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  • Swati Chopra

Sonoma State University

This is a series of posts on campuses I've visited. At times I've had the chance to meet up with admission officers and have included specific majors and data here. Please keep the date of my visit in mind as admission requirements and freshmen profiles change annually and updating these posts will not always be possible. To see other schools' profiles, please visit my website.

February 2023 - Counselor Tour

My first thought when I walked onto campus was that it felt like a small, cozy liberal arts school and nothing like what I had expected. This university is truly a hidden gem - it's got the benefits of being a huge research university with a global perspective and the price of a state school but truly nurtures the intellectual, social, and personal growth of each student.

Campus Feel and Surrounding Areas

Sonoma State University is nestled in the heart of Sonoma County, between gently sloping hills and rocky mountain peaks. The close proximity to San Francisco is a huge plus and students have a wonderful time hiking in the surrounding areas, going to the beach, visiting the city, and spending a day in local towns like Sausalito, Marin, and Bodega Bay. In fact, SSU has been ranked #34 among the most scenic campuses in the country.

Student Body

SSU is a diverse community with approximately 6,000 undergraduate students, 7,000 in total. The diversity breaks down as follows: 49% White, 28% Latino/Hispanic, and 14% Multi-Racial, Asian, and African American students. 63% are female and 37% are male. 98% of all students come from within California.

SSU has more than 100 student-led clubs and organizations on campus, including 20 active sororities and fraternities.

45% of students pursued further education in 2022 and 55% went on to earn a master's degree in 2022.


Sonoma State boasts an interdisciplinary curriculum rooted in the liberal arts and sciences. They offer close to 60 majors and a variety of minor degree programs which are also interdisciplinary. These programs offer dynamic, cross departmental curricula that complement major degree programs in the humanities and social sciences.

Top majors (by number of students in a major):

  • Business Administration

  • Psychology

  • Biology

  • Nursing

  • Kinesiology

SSU is the only COPLAC (Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges) university in California. For more information, please check out the Hutchins program.

Classes are mostly taught by professors, not TAs (teacher assistants), which is usually not the norm at such a big public school. The following majors are impacted and more competitive for freshmen -

Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies

Human Development

Nursing (Pre-Nursing and Pre-Licensure BSN)




Pre-nursing - 25 students are admitted per year in nursing. SSU also offers a direct admit to nursing. Both are very impacted and if students don't get in, they can choose/transfer to other health majors.


Sonoma State has some of the nicest dorms in the country. Over 3,000 students can live on campus. Housing is not impacted and students are guaranteed housing as freshmen but can easily find housing all four years. Housing is organized by academic, social, and lifestyle interests and students can choose from townhouse style or apartment style dorms.


The CSU application opens on October 1st. Students are advised to choose two majors for Sonoma State. The same rules apply to CSU and the UC system - A- G courses, 4 years of English, 2 years of foreign language, 2 years of Science, 1 full year of visual performing arts, 2 years of history, and at least Algebra II.


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