Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to get into the program?
Admission to the program is based on both the CSU transfer requirements, which are a minimum of 60 semester units, with 30 at a CR/C- or better, including Speech, Critical Thinking, Composition, and Math; plus at least one Science course with a Lab. Our Admission and Fees page will give you all the details.
How and when can I apply?
The program accepts applications for both Spring and Fall semesters; see our Important Information page for application filing periods.
Must I complete all transfer requirements before applying?
Courses can be in progress or planned when you apply, but any coursework needed for minimum transfer requirements must be completed the semester before entrance. This does not include Winter or Summer Intersession.
I have work in progress. When should I send transcripts?
If you have completed previous work where your current courses are being taken, we must have those transcripts right away in order to process your application. We will need another set at the end of the term to complete your file.
Some of my classes have quarter units. How do those translate to semester units?
A quarter unit is worth 2/3 of a semester unit based on the weeks spent in classes, 12 weeks for quarters vs 15 weeks for semesters: 12/15 = 2/3. For example, a 5 quarter-unit course yields 3.33 semester units.
How do I get pre-admissions advising?
You may work with counselors in the Transfer Center at Napa Valley College or Solano Community College, or you may contact our pre-admissions advisor, James Peavler.
When are the classes held?
Classes are scheduled evenings, weekends, and online to accommodate the needs of busy adults.
Where are the classes held?
Will I be a Sonoma State student, or a Napa Valley or Solano Community College student?
You will be a Sonoma State student. Student services such as registration will be handled by the School of Extended & International Education (SEIE). Your diploma will be issued by SSU, and you will participate in the SSU Commencement ceremony if you so choose.
How much does the program cost?
The cost as of Fall 2017 is $400/unit. A typical semester of 12 units is $4,800; for the full 50 units of the program, the total is $20,000.
Is financial assistance available?
Students in the program may qualify for federal, state, and veterans' benefits. See our SEIE Financial Aid Information page for details. You must take a minimum of 6 units in a semester to be eligible for financial aid. You may also want to check out our SEIE Scholarship Information page.
How long does the program take to complete?
Time to complete depends on how many units you can take at a time. If you can take 12 units per semester, it will take roughly 2 years. If you can only take 8 units in a semester, it will take about 6 semesters, or 3 years, to complete your requirements.
What are the major requirements?
The major consists of 50 upper-division units taken in three Core Areas: 16 units of Arts/Humanities, 16 units of Social Sciences (including a Portfolio capstone course), and 6 units of Natural Sciences, plus 12 units of Electives from any of the Core Areas. Classes are chosen each semester to provide a selection for each Core Area.
What is the Portfolio?
Each major at Sonoma State offers a capstone experience to help students consolidate their work and reflect on what they have learned. In our program, students take an Introduction to Portfolio and a Portfolio Evaluation course, taken in the Spring of the year they plan to graduate. These courses total 4 units under the Social Sciences division.
Can I participate in an Internship?
Up to 6 units of Internship may be counted as elective units. One unit is awarded for 45 hours of work plus some assignments. A full description can be found on the Advising and Forms page.
Can I take courses on the Sonoma State main campus?
Students in the Napa Valley and Solano programs may take University courses through Extended Education only during Summer and Winter Intersession. Such courses must be on the list approved for the major; a list of qualifying classes will be sent out by the Program Advisor. During the Fall and Spring semesters, registration in University courses is not allowed except under extraordinary circumstances and with an Advisor's approval.
I have upper-division coursework from my previous college experience. Can this be applied to the Liberal Studies major?
Up to 12 units of upper-division work from another major or college can be applied to the Liberal Studies major on approval of an Advisor. Courses must be in the areas covered by our major, so, for example, professional courses in Business, Education, or Nursing may not apply.
What about the upper-division general education requirement?
The CSU requires students to take 9 units of upper-division general education after reaching Junior status (60 semester units). Each semester we choose courses for the major that also award general education units, so you will fulfill this requirement as you complete your major coursework.
How many units total will I need to graduate?
You must complete 120 units in order to graduate. This means that if you transferred into the program with fewer than 70 units, you will need to add some more units to your program. Your advisors can help you select classes to take care of any remaining lower-division general education requirements, or to find electives that may help you prepare for a career or further study.
Are there any other requirements?
All CSU students must pass a Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). This can be either through an approved Writing Intensive Course (WIC) or by taking the Written English Proficiency Test (WEPT). We will offer a WIC each Fall semester, or your are welcome to have the WEPT proctored at the Napa Valley College Test Center.
What can I do with a Liberal Studies major?
There are many career opportunities for Liberal Studies majors. The skills learned in this program, oral and written communication skills; analysis; problem-solving; and working in groups, prepare students for a variety of careers or further education. From time to time the program may offer career-focused workshops, and students may use SSU Career Center services, including online job boards.