SSU Quick Facts

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  • 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 = $37.1 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):
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • 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 Center for Performing Arts. 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).

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.

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.

Number of Employees
Employee Type Number Percentage
Faculty 606 40.3%
Staff* 899 59.7%
Total 1,505 100.0%
*Includes management staff and academic student employees
Faculty (including coaches, counselors, librarians)
Type of Instructor Number Percentage
Tenured/Tenure-Track 241 39.8%
Temporary 365 60.2%
Total 606 100%

Faculty Gender
Faculty Number Percentage
Male 266 43.9%
Female 340 56.1%
Total 595 100%
Faculty Ethnicity
Ethnic Group Number Percentage
American Indian or Alaskan Native 1 0.2%
Asian 29 4.8%
African American 7 1.2%
Caucasian 435 71.8%
Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0 0.0%
Hispanic 37 6.1%
Two or More Ethnicities 9 1.5%
Decline to State 88 14.5%
Total 606 100%

Data: Fall 2014

2013-2014 Budget
Operating Budget
Amount Percentage
Tuition and Student Fees $46.6 million 46%
State Tax Appropriation and Lottery Funds $54.2 million 54%
TOTAL $100.8 million 100%
Other Monies
Grants and Contracts $8.5 million N/A
Donations and Gifts $10.5 million N/A
TOTAL $19 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.

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
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-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 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.


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.


Enrollment — 2014-2015

Undergraduate & Graduate
Students Number Percent
Undergraduate 8,615 91%
Graduate 793 9%
Total 9,408
Students Number Percent
Men 3,482 37%
Women 5,926 63%

Ethnic Groups
Ethnicity Percent
American Indian or Alaskan Native 0.5%
Asian 4.9%
African American 2.2%
Caucasian 48.6%
Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.2%
Hispanic 27.6%
Two or More Ethnicities 6.6%
Decline to State 7.3%
Nonresident Aliens 2%
Total 100%
Location Number Percent
California 9,317 99%
Other states 62 0.7%
Other Countries 29 0.3%

Average Age
Student Type Age
Undergraduate 22
Graduate 33
All Students 23
Financial Aid
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

Undergraduate Degrees Conferred
School Number Percent
Arts & Humanities 394 20.6%
Business & Economics 413 21.6%
Education (undergrad) 48 2.5%
Science & Technology 328 17.2%
Social Sciences 728 38.1%
Total 1,911  

Student Fees

Visit for a full overview of chargers and fees per semester for each academic year.