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Sonoma State University


Grading / Student Policies / Student Conduct and Discipline / Other Campus Policies

Academic Regulations

Admissions & Records
Salazar Hall 2030
(707) 664-2778

Registration and Enrollment

The University offers several opportunities for registration. At least two registration periods are held prior to the start of classes. Students are encouraged to participate in them if at all possible. Late registration, which requires payment of an additional fee, is available during the add/drop period.

New students must confirm their intention to enroll at Sonoma by paying an Enrollment Reservation deposit. Information will be sent at the time of admission about the deposit. All eligible continuing students and all admitted applicants who have paid the deposit will be mailed registration eligibility notifications approximately two weeks prior to the first registration period. This registration eligibility notification will provide a link to the Registration Web site which will include information about mandatory advising, registration appointment times, important dates and procedures for registering. Applicants admitted too late to participate in the first registration period will also receive registration information with their admissions letter, but must register during subsequent registration periods or during late registration.

The best sources for registration information is the Schedule of Classes. The Schedule of Classes is published electronically each semester. It provides a detailed description of registration procedures, course offerings, fees, and other basic information. Registration information can also be located on the Office of Admissions and Records Web site at

Web Registration

All students at Sonoma State University register online. Students will find web registration quick and easy. Carefully read all of the registration information that follows to make the registration process even simpler.

Students who fail to pay their fees by the registration fee deadline will be dropped from their classes. Credit will not be granted in any course unless all registration procedures are completed and fees are paid.


All students must be advised prior to registering. Continuing students with a declared major should have met with their academic advisors during the early advising period (see your major department for dates). Students who have not been advised should contact their academic departments or the Academic Advising Center. Continuing undergraduates who have not declared a major will be advised at the Academic Advising Center, Salazar Hall, (707) 664-2442. Undergraduate students who have not declared a major after 65 semester units must be advised each semester. New students should contact their declared major department, or if undeclared, the Academic Advising Center, to make an advising appointment. Students who have not been advised may have holds placed on their records that will prevent them from registering by phone during the initial registration period.


Be sure to clear any holds before registration. Depending on the nature of the hold, access to registration may be blocked, and the student may miss his or her registration appointment. For additional information about a financial hold, contact the Customer Services Center. For nonfinancial holds, contact the office that placed the hold.


Access to web registration requires the entry of your Seawolf User ID and password. Information on how to obtain your user ID and password can be found at the Admissions and Records Web site

Categories of Enrollment

With the exception of first-time freshmen, appointments are assigned by class level in descending order of units passed. The order is:

Units Completed
 First-time Freshman  0
 Classified Graduate and Credential  n/a
 Senior   90+
 Junior  60-89
 Sophomore   30-59
 Freshman  0-29
Unclassified Graduate Students N/A

Academic Load

A minimum of two hours preparation for each hour of regular class work should be expected; in upper-division and graduate-level courses, additional time may be required.

In order to graduate in four years, the minimum average number of units an undergraduate entering as a freshman must complete is 15.5 units per semester. Undergraduate students may register for up to 19 units without special approval of the associate provost for academic programs.

Students having a 3.00 overall college grade point average may petition to enroll in more than 19 units. Students must submit a petition to the Office of Admissions and Records and receive approval before they may enroll in additional courses. A listing of the additional courses must be submitted with the petition statement.

The maximum academic load recommended for graduate students is 12 units, but a student may register for up to 19 units. Students who wish to take more than 19 units must consult with their department chair or graduate coordinator and secure the approval of the associate vice president for academic programs and graduate studies.

Students who need to be registered full-time should note that 12 units is the minimum load to qualify for undergraduate status. Some additional allowance is made for graduate students officially accepted into master's degree programs who are taking classes that are part of their approved plan of study.

Continuing Student Status

Once you enroll, pay fees, and attend classes at Sonoma State University, you will be in "continuing student status" for the current and subsequent semester. Reapplication to SSU is required if you take a leave of more than two semesters; if you graduate with a baccalaureate from this or any other institution; or if you are a newly admitted student who enrolls, pays registration fees, and then withdraws before the end of the fourth week of classes.

Catalog Year Requirement

Undergraduate students remaining in continuous attendance and continuing in the same major at Sonoma, at any other California State University, or in any California community college, or any combination of California community and state colleges may elect to meet the Sonoma graduation requirements in effect at the time of their entering the major or at the time of their graduation from Sonoma. Substitutions for discontinued courses may be authorized or required by the proper campus authorities. The continuous attendance policy allows interruptions in enrollment so long as the student is enrolled at least one semester or two quarters each calendar year.


At Sonoma State, auditing is an informal arrangement between an auditor and a faculty member. With the permission of the instructor and if space is available, an auditor may attend a course on an informal basis. The auditor and the instructor must agree upon the extent to which the auditor will participate, and whether the auditor's work will be required and evaluated. No official records are maintained of these informal audits.

Concurrent Enrollment with Other Institutions

Sonoma State University students may register concurrently at SSU and other campuses of the California State University with no further application fee. Applications are available from the Office of Admissions and Records, Salazar Hall 2030. Such concurrent enrollment is valid for one term only.

Concurrent Enrollment with SSU Extension

Matriculated students are not permitted to enroll concurrently in regular SSU courses and SSU Extension Open University courses, nor may students who have previously attended SSU and whose current status is disqualification for either academic or administrative reasons. Neither are students who have applied and been admitted to the university, but who do not pay fees or enroll in regular university courses, eligible to enroll through the Open University program. There will be no exceptions to this regulation, and no refund of fees.

Extension students admitted in resident classes (through Open University) shall receive the same credit as they would receive in a matriculated class. Concurrent enrollment of extension students in regular classes does not constitute admission to the University; neither does it entitle them to student services available to regular students with the exception of library privileges. Additional information is available at the Office of Extended Education.

Temporary Enrollment at Another CSU Institution

Students wishing to apply as intrasystem visitors must be in continuing student status with Sonoma. Temporary leave from Sonoma to enroll in another California State University for one term may be arranged with the SSU Office of Admissions and Records within the application deadlines outlined by the campus at which the student wishes to enroll. The return to SSU will be arranged by the Office of Admissions and Records without further application by the student. Contact the Office of Admissions and Records, Salazar Hall 2030, for details concerning regulations and procedures.

