Sonoma State University

Sonoma State University occupies 269 acres in the beautiful wine county of Sonoma County, in Northern California. Located at the foot of the Sonoma hills, the campus is about an hour’s drive north of San Francisco and 40 minutes from the Pacific Ocean. Often complimented for its lush and beautiful grounds, the campus is used for weekend activities by many. The area enjoys a mild Mediterranean type climate. Daytime temperatures range from 27°C in summer to 12°C in winter.

The University is mid-sized with 8,600 students and is dedicated to the liberal arts and sciences. With 45 bachelor’s degree programs, 16 master’s degree programs, 9 credential programs, and 9 certificate programs students enjoy a diverse and high quality education. Collaborative educational interactions between students and faculty lead to research and internship opportunities. Sonoma serves as the sole California university in the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC).

Approximately 80 percent of freshmen and 55 percent of transfer students come from outside the North Bay region. With approximately 40 percent of its student body living on campus in residence halls and suites, Sonoma is one of the most residential campuses within the system.

Sonoma State University is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II and is part of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) and the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) and includes five men’s sports and eight women’s. The Seawolves have had much success including national championships in 1990 (women’s soccer), 2002 (men’s soccer) and 2009 (men’s golf).

What sets Sonoma State University apart from other schools is our friendly campus community where you will find academic excellence, innovative approaches to learning and close working relationships between faculty and students. Sonoma State will prepare you for a rewarding “professional life” in fields such as business, science, global studies, environmental studies, education and the health professions.

Student demographics

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ESL program and/or support services

Sonoma State American Language Institute
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:

  • Intensive English
  • Conditional University admission
  • Concurrent University enrollment when appropriate

SSALI is authorized to issue certificates of eligibility for F1 student visas.

The academic program consists of a professionally designed curriculum for students who are high beginners to advanced. All students receive instruction in grammar, composition, oral communication, reading, vocabulary, and study skills. Faculty are talented, dedicated professionals, trained and experienced in ESL methodology. Interactive, communicative, and task-based learning strategies are utilized. Class size is 12-15, ensuring maximum individual attention. Students can pursue independent study in reading, listening, and computer labs. Special elective classes include: TOEFL preparation, Pronunciation, Conversation, American Culture, English for Business, English through video, and Idioms & Slang.

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Student Housing options

Sonoma State University offers one of the finest on-campus residential communities in the country. Two and three-story townhouses are clustered around a recreation area, dining hall, swimming pool and activity center. In fact, we do not even use the word “dorm” at Sonoma. The residences offer free internet access, study rooms, live-in peer and professional staff, as well as educational lectures and events. A selection of daily social activities and weekend trips is available to all students.

Advantages of living on-campus:

  • Interact easily and frequently with faculty
  • Live nearby the Schulz Library and Recreation Center
  • Get support from live-in peer and professional staff
  • Participate in a large number of extracurricular events and outings
  • Enjoy easy access to all campus amenities such as free internet access, study rooms, swimming pools, dining services, outdoor playing fields, postal service, pizzeria and over 140 student organizations.

Once you are admitted to the university, you will be provided instructions for applying for on-campus housing. Information about housing options at Sonoma State University can be found at:

Admission requirements

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International Student visas issued

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

Cost of attendance and financial assistance

Cost of attendance and financial assistance: