Graduate & Executive Programs Admissions FAQs

What is the difference between the Sonoma Executive MBA and the Sonoma Professional MBA?

These programs differ in many ways regarding curriculum, admissions requirements, and schedules. Students in the Sonoma Professional MBA will gain technical business skills with a management focus. They will need at least two years of work experience prior to the start of the program, as well as complete a series of business prerequisite courses and the GMAT exam. Students in this program will be in class two nights per week (7pm-9:45pm) for about 2 years. The schedule is flexible and students can take more or fewer classes depending on their work schedule. 

Students in the Sonoma Executive MBA program will gain leadership development and strategic management skills during the course of the program. They will need at least eight years of professional, progressive work experience prior to the start of the program. Applicants for this program are not required to take business prerequisite courses or the GMAT exam, if they meet the minimum work experience requirement and have at least a 2.5 GPA as an undergraduate. Students in this program meet for classes on Fridays and Saturdays (8am-5pm) every other week for 17 months consecutively. The schedule is not flexible, and the program is a cohort model, where all students take the same classes together for the entirety of the program. 

I want to apply for the Sonoma Wine MBA or the Sonoma Wine Executive MBA program, but I don’t have direct wine industry work experience. Can I still apply?

Applicants of our Wine MBA programs are required to have at least two years of wine industry experience. Those who do not have the minimum years required can enroll in the Wine Business Institute's Online Certificate in Wine Business Management. Successful completion of the Foundation and Intermediate courses fulfills the two-year industry experience requirement.

Can I work full time while enrolled in any of your MBA programs?

Yes. In fact, we prefer that you are working so that you have context for the information you learn in the classroom. We focus on engaged, hands-on learning in all of our MBA programs. The skills you are practicing in the classroom should be directly applicable to your real-life work.

Do you offer any concentrations in your MBA programs (accounting, marketing, healthcare, etc.)?

Currently, we offer a wine-focused MBA program in three formats:

How do I know if I need to take any business prerequisite courses for the Sonoma Professional MBA?

You can send your unofficial transcripts to for review. If you studied business as an undergraduate, you most likely have completed all of these courses. Courses include Micro and Macro Economics, Financial and Managerial Accounting, Statistics, Marketing, Organizational Behavior, and Finance.

I know that I haven’t completed the prerequisites. Can I apply before these are completed and how do I complete them?

MBA applicants can complete their applications before they finish the prerequisites with the opportunity to be selected for “conditional” admission.

You may email Nicki Orser your unofficial transcript or use our department form to upload a copy. Our admissions team will complete a prerequisite review for you and can offer some convenient online options to allow you to complete any missing courses before the August cohort begins.

How much do the programs cost?

The Sonoma Executive MBA and the Sonoma Wine Executive MBA programs cost $49,500 – all-inclusive. Tuition, books, parking passes, and costs for the travel are included in that cost. 

The Global Wine Executive MBA program costs $49,500. This price includes tuition, all course materials, all in-country transportation, and food. It does not include the cost of lodging and flights.

The Sonoma Professional MBA and the Sonoma Wine MBA programs are priced per unit. The average cost for in-state tuition for either program is $25,000. Out of state tuition is around $35,000. You can view the fee structures on each program page. 


Do you offer scholarships?

Scholarships for the Wine MBA programs are available through the Wine Business Institute. View available scholarships here or call 707-664-3347. 

Scholarships for non-wine MBA programs may be available through the University Scholarships Office.

How do I apply for Financial Aid?

The majority of our students utilize FAFSA loans. Visit the official FAFSA website

Our Financial Aid Office on campus can help you once you have been accepted into a program.

Can I speak with an alumni from one of your programs?

Absolutely! We have a wonderful network of alumni and are happy to introduce prospective students. Send your resume and some information on which program you are interested in to with the subject line “Meet an Alumni” to set up a time.

Where is the Sonoma Wine Executive MBA cohort held?

The Sonoma Wine Executive MBA classes are held at the Wine Spectator Learning Center at Sonoma State University. 

Where do I apply and what are the deadlines?

All applications go through our Department Graduate Application. 

Application windows:

  • Sonoma Professional MBA: October 1st – April 30th
  • Sonoma Wine MBA: October 1st – April 30th
  • Sonoma Executive MBA – October 1st – August 31
  • Sonoma Wine Executive MBA: August 1st – February 28th 
  • Global Wine Executive MBA: October 1st – September 30th 


Sonoma EMBA Application Process

Sonoma MBA Application Process

Who can I talk to if I have questions about applying to any of your MBA programs?

If you have questions, want to schedule an appointment, call the Graduate Programs Office at 707-664-3501. Our admissions team can help you decide which program is best for you, and answer any questions about pending applications. 

Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue
School of Business and Economics
Graduate and Executive Programs
Wine Spectator Learning Center
Rohnert Park, CA 94928 | 707-664-3501