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Sonoma State University


Baccalaureate Candidates / Awarding of Degrees / General Education Program / Graduate Degrees

Baccalaureate Candidates

The University grants baccalaureates for the successful completion of a coherent course of study at the University and the maintenance of appropriate levels of scholarship. The requirements that follow specify certain course work, unit distributions, and levels of scholarship that the California State University and the faculty of Sonoma State University have determined provide an appropriate educational framework for all students pursuing a baccalaureate. These requirements, however, only provide a framework. It is critical that the student consult regularly with an academic advisor. Students who have declared a major are assigned an academic advisor in the department of their major. Students who have not yet declared a major are assigned advisors in conjunction with their Educational Mentoring Teams or through the Student Academic Services Advising Center, Village 200, 707 664-2427.

Students are eligible for graduation when they are in good standing and have fulfilled the following requirements:

1. Faculty Approval

The determination that students have achieved appropriate proficiency in any and all parts of the curriculum to warrant the granting of a degree is the responsibility of the faculty. A favorable vote of the faculty acting through the academic senate is required for the granting of any degree.

2. Completion of a General Education Program

The effectiveness of an education in the liberal arts and sciences is critically dependent upon the broad foundation of studies called general education. Through a program of general education, students learn a variety of basic skills and modes of disciplinary inquiry. General education courses are not simply the preliminary and introductory studies of the various disciplines; rather, they provide the necessary context for the more specific study in the major and for the selection of appropriate electives. Completion of one of Sonoma State University's general education programs also ensures completion of graduation requirements in U.S. History, Constitution, and American Ideals (American Institution requirements).

3. Completion of a Major

Through a concentration of studies in a particular major, students focus in depth upon a particular set of disciplines or subject areas. Because major programs vary considerably in their requirements, students should consult with faculty advisors early in their academic programs. Students may declare a major at any time, but are required to do so by the time they have earned 65 units or have completed their first semester at Sonoma State University, whichever is later. Descriptions of the majors are found with the department listing in the University Curricula section of this catalog.

4. Completion of the Written English Proficiency Requirement (WEPT)

All students of the California State University must demonstrate competency in writing as a requirement for graduation. At Sonoma State University, students complete this requirement by passing the Written English Proficiency Test. All students are required to take the WEPT in the junior year and cannot take it earlier. To sign up for the WEPT, students must pay the exam fee at the Customer Services Center and then register at the Writing Center. Exam dates are posted at the Writing Center and on the center's Web Site at Students who have difficulty passing the WEPT are advised to seek assistance through the WEPT workshops provided through the Writing Center. The center offers two workshop series per term. Students who have failed the WEPT and who feel they would benefit from additional formal instruction in writing may elect to enroll in ENGL 275, a course specifically designed to help students develop skills necessary to pass the WEPT. Students who have questions about the WEPT should contact the WEPT coordinator, 707 664-2058.

5. Maintenance of Scholarship

A grade point average of C (2.00) or better is required in work undertaken in residence at Sonoma State University, as well as in the student's total undergraduate work and in the major field. The C average for the major includes all classes listed on the Major Requirements form, except that supporting courses, while required for some majors, are not included in the major grade point average.

6. Unit Requirements and Limitations

The following requirements and limitations governing course credit units must be observed:

  1. Total Units. A minimum of 120 semester units is required for graduation. (Some majors require up to 132 semester units for graduation.)
  2. Upper-Division Units. Forty units must be upper-division work (300-499 courses), including a minimum of 12 units in the major for the B.A. degree or 18 units in the major for the B.S. degree.
  3. Residence Units. Thirty units must be completed in residence at Sonoma State University, including 24 upper-division units, 12 units in the major and 9 units in general education. The B.F.A. in Art requires 24 upper-division units in Art in residence. Note: Units earned in Extension, Open University, Visitor status at Sonoma, non-baccalaureate-level courses, and through credit by examination may not be applied to residence requirements.
  4. Credit/No Credit Grades. A maximum of 24 units of courses with nontraditional grades may be elected. Students completing the Hutchins School interdisciplinary general education lower-division program may exceed this minimum by 24 units. Courses fulfilling major and minor requirements must be graded A-F, except for courses not available in the AF mode.

