Jun 21, 2021  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
2020-2021 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Regulations and Policies

Academic Regulations

Office of the Registrar
Salazar Hall 2030
(707) 664-2778

Changes in Rules and Policies

Although every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information in this catalog, students and others who use this catalog should note that laws, rules, and policies change from time to time and that these changes may alter the information contained in this publication.

Changes may come in the form of statutes enacted by the Legislature, rules and policies adopted by the Board of Trustees of the California State University, by the chancellor or designee of the California State University, or by the president or designee of the campus. It is not possible in a publication of this size to include all of the rules, policies and other information that pertain to students, the institution, and the California State University. More current or complete information may be obtained from the appropriate department, school, or administrative office.

Nothing in this catalog shall be construed as, operate as, or have the effect of an abridgment or a limitation of any rights, powers, or privileges of the Board of Trustees of the California State University, the chancellor of the California State University, or the president of the campus. The trustees, the chancellor, and the president are authorized by law to adopt, amend, or repeal rules and policies that apply to students. This catalog does not constitute a contract or the terms and conditions of a contract between the student and the campus or the California State University. The relationship of students to the campus and the California State University is one governed by statute, rules, and policy adopted by the legislature, the trustees, the chancellor, the presidents and their duly authorized designees.

Registration and Enrollment

You must be either a continuing student or an admitted applicant who has paid their Enrollment Reservation Deposit (ERD) in order to be eligible for registration. You are a continuing student if you registered for one or both of the previous two semesters (summer and intersession excluded). Continuing student status will be lost if you earned your bachelor’s degree, were academically disqualified, or were separated from the University for 2 semesters or more without being on an approved Leave of Absence.

New students must confirm their intention to enroll at Sonoma by paying an Enrollment Reservation Deposit (ERD). Information will be sent at the time of admission about the deposit. All eligible continuing students and all admitted applicants who have paid the deposit will be sent registration notifications at least one week prior to registration with the exception of first-time freshmen who register during summer orientation. This registration notification will provide a link to the Registration website, which will include information about advising, registration appointment times, important dates, and procedures for registering.

The best source for registration information is the Admissions and Records website. The Schedule of Classes is available on our online Student Information System (MySSU) and is updated in real time. A PDF version of the Schedule of Classes is published electronically each semester.


All students at Sonoma State University register online. Students will find online registration through MySSU quick and easy. Carefully read all of the registration information on the Admissions and Records website to make the registration process even simpler.

User ID and Password

Access online registration requires the entry of your Seawolf User ID and password. Information on how to obtain your user ID and password can be found at the Admissions and Records website.

Registration Fee Payment Deadline

The Seawolf Service Center website publishes the fee schedule and payment due dates. Students who fail to pay their fees by the registration fee deadline will be dropped from their classes. Credit will not be granted in any course unless all registration procedures are completed and fees are paid.

Information for Students Using Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits (CH31) or Post 9/11 G.I. Bill® (CH33)

A student using Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits (CH31) or Post-9/11 G.I. Bill® (CH33) will be allowed to enroll in and attend courses and access campus facilities while the campus awaits payment for tuition and fees from the VA.  While awaiting receipt of funds from the VA, Sonoma State University will not impose any penalty, charge late fees or require an eligible student to borrow additional funds to cover tuition or fees. This waiting period begins the date the student provides appropriate documentation and continues either until funds are received from the VA or until 90 days after the School Certifying Official has certified the student’s enrollment for tuition and fees.

To demonstrate current eligibility and intent to use Chapter 31 or 33 benefits, a student must provide the following documents:

  • VA Form 28-1905 (Authorization and Certification of Entrance or Reentrance into Rehabilitation and Certification of Status); or
  • Certificate of Eligibility (COE) or Education Enrollment Status form (printed from the VA website).
  • A written request to use either VA Vocational Rehabilitation or Post 9/11 G.I. Bill® benefits; and
  • All additional information requested by the School Certifying Official to properly certify enrollment to the VA.

For more information regarding this policy, contact your School Certifying Official, Julia Ibañez at julia.ibanez@sonoma.edu

or (707)664-3173.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site.


