t Applying to Graduate Programs

Applying to SEIE Graduate Programs

Live Help

  • Live Chat on the Cal State Apply site (available in application screen; not 24/7)


Please note: This site is for students applying to SEIE academic credit programs only.
For all other University programs, please visit the SSU Admissions page.

Apply online through the Cal State Apply process.

  1. You may need to refer to transcripts so be sure to have them handy. We will also need one official copy to complete your application.
  2. You will need to provide information on courses in progress or planned. It is also helpful (but not required) to enter information about the courses that you think will fulfill program pre-requisites.
  3. Disable your pop-up window blocker, or set it to accept pop-ups from the Cal State Apply site.
  4. You can start, stop, and save your application information throughout the process. You do not have to complete the entire application during one session.
  5. Each page has a "Save" option. It will be greyed out if you are missing any information. Review each page carefully to make sure you have answered all questions.
  6. There is an application fee of $70 as of the Fall 2020 application cycle. This applies to each application you submit. There is no waiver for graduate applicants.
  7. You may choose only one program per campus but you may apply to more than one CSU campus at the same time.
  8. Make sure you are applying to the correct program. Once you have submitted your application, it is very difficult to change programs. Check the "Dates and Deadlines" section below for links to program-specific information.
  9. Pay attention to deadlines! They are in Cal State Apply, and on the "Dates and Deadlines" section.
  10. Apply for Financial Aid as early as possible, even before you submit your completed Cal State Apply application. It's free, and your request for aid will automatically be matched up to your application when it arrives. Apply for scholarships as soon as you have submitted your application.
  11. Domestic students may be asked what year they plan to move to the U.S.; just enter your year of birth.
  12. International applicants should submit applications as early as possible because additional time is needed to process international documents and prepare immigration paperwork. See "International Applicants" section below.
  13. If you have questions please review the instructions provided on the Cal State Apply website: www2.calstate.edu/apply. Click on the Application Help Center to see PDF instructions.
  14. If you continue experiencing difficulties please contact the front office of SEIE at 707-664-2394 or exteduc@sonoma.edu. They will help refer you to your appropriate advising coordinator.


You must send an official, seale copy of your transcript to SSU, following Admissions Office instructions. You do not need to request SSU transcripts, they are on file.

  • Request transcripts showing completion of your last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted, including award of your Bachelor's degree and any work you have undertaken since then.
  • International Students: See special notes under Additional Forms on our SEIE International Applicants page.

Award of Bachelor's Degree

One of the criteria for admission to a graduate program through SEIE is possession of a four-year Bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited US institution (or foreign equivalent). Your Bachelor's degree must be completed according to the timelines below. (Degrees may take some time to get posted; we are considering the official award date, not the date you receive your diploma.)

Students must be in good standing at the last institution attended.

  • Spring admits (Wine EMBA St Helena or Sonoma only): end of Fall semester or quarter
  • Summer admits (Spanish MA): end of Fall semester or Winter quarter
  • Fall admits (Standard EMBA and all others): end of Spring semester or quarter. Pleaes note: Degrees earned in the Summer are certified too late to be considered for Fall admission. If you must delay completion of your Bachelor's degree, you may need to reapply for a later year (or semester, for EMBA).

Grade Point Average (GPA) and Other Criteria

The minimum acceptable Grade Point Average (GPA) to enter a graduate program at SSU is 2.5, calculated over the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units. Individual programs may require a higher starting GPA and have additional criteria such as pre-requisite coursework. See your program's site for details about their specific criteria; our program list is at Academic Credit & Degree Programs Page.

Before Applying

  1. Attend an information session to get complete information about the program.
  2. If you are unable to come to an information session, contact the faculty coordinator of your chosen program to discuss how the program may fit with your goals.
  3. Check our Dates and Deadlines section to be sure you are on target as they may differ from what is on the Cal State Apply site.
  4. Start gathering your supporting materials (e.g. resume, narrative). Be sure to request recommendations early, as there can be quite a delay in receiving them no matter what good intentions your recommenders may have.
  5. Locate documents from your previous academic experiences (transcripts, test scores, etc.).

Managing your Cal State Apply Application

Here are a few things we want to highlight for a smoother experience.