Other maximum limits of semester units to be applied toward degree requirements are:

 Correspondence and Extension Studies  24 units
 Community Involvement Project 295/395  6 units
 Special Studies 495  12 units
 Student-Instructed Courses 199/399  12 units
 Community College transfer credit  70 units
 Credit by examination  30 units
 Faculty-Evaluated Prior Learning   30 units

Minor Programs

A minor is not required for graduation. Many departments, however, offer programs leading to a minor, and students are encouraged to consider pursuing a minor that complements their major. Minor programs ordinarily consist of approximately 16-20 units, 6 of which must be upper division, and require maintenance of a C (2.00) average in minor coursework. Faculty advisors in the department offering the minor will assist students in selecting appropriate courses. Coursework in the minor must be completed by the degree date. The minor appears on the student's official transcripts but not on the diploma.


To complete the minimum of 120 semester units required for graduation after fulfillment of general education, statutory, and major requirements, students may choose from a broad spectrum of courses to broaden their education, deepen understanding of their specialties, pursue work in related fields, and satisfy their curiosity and enthusiasm regarding particular areas of interest.

Double Majors

It is sometimes possible for a student to complete the requirements for more than one major within 120 units. If you complete requirements for two Bachelor of Arts majors, both will appear on your diploma and transcripts; however, if you simultaneously complete a Bachelor of Arts major and a Bachelor of Science major, you must select which one will appear on your diploma. The second major selected from a different degree program is noted on your transcript. Students who wish to complete requirements for a second major should consult with a faculty advisor early in their academic program.

Second Bachelor's Degree

To earn a second baccalaureate at Sonoma State University, students must fulfill the requirements of the major, demonstrate competence in English composition by passing the Written English Proficiency Test and satisfy the general education-breadth requirements specified by Title 5, Section 40405 of the California Administrative Code. Second baccalaureate candidates must complete 30 units of residence credit at Sonoma State University and should consult with their faculty advisors regarding the portion of those 30 units that must be earned in upper-division courses (minimum 24 for residency). Note: Units earned in Extension, Open University, and Visitor status, and through credit-by-examination may not be applied to residence requirements.

Awarding of Degrees

Degrees are awarded three times a year: in December, May, and August, with diplomas mailed within six weeks after the date of award of degree. Commencement ceremonies are held once each year, at the end of the spring semester. Candidates for graduation should file an "Application for Award of Degree" form at the Admissions and Records Office two semesters before the anticipated semester of graduation. This will enable the graduation evaluators to determine remaining requirements to be completed. Please see the academic calendar for filing dates and the actual dates of graduation. You must meet all degree requirements by the date of graduation or reapply for graduation by filing another "Application for Award of Degree" form.

Honors at Graduation

The university awards two types of honors to students at graduation: degree honors and department honors.

1. Degree Honors

Students graduating with the baccalaureate earn degree honors by meeting the following criteria:

  1. Completion at Sonoma State University of a minimum of 45 letter-graded semester units in residence.
  2. Attainment of cumulative grade point averages as indicated below:
 Degree Honor Designation  Grade Point Average
 Summa Cum Laude   3.90 - 4.00
 Magna Cum Laude  3.75 - 3.89
 Cum Laude   3.50 - 3.74

Degree honors are noted on the student's transcript and on the diploma.

2. Department Honors

Students graduating with the baccalaureate who are judged by their departments to have made outstanding contributions to their disciplines graduate "with distinction." Check with your major department to learn if they offer departmental honors.

Departmental honors are noted on the student's transcript and on the diploma.

General Education Program

General Education at Sonoma State University investigates the complexity of human experience in a diverse natural and social world, and promotes informed and ethical participation as citizens of the world.