Be sure to clear any holds before registration. Depending on the nature of the hold, access to registration may be blocked, and the student may miss his or her registration appointment. You can view your holds online. For additional information about a financial hold, contact the Seawolf Services Center. For non-financial holds, contact the office that placed the hold.

Categories of Enrollment

With the exception of first-time freshmen who register at Summer Orientation, appointments are assigned by class level in descending order of units earned. The order is:

Status Units Completed
Classified Graduate and Credential n/a
Senior 90+
Junior 60-89
Sophomore 30-59
Freshman 0-29
Unclassified Graduate Students N/A

SSU reserves the right to give priority registration appointments to certain populations of students approved by the Academic Senate. 

Academic Load

A minimum of two hours preparation for each hour of regular class work should be expected; in upper-division and graduate-level courses, additional time may be required.

Undergraduate students who need to be registered full-time should note that 12 units is the minimum load to qualify for full-time status. At no time can a student take more than 23 units.

The maximum academic load recommended for graduate students is 12 units.

Graduate students officially accepted into master’s degree programs who are taking classes that are part of their approved plan of study and need to be registered full-time should note that 8 units is the minimum load to qualify for full-time status. Other postbaccalaureate students (e.g. Credential, unclassified, etc.) follow the same rules as Undergraduate students.


You can adjust your schedule by adding or dropping courses during the registration periods as noted by the Add/Drop deadline posted on the Academic Calendar. After that, students will have approximately two weeks (until Census date) to petition to late add a class/es. A petition form and fee are required.

You may only add a class if space is available online and you have successfully added the class to your schedule. Sitting in a class is not equivalent to enrollment in a class and you will not receive credit for the class. You should stop attending and schedule to retake it in a future semester.

Withdrawal from Courses

In accordance with CSU Executive Order No. 1037, it is the policy of Sonoma State University that:

  1. Dropping a Course
    Students may drop a course (or courses) online and without penalty until the drop deadline (check Academic Calendar .
  2. Withdrawal from a Course or Courses after the Drop Deadline
    A. Unit Limit for Withdrawal from Courses: Undergraduate students may withdraw from no more than 18 total semester units of coursework attempted at Sonoma State University. Withdrawals for “serious and compelling” reasons, which are documented and approved according to the procedures below, will not count toward the maximum of 18 semester units.
    For more specific information, please visit the Withdraw website
  3. Retroactive Withdrawal
    After the last day of instruction, students may petition to retroactively withdraw from an entire semester if there are “serious and compelling” reasons for such a withdrawal. The student must file a petition, which must be accompanied by documentation of the “serious and compelling” reasons. The petition must also be supported by the student’s department advisor or by an academic advisor if the student is undeclared. The Registrar and the University Standards Committee have the final authority to approve or deny such petitions. Students may withdraw from a single course retroactively if and only if there are “serious and compelling” reasons affecting a single course (such as being unable to finish a PE course due to a broken leg). Retroactive withdrawals for “serious and compelling” reasons will not count against the maximum number of units in Section II, A above.
  4. Documentation
    All petitions for withdrawal after census date must be accompanied by documentation of the “serious and compelling” reasons for withdrawal. Documentation may include: verification of accident or illness (such as a letter from the treating physician or copies of medical bills); a letter from a licensed counselor; death certificate; employer verification of change of work status; and other like documentation as appropriate.

Cancellation of Registration or Withdrawal From the Institution

Students who find it necessary to cancel their registration or to withdraw from all classes after enrolling for any academic term are required to follow the university’s official withdrawal procedures. Failure to follow formal university procedures may result in an obligation to pay fees as well as the assignment of failing grades in all courses and the need to apply for readmission before being permitted to enroll in another academic term. Information on cancelling registration and withdrawal procedures is available from Admissions & Records Salazar Hall 2030, (707) 664-2778.

Students who receive financial aid funds must consult with the Financial Aid Office prior to withdrawing from the university regarding any required return or repayment of grant or loan assistance received for that academic term or payment period. Students who have received financial aid and withdraw from the institution during the academic term or payment period may need to return or repay some or all of the funds received, which may result in a debt owed to the institution.