  • You can track your progress on the Cal State Apply dashboard, which will show what still needs to be completed before submission.
  • If you need help, there are guides and live help available (see above).
  • Choose Sonoma Extension to see the list of our programs from which to choose.
  • Be sure to select the correct program. Cal State Apply may display a different title than we use; see the "Dates and Deadlines" section or contact the SEIE Admissions Specialist (contact info above).
  • When you come to the section to enter your coursework, please enter only the following:
    • Courses in progress
    • Courses you plan to take before your target program starts
    • Optional: courses that you think fulfill the prerequisites for your program. Links to SEIE degree programs are on the SEIE Academic Credit & Degree Programs site.
  • Program (supporting) materials such as narratives and CVs are submitted via upload, cut-and-paste entry, or a combination of the above. If you run into trouble trying to upload documents, please contact our Admissions Specialist.
  • Letters of recommendation are called "Evaluations" in Cal State Apply. Links will be sent to the e-mail addresses you provide for your recommenders to upload their letters.
    • You may be asked to enter a submission date for your letter(s). We suggest you set it for two to four weeks from the date you plan to submit your application.
    • You should plan to request letters early. Faculty are not generally available during Winter Break or Summer and they may not get your request in time.

Program-Specific Instructions

  • Spanish MA applicants only: your four-minute Spanish speaking sample sound file can be submitted via e-mail to our Faculty Coordinator/Program Advisor, Dr. Parissa Tadrissi at tadrissi@sonoma.edu. Please use SPAN MA Sound File - last name for the Subject. If you wish to submit on media such as CD or stick drive, check with Dr. Tadrissi for the mailing address.
  • An asterisk * next to a program title means that you should check for additional information at the bottom of the page.
  • Try to submit your application as early as possible, especially if you are an international student. Otherwise, financial aid and registration processes may be delayed, and international students may not be able to get their visas.
  • Late applications: after the guaranteed evaluation deadline for your program, we may continue to accept applications, subject to space availability and processing times. If you want to apply after the deadline, please check with James Peavler, our Admissions Specialist, at 707-664-2682 or james.peavler@sonoma.edu and see "Late Application" section below for instructions.

Fall 2020 Dates & Deadlines

October 1, 2019 - Application window opens.

January 15, 2020 – Submit completed applications to be considered for available grants and scholarships. Applications for scholarships must be submitted separately; contact the SSU Scholarship Office for details on locally-administered scholarships.

February 28, 2020 – International applicants are encouraged to submit a completed application by the end of February to allow for the additional time required to assess and process international documents and to initiate immigration paperwork.

March 30, 2020 – Submit Fall 2019 program applications for guaranteed evaluation. After this date, we may continue to accept applications, subject to space availability and processing times. See "Late Applications" instructions below.

July 5, 2020 – Final deadline for Enrollment Reservation Deposit (ERD) of $200 for Fall programs. (This amount will be deducted from your Fall tuition.)

   Program to which you wish to apply    Select this program in Cal State Apply
MS Computer and Engineering Science Computer and Engineering Science
Executive MBA * Business Executive MBA - Special Sessions
Global Wine Executive MBA * Business Executive MBA - Sonoma Wine Hybrid
MA Film Studies Film Studies
MA Organization Development Organization Development
MA Psychology, Depth Emphasis Depth Psychology
Post-Master's Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate * Family Nurse Practitioner (Post-Master's Certificate)


Spring 2021 Dates & Deadlines

We will be accepting applications to the following programs during the below timeframes:

August 1, 2020 - CalStateApply Application window opens.

September 30, 2020 - Submit Spring 2020 program application for guaranteed evaluation. After this date, we may continue to accept applications, subject to space availability and processing times. See "Late Applications" instructions below.

December 5, 2020. - Final deadline for Enrollment Reservation Deposit (ERD) of $200 for Fall programs (domestic students only). This amount will be deducted from your Spring tuition.

   Program to which you wish to apply    Select this program in Cal State Apply
MS Engineering and Computer Science Computer and Engineering Science


Executive MBA Applicants

EMBA Programs have their own dates and deadlines. Please visit the EMBA program site for current information.

Post-Master's FNP Certificate Applicants

The FNP program will review applications submitted through Nursing CAS between December 1 and January 31 to begin the following Fall, and will contact students individually about next steps in the application process. Please visit the Nursing Post-Master's Certificate Program site for more information about the application process.

Submission of applications after the stated guaranteed evaluation deadlines for each term/program will be allowed on a space-available, processing-time basis through a late admission appeal process. A passcode to Cal State Apply will be sent if your appeal is successful.

