Graduate & Executive Programs Admissions FAQs

What is the difference between the Sonoma Executive MBA and the Sonoma MBA for Professionals?

These programs differ in many ways regarding curriculum, admissions requirements, and schedules. Students in the Sonoma MBA for Professionals 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 MBA in Wine Business or the Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business 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 Program 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 business focused MBA program in three formats:

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

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. Prerequisites can be completed through the foundation course series, offered through the School of Extended & International Education, starting every April. 

The Foundation Course Series allows applications to complete these prerequisites in 5-week increments from April to July. Registration for the classes opens in January every year, and classes do not fill up. They are only available to MBA applicants.

How much do the programs cost?

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

The Global Executive MBA in Wine Business 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 MBA for Professionals and the Sonoma MBA for Professionals in Wine Business 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. 

The Global Executive MBA in Wine Business program costs $64,500. This price includes tuition, all course materials, all in-country transportation, food, and lodging. It does not include the cost of flights.

Do you offer scholarships?

Scholarships for the Wine Business 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 Executive MBA Wine Business cohort held?

The Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business switches locations between Sonoma State University and the upper valley campus of the Napa Valley College in St. Helena, each time a new cohort begins. We do this to offer students in Napa Valley a chance to participate without the commute. You do not need to live in Napa to be in a Napa cohort and vice-versa. We usually have some Sonoma people in the Napa cohort and some Napa people in the Sonoma cohort.

Where do I apply and what are the deadlines?

All applications go through our Department Graduate Application. 

Application windows:

  • Sonoma MBA for Professionals –October 1st -April 30th
  • Sonoma MBA for Professionals in Wine Business – October 1st – April 30th
  • Sonoma Executive MBA – October 1st – August 31
  • Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business – August 1st – February 28th 
  • Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business Hybrid – 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. Christine Pinella, the Admissions Manager, can help you decide which program is best for you. Nicole Orser, the Admissions Coordinator, and can answer any questions about pending applications. 

Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue
School of Business and Economics
Graduate and Executive Programs Office
Stevenson Hall room 2023
Rohnert Park, CA 94928 | 707-664-3501 | 707-664-3547