Below you will discover Sonoma State University through the lens of a variety of facts and statistics. 

  • Acting President: Dr. Nathan Evans
  • 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 = $65.2 million
  • Mid-size campus (5,867 students, 90.5% undergraduates)
  • 62% female to 38% male (Sonoma State University recognizes gender identification beyond the male/female binary, but does not release data for groups with fewer than 10 members)
  • 3,384 residential students, primarily freshmen and sophomores
  • Top majors (by number of students in a major):
    • Business Administration
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Kinesiology
  • 64% of students receive some type of financial aid
  • SSU awards approximately $2.9 million in scholarships per year
  • More than 2,049 students graduated in 2022-23 
  • 68 bachelor's degree programs (counting undergraduate majors with both BA/BS options)
  • 31 master's degree programs (counting master’s degrees with multiple tracks, i.e.: Counseling, Business MBA)
  • 6 credential programs 
  • 41 certificate programs (counting all certificate programs that have both undergraduate and postbaccalaureate programs (i.e.: Paralegal, Conflict Resolution, Gerontology)

The WASC Senior College and University Commission fully accredited Sonoma State University. 

The University is also a member of the prestigious Council of Public Liberal Arts and 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.

In addition, individual program accreditations have been granted by:
American Chemical Society
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
National Association of Schools of Music
National League for Nursing
National Association for Schools of Art and Design
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education


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:  80,000+


Sonoma State University Athletics is an NCAA Division II member and part of the California Collegiate Athletic Association. SSU has 11 sponsored sports in the CCAA.
Sonoma State athletics got its start in 1964 with the school's first men's basketball team. Through the years, the Seawolves have had much success including national championships in 1990 (women's soccer), 2002 (men's soccer), and 2009 (men's golf).

Cultural Programs

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 and Dance. The University Art Gallery and University Library Gallery are major attractions for local artists, hosting numerous exhibits each year. Additionally, the world-class Green Music Center brings culturally significant artists, lecturers, and workshops to North Bay residents and students each year.


Degrees and Programs
  • 43 academic departments
  • 68 major degree programs bachelor's level
    (counting undergraduate majors with both BA/BS options)
  • 56 minors
  • 31 master's degrees
    (counting master’s degrees with multiple tracks, i.e.: Counseling, Business MBA)
  • 6 credential programs
    (Credential Subplans include Multiple Subject, Single Subject, Administrative Services, Special Education (Mild/Moderate, Moderate/Severe), Autism Spectrum Disorders)
  • 41 certificate programs
  • SSU offers one of the only Wine Business programs in the country.
  • Majors, Minors, Graduate Programs, Credentials, and Certificates 
  • General Education

Satellite Centers

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.


Extended and International Education

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.


Faculty and Staff
Number of Employees
Employee Type Number Percentage
Faculty 480 40.5%
Staff 706 59.5%
Total 1,186 100%


Type of Instructor Number Percentage
Permanent 233 48.5%
Temporary  247 51.5%


Faculty Gender
Faculty Number Percentage
Male 216 45%
Female 264 55%
Total  564


*Sonoma State University recognizes gender identification beyond the male/female binary, but does not identify some gender identification groups with fewer than 10 members.

Faculty Ethnicity
Ethnic Group Number Percentage

American Indian/Alaskan Native

1 0.2%
Asian 35 7.3%
Black/African American 4 0.8%
Foreign resident 8 1.7%
Latinx/Hispanic 40 8.3%
Multiracial 10 2.1%
Unknown 84 17.5%
White 298 62.1%
Total 480 100% 

Faculty data: December  2021

2021-22 Budget
Operating Budget Amount Percentage 
Tuition and Student Fees  $30.5 million 22%
State Tax Allocation $91.0 million 66%
Cost Recovery $15.6 million 11%
Expenses (by Division)    
Academic Affairs $44.7 million 32%
University-wide $55.8 million 41%
Administration & Finance $23.6 million 17%
Student Affairs $6.1 million 4%
Strategic Enrollment Management $2.6 million 2%
President's Office $2.4 million 2%
University Advancement $1.5 million 1%
Green Music Center $1.1 million 1%




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.

University Milestones

Year Event
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


President Dates
Ambrose R. Nichols. Jr. 1961-1970
Thomas H. McGrath 1971-1974
Marjorie Downing Wagner 1974-1976
Peter Diamandopoulos 1977-1983
David W. Benson 1984-1992
Ruben Armiñana 1992-2016
Judy K. Sakaki 2016-2022
Ming-Tung "Mike" Lee 2022-24
Nathan Evans Acting President, 2024-



Sonoma State is a residential campus, with 90 percent of the first-year 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, totaling 3,100 units. All suites and apartments are fully furnished and carpeted with their living rooms and bathrooms, and all apartments have their 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 number over 35,000 (in both print and electronic formats).

Specialized Collections

  • North Bay Regional Collection
  • Extensive children’s book collection
  • Wine business resources
  • Jack London collection including first editions, letters, and original serialized stories


  • Instruction
  • 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.

Electronic Resources

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.


Physical Campus

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
Stevenson Hall 130,160
Darwin Hall 111,821
Field House 15,826
Ives Hall 48,510
Gymnasium Building 65,985
Ruben Salazar Hall 116,186
Rachel Carson Hall 20,000
Nichols Hall 30,700
Residential Halls 684,560
Commons 18,500
International Hall 17,600
Art Building 46,604
Evert B. Person Theatre 20,655
Schulz Information Center 215,500
Recreation Center 53,442
Environmental Technology Center 3,120
Student Center 130,065
Total * 1,848,059

* Total includes all facilities, not just those listed above. 



Fall 2023

Undergraduate & Graduate
Students Number Percent
Undergraduate 5,307 90.5%
Postbaccalaureate/Graduate 560 9.5%
Total  5,867 100%

Students Number Percent
Female 3,638 62%
Male 2,229 38%

Ethnic Groups
Ethnicity Percent
American Indian/Alaskan Native 0.3%
Asian 5.3%
Black/African American 2.6%
Latinx/Hispanic 40.6%
Multiracial 5.5%
Pacific Islander 0.4%
Unknown 3.7%
White 41.6%
Total  100%

Location Number Percent
California 5,728 97.6%
Out of State 89 1.5%
International 42 0.7%

Average Age
Student Type Age
Undergraduate 22
Graduate 32
All Students 23

Undergraduate Degrees Awarded (2022-23)
School Number Percent
Arts & Humanities 376 18.3%
Business & Economics 407 19.9%
Education 115 5.6%
Science & Technology 416 20.3%
Social Sciences 717 35%
Academic programs & university-wide 18 0.9%
Total  2,049 100%

Student Fees

Visit the Registration and Fees page for a full overview of charges and fees per semester for each academic year.