Information concerning the refund of fees due to complete withdrawal from the University may be obtained from Seawolf Services.

Students who are living in Student Housing must consult with the Director of Housing to make arrangements to vacate.

Leave of Absence

The Leave of Absence allows for leaves of one or two semesters. Continuing students can file a leave form with the Office of Admissions and Records indicating the duration of the leave (1 or 2 semesters only) within the first two weeks of the first semester of the requested leave. Students must file a leave form to be eligible for enrollment in the subsequent semesters. New students may not request a Leave for the first semester of enrollment at the University.

A Leave request for health reasons needs to be completed with the appropriate signatures. Documentation from a licensed State of California health professional will normally be required.

A leave for educational reasons permits a student to be absent from regular attendance for one or two terms while maintaining continuing enrollment status. Applicants must have an intention to return to formal study within a specified period and plan for how the time is to be spent in relation to an educational objective.

For students who are on a leave of two semesters, you must participate in registration for the term you are returning for in order to maintain enrollment eligibility. For students returning in a Fall semester, you must register in April. For students returning in a Spring semester, you must register in November. Students failing to register will have their continuous enrollment eligibility cancelled and will need to reapply for admission.

Continuing Student Status

Once you enroll, pay fees, and attend classes at Sonoma State University, you will be in “continuing student status” for the current and subsequent semester. Reapplication to SSU is required if you take a leave of two semesters and are not on an approved Educational Leave of Absence; if you graduate with a baccalaureate from this or any other institution; or if you are a newly admitted student who enrolls, pays registration fees, and then withdraws before Census day, which is the 20th day of the semester.

The term “student” means any person taking courses at a campus, both full-time and part-time, including summer session, special session, and Extended Education.

Continuing: Student is enrolled in regular programs in one or both of the previous two semesters (summer and intersession excluded) or is resuming studies after an approved Educational Leave of Absence of no more than two consecutive semesters.

New: Student who is registering in a regular term for the first time.

Former: Student who has not registered in two previous consecutive semesters (summer and intersession excluded).

Readmitted: Student who previously attended SSU, broke continuous enrollment status, reapplied, and is readmitted to SSU in a regular program.

State-support matriculated students are permitted to enroll concurrently in SSU self-support courses and pay self-support fees when enrolling voluntarily in self-support courses. Students who have applied and been admitted to the University but who do not pay fees or enroll in state-support University Courses, or who have been disqualified for either academic or administrative reasons are also not eligible to enroll in self-support courses. There will be no exceptions to this policy. Self-support students admitted in state-support classes (through Open University) shall receive the same credit as they would receive in matriculated classes. Concurrent enrollment of self-support students in state-support classes does not constitute admission to the University; nor does it entitle them to student services available to state-support matriculated students with the exception of library privileges. Additional information is available at the Office of the School of Extended and International Education.

CSU Concurrent Enrollment

SSU students wishing to enroll concurrently at SSU and any of the other 23 California State University campuses must request permission to do so from the Office of Admissions and Records. Concurrent enrollment within the California State University system is limited to students who have completed a minimum of 12 units at SSU, have a minimum 2.0 grade-point average (3.0 for post-baccalaureate students), are in good academic standing and have paid fees at SSU for 7 units or more regardless of the total number of units earned at both campuses. Concurrent Enrollment is subject to space availability and registration priority policies at the host campus.

Conditions for Enrollment - Outgoing SSU Students

  • Approval is subject to space availability, registration priority policies and deadlines of the host campus, academic advisement is available only through SSU.
  • Overlap in academic terms may not be possible. Check with the host campus.
  • Students may be required to provide proof of completion of prerequisites.
  • Financial aid is only available through SSU.

Course Match Registration CSU Online Concurrent Enrollment

You now have access to more online courses at other CSU’s. To participate in this program, you must meet the following qualifications:

  1. Completed at least one term at SSU as a matriculated student and earned at least 12 units here,
  2. Earned at least a 2.0 at SSU and are in good standing,
  3. Enrolled at SSU during the period of concurrent enrollment, and
  4. Paid tuition/fees as a full-time student (7 or more units)

Students are eligible to take one course at one school per semester.