To achieve this mission, in concert with the specific needs of various GE Areas of Study, the GE program asserts the following fundamental goals for all GE approved classes:

  1. Teach students to think independently, ethically, critically, and creatively
  2. Teach students to communicate clearly to many audiences
  3. Teach students to gain an understanding of connections between the past and the present, and to look to the future
  4. Teach students to appreciate intellectual, scientific, and artistic accomplishment
  5. Teach and/or build upon reading, writing, research, and critical thinking skills
1. Acquire a foundation of intellectual skills and capacities
  1. Develop intellectual curiosity (Supports Goals I, II, III, IV, and V)
  2. Develop research skills (I, III, IV, V)
  3. Write and speak effectively to various audiences (I, II, V)
  4. Evaluate everyday experiences critically (I, III, IV, V)
  5. Develop capacity to reason quantitatively (I, IV, V)
  6. Work collaboratively to achieve defined goals and objectives (I, II, V)
  7. Develop skill in the use of information technology (I, II, V)
  8. Imagine, design, and execute scholarly and creative projects (I, II, IV, V)
  9. Translate problems into common language (I, II, V)

2. Develop social and global knowledge

  1. Understand and appreciate human diversity and multicultural perspectives (I, II, III, IV, V)
  2. Prepare for active engagement in the community (I, II, III, V)
  3. Understand and be sensitive to the global environment (I, II, III, IV, V)
  4. Understand social justice issues (I, III, IV, V)
  5. Engage with challenging moral and ethical human dilemmas (I, II, III, IV, V)

3. Understand and use multiple methods of inquiry and approaches to knowledge

  1. Understand and appreciate mathematics and science (I, II, III, IV, V)
  2. Understand and appreciate fine and performing arts (I, II, III, IV, V)
  3. Understand and appreciate historical and social phenomena (I, II, III, IV, V)
  4. Recognize and use perspectives of diverse disciplines (I, II, III, IV, V)

4. Develop capacities for integration and lifelong learning

  1. Evaluate alternative career choices (I, III, IV, V)
  2. Recognize the importance of lifelong learning (I, II, III, IV, V)
  3. Integrate general education experiences (I, II, III, IV, V)
  4. Cultivate ways to empower the learning of others (I, II, III, IV, V)
  5. Engage in responsible citizenship (I, II, III, IV, V)

There are two options for completing general education at Sonoma State University: the University-Wide Option and the Hutchins School Interdisciplinary Option.

The University-Wide Option

Each baccalaureate candidate will complete a University-approved general education program, with courses distributed among the following categories:

Communication and Critical Thinking
Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Arts and Humanities
Social Sciences
Integrated Person

Within these categories, one course in ethnic studies is required. At least 9 general education units must be earned in residence at Sonoma State University. In addition, at least 9 units of general education must be in upper-division (300 and 400) courses and shall be taken no sooner than the term in which upper-division standing (completion of 60 semester units) is attained. The 9 upper-division units may be completed by enrollment in one of the upper-division thematic blocks or by choosing upper-division courses in two of the four areas (B-E).

The following general education program was designed for implementation in the Fall 1990 semester. Students who entered Sonoma State University with a catalog year prior to 1990-92 should consult the appropriate catalog to determine general education requirements.

Ethnic Studies Requirement

One course in ethnic studies is required. Courses that fulfill this requirement are listed below and marked with an asterisk (*).

Foundation Courses

These courses are designed to provide students with the level of writing, analytical, and speaking proficiency appropriate for a university education. Freshmen are expected to complete these courses as soon as possible after enrolling at SSU; certainly during their first two years. The foundation course categories are: Fundamentals of Communication (A2), Critical Thinking (A3), Written and Oral Analysis (A1), and Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning (B4).

A. Communication and Critical Thinking (9 units)

Complete one course from each of the following three groups:

1. Written and Oral Analysis
Prerequisites: Areas A2 and A3.
AMCS 200 Race, Ethnicity, and Multiculturalism (3)
ENGL 200 California Cultural Studies (3)
ENGL 201 Written and Oral Discourse Studies (3)
GLBL 200 Written and Oral Analysis: Global Studies (3)
HUM 200 Written and Oral Analysis (3)
PHIL 200 (variable title) (3)

2. Fundamentals of Communication
ENGL 101 Expository Writing and Analytical Reading (3)

3. Critical Thinking
PHIL 101 Critical Thinking (3)
PHIL 102 Introduction to Logic (3)

B. Natural Sciences and Mathematics (12 units)

Courses in natural science and mathematics examine the important theories of the natural sciences and of the methods and models by which scientific investigation proceeds. They also seek to increase scientific understanding and to imbue students with the same sense of curiosity and wonder about the natural world that inspires scientists and mathematicians in their work.

Complete 12 units (9 in science and 3 in mathematics), including a laboratory activity ('#' denotes laboratory course).