  1. Check the program site to make sure you have fulfilled entrance requirements for your chosen program. Only applicants who are ready to start the program will be considered.
  2. Contact the program coordinator to discuss the program and your preparation for it. Coordinator support will be needed to consider your Appeal. (See #4 below.)
  3. Request one official sealed copy of transcripts.
    • E-transcripts: follow the instructions on the SSU Admissions Transcript site under Option 2.
    • Hard copies of transcripts - follow the instructions on the SSU Admission Transcript site under "Option 1."
  4. Fill out the Application Appeal Request form.
    • The support letter must come from the Program Coordinator, not from other sources. It can be e-mailed.
    • Return the form to Admissions and Records per the instructions listed at the bottom of the Application for Special Consideration form.

      Sonoma State University
      Attn: Office of Admissions
      1801 E. Cotati Ave
      Rohnert Park, CA 94928
      Fax: 707-664-2060
  5. Complete appeal packets are considered every Friday. If your appeal is successful, the SSU Admissions Office will e-mail a passcode to you.
  6. While you wait, set up your profile in Cal State Apply so you are ready to complete your application as soon as you get your passcode. See our SEIE Admissions page for important tips.
  7. For questions, contact Admissions and Records at 707-664-2778.

Congratulations on submitting your application! You will be able to track your To Do items in your MySSU Account, which can be set up at the SSU Online Services portal.

In general, it can take about 8--10 weeks for an application to be fully processed. Here's what to expect next.


It is very important to respond to inquiries from SEIE and other SSU offices concerning your application as quickly as possible, and be prepared to provide additional information if requested. Otherwise, your application processing may be delayed.

Accepted students will receive a letter from Admissions outlining your next steps, which will include payment of an Enrollment Reservation Deposit (ERD). Once this has been returned you will be officially matriculated and will be sent further information about setting up your SSU e-mail account, registration and other matters.

Paying for Your Degree

We strongly encourage to to apply for financial aid, scholarships, and other kinds of funding as soon as possible. Please visit our Financial Aid and Scholarships pages for more information.

Review of Applications

Review of SEIE graduate program applications takes place in two parts.

  1. The Admissions Office calculates your GPA over the last 60 units of coursework.
    • This means any academic coursework undertaken in the last 60 units, not just that required for your Bachelor's degree.
  2. The department will review your other materials for alignment with their criteria.
    • Some departments will also require an interview, either individually or in a group.

When both processes have been completed, the program coordinator sends their recommendation for acceptance or denial to the Admissions Office and you will receive a letter from them with the outcome.

International applicants will need to take a few more steps to complete their applications.

Special Tips for Cal State Apply

Here are a few things we want to highlight for a smoother experience.

  • Be sure to follow all instructions regarding entering your citizenship status, especially when setting up your profile. Incorrect information entered here may affect what choices are available to you later in the application process.
  • You may be asked to enter your information more than once; please re-enter exactly as you entered before.
  • If questions regarding residency are asked that do not seem to apply to you, you should choose "non-resident" (or sometimes, "none").
  • If you are asked what year you will move to California or the U.S., enter the year you plan to start your SEIE program.
  • Before applying, review the International Student Application Checklist

Additional Forms

In addition to your Cal State Apply application and supporting program materials, international students should check Sonoma State's Required Documents for International Student Applications page for further instructions. The Admissions Office evaluator may ask for other documents as well. Please note that other pages on the SSU Admission site regarding international applicants may not apply to programs administered by the School of Extended & International Education (SEIE). You will be given further instructions by SEIE staff. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Transcripts and other official college documents must be translated, both linguistically and for congruence with American college protocols. You may use any of the approved agencies on the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) site.

English Language Requirements

All applicants to SEIE programs whose first language is not English, regardless of citizenship, must demonstrate competence in English. This may be demonstrated through:

  • 3 years of instruction through the medium of English at the high school or college level. This need not be in the United States.
  • Taking an approved standardized test, either the TOEFL or the IELTS. The PTE is not currently accepted.
Application Type TOEFL Score (iBT) IELTS Score
Graduate >= 80 >= 6.5

Instructions for sending official test scores can be found on the Required Documents page referenced above under Additional Forms.


Please note: The application fee has been increased by the Chancellor's Office to $70 as of the Fall 2020 application cycle.

Start your application for financial aid right away! Information about state and federal financial aid is on our SEIE Financial Aid Information along with other suggestions for funding.

If you submit your application prior to January 31, you may be eligible for various scholarship opportunities. Applications for SSU scholarships must be submitted by February 1. Information about campus-based and external scholarships can be found on our SEIE Scholarships Information page.