Cross Enrollment/Concurrent Enrollment

Concurrent enrollment at Sonoma and a non-CSU institution without formal admission at the non-CSU institution is permitted through the Cross-Enrollment program. Students cross-enrolling should be aware of the policies governing acceptance of transfer credits as described elsewhere in the catalog. To cross enroll, you must be a full-time undergraduate California resident enrolled at Sonoma and meet the cross-enrollment requirements, and there must be space available in the course you wish to enroll in. For more information and a cross-enrollment application, contact the Office of Admissions and Records, Salazar Hall 2030.

ROTC Programs

Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC)

Aerospace Studies Department
University of California, Berkeley
(510) 642-3572

AFROTC is a training program that prepares college students to become officers in the United States Air Force. The program provides educational training in leadership, management, communications, and military proficiency on college and university campuses throughout the country. The Department of Aerospace Studies offers students in virtually all academic areas the opportunity to obtain a commission as an officer in the United States Air Force while simultaneously completing university undergraduate and/or graduate degree requirements. AFROTC is a four-year program, but is flexible enough to be completed in as little as two years.

Air Force ROTC has many scholarships available, but are not required for participation. Scholarships are available for up to $15,000 per year towards tuition and fees. Additionally, you'll receive money for books and a monthly stipend (cash allowance) of $250 to $400 per month. If you're a non-scholarship student, you can still receive the stipend as a contracted cadet during your last two years. If you're selected to receive a scholarship, you will have a minimum 4 year commitment to the Air Force after completing the program. You have no obligation to join the Air Force until you accept a scholarship or enter your junior year of the program. Students from other institutions may participate in the AFROTC program cost-free through cross-enrollment arrangements.

For more information on enrollment requirements, procedures, and scholarship information, contact the department staff at (510) 642-3572 or (510) 643-9774, or e-mail Also, check out and visit more program and schedule information.


Army ROTC is an elective course that may be taken concurrently with college classes - regardless of major - that results in an officer's commission in the U.S. Army upon graduation. Students should have at least two years of college remaining. There is no military obligation incurred by enrolling in the program. The course consists of an academic class and a weekly lab in which students will be able to practice the skills that will help them to become successful Army officers, including rifle marksmanship, land navigation, the principles of management and leadership, and problem solving. University of California, Berkeley is the location of these activities and has a cross-enrollment agreement with Sonoma State University. The units taken at Berkeley will count as general elective credits towards a degree. Inquire about the enrollment process at 510-642-7682 or at

173 Hearst Gym #4440
Berkeley, CA 94720

Cross Registration

Sonoma also offers cross-registration for Undergraduate Students with the University of California, Berkeley, and with the College of Saint Mary's. For more information, contact the Office of Admissions and Records, Salazar Hall 2030.

Declaring or Changing a Major

Enrolled SSU undergraduate students in good standing may, with prior departmental approval, change their major. A Change of Major form must be submitted to the Office of Admissions and Records with the appropriate departmental approvals. Students should contact their intended department for major change requirements and change of major periods.

Change of Program

Students are permitted to change their initial enrollment by following the University's change of program procedure. Ordinarily, a student may add, drop, or change the basis of grading of a class utilizing the University's online web registration procedures. Students should consult the Schedule of Classes or the Admissions and Records web pages ( for the procedures, approvals, timelines, and fees associated with the change of program process.

Adding classes

Students may add courses to their schedules up to the maximum enrollment limit during the change of program period. Consult the Schedule of Classes or the Office of Admissions and Records web pages ( for appropriate dates and approvals.

Dropping and Withdrawing from Classes

Students are responsible for attending all courses in which they have registered. Failure to do so will result in the grade of F, WU, or NC. Students may exit classes by either dropping or withdrawing from them. Dropping a class removes any record of the class from your student record; withdrawing results in the grade of W, which has no penalty attached. Students may freely drop classes during the Add/Drop period, using web Registration.

Students may withdraw from class via the web from the end of the Add/Drop period until the end of the eighth week of instruction.

After the eighth week of instruction, students may withdraw without academic penalty only by securing the approval of the instructor and the chair of the department in which the course is taught, and permission of the university standards committee. Regulations for withdrawal are described in the Schedule of Classes. (See Refund of Fees)

Withdrawing from individual classes is not permitted during the final three weeks of instruction or thereafter except in cases such as accident or serious illness where the cause of the withdrawal is clearly beyond the student's control and the assignment of an incomplete is not practicable. Students wishing to withdraw under these circumstances must obtain the approval of the appropriate instructor of the course and the department chair, and permission of the university standards committee.

Cancellation of Registration or Withdrawal From the Institution

Students who find it necessary to cancel their registration or to withdraw from all classes after enrolling for any academic term are required to follow the university's official withdrawal procedures. Failure to follow formal university procedures may result in an obligation to pay fees, as well as the assignment of failing grades in all courses and the need to apply for readmission before being permitted to enroll in another academic term. Information on canceling registration and withdrawal procedures is available from Office of Admissions and Records, Salazar Hall 2030.

Students who receive financial aid funds must consult with Director of Financial Aid, Salazar Hall 1000, (707) 664-2389, prior to withdrawing from the university regarding any required return or repayment of grant or loan assistance received for that academic term or payment period. If a recipient of student financial aid funds withdraws from the institution during an academic term or a payment period, the amount of grant or loan assistance received may be subject to return and/or repayment provisions.

Information concerning the refund of fees due to complete withdrawal from the University may be obtained from the Customer Services.

Planned Educational Leave

The Planned Educational Leave program allows for leaves of one or two semesters. Continuing students should file a Planned Educational Leave form with the Office of Admissions and Records indicating the duration of the leave (1 or 2 semesters only) within the first four weeks of the first semester of the requested leave. Students must file a Planned Educational Leave form to be eligible for enrollment in the subsequent semester. New students may not request a Planned Educational Leave for the first semester of enrollment at the University.

Special Studies Courses

The University makes arrangements through Special Studies 495 and 595 for advanced or exceptionally talented students who want to pursue academic interests beyond the scope of the regular curriculum. Such course work is subject to the following conditions and restrictions:

  1. Special studies courses are limited to upper-division students who have a) a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better, and b) an appropriate background for undertaking the proposed topic.
  2. Special studies are confined principally to on-site academic study and research projects (see internship and research assistant credit courses for other kinds of credited course work).
  3. No more than 8 units of special studies work - with a maximum of 4 units per course - may be taken in any department.
  4. No more than 12 units of special studies may count toward the baccalaureate.
  5. Special studies may not duplicate a course that is listed in the catalog and that is normally offered within a two-year period.
  6. Meetings between instructor and student should be scheduled at intervals appropriate to the topic and the number of units assigned.
  7. Each unit of credit requires a minimum of 45 hours of academic work.
  8. Approval for registration must be obtained from the advisor, instructor, department chair, and dean.