Complete 3 units from group 1 and BIOL 110 or 115 from group 2.

1. Physical Sciences

Physical science courses seek to awaken in students an appreciation of the power of the intellectual approach of science through the study of some of the fundamental questions pursued by astronomers, chemists, geologists, and physicists.

ASTR 100 Descriptive Astronomy (3)
ASTR 231 Introductory Observational Astronomy (2)#
CHEM 101 Chemistry and Society: Selected Topics (3)
CHEM 102 Food, Nutrition, and Toxicology (3)#
CHEM 105 Elements of General, Organic, and Biochemistry (5)#
CHEM 115AB General Chemistry (5)#
CHEM 116AB (1) Corequisite with CHEM 115AB General Chemistry Recitation
GEOL 102 Our Dynamic Earth (3)#
GEOL 105 Rocks, Time and Evolution (3)
PHYS 100 Descriptive Physics (3)
PHYS 102 Descriptive Physics Lab (1)#
PHYS 114 Introduction to Physics I (4)
PHYS 116 Introductory Laboratory Experience (1)#
PHYS 209A General Physics Laboratory (1)#
PHYS 210AB General Physics (3)

2. Biological Sciences

Life science courses develop students' understanding and appreciation of the fundamental principles that govern all living things and the nature of their interdependence.

BIOL 110 Biological Inquiry (4)#
BIOL 115 Introduction to Biology (3)

To complete a minimum of 9 units in science, select additional units from group 1 or 2 above or from group 3 following:

3. Specific Emphasis

Specific emphasis courses provide students an opportunity to explore a particular area of interest in the natural sciences.
ANTH 201 Introduction to Human Evolution (3)
ASTR 303 Extraterrestrial Intelligence and Interstellar Travel (3)
ASTR 305 Frontiers in Astronomy (3)
ASTR 350 Cosmology (3)
BIOL 121 Diversity, Structure, and Function (4)#+
BIOL 122 Genetics, Evolution, and Ecology (4)#+
BIOL 123 Cellular and Molecular Biology (4)#+
BIOL 220 Human Anatomy (4)#
BIOL 224 Human Physiology (4)#
BIOL 309 Biology of Cancer (3)
BIOL 311 Sexually Transmitted Diseases (3)
BIOL 312 Oceanography (3)
BIOL 314 Field Biology (3)#
BIOL 332 Plants and Civilization (3)
BIOL 385 Contemporary Issues in Biology (3)
CS 101 Introduction to Computers and Computing (3)
CS 115 Programming I (4)
GEOG 204 Physical Geography (4)
GEOL 110 Earthquakes, Volcanos, and Mountains (3)
GEOL 120 Regional Field Geology (3)#
GEOL 303 Advanced Principles of Geology (4)#
GEOL 304 Natural History of the Hawaiian Islands (3)
PHYS 300 Physics of Music (3)
PHYS 342 Popular Optics (3)

Complete one course from the following group:

4. Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning

Mathematics courses develop a student's appreciation of one of the chief tools of the natural and social sciences, a philosophy of the abstract concepts of pure form and numbers, and an approach to reasoning and logical argument.
MATH 103 Ethnomathematics (3)
MATH 104 Modern Mathematics (3)
MATH 105 Mathematics and Politics (3)
MATH 107 Pre-Calculus Mathematics (4)
MATH 111 Symmetry in the Sciences and Arts (3)
MATH 131 Introduction to Finite Mathematics (3)
MATH 141 Studies in Modern Mathematics (3)
MATH 150 Geometry (3)
MATH 161 Calculus I (4)
MATH 165 Elementary Statistics (4)

C. The Arts and Humanities (12 units)

The arts and humanities serve to cultivate and develop imagination, sensibility, sensitivity, and interpretive skills. They also develop understanding of the interrelationships among the creative arts, the humanities, and the self.