Visitor Enrollment within the CSU (Outgoing SSU students)

Students enrolled at SSU may apply to transfer temporarily to another CSU campus in Visitor status, if they have (1) completed 12 units at home campus, (2) have earned at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the home campus, (3) are in good academic standing at the home campus, and (4) are eligible to register under continuing status at the home campus. Approval for visitor enrollment is valid for one term only and is subject to the host campus policies including application deadlines, space availability, and registration priority. Details and Visitor Enrollment Applications are available at the Office of Admissions and Records. Students from other CSU campuses seeking visitor status at SSU must also contact their home registration office for additional information.

Graduate students must have (1) completed one semester at SSU, (2) have earned at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA at SSU, and (3) be in good academic standing.

Conditions for Enrollment - Outgoing SSU students:

  • Students will be approved for Visitor Enrollment for one term only,
  • Approval is subject to space availability, registration priority policies and deadlines of the host campus, academic advisement is available only through SSU,
  • Overlap in academic terms may not be possible. Check with the host campus,
  • Students may be required to provide proof of completion of prerequisites, and
  • Financial aid is available only through SSU.

Enrolling at SSU From Other Institutions

Check your home campus for their eligibility requirements and procedures.

Visitor and Concurrent Enrollment (Incoming Students)

  • Approval is subject to space availability, SSU registration priority policies and SSU deadlines.
  • Academic advisement is available only through the home campus.
  • Overlap in academic terms may not be possible.
  • Students will be required to provide proof of completion of prerequisites to the academic department of the course requested.
  • Financial aid is available only though the home campus.

In addition to meeting the above conditions, students must satisfy the following CSU criteria at their home campus:

  • Have earned at least 12 units.
  • Have a 2.0 GPA
  • Be in good academic standing.
  • Be eligible to register under continuing students status.
  • Have paid fees (Concurrent students only).

Concurrent Enrollment is allowed for more than one term, however, students must submit a new Intrasystem Application form for each term of concurrent enrollment. Approval for Visitor enrollment is valid for one (1) term only.

Cross Enrollment (Outgoing Students)

The Cross Enrollment Program is designed to enhance the educational experience of California students by providing them with increased access to courses offered by campuses of other public higher education institutions. Students may speed progress toward meeting degree requirements by investigating course availability at campuses of other systems when they are unable to gain access to required courses at their home campus or are unable to find a course offered at a convenient time. Cross enrollment also expands educational horizons by providing students with opportunities to explore disciplines not offered by the home campus. Cross enrollment opportunities are subject to host school availability.

CSU full-time undergraduate students have an opportunity to enroll without formal admission and without payment of an additional State University Fee in one course each academic term at a campus of the University of California or at participating campuses of the California Community Colleges. The Cross Enrollment Program is open to California residents enrolled for a minimum of six units, who have completed at least one term at their home campus, and who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00. Eligibility for enrollment in a course offered by another segment is based on available space and appropriate academic preparation for the course as determined by the host campus. Although the host campus will not require the regular course fee, a discounted administration fee may be assessed for each term, and students are expected to pay any course-related fees (lab, materials, computer use, etc.).

Sonoma also offers cross-registration for undergraduate students with the University of California. For more information, contact the Office of Admissions and Records, Salazar Hall 2030.

Cross Enrollment (Incoming Students)

To attend SSU through the Cross-Enrollment program:

  • Obtain an Application for Cross-Enrollment and appropriate approvals from your home campus.


  • Obtain registration information and signatures from the appropriate SSU instructor. Attend the first class session and ask the instructor if there is space available to enroll through cross enrollment; if so:
  • Follow instructions for adding a class and obtain required approvals.
  • Submit the approved Application for Cross Enrollment, and $10 fee to Admissions and Records by the deadlines that are published on our website.
  • Approved Cross-Enrollment requests are processed on a space available basis.

Veterans Services


Serves student Veterans and dependents of Veterans through the Federal VA and California CalVet programs. Students in the Federal VA program must provide Certificate of Eligibility and submit current enrollment information prior to first semester. Students in the CalVet program must submit the College Fee Waiver Authorization prior to each academic year.