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 Education Department regarding the advisability of such a petition.

Provisional unclassified postbaccalaureate credit can only be granted for upper-division and graduate-level courses in the semester prior to graduation 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.



Identification of Grades

The university uses a combination of traditional and nontraditional grading options, as follows:

Traditional Grades (A, B, C, D, F)

Letters A, B, C and D are passing grades; F means failure. Additional + (plus) and - (minus) supplements add or subtract 0.30 grade points per unit. These apply to the A, B, C and D grades; there is no A+.

Nontraditional Grades (Cr/NC)

Credit (Cr) may be awarded in undergraduate classes (499 and below) for work equivalent to a letter grade of C- or better, and for graduate-level classes (500) for work equivalent to a B- or better. NC, indicating No Credit, is given for work equivalent to D+ and below for undergraduate classes and C+ and below for graduate-level classes.

In classes in which there is an option between traditional and nontraditional grading modes, the mode must be declared using web Registration by the end of the Drop/Add period (For web registration, see or the appropriate Schedule of Classes for instructions.). During the week after the Drop/Add period, students may continue to change their grade mode via web registration update mode.

Undergraduate students may complete a maximum of 24 units of Cr (credit) grades.

For students applying for degrees under catalog years beginning in Fall 1988, only courses graded A-F may be applied toward major and minor requirements, except for courses not available in the AF mode. Thus, a course taken Cr/NC when the alternative is available can only be counted as an elective or toward the general education requirements. This provision is enforced only when the student applies for graduation rather than upon each class enrollment. Students taking more than the maximum number of Cr units will be required to complete more than the minimum number of units required for the degree.

All nontraditionally graded units earned at other institutions that have been accepted for transfer will be accepted toward the bachelor's degree. If fewer than 24 such units are transferred, they will count toward the 24-unit limit. If 24 or more such units have been accepted, no additional Cr/NC course may be taken unless it is offered Cr/NC only and is required for the major.

All lower-division general education units earned in the Hutchins School will be acceptable for graduation, irrespective of their number, up to the 48 units that constitute the Hutchins School general education program. A student who completes at least 24 Cr/NC units in the Hutchins School general education program may not take other Cr/NC courses unless the units are earned in a course that is available only on a Cr/NC grading basis and that is required for the major. Graduate students may, at the discretion of the department, take up to one-third of the total units applied to their master's degree in a nontraditional grading mode. Each department will designate those courses that may be graded only in the Cr/NC mode.

Definitions of Grading Symbols

The accompanying grade chart on page 379 indicates grade symbols and their numerical equivalents for evaluating coursework. In addition, more complete definitions of administrative grades are provided.

Symbol Explanation Grade Points
A Outstanding 4.0 per unit value of course
A-   3.7 per unit value of course
B+   3.3 per unit value of course
B Commendable 3.0 per unit value of course
B-   2.7 per unit value of course
C+   2.3 per unit value of course
C Satisfactory 2.0 per unit value of course
C-   1.7 per unit value of course
D+   1.3 per unit value of course
D Minimum Performance 1 per unit value of course
D-   0.7 per unit value of course
F Failure 0 per unit value of course
Cr Credit Not applicable
NC No Credit Not applicable
I Incomplete Not applicable
IC Incomplete Charged 0 per unit value of course
RP Report in Progress Not applicable
W Withdrawal Not applicable
WU Withdrawal Unauthorized 0 per unit value of course
AU Audit Not applicable
RD Report Delayed Not applicable

Incomplete (I)

The symbol "I" indicates that a portion of required course work has not been completed and evaluated in the prescribed time period due to unforeseen, but fully justified, reasons and that there is still a possibility of earning credit. It is the responsibility of the student to bring pertinent information to the attention of the instructor and to determine from the instructor the remaining course requirements that must be satisfied to remove the Incomplete. A final grade is assigned when the work agreed upon has been completed and evaluated.

An "I" must normally be made up within one calendar year immediately following the end of the term during which it was assigned.

Incomplete Charged (IC)

This limitation prevails whether or not the student maintains continuous enrollment. Failure to complete the assigned work will result in an "I" being converted to an "I" symbol, unless the faculty member assigns a specific letter grade at the time the Incomplete is assigned, which would replace the "I" in the student's record at the end of the calendar year deadline.

Report in Progress (RP)

The "RP" symbol is used in connection with courses that extend beyond one academic year. It indicates that work is in progress but that assignment of a final grade must await completion of additional work. Work is to be completed within one year except for graduate degree theses.

Enrollment for more units of credit than the total number of units that can be applied to the fulfillment of the student's educational objective is prohibited. Work is to be completed within a stipulated time. This may not exceed one year, except for graduate degree theses, for which the time may be up to two years, but may not exceed the overall time limit for completion of all master's degree requirements. Any extension of time limit must receive prior authorization by the associate vice president for academic programs and graduate studies.

Report Delayed (RD)

The "RD" symbol is used when a grade has not yet been determined for the student or has been delayed in the grade reporting process.

Withdrawal (W)

"W" indicates that the student withdrew from the course after the end of the add/drop period but before the end of the eighth week of instruction. It carries no connotation of quality of student performance and is not used in calculating grade point average (See Change of Program).

Withdrawal Unauthorized (WU)

The symbol "WU" indicates that an enrolled student did not withdraw from the course and also failed to complete course requirements. It is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities or both were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. For purposes of grade point average and progress point computation, this symbol is equivalent to an"F".

Audit (AU)

"AU" is the recorded grade if a student was enrolled in a class but did not receive credit (See Auditors). Beginning with the 1997-98 academic year, this grading symbol is no longer in use at Sonoma.

Credit (Cr)

"CR" grades are not included in the calculation of grade point average.

No Credit (NC)

'NC' grades are not included in the calculation of grade point average.

Transcripts of SSU Courses

Students may obtain transcripts of their Sonoma State University records from the Office of Admissions and Records only upon written request. Include your name, date of birth, social security number, the dates you attended SSU, where you wish the transcripts mailed, and any special instructions (e.g., hold for degree or a grade change, or whether the transcripts should be mailed in individual, sealed envelopes). All transcript requests must include a signature. The University reserves the right to withhold issuing the transcript of any student not in good financial standing with the University. Transcripts may also be ordered by mail, or by fax, at (707) 664-2060. There is no charge for SSU transcripts.