Complete one course from each of the following four groups:

1. History of the Fine Arts, Theatre, Dance and Music

Courses in the history of the fine arts, theatre, dance, and music study human cultural endeavors and may develop skills through hands-on experience in the fine and performing arts. An understanding of, and appreciation for, the arts helps form in the student an appreciation for manifestations of human awareness and values.
AMCS 392 Ethnic Images in Film (3)*
ARTH 210 Introduction to Art History (3-4)
ARTH 211 Introduction to Art History (3-4)
ARTH 212AB Introduction to World Film History (3)
ARTH 270AB Survey of Asian Art (3-4)
ARTH 454 History of Modern Art – 19th Century (3-4)
ARTH 460 History of American Art (3-4)
ARTH 464 Modern Art from 1850 to 1945 (3-4)
ARTH 465 Modern Art from 1945 to 1979 (3-4)
CALS 368 Chicano/Latino Music (3)*
CALS 393 Chicano/Latino Cinema (3)*
CALS 479 Chicano Art History (3-4)*
MUS 101 Introduction to Music (3)
MUS 105 Fundamentals (3)
MUS 150 Survey of U. S. Music (3)
MUS 250 Survey of European Music (3)
MUS 301 Music and Technology: Then and Now (3)
NAMS 205 Introduction to Native American Arts (3)*
NAMS 338 Native Americans and the Cinema (3)*
THAR 101 Making Theatre (3)
THAR 102 Introduction to History of Drama and Dance: Origins to 1800 (3)
THAR 103 Introduction to History of Drama and Dance: 1800 to present (3)
THAR 300 Theatre Field Trips: Performance Analysis and Criticism (3)

2. World Literature

World literature introduces students to great works from a variety of cultural traditions in order to develop aesthetic awareness and to expand appreciation of similarities and varieties in human experience.
AMCS 360 Ethnic Literature (3-4)*
CALS 374 Chicano Literature (3-4)*
ENGL 214 Literature of the World (3)
ENGL 215 Introduction to California Literature (3)
ENGL 314 Modern World Literature in English (3)
ENGL 315 California Ethnic Literature (3)*
ENGL 345 Women Writers (3)
FL 214 Introduction to World Literature (3)
FR 314 French Literatures in English (4)
NAMS 354 Native American Literatures (3)*

3. Philosophy and Values

Philosophy and values introduce students to the critical study of enduring philosophical questions about the nature of knowledge, of morality and politics, of the self and interpersonal relations, of religion and the search for wisdom, and of the perception of reality.
AMCS 350 Ethics, Values, and Multiculturalism (3)*
CALS 352 Chicano/Latino Philosophy (3)*
NAMS 346 Philosophic Systems and Sacred Movements in Native North Americans (3)*
PHIL 120 Introduction to Philosophy (3)
PHIL 302 Ethics and Value Theory (3)
SOCI 431 Sociology of Religion (4)
UNIV 301 War and Peace Lecture Series (3)

4. Comparative Perspectives and Foreign Languages

Comparative perspectives and foreign languages introduce students to cultural traditions other than Anglo-American in order to provide students with an understanding of other cultures and their value systems.

A foreign language course at the intermediate level, 201 or above. A first-year course may be selected if the student has met the high school subject requirement (two years) in a different language. A first-year course may also be selected if the student has completed one year of a different foreign language at the college level. Selections include courses in French, German, and Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures; CALS 225 Spanish for Chicanos and Latinos, in the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies. Foreign language courses do not meet the ethnic studies requirement. Additional courses in this category are:
AMCS 255 Ethnicity in the Humanities (3)*
AMCS 355 Language and Ethnicity (3-4)*
ARTH 363 Other Cinemas (3)
CALS 220 Mexican American Arts and Literature (3)*
CALS 451 Chicano Humanities (4)*
ENGL 280 Introduction to California Cultural Studies (3)
MUS 270 Music in Society (3)
MUS 350 Survey of World Music (3)
MUS 351 Sacred Traditions of South Asia (3)
MUS 352 The History, Music, and Secular Traditions of South Asia (3)
MUS 370 Music and Dance of the World's Religions (3)
THAR 200 Seeing Theatre Today: Comparative Perspectives (3)
THAR 373 Dances of the World (3)
THAR 374 World Theatre (3)

D. Social Sciences (15 units)

The social sciences concentrate on the description and explanation of organization, variation, and change in social practices and institutions.

