May 27, 2022  
2019-2020 General Catalog 
2019-2020 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Business and Economics

Karen Thompson, Interim Dean
Stevenson Hall 2034
(707) 664-2220

Business Administration

The mission of the School of Business and Economics is to create extraordinary learning experiences for our students and to advance best business practices in the North Bay and beyond. We fulfill this mission by: (1) providing memorable and transformational educational programs for the global business professionals of the future, and for the entrepreneurs and emerging leaders in the north San Francisco Bay Area; (2) being an exemplar of best practice by researching, developing, and applying the business tools, methods, and strategies that we teach our students; and (3) cultivating success for the global wine industry as a leading business education and research center.

Our vision is to be the educational catalyst for a collaborative, thriving North Bay economy and its global impact. Both our mission and our vision shape the student experience in the School of Business and Economics. The School has a robust network of support from the regional business community that creates opportunities for our students to meet local leaders, learn with professional mentors, gain experience with internships, and apply their learning through community case studies, projects, conferences, and competitions.

The School of Business and Economics offers coursework and degree programs that prepare students for careers of positive professional and community impact. Students are exposed to alternative viewpoints concerning the analysis of organizational, social, and economic problems, including both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Emphasis is placed upon the roles and responsibilities of decision makers within a complex and ever-changing environment, and emphasizes the consideration of ethical and globalization issues.

The School of Business and Economics includes the Departments of Business Administration, whose programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and Economics. Business Administration majors benefit from the General Education requirements of the University and then are provided with a broad program of study that involves an integrative set of required core courses plus a field of concentration which enables targeted learning in a specific subdiscipline of business. Concentrations include accounting, finance, financial management, management, marketing, and wine business strategies. Economics majors receive a firm foundation of undergraduate study in a liberal arts tradition that serves as preparation for graduate school as well as professional careers in economics.

Our small class sizes, qualified professors, and desirable location make us an excellent option for those looking to secure a strong foundation in business and economics before entering the working world. Our local network creates opportunities for students to work and learn in the field at all stages of their studies.

Graduate-level programs in the School of Business and Economics help professionals and executives develop insights into advanced business theories and practice that can be immediately applied in the workplace. The Sonoma MBA for Professionals, our evening Masters in Business Administration program, is organized around a 4-3-2-1 model - four core courses, three theme areas, two electives, and one capstone course – that balances the need to build a strong foundation of core skills for all students with the curriculum flexibility to take courses that serve students’ unique academic interests and career paths. Also, the Sonoma MBA in Wine Business is the only one of its kind in the United States and offers deep connections to the local industry.

The Sonoma Executive MBA program is an alternative-format MBA program designed for those seeking an environment for entrepreneurial and strategic thinking, along with greater depth in leadership and global business education. Designed for seasoned professionals with at least eight years of work experience, the Sonoma EMBA honors family and career with classes scheduled two days a week on alternating weekends. The Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business focuses our EMBA curriculum on global wine operations, strategic brand management, and other industry-relevant skill areas.

Within the School of Business and Economics, several organizations and initiatives exist to promote our students and support North Bay communities and communities everywhere:

  • The Wine Business Institute is an education and research institute that provides business solutions for the wine industry and is a globally respected resource for knowledge, education, and research within the wine industry. It supports the wine industry by providing relevant and practical research, professional development seminars, and, through the Department of Business Administration, both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
  • The School of Business and Economics Career Center offers dedicated career development and job placement services to all of our majors. We have a vibrant mentor and internship program, along with multiple events that connect numerous local hiring companies with our students.
  • The School of Business and Economics is building a hub of entrepreneurship education and resources for the North Bay. Our entrepreneurship resource website, entrepreneurship in residence, and connections to the local entrepreneur community are central components of our new hub.
  • The Center for Regional Economic Analysis provides high-quality research, data, and analysis for local industry and governments. The Center produces and disseminates new information in the general area of economic research and the specific areas of business and economics, local and regional economic development, and fiscal policy.
  • The North Bay Economic Outlook Conference is a partnership of representatives from organizations in both the public and private sectors. Each year, the school supports this regional conference which examines and analyzes contemporary, critical issues in support of our local community’s economic development.