Graduate Programs Admissions

woman looking at computer in the dark

Congratulations: You're Ready to Apply.

What an exciting time, we are so happy that you have found the right MBA option that works best for you. We understand that the process of making this decision can be intense but well worth the journey. We want to thank you for doing your due diligence in attending one of our information sessions, exploring our MBA options via our website, and/or have met with one of our admissions counselors. See below for the step by step instructions of how to apply.

Admissions Step by Step Process
Complete CalState Application

Complete the California State University Application. Visit the Cal State Apply website to submit your online application

Pay close attention to the program you are applying to:

  • MBA (purpose-driven and wine business concentration) is located under 'Sonoma Graduate" header
  • Executive MBA (wine business) is located under "Sonoma Extension" header

You will be asked to create a new account if this is your first time applying to a CalState School. What you will need to complete your CalState application:

  • Colleges attended Degrees earned
  • Official Transcripts Units attempted and earned Grade point average (you will mail your official transcripts separately)
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your Citizenship Status
  • Credit Card or PayPal account (Pay for Application fee)
  • Annual income

Not immediately required:

  • Official Transcripts
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation


Required Documents

The following documents will be required after you've completed the application on CalState Apply.

  • Official Transcripts (must reflect a 2.5 GPA or higher in your last 60 units of coursework and bachelors degree completion). Please send copies of all OFFICIAL transcripts directly to SSU's Admissions & Records Office(Use this link for directions on how/where to send official transcripts.) Official transcripts must show proof of completion of a Bachelor's Degree and must have been issued within the last two years. Students with foreign transcripts must submit a Foreign Coursework Evaluation through a company such as WES or SpanTran. Students who studied at a foreign university must show proof of English Language proficiency and may need to submit official IELTS or TOEFL scores directly to the admissions office. Visit the International Admissions page for more details.
  • Unofficial Transcripts (must reflect a 2.5 GPA or higher in your last 60 units of coursework and bachelors degree completion). You may upload a copy directly to your department file by using the department review form for a consultation with an Admissions Specialist. Note: this is for review purposes only and will not be considered as official transcripts for admissions.
  • Current Resume. You may upload your resume, including name and contact information for two professional references, directly to your Cal State Apply application and/or upload a copy directly to your department file by using the department review form.  
  • Statement of Purpose that is one to two pages, double-spaced, 12 pt. font. explaining a bit about your academic and professional background, why you are interested in getting your MBA, and what you hope to do in your career after completing the program. You may upload your statement of purpose directly to your Cal State Apply application and/or upload a copy directly to your department file by using the department review form.  
Consult with an Admissions Specialist

Fill out our program interest form for a consultation with an Admissions Specialist so that we can begin reviewing your information right away.

Once you have filled out the program interest form, an Admissions Specialist will reach out to schedule a consultation. You may also schedule a meeting directly with this link.

The form will ask you for the following information:

  • Personal information
  • Desired program
  • Degrees earned
  • Work experience
  • Resume (not required for a consultation)
  • Statement of Purpose (not required for a consultation)
  • Unofficial transcripts (not required for a consultation)

An individual may apply for admission to the MBA program with or without an academic background in business administration, but must have achieved a 2.50 GPA in the prior 60 semester units (90 quarter units) attempted. In addition:

MBA applicants: are expected to have two years of full time professional work experience prior to starting the program.

Executive MBA applicants: are expected to have a minimum of eight years of professional work experience, including significant management experience, prior to starting the program. Military service can be counted toward professional work experience. 

Applicants are no longer required to submit a Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score. The department considers the candidate’s application, academic background, work experience, statement of purpose essay, and references in evaluating high promise of success in the program.  An interview may also be required.

Prerequisite Courses

MBA prerequisite courses provide the fundamental knowledge of business principles to prepare students for the study of business at the graduate level.

Prerequisites may be waived for some candidates:

  • MBA: Waived for candidates with a business bachelor's degree. Candidates who do not have a business bachelor's degree may need to complete some prerequisites. See prerequisites listed. Candidates may apply for admission to the program before completing prerequisite classes with the opportunity to be selected for "conditional" admission. Upon completion of needed courses, admitted students will then be updated to fully classified status. See prerequisite requirements here.
  • Executive MBA: Waived for candidates with six or more years of full-time professional work experience.
Prerequisite Wine Industry Experience

Required for the MBA (wine business concentration) and Executive MBA (wine business)

  • Completion of  20 units of wine-related coursework, a major in wine in your undergraduate degree, 24 months of wine industry work experience, the completion of the first two levels of our online Wine Business Management Certificate offered through the Wine Business Institute’s Professional Development programs, or any combination thereof.
Costs and Financing Your MBA


  • MBA (purpose-driven or wine business concentration): the cost of the program will vary depending on the track and program schedule chosen, as well as in-state or out-of-state status. See SSU's 2023/24 Student Charges and FeesSee example of registration fee schedule
  • Executive MBA (wine business): the cost of the program is $55,500. See example of registration fee schedule
    • Program fees include: digital course materials and the International study tour. The International program includes accommodation and some meals.
    • Program fees do not include: the flights for the international study program or for travel and lodging for the other Residential Leadership sessions.

Here are a few ways you can make financing the MBA program possible:

  • Talk to your employer about tuition reimbursement.  
  • See if you qualify to receive financial aid.
  • Apply for a scholarship.

Financial Aid Application:

  • Submit your application for financial aid.
  • Please be sure to select Sonoma State University as your preferred school.
Where Do I Learn More?

Our admissions specialist is happy to answer any questions you may have.​

For International Students

Please visit our International Students Admissions page for more information.

About the MBA Degree

The degree conferred for all MBA programs is a Master in Business Administration.

  • MBA (purpose-driven): degree conferred will be a Master in Business Administration
  • MBA (wine business concentration): degree conferred will be a Master in Business Administration, Wine Business Concentration
  • Executive MBA (wine business): degree conferred will be a Master in Business Administration