Complete one course in each of the following five groups:

1. Individual and Society

Individual and society focuses on the personal and social development of the individual and on the person's relation to social institutions. It includes theoretical explanations of the individual's social relationships in groups, in societies, and across nations.
AMCS 210 Ethnic Groups in America (4)*
AMCS 339 Ethnic Minorities and American Social Policy (3)*
ANTH 203 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3)
CALS 219 Mexican American Identity and Society (3)*
CALS 339 Ethnic Minorities and American Social Policy (3)*
CJA 201 Criminal Justice and Public Policy (3)
EDUC 417 School and Society (3)
GERN 319 Aging and Society (3-4)
NAMS 200 Introduction to Native Americans (3)*
PSY 250 Introduction to Psychology (3)
PSY 303 The Person in Society (3)
SOCI 201 Introduction to Sociology (3)
SOCI 319 Aging and Society (4)
SOCI 326 Social Psychology (3)
SOCI 375 Survey of Sociological Theory (3-4)
WGS 375 Race, Sex, and Class (3)*

2. World History and Civilization

World history and civilization examines the development of human societies from their earlier forms into major civilizations. It studies the political, social, economic, and cultural developments within these communities and their impact on, or relations with, other cultures.
ANTH 341 Origins of Civilization (3)
GEOG 203 Cultural Geography (3)
HIST 201 Foundations of World Civilization (3)
HIST 202 Development of the Modern World (3)
HIST 380 20th Century World (3)

3. United States History

United States history seeks to provide a basic understanding of the continuity of the American experience and its derivation from other cultures, including political and economic dimensions, social movements, and human-environment relationships. Satisfies state code requirement in this subject area.
HIST 241 History of the Americas to Independence (3)
HIST 242 History of the Americas since Independence (3)
HIST 251 History of the United States to 1877 (3)
HIST 252 History of the United States since 1865 (3)

4. US Constitution and California State and Local Government

U. S. Constitution and California state and local government acquaint students with the political philosophies upon which the United States Constitution is based and the rights and obligations of citizens under that Constitution. It also addresses the evolution of federal-state relations and the political processes in contemporary California state and local governments. Satisfies state code requirement in this subject area.
POLS 200 The American Political System (3)
POLS 202 Issues in Modern American Politics (3-4)

5. Contemporary International Perspectives

Contemporary international perspectives studies major economic and political dimensions of human activity, including consideration of differential access to natural resources, wealth, and power within and among the world's nations.
ECON 201A Introduction to Macroeconomics (4)
ECON 426 Seminar in the History of Economic Thought (4)
ENSP 200 Global Environmental Issues (3)
GEOG 302 World Regional Geography (3-4)
LING 200 Introduction to Linguistics Studies (3)
POLS 201 Ideas and Institutions (3-4)
POLS 315 Democracy, Capitalism, and Socialism (3-4)
SOCI 305 Perspectives on the Holocaust and Genocide (3)

E. The Integrated Person (3 units)

Integrated person courses are designed to study both processes affecting the individual, such as psychological, sexual or physiological changes throughout the human life cycle, and the interactions between the individual and society. Focus is on the integration of disciplinary knowledge and personal experience with an appreciation of the duties and rights of a citizen with a rich public and personal life.
ANTH 318 Human Development: Sex and the Life Cycle (3)
ANTH 340 Living in a Pluralistic World (3)
BIOL 318 The Biology of Aging (3)
CALS 403 Chicano/Latino Youth and Adolescents (3)*
EDMS 420 Child Development: Family, School, Community (3)
GEOG 338 Social Geography (3)
GERN 300 Basic Gerontology: A Survey of Concepts, Issues, and Services for the Elderly (3)
KIN 217 Fitness and Wellness for Life (3)
KIN 316 Women in Sport (3)
NURS 480 Health, Sexuality, and Society (3)
PSY 302 Development of the Person (3-4)
SOCI 317 Emotions and Adult Life (3)
WGS 280 Women's Bodies: Health and Image (3)
WGS 285 Men's Health, Men's Lives (3)
WGS 350 Gender, Sexuality, and Family (3-4)

# Indicates laboratory course.
+ Meets Areas B2 or B3 for biology majors, minors, or other majors needing courses for upper-division Biology.
* Meets ethnic studies requirement.

Total minimum units in general education: 51, to include the following:

  • Nine units in residence at SSU.
  • Nine upper-division units, taken either by enrollment in an upper-division thematic block or by choosing upper-division courses in at least two of the four areas (BE). Thematic blocks are a total of 9 units of integrated coursework clustered around a theme. These courses must be taken as a group to meet the upper-division requirement. Consult the GE section of the Schedule of Classes for a description of the thematic blocks that are offered each semester.
  • An approved science laboratory
  • One course in ethnic studies. Ethnic studies courses are indicated with an asterisk*.

