Online Certificate in Wine Business Management FAQs



How is the program delivered?

All courses in the program are delivered entirely online. There are weekly live webinars, but also assigned readings, prerecorded lectures/videos and assignments. Webinars are recorded and made available in the online classroom. 

What are the certificate requirements?

Students are required to complete a total 28 weeks of courses to earn the certificate: Foundation, Intermediate and two to four of the elective courses (4 or 8 weeks) of their preference. There is no time limit to finish the program.

Do I have to take the Foundation and Intermediate courses if I have wine industry experience?

The program is designed in such a way that the Foundation course prepares students for the Intermediate course and the Intermediate course prepares students for the elective, more advanced courses. We have many students with wine industry experience who gain a lot of knowledge from the Foundation and Intermediate courses.

Advanced Placement: If you would like to earn the certificate and have 8+ years of wine industry experience you may request, upon acceptance into the program, to enroll directly in the Intermediate course.


What is the total cost of the program?

Current course fees are listed below. Please note these fees are subject to change for future course offerings.

Foundation 4 weeks $795
Intermediate 8 weeks $1250
Elective  8 weeks $1250
Elective 4 weeks $795


What is the expected time commitment per week?

It is recommended that students commit 4-6 hours per week for each course to complete the assigned readings, assignments/projects, participate in discussion forums and attend the live webinar or watch the recording.

Who are the program instructors?

All of the instructors are wine industry professionals working in various fields and capacities. Some are local to the Sonoma and Napa area near the University and some are traveling and working globally within the wine industry. For detailed biographies of each of the instructors please visit the faculty page.

How is student competency measured?

This is a non-degree program and is considered pass/fail. While each course may have specific requirements and expectations, each course requires that students complete the readings, weekly assignments/projects, participate in discussions via submissions in the forum in the online classroom and submit the final project. Students are graded and receive points for each of these activities and must earn a minimum of 60% of the total course points in order to pass.

Are there prerequisites for this program?

There are no prerequisites for this program. This program is open to anyone interested in learning more about the business side of the wine industry. Students must complete and submit the online program application to begin the process of enrolling in the program.

Can coursework from this program be applied to a degree program?

This is a non-degree program and earns Continuing Education Units (CEUs). This credit is not applicable and cannot be transferred toward a degree program.

Can this program help me get accepted into the Wine MBA programs at Sonoma State University?

Students without wine industry experience may complete the Foundation and Intermediate courses of this certificate program to fulfill the two-year wine industry experience requirement for acceptance into the Wine MBA programs.

Is wine industry experience required to participate in this program?

Students applying to the Online Certificate in Wine Business Management are not required to have any wine industry experience to be accepted into the program. 


How will I benefit from getting a certificate?

Making the personal investment in a certificate shows serious commitment to your field and increases your value in the workplace. Achieving a certificate can give you a competitive edge in hiring and promoting situations. Over the course of a certificate program, many students have opportunities to work closely with instructors and fellow students, providing a valuable professional network for the future.

Is there a particular order in which I must take the courses?

No, but it makes sense to start with the Foundation course and subsequently do the Intermediate course. 

I'm only interested in one specific course, do I have to do the whole certificate program?

No, all courses can be taken individually. In order to receive the certificate you will have to complete the 28 weeks of courses, but everyone can take any course as a stand alone course.