Grade Reporting

Approximately two weeks following the end of finals, grades will be available. Any discrepancies should be reported to the Office of Admissions and Records so that they may be promptly investigated. In some cases it may be necessary to contact individual instructors to resolve grade reporting errors. No changes to the permanent record will be made after a degree has been awarded.

Dean's List

Undergraduate students who earn at least a 3.50 GPA in a minimum of 12 units of letter-graded work will be awarded Dean's List recognition. Courses taken from Extended Education or credit by examination will not be included in this calculation. Only the grades for one semester will be used in the computation of the GPA for purposes of granting this recognition.

Academic Records

Student academic records are maintained by the Office of Admissions and Records. These records are considered confidential and, while available to faculty members for advising purposes, the information contained is subject to very strict control. Parents of minor students have authorized access to the academic records of their children. All other persons requesting access to academic records, including governmental investigators and parents of students 18 years old or older, must have the student's written permission.

A student's permanent academic record cannot be changed except where an error in recording has occurred or by approval of the proper University authority. One year is allowed for errors to be identified by a student and corrected by the Office of Admissions and Records or for a petition to be submitted.

Individuals may have access to their official records by appointment with the Office of Admissions and Records. Records of work done at other institutions cannot be copied; students' files will be kept for no more than five years after the semester last attended.


When students apply for graduation, they will be asked how they wish their names to appear on the diploma. The names must be legally and verifiably their own as they appear on an appropriate form of identification, such as a driver's license or social security card. Family names and nicknames cannot be used. The policy applies for reissued diplomas and certificates as well.

Diplomas are mailed approximately six weeks after the graduation date. A replacement copy of a lost diploma may be purchased for $10.

Scholastic Status

Grade point average (GPA), used as a measurement of satisfactory scholarship, is calculated by dividing the number of grade points by the number of units attempted for the grades of A, B, C, D, F and U. Cr and NC are not used in this calculation.

Good Standing

Any student who is eligible to enroll in the University is considered to be in good standing. This means that undergraduate students who have maintained satisfactory scholarship with at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, as well as those who are on probation, are in good standing. Students who are disqualified are not routinely eligible to enroll and are therefore not considered in good standing.

Probation and Disqualification

There are two probationary and disqualification statuses to which students may be subject: academic or administrative.

Academic Probation

If a student's cumulative grade point average in all university work attempted, or if his or her cumulative grade point average at Sonoma State University falls below the minimum GPA shown below, the student will be subject to academic probation.

 Undergraduate  2.00
 Postbaccalaureate  2.50
 Graduate Student 3.00

Academic Disqualification

Students are subject to academic disqualification should they fall below a 2.00 (C) average by the number of grade points indicated either for all units attempted or for all units attempted at Sonoma State University.

Class Level
Freshmen (0-29 units completed)
Sophomores (30-59 units completed)
Juniors (60-89 units completed)
Seniors (90 or more units completed)

A graduate student on academic probation who fails to earn sufficient grade points for removal from probationary status is subject to academic disqualification.

Administrative-Academic Probation

A student may be placed on administrative-academic probation for withdrawal from a substantial portion of a program in two successive terms, for repeated failure to progress toward a degree, or for failure to comply with an academic requirement or regulation that is routine for all students or for a defined group of students.

Administrative-Academic Disqualification

Students may be placed in administrative-academic disqualified status for continued failure to remedy the condition resulting in their being on administrative academic probation. Additionally, the president may designate a campus official to act for him or her in the disqualification of students not on probation when: 1) a student has, at the end of any term, fewer cumulative grade points than cumulative units attempted; and 2) the cumulative grade point deficiency is so great that, in view of the student's overall educational program, it seems unlikely that the deficiency will be corrected within a reasonable period of time. A student disqualified from the University may be reinstated only by special action.

Reinstatement after Disqualification

No student is disqualified from the University on the basis of a single semester of unsatisfactory work. However, a student who has been at the University for more than one semester and whose SSU grade point average results in disqualification will not be allowed to apply for readmission to the University until he/she has been away from the University for a period of time and has demonstrated academic success (or an equivalent experience) in another environment.

Disqualified students may be considered for reinstatement by petitioning to the Office of Admissions and Records. Petitions must be accompanied by evidence (such as satisfactory academic work elsewhere) that would justify reinstatement and a letter of support from the student's major department. Petitions are reviewed and approved or denied by the University Standards Committee. Disqualified students who are reinstated will be on a probationary basis until all grade point deficiencies have been removed or until they are again disqualified. Students who have been reinstated after disqualification and then disqualified again will not be reinstated except under exceptional circumstances.

Course Repeat

With prior consent of the appropriate department, a student may repeat a Sonoma State University course in order to improve any grade. In recalculating the GPA, only the higher grade will be counted; however, if a No Credit (NC) grade is awarded for the second attempt, the first attempt will count. Grades from subsequent attempts will be included in calculating the GPA. Unit credit will be granted one time only except for courses permitted by the University and identified in the catalog. In order for this policy to be enacted and the GPA recalculated, students must notify the Office of Admissions and Records after the course has been repeated. If the course is to be repeated by taking anything other than the exact class, prior approval of the department is required in order for the repeat policy to apply.

Excessive Enrollment

If a student enrolls in the same course beyond catalog limitations, units earned will not be counted toward a baccalaureate. The units attempted and any grade points earned, however, will be averaged with the student's other grades.

Academic Renewal

The trustees of the California State University have established a program of academic renewal whereby students who are having difficulty meeting graduation requirements due to a grade point deficiency may petition to have up to two semesters or three quarters of previous college work discounted from all considerations associated with meeting requirements for the baccalaureate. Academic renewal is intended only to facilitate graduation from SSU and is not applicable for individuals who already possess a baccalaureate or who meet graduation requirements without the approval of a petition for academic renewal.

Conditions: To qualify for academic renewal, all of the following conditions established by the trustees must be met:

  1. The student must present evidence in the petition that the coursework to be disregarded was substandard and not representative of the student's present scholastic ability and level of performance, because of extenuating circumstances.
  2. The student must present evidence that if the petition is denied, it would be necessary for the student to enroll in additional coursework involving one or more additional terms in order to qualify for graduation. The student should include the specific coursework or requirements involved. Normally students should have completed 90 units prior to filing the petition.
  3. Five years must have elapsed since the term or terms to be disregarded were completed. Terms taken at any institution may be disregarded.
  4. Subsequent to the completion of the term(s) to be disregarded, the student must have completed the following coursework at Sonoma State University: 15 semester units with at least a 3.00 GPA; or 30 semester units with at least a 2.50 GPA; or 45 semester units with at least a 2.00 GPA.