Linked Courses: Visions of California

This linked course program of three courses provides an historical, geographical, literary, and cinematic view of the relationship of California ethnic groups to the land and cityscape, to formative regional experiences (i.e. the Watts Rebellion, the Japanese-American Internment, the Gold Rush), and to the production of a culture that is uniquely Californian. A thematic focus course must be taken in the first semester of participation in the linked courses program.

Further information is available from the program coordinator, Robert Coleman-Senghor, English Department, (707) 664-2903.

The Hutchins School Interdisciplinary Option

The lower-division general education requirements can be met by taking the four Hutchins School interdisciplinary seminars of 12 units each, and 3 units of mathematics. The seminars are: LIBS 101 The Human Enigma; LIBS 102 In Search of Self; LIBS 201 Exploring the Unknown; and LIBS 202 Challenge and Response in the Modern World. These 48 units are taken Cr/NC. Any additional Cr/NC courses will not count towards the 120 units required for the degree. In addition, 9 units of upper-division general education courses must be completed. The subject matter preparation options (Tracks II and III) in the Hutchins major lead to automatic completion of these 9 units. For students in the interdisciplinary studies option (Track I) in the Hutchins major, 3 of the 9 units will be met with a course from the Core D category. The remaining 6 units must be selected from upper-division courses in areas BE of the university-wide general education program.

Graduate Degrees

Graduate education at Sonoma State University provides opportunities for students to develop the ability to conduct independent study and research and enhance their professional competence in their field of interest. In order to accommodate students who are unable to pursue graduate work on a full-time basis, many master's programs at the University are scheduled to allow completion of degree requirements on a part-time basis over several semesters.

Descriptions of the following graduate programs are contained in academic department listings.

Residence Master's Degree Programs

Business Administration

  • Marriage, Family and Child Counseling (MFCC)
  • School Counseling (PPS)

Cultural Resources Management (Anthropology)
(five options)

  • Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Educational Administration
  • Reading and Language
  • Special Education

Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Leadership and Management

Public Administration

Special Sessions Master's Degree Program

Computer and Engineering Science
Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Action for a Viable Future


  • Art Therapy
  • Depth
  • Organization Development
  • Special Interest Area

Graduate Admission Requirements

Admission requirements and procedures for graduate students are described in the Admissions section in this catalog. Admission to the University with unclassified post-baccalaureate standing does not in any way constitute admission to, or assurance of consideration for, admission to a graduate degree or credential program. Two admissions procedures are involved in pursuing graduate work at the University: 1) admission to the University; and 2) admission to the department offering the degree or credential program in which the student is interested. Students should, therefore, contact both the relevant department and the Admissions Office 707 664-2778.

Change in Graduate Standing

Many students are admitted to the university in conditionally classified standing with contingencies to remove prior to becoming a classified student. This admission does not guarantee a space in the graduate program. Such a guarantee is obtained by a change in graduate standing to classified status verified by the program in question. Each department has its own procedures for evaluating the appropriateness of granting the student a place in their program. At the time this status is confirmed, a form is filed with the Admissions and Records Office and the Graduate Studies Office confirming the department's approval of this change in status.

Advancement to Candidacy

Master's degree students are advanced to candidacy when the department has assessed the academic and professional capacities of the student, and is convinced that the student has the competence to complete all requirements for the degree, including the culminating project. Advancement to candidacy is done by filing the Advancement to Candidacy form (GSO1), which describes the culminating project, is approved by all of the members of the student's thesis committee, and is reviewed by the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs. Culminating projects, including theses, investigative projects, creative projects, and curriculum projects, are approved by the department and reviewed by the Graduate Studies Office prior to clearance for the degree. These projects are then published by the Sonoma State Library and become part of its permanent collection.

Completion of the Written English Proficiency Requirement

In order to ensure that graduate students possess the ability to communicate effectively in written English, advancement to candidacy will be contingent upon fulfillment of either the Written English Proficiency Test (WEPT) or departmentally administered review procedures that have been approved by the graduate studies subcommittee and placed on file with the Graduate Studies Office.

General Requirements for the Master's Degree

Master's programs require a minimum of 30 semester units of approved coherent coursework. All courses applied to the program must be completed with an overall GPA of 3.00, and no course for which a final grade below C is assigned may be used to satisfy this requirement. Graduate programs must be completed in no more than 7 years, which is computed as 14 semesters.

Other university-wide criteria:

  1. A classified student must demonstrate, throughout enrollment in the graduate program, the level of competence required to be successful in the completion of the requirements. This evaluation of competence is primarily the responsibility of faculty actively teaching in the program.
  2. Advancement to candidacy is required and should be done when the student enters the final phase of the program. Departments vary in the way they evaluate student competency and in what is required to advance the student to candidacy for the degree.
  3. No fewer than one-half of the total units required shall be in graduate (500-level) coursework.
  4. At least 21 semester units shall be completed in residence.
  5. No more than 6 semester units shall be allowed for a thesis or project.
  6. No more than 30 percent of coursework shall be allowed in transfer, including work done through Extended Education.
  7. No credit toward a master's degree will be given for student teaching in a credential program.
  8. At the discretion of the department, up to one-third of the total program units may be in a nontraditional grading mode (credit/no credit).
  9. No classes completed as an undergraduate may be used except those granted provisional graduate credit prior to award of the baccalaureate degree.
  10. The candidate must complete a thesis, project, or comprehensive exam as required by the department. Culminating projects that are published by the library require review by the Graduate Studies Office, as well as final approval by the student's faculty committee.
  11. A public defense of the thesis or project is required.
  12. The student has four semesters to complete the thesis/project, including the first semester of enrollment for thesis units. The SP (satisfactory progress) grade will remain until the student submits the culminating project. Projects taking more than four semesters to complete will require an approval for extension by the associate vice president for academic programs, or may require reapplication to the program and re-enrollment in the units.

Continuous Enrollment Policy

Graduate students who have completed their coursework or who have begun to work on their thesis or other final project must be enrolled each additional semester through one of the following mechanisms:
1. Those students who wish to maintain eligibility for financial aid and use the full resources of the University should maintain regular half-time enrollment and pay half-time fees. Graduate programs create enrollment opportunities for these students by providing mechanisms such as sections of 535 (Directed Writing) or 599 (Research and Thesis) in the regular class schedule, or by allowing students to enroll in 595 (Special Studies) through the regular registration procedure.
2. Those students who do not seek the full services of the university may maintain enrollment through Extended Education and pay a continuation fee of $250 per semester. The fee maintains their place in their academic program and provides library privileges.
3. With the support of their graduate advisors, those students who, due to extraordinary circumstances, cannot continue work on their programs may seek special consideration by petitioning the Graduate Studies Office for a leave of absence for a defined period of time not to exceed two years. This petition process would not extend the seven-year limitation on coursework applied to the degree.

Students who allow their enrollment to lapse without taking a leave of absence will be considered to have withdrawn from the University and their degree program. Should such students decide to return, they will be required to apply for readmission and, as a condition of readmission, shall be assessed a continuing enrollment fee of $250 for every regular semester of the period during which they were absent from the University.

Provisional Unclassified Graduate Status for Senior Students

Students who plan to complete upper-division or graduate-level courses in their final semester may petition for provisional unclassified graduate credit for such courses. Courses required for the baccalaureate will not be granted this provisional status. The petition must be filed at the same time as the application for award of the degree. Teaching credential candidates should consult the Department of Education about the advisability of such a petition.

Provisional unclassified postbaccalaureate credit can only be granted for upper-division and graduate-level courses and will be recorded in the student's academic record as earned prior to the award of the baccalaureate. Such credit is applicable to graduate objectives at the discretion of the relevant academic department. Should requirements for the baccalaureate not be completed by the date specified on the application, the petition for postbaccalaureate credit becomes null and void.

Courses that may be included in a Master's Program

300-499 Upper-division courses may be acceptable for graduate credit. See Provisional Unclassified Graduate Status for Senior Students, above.

500-599 Graduate courses

# Indicates laboratory course.
+Meets Areas B2 or B3 for biology majors, minors, or other majors needing courses for upper-division Biology.
*Meets ethnic studies requirement.