testing/testing_info.shtml

11. Who is required to take EPT and ELM?

All new undergraduate students are required to take English and mathematics placement tests to determine their best class placements. These tests are administered to new international students as a part of the international orientation process.