If and when the petition is granted, the student's permanent academic record will be annotated so that it is readily evident to all users of the record that no work taken during the disregarded term(s), even if satisfactory, will apply toward baccalaureate graduation requirements. However, all work will remain legible on the record to ensure a true and complete academic history.

A final decision on the petition will be made by the university standards committee. The committee will review petitions only if all of the basic requirements (indicated above) are met. Normally, students will be notified of the decision within 30 days after the completed petition is submitted.

Class Attendance

Students should not miss classes except for valid reasons, such as illness, accidents, or participation in officially approved University activities. When students are absent from classes, it is their responsibility to inform the instructor of the reason for absence and to arrange to make up missed assignments and class work. Students should be cautioned that even though absences may be for valid reasons, such absences can impair performance and result in a lower grade.

Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Regulation

  1. No fewer than one-half of the units shall be in graduate (500-level) courses.
  2. A classified student must continue to 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.
  3. The master's program contract advances the student to candidacy and must be filed no later than the time the student files for graduation.
  4. At least 21 semester units shall be completed in residence.
  5. At least 18 semester units shall be completed in the major.
  6. No more than 6 semester units shall be allowed for a thesis.
  7. No more than 9 units of Extension or transfer credit (or combination of the two) may be allowed, subject to the approval of the department concerned.
  8. No credit toward a master's degree will be given for student teaching in a credential program.
  9. 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 the student's faculty committee. A public defense of the thesis or project is required.
  10. Graduate students at Sonoma State University may, at the discretion of the department, take up to one-third of the total units applied to the master's degree in a nontraditional grading mode.
  11. The student may take three semesters to complete the thesis/project following initial enrollment in the units. The SP grade will remain until the student submits the culminating project. Projects taking more than four semesters to complete will require approval by the Associate Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Graduate Studies, the appropriate campus authority, or re-enrollment in units.

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 granting the student a place in its program. At the time this status is confirmed, a Change in Graduate Status form is filed with the Admission and Records Office and the Graduate Studies Office confirming the department's approval of this change in status. Students who were graduated with a bachelor's degree from a foreign institution and change from working toward a second bachelor's to a graduate program must submit a TOEFL score of at least 550.


Student Policies

Privacy Rights of Students in Education Records

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. 1232g) and regulations adopted thereunder (34 C.F.R. 99) set out requirements designed to protect students' privacy in their records maintained by the campus. The statute and regulations govern access to student records maintained by the campus and the release of such records. The law provides that the campus must give students access to records directly related to the student, and must also provide opportunity for a hearing to challenge the records if the student claims they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate. The right to a hearing under this law does not include any right to challenge the appropriateness of a grade determined by the instructor. The law generally requires the institution to receive a student's written consent before releasing personally identifiable data about the student. The institution has adopted a set of policies and procedures governing implementation of the statute and the regulations. Copies of these policies and procedures may be obtained at (designate location on campus). Among the types of information included in the campus statement of policies and procedures are: (1) the types of student records maintained and the information they contain; (2) the official responsible for maintaining each type of record; (3) the location of access lists indicating persons requesting or receiving information from the record; (4) policies for reviewing and expunging records; (5) student access rights to their records; (6) the procedures for challenging the content of student records; (7) the cost to be charged for reproducing copies of records; and (8) the right of the student to file a complaint with the Department of Education. The Department of Education has established an office and review board to investigate complaints and adjudicate violations. The designated office is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.

The campus is authorized under the Act to release "directory information" concerning students. "Directory information" may include the student's name; address; telephone listing; electronic mail address; photograph; date and place of birth; major field of study; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; dates of attendance; grade level; enrollment status; degrees, honors, and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student. The above-designated information is subject to release by the campus at any time unless the campus has received prior written objection from the student specifying information which the student requests not be released. Written objections should be sent to the Office of Admissions and Records.

The campus is authorized to provide access to student records to campus officials and employees who have legitimate educational interests in such access. These persons have responsibilities in the campus's academic, administrative or service functions and have reason for using student records associated with their campus or other related academic responsibilities. Student records may also be disclosed to other persons or organizations under certain conditions (e.g., as part of the accreditation or program evaluation; in response to a court order or subpoena; in connection with financial aid; or to other institutions to which the student is transferring).

It is the policy of Sonoma State University to comply fully with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. That act requires educational institutions to define as "directory information" that information "contained in an education record that would generally not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed." Sonoma State University considers the following to be directory information:

Telephone listing*
E-mail address*
Major field of study
Dates of attendance
Grade level
Enrollment Status (e.g., graduate or undergraduate; full-time or part-time)
Participation in intercollegiate athletics
Degrees received
Most recent educational agency or institution attended.

*Verify only, and for valid educational reasons.

(Note that FERPA allows schools to disclose educational records, including but not limited to directory information, without consent to school officials with legitimate educational interests.)

It is the policy of Sonoma State University to disclose or verify the directory information regarding its students as listed above if requested to do so unless an individual student has indicated in the student record system that he or she does not wish to have information disclosed or verified. Students are responsible for maintaining an accurate record of their FERPA intentions in the student record system.

In accordance with FERPA, information other than this directory information is released to third parties only when a valid written consent to disclose, signed by the student, is presented.

Career Placement

Sonoma State University may furnish, upon request, information about the employment of students who graduate from programs or courses of study preparing students for a particular career field. This information includes data concerning the average starting salary and the percentage of previously enrolled students who obtained employment. The information may include data collected from either graduates of the campus or graduates of all campuses in the California State University System.

Immigration Requirements For Licensure

On August 27, 1996, Governor Pete Wilson issued Executive Order W-135-96 which requested that the CSU and other state agencies implement "as expeditiously as reasonably practicable" the provision of The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRAWORA) of 1996 (P.L. 104-193). The act, also known as the Welfare Reform Act, included provisions to eliminate eligibility for federal and state public benefits for certain categories of lawful immigrants as well as benefits for all illegal immigrants.

Students who will require a professional or commercial license provided by a local, state, or federal government agency in order to engage in an occupation for which the CSU may be training them must meet the immigration requirements of the new Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act to achieve licensure. Information concerning the regulation is available from International Services, Salazar Hall 1070, (707) 664-2582.


Student Conduct and Student Discipline
Office of Coordinator of University Student Discipline

Stevenson Hall, 1054
(707) 664-2838

Principles of Student Conduct

Students are expected to conduct themselves so as to reflect credit to themselves and to the University. One of the fundamental objectives of the University is to foster the development of students as active and responsible citizens in our society; and students are, therefore, expected to make steady growth in maturity, self-reliance and self-discipline as they progress toward a degree or credential. To help students achieve this end, the University relies not only upon its instructional program, but also upon student programs and activities and student-faculty collaboration in many aspects of university community life. For the vast majority of students, these constructive means of defining and teaching good standards of conduct and integrity are effective.

Student Disciplinary Procedures

Inappropriate conduct by students or by applicants for admission is subject to disciplinary action by the University as provided in sections 41301 through 41304 of Title 5 of the California Administrative Code Regulations. The purpose of the code is to provide procedures that are fair and just, both to the student charged and to the institution, by which it can be determined whether violations of conduct have occurred. The president of the University has authority in disciplinary actions. The president has delegated responsibility for the administration of disciplinary procedures to the coordinator of university student discipline. All determinations and findings made at the institution level by anyone other than the president are in the nature of recommendations to the president. A complaint against a student for an alleged violation of conduct (as defined in Sections 41301 through 41304 of Title 5) may be filed by a student, faculty member, staff member, or a university police officer. The complaint should be filed with the coordinator of university student discipline, who will investigate the alleged violation. The coordinator will hold a conference with the student to obtain his or her response to the alleged misconduct and to determine if the complaint may be disposed of informally by mutual consent through a student discipline settlement agreement. If the allegations of misconduct have not been resolved informally by conference, the coordinator will recommend to the president whether the matter should proceed and whether a hearing should be held. The coordinator will mail a notice that will contain a statement of the charges and will notify the student of the time and place of a hearing. At any point in the process, the student may waive a hearing and accept a sanction without admitting that he or she engaged in the conduct charged. The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer, who will be an administrative officer of the university appointed by the president. The hearing officer will submit a report and recommendations to the president, who will decide the matter, notify the student and take action as appropriate. Discipline that may be imposed includes expulsion, suspension and, probation.

Student Discipline

Inappropriate conduct by students or by applicants for admission is subject to discipline as provided in Sections 41301 through 41304 of Title 5, California Code of Regulations. These sections are as follows:

41301. Expulsion, Suspension and Probation of Students.

Following procedures consonant with due process established pursuant to Section 41304, any student of a campus may be expelled, suspended, placed on probation or given a lesser sanction for one or more of the following causes which must be campus related:

  1. Cheating or plagiarism in connection with an academic program at a campus.
  2. )Forgery, alteration or misuse of campus documents, records, or identification or knowingly furnishing false information to a campus.
  3. Misrepresentation of oneself or of an organization to be an agent of the campus.
  4. Obstruction or disruption, on or off campus property, of the campus educational process, administrative process, or other campus function.
  5. Physical abuse on or off campus property of the person or property of any member of the campus community or of members of his or her family or the threat of such physical abuse.
  6. Theft of, or non-accidental damage to, campus property, or property in the possession of, or owned by, a member of the campus community.
  7. Unauthorized entry into, unauthorized use of, or misuse of campus property.
  8. On campus property, the sale or knowing possession of dangerous drugs, restricted dangerous drugs, or narcotics as those terms are used in California statutes, except when lawfully prescribed pursuant to medical or dental care, or when lawfully permitted for the purpose of research, instruction, or analysis.
  9. Knowing possession or use of explosives, dangerous chemicals or deadly weapons on campus property or at a campus function without prior authorization of the campus president.
  10. Engaging in lewd, indecent, or obscene behavior on campus property or at a campus function.
  11. Abusive behavior directed toward, or hazing of, a member of the campus community.
  12. Violation of any order of a campus President, notice of which had been given prior to such violation and during the academic term in which the violation occurs, either by publication in the campus newspaper, or by posting on an official bulletin board designated for this purpose, and which order is not inconsistent with any of the other provisions of this Section.
  13. Soliciting or assisting another to do any act which would subject a student to expulsion, suspension, or probation pursuant to this Section.
  14. Unauthorized recording, dissemination, and publication of academic presentations for commercial purposes. This prohibition applies to a recording made in any medium, including, but not limited to, handwritten or typewritten class notes.
    1. The term "academic presentation" means any lecture, speech, performance, exhibition, or other form of academic or aesthetic presentation, made by an instructor of record as part of an authorized course of instruction that is not fixed in a tangible medium of expression.
    2. The term "commercial purpose" means any purpose that has financial or economic gain as an objective.
    3. "Instructor of record" means any teacher or staff member employed to teach courses and authorize credit for the successful completion of courses.
  15. For purposes of this Article, the following terms are defined:
    1. The term "member of the campus community" is defined as meaning California State University Trustees, academic, non-academic and administrative personnel, students, and other persons while such other persons are on campus property or at a campus function.
    2. The term "campus property" includes:
      1. real or personal property in the possession of, or under the control of, the Board of Trustees of the California State University, and
      2. all campus feeding, retail, or residence facilities whether operated by a campus or by a campus auxiliary organization.
    3. The term "deadly weapons" includes any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slingshot, billy, sandclub, sandbag, metal knuckles, any dirk, dagger, switchblade knife, pistol, revolver, or any other firearm, any knife having a blade longer than five inches, any razor with an unguarded blade, and any metal pipe or bar used or intended to be used as a club.
    4. The term "behavior" includes conduct and expression.
    5. The term "hazing" means any method of initiation into a student organization or any pastime or amusement engaged in with regard to such an organization which causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger, or physical or emotional harm, to any member of the campus community; but the term "hazing" does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions.
  16. This Section is not adopted pursuant to Education Code Section 89031.
  17. Notwithstanding any amendment or repeal pursuant to the resolution by which any provision of this Article is amended, all acts and omissions occurring prior to that effective date shall be subject to the provisions of this Article as in effect immediately prior to such effective date.

41302. Disposition of Fees: Campus Emergency; Interim Suspension.

The President of the campus may place on probation, suspend, or expel a student for one or more of the causes enumerated in Section 41301. No fees or tuition paid by or for such student for the semester, quarter, or summer session in which he or she is suspended or expelled shall be refunded. If the student is readmitted before the close of the semester, quarter, or summer session in which he or she is suspended, no additional tuition or fees shall be required of the student on account of the suspension.

During periods of campus emergency, as determined by the President of the individual campus, the President may, after consultation with the Chancellor, place into immediate effect any emergency regulations, procedures, and other measures deemed necessary or appropriate to meet the emergency, safeguard persons and property, and maintain educational activities.

The President may immediately impose an interim suspension in all cases in which there is reasonable cause to believe that such an immediate suspension is required in order to protect lives or property and to insure the maintenance of order. A student so placed on interim suspension shall be given prompt notice of charges and the opportunity for a hearing within 10 days of the imposition of interim suspension. During the period of interim suspension, the student shall not, without prior written permission of the President or designated representative, enter any campus of the California State University other than to attend the hearing. Violation of any condition of interim suspension shall be grounds for expulsion.

41303. Conduct by Applicants for Admission.

Notwithstanding any provision in this Chapter 1 to the contrary, admission or readmission may be qualified or denied to any person who, while not enrolled as a student, commits acts which, were he enrolled as a student, would be the basis for disciplinary proceedings pursuant to Sections 41301 or 41302. Admission or readmission may be qualified or denied to any person who, while a student, commits acts which are subject to disciplinary action pursuant to Section 41301 or Section 41302. Qualified admission or denial of admission in such cases shall be determined under procedures adopted pursuant to Section 41304.

41304. Student Disciplinary Procedures for the California State University.

The Chancellor shall prescribe, and may from time to time revise, a code of student disciplinary procedures for the California State University. Subject to other applicable law, this code shall provide for determinations of fact and sanctions to be applied for conduct which is a ground of discipline under Sections 41301 or 41302, and for qualified admission or denial of admission under Section 41303; the authority of the campus President in such matters; conduct related determinations on financial aid eligibility and termination; alternative kinds of proceedings, including proceedings conducted by a Hearing Officer; time limitations; notice; conduct of hearings, including provisions governing evidence, a record, and review; and such other related matters as may be appropriate. The Chancellor shall report to the Board actions taken under this section.

Pre-Enrollment Immunization Requirements

Measles and Rubella (MMR)

The CSU System requires students born after 1956 to show official medical proof of immunization against measles and rubella prior to the start of their first semester of university classes. Two doses of appropriately timed measles and rubella vaccine (usually given as MMR) with the second shot after 1979 constitute appropriate immunization. Individuals who were immunized before 1979 or who have received only one dose of measles vaccine during their lifetime should receive an additional MMR immunization prior to enrollment. If the student is unable to locate proof of the first MMR, and he or she received K-12 schooling in California, the University will accept proof of one MMR on or after 4 years of age and after 1979, and presume this represents the second dose.

Hepatitis B

The State of California also requires all students who are under age 19 at the time of first enrollment at a public university, to show proof of a series of three Hepatitis B immunizations or immunity to Hepatitis B prior to the start of their first semester of classes. Appropriate Hepatitis B immunization consists of a series of 3 shots over a minimum four-to six-month period, so prospective students should initiate and complete this series as soon as possible.

Entering students should locate documentation of previous immunizations and seek needed immunizations from their regular health care provider or local public health clinic ASAP.

Photocopies of official medical documentation of all required immunizations (or lab tests confirming immunity, or documentation of a need for medical or religious waiver) must be submitted as far in advance of enrollment as possible to:

Sonoma State University
Office of Admissions and Records
ATTN: Immunization Requirements
1801 E. Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, CA, 94928

MMR and Hepatitis B shots are available at reduced cost at the Student Health Center to immediately entering, conditionally registered SSU students who have been unable to complete immunizations elsewhere. Students should not delay in meeting these pre-enrollment immunization requirements, as those who do not comply in a timely fashion will be prohibited from registering for subsequent classes or making course adjustments until the requirements have been met.

Student Grievance Policy
Student Grievance Coordinator
Administration and Finance Center #2
(707) 664-2153

Grievance Procedures

A grievance may arise out of a decision or action reached or taken in the course of official duty by a member of the SSU faculty, staff or administration. A grieveable action is an action that: a) is in violation of written campus policies or procedures; or b) constitutes arbitrary, capricious, or unequal application of written campus policies or procedures.

Grade Appeal

A student may appeal a grade by an individual instructor if the student alleges that there was action by the instructor that was arbitrary, unreasonable, prejudiced, capricious or not supported by the evidence. There is a time limit and an informal process that should be followed.

Financial Aid Appeal Policy

Students have the right to appeal their financial aid award or any other financial aid decision that they feel affects them adversely and that falls outside of the jurisdiction of federal, state, or chancellor's office regulations. This right includes answers to questions, explanations of financial aid policies and procedures, and a request for reconsideration. The initial appeal is made to the student's financial aid representative. After subsequent review by the director of financial aid, the student's case may ultimately be presented to the Financial Aid Advisory Committee.


Other Campus Policies

Campus Smoking Policy

Sonoma State University has a responsibility to its employees and students to provide a safe and healthful environment. Research findings show that smoking and the breathing of secondhand smoke constitute a significant health hazard. In addition to direct health hazards, smoking contributes to institutional costs in other ways including cleaning and maintenance costs, and costs associated with employee absenteeism, health care, and medical insurance.

It is, therefore, the policy of Sonoma State University to prohibit smoking in campus buildings and certain other areas of the campus where non-smokers cannot avoid exposure to smoke. Specifically, smoking is prohibited in all campus buildings, including classrooms, lecture halls, laboratories, offices, work areas, study areas, reception areas, meeting rooms, lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, eating areas, lounges, and restrooms, and within twenty (20) feet of all campus buildings. Furthermore, smoking is prohibited in all partially enclosed areas such as covered walkways, breezeways, walkways between sections of buildings, bus-stop shelters; exterior stairways and landings. Smoking is also prohibited in all State vehicles.

Smoking is permitted generally in outside grounds areas beyond twenty (20) feet of all campus buildings except at decks and patios associated with dining facilities or if it unavoidably exposes people entering and leaving adjacent buildings to smoke, or when it is explicitly prohibited during a particular event or activity scheduled in the area (such as in bleachers or row seating at Commencement or athletic events).

Lit tobacco products must be extinguished, and tobacco residue must be placed in an appropriate ash can or other waste receptacle located outside of non-smoking areas.

The sale or promotional distribution of tobacco products on campus is prohibited.

In addition to instituting the above regulations, the University in an ongoing basis makes available to employees and students information about the effects of smoking and secondhand smoke and about smoking-cessation programs--primarily through the Personnel Office, the Student Health Center, and the Alcohol and Drug Education Program.

Effective implementation of the Smoking Policy depends upon the courtesy, sensitivity, and cooperation of all members of the campus community. It is a normal and reasonable duty of all employees of Sonoma State University and its auxiliaries, and expected conduct by all students, to comply with this policy.

The Smoking Policy applies to all campus buildings and grounds owned, rented or leased by Sonoma State University including the Residential Community, Student Union Building, Commons, and Physical Education/Athletics facilities. All members of the campus community--students, faculty, and staff--as well as campus visitors are expected to comply with the provisions of the policy. The policy is made known to members of the campus community and visitors through the University Catalog, posted signs, and notices in campus publications.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Race, Color, and National Origin

The California State University complies with the requirements of Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended and the regulations adopted thereunder. No person shall, on the basis of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination in any program of the California State University.


The California State University does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the regulations adopted thereunder and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibit such discrimination. The Manager of Employee Relations and Diversity has been designated to coordinate the efforts of Sonoma State University to comply with these Acts and their implementing regulations. Inquiries concerning compliance may be addressed to this person at Salazar Hall 2078A and/or (707) 664-2281.


The California State University does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in the educational programs or activities it conducts. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended, and the administrative regulations adopted thereunder prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities operated by Sonoma State University. Such programs and activities include admission of students and employment. Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX to programs and activities of Sonoma State University may be referred to a Manager of Employee Relations and Diversity, the campus officer(s) assigned the administrative responsibility of reviewing such matters or to the Regional Director of the Office of Civil Rights, Region IX, 50 United Nations Plaza, Room 239, San Francisco, California 94102.

The California State University is committed to providing equal opportunities to male and female CSU students in all campus programs, including intercollegiate athletics.

Sexual Orientation

By CSU Board of Trustees policy, the California State University does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

For policies and procedures specific to Sonoma State University, visit these web sites:

SSU Nondiscrimination Policy

SSU Discrimination Complaint Procedures

Discrimination Complaint Procedures

Students, staff, faculty, and administrators are regularly informed of the University's policies and procedures regarding discrimination and sexual harassment/sexual assault policies and complaint procedures. In addition, all supervisors are regularly informed of their responsibility regarding complaints made against those whom they supervise.

All employees and students, female or male, who believe they have been subjected to discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, have several ways to make their concerns known. Regardless of the means selected for resolving allegations of discrimination (including sexual harassment and sexual assault), the initiation of a complaint will not cause any reflection on the reporting party nor will it affect such person's future business dealings with the University, his or her employment, compensation or work assignments or, in the case of students, grades, class selection, or other matters pertaining to his or her status as a student at the University. Every effort should be made to resolve any incident as soon as possible while the facts and potential testimony of witnesses, if any, are current.

Any complaint alleging discrimination, including sexual harassment or sexual assault, will be investigated according to the SSU affirmative action and non-discrimination policy and discrimination complaint procedures. This investigation will result in findings being made and if necessary, recommendations for sanctions, and will serve as the investigation normally carried out prior to deciding to initiate discipline. Facts gathered and any findings made during an informal or formal resolution process may be sufficient to obligate the University to take disciplinary action against a faculty member, staff member, or student, or for the University to initiate a criminal investigation. If the University pursues disciplinary action against an alleged violator, a hearing may be required. In cases alleging sexual harassment/sexual assault, if both housing discipline and student discipline are initiated and require a hearing, the housing and student discipline hearings will be combined into one hearing. Due process guarantees exist under the student discipline process and the appropriate employee disciplinary procedures.

Complaints of discrimination and/or sexual harassment/sexual assault will be investigated promptly and thoroughly. The University recognizes that under certain circumstances, it has an independent duty to ascertain where discrimination or sexual harassment/sexual assault exists irrespective of whether a complaint is actually filed (for example, concerns of sexual harassment involving physical contact, recurrent or systematic patterns of discrimination, and/or sexual assault involving a University employee or student).

Sonoma State University's sexual assault guidelines, which are included in the discrimination complaint procedures, describe the support available to a victim, reporting procedures and University disciplinary procedures and sanctions for students. Sexual assault is a form of sexual harassment and is also a violation of the criminal code. If a sexual assault report is made to any campus officer, the Sexual Violence Prevention Educator and the Director of Employee Diversity and University Compliance will be notified. If possible, the reporting party will be provided with the option of participating in an initial meeting to be held that includes the Sexual Violence Prevention Educator, the Director of Employee Diversity and University Compliance, and an officer from the University Police to advise the victim of various reporting options.

It is the policy of Sonoma State University that retaliation against reporting parties is prohibited. The University acts vigorously to prevent any retaliation being taken against those initiating inquiries or filing complaints; retaliation constitutes separate grounds for filing a complaint with these procedures and for potential disciplinary action against the alleged violator.

Where discrimination or sexual harassment/sexual assault has been found to occur, the University and its auxiliary organizations will impose sanctions on the individual determined to have engaged in sexually harassing or discriminatory conduct or communication at a level appropriate to the scale and scope of the violation.

Those who are considering taking action are urged to meet with the Director of Employee Diversity and University Compliance prior to filing a complaint. Discussions at this stage can be confidential and are meant to assist in the process of determining which reporting options are most appropriate. Every effort will be made to resolve potential complaints at the lowest level possible and consistent with the desires of the person bringing forward the complaint. All current faculty, students, staff and administrators may use the discrimination complaint process for resolving sexual harassment, sexual assault and discrimination complaints and/or documenting that the individual has resolved a complaint. All students, faculty, or staff who believe that they may have been discriminated against, sexually harassed or sexually assaulted should obtain a copy of the SSU discrimination complaint procedures by contacting Human Services, AFC #1, (707) 664-2664, or through our web page at

Course Requirements Policy

Faculty should provide students with a written statement containing the following information:

  1. Office number, office hours, and office telephone number.
  2. Prerequisites.
  3. Required texts and other required and/or recommended material.
  4. Course description.
  5. Syllabus.
  6. Specific course requirements, such as exams, quizzes, papers, textbooks, field trips, labs.
  7. Grading policy and standards (the relative weight of examinations, quizzes, papers, class participation and other factors).
  8. Approximate due dates for assignments and exams (subjective, objective, etc.), and format of the course.

Furthermore, students should be advised of faculty expectations for them in the course no later than the end of the second class. Any changes in course requirements should be communicated to students in a timely manner. It is the responsibility of the student to read the course statement and to request any clarification of course policies. If the student adds the course after the first week of class, it is incumbent upon the student to seek course information in a timely manner.