ROTC Programs (Reserve Officer Training Corps)


ROTC is a training program that prepares college students to become officers in the U.S. Army, Navy, or Air Force. Sonoma State University students wishing to pursue ROTC training may do so by participating in ROTC programs offered at the University of California at Berkeley. For more information on enrollment requirements, procedures, and

scholarship information, visit the website listed above.

Provisional Unclassified Graduate Credit for Senior Students

Students who plan to complete upper-division or graduate-level courses in their final semester may petition for provisional unclassified graduate credit for such courses. Courses required for the baccalaureate will not be granted this provisional status. The petition must be filed at the same time as the application for award of the degree. Teaching credential candidates should consult the Education Department regarding the advisability of such a petition.

Provisional unclassified post-baccalaureate credit can only be granted for upper-division and graduate-level courses in the semester prior to graduation and will be recorded in the student’s academic record as earned prior to the award of the baccalaureate. Such credit is applicable to graduate objectives at the discretion of the relevant academic department. Should requirements for the baccalaureate not be completed by the date specified on the application, the petition for postbaccalaureate credit becomes null and void.

Special Studies Courses

The University makes arrangements through Special Studies 495 and 595 for advanced or exceptionally talented students who want to pursue academic interests beyond the scope of the regular curriculum. Such course work is subject to the following conditions and restrictions:

  1. Special studies courses are limited to upper-division students who have a) a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better, and b) an appropriate background for undertaking the proposed topic.
  2. Special studies are confined principally to on-site academic study and research projects (see internship and research assistant credit courses for other kinds of credited course work).
  3. No more than 8 units of special studies work — with a maximum of 4 units per course — may be taken in any department.
  4. No more than 12 units of special studies may count toward the baccalaureate.
  5. Special studies may not duplicate a course that is listed in the catalog and that is normally offered within a two-year period.
  6. Meetings between instructor and student should be scheduled at intervals appropriate to the topic and the number of units assigned.
  7. Each unit of credit requires a minimum of 45 hours of academic work.
  8. Approval for registration must be obtained from the advisor, instructor, department chair, and dean.

Declaring or Changing a Major

Enrolled SSU undergraduate students in good standing may, with prior departmental approval, change their major. A Change of Major form must be submitted to the Office of Admissions and Records with the appropriate departmental approvals. Students should contact their intended department for major change requirements and change of major periods. The same rules apply to adding or changing a minor.

Catalog Year Requirement

Undergraduate students remaining in continuous attendance and continuing in the same major at Sonoma, at any other California State University, or in any California community college, or any combination of California community and state colleges may elect to meet the Sonoma graduation requirements in effect at the time of their entering the major or at the time of their graduation from Sonoma. Substitutions for discontinued courses may be authorized or required by the proper campus authorities. The continuous attendance policy allows interruptions in enrollment so long as the student is enrolled at least one semester or two quarters each calendar year.


At Sonoma State, auditing is an informal arrangement between an auditor and a faculty member. With the permission of the instructor and if space is available, an auditor may attend a course on an informal basis. The auditor and the instructor must agree upon the extent to which the auditor will participate, and whether the auditor’s work will be required and evaluated. Students do not register for these classes and no official records are maintained of these informal audits.

Transcripts of SSU Courses

Students may obtain transcripts of their Sonoma State University records from the Office of Admissions and Records only upon written request. Include your name, date of birth, Social Security number or SSU ID number, the dates you attended SSU, where you wish the transcripts mailed, and any special instructions (e.g., hold for degree or grades). All transcript requests must include a signature. The University reserves the right to withhold issuing the transcript of any student not in good financial standing with the University. Transcripts may be ordered by mail, or by fax, at (707) 664-2060. There is no charge for SSU transcripts. Please allow 5-10 business days for processing.

Credit Hour

As of July 1, 2011 federal law (Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations, sections 600.2 and 600.4) requires all accredited institutions to comply with the federal definition of the credit hour. For all CSU degree programs and courses bearing academic credit, the “credit hour” is defined as “the amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.”

A credit hour is assumed to be a 50-minute period. In courses in which “seat time” does not apply, a credit hour may be measured by an equivalent amount of work, as demonstrated by student achievement.


Identification of Grades

The University uses a combination of traditional and nontraditional grading options, as follows:

Traditional Grades (A, B, C, D, F)

Letters A, B, C, and D are passing grades; F means failure. Additional + (plus) and - (minus) supplements add or subtract 0.30 grade points per unit. These apply to the A, B, C, and D grades; there is no A+.

Nontraditional Grades (Cr/NC)

Credit (Cr) may be awarded in undergraduate classes (499 and below) for work equivalent to a letter grade of C- or better, and for graduate-level classes (500) for work equivalent to a B- or better. NC, indicating No Credit, is given for work equivalent to D+ and below for undergraduate classes and C+ and below for graduate-level classes.

In classes in which there is an option between traditional and nontraditional grading modes, the mode must be declared using Web Registration by Census day. (See www.sonoma.edu/admissions/filing.html or the appropriate Schedule of Classes for instructions.) Undergraduate students may count a maximum of 24 units of Cr (credit) grades toward their undergraduate degree.

Only courses graded A-F may be applied toward major and minor requirements, except for courses not available in the A-F mode. Thus, a course taken Cr/NC when the alternative is available can be counted only as an elective or toward the general education requirements. This provision is enforced only when the student applies for graduation rather than upon each class enrollment. Students taking more than the maximum number of Cr units will be required to complete more than the minimum number of units required for the degree.

All non traditionally graded units earned at other institutions that have been accepted for transfer will be accepted toward the bachelor’s degree. If fewer than 24 such units are transferred, they will count toward the 24-unit limit. If 24 or more such units have been accepted, no additional Cr/NC course may be taken unless it is offered Cr/NC only and is required for the major.

All lower-division general education units earned in the Hutchins School will be acceptable for graduation, irrespective of their number, up to the 48 units that constitute the Hutchins School general education program. A student who completes at least 24 Cr/NC units in the Hutchins School general education program may not take other Cr/NC courses unless the units are earned in a course that is available only on a Cr/NC grading basis and is required for the major. Graduate students may, at the discretion of the department, take up to one-third of the total units applied to their master’s degree in a nontraditional grading mode. Each department will designate those courses that may be graded only in the Cr/NC mode.

Definitions of Grading Symbols

The accompanying grade chart indicates grade symbols and their numerical equivalents for evaluating coursework. In addition, more complete definitions of administrative grades are provided.

Grade Description Quality Points
A Outstanding 4.0 per unit value of course
A-   3.7 per unit value of course
B+   3.3 per unit value of course
B Very Good 3.0 per unit value of course
B-   2.7 per unit value of course
C+   2.3 per unit value of course
C Average 2.0 per unit value of course
C-   1.7 per unit value of course
D+   1.3 per unit value of course
D Barely Passing 1 per unit value of course
D-   0.7 per unit value of course
F Failure 0 per unit value of course
Cr Credit Not applicable
NC No Credit Not applicable
I Incomplete Not applicable
IC Incomplete Charged 0 per unit value of course
RP Report in Progress Not applicable
W Withdrawal Not applicable
WU Withdrawal Unauthorized 0 per unit value of course
RD Report Delayed Not applicable
PRV Provisional Graduate Credit Not applicable

Incomplete (I)

The symbol “I” indicates that a portion of required course work has not been completed and evaluated in the prescribed time period due to unforeseen, but fully justified, reasons and that there is still a possibility of earning credit. It is the responsibility of the student to bring pertinent information to the attention of the instructor and to determine from the instructor the remaining course requirements that must be satisfied to remove the Incomplete. A final grade is assigned when the work agreed upon has been completed and evaluated.

An Incomplete shall be converted to the appropriate grade within one year following the end of the term during which it was assigned. Where campus policy requires assignment of final grades on the basis of numerous demonstrations of competency by the student, it may be appropriate for a faculty member to submit a letter grade to be assigned in the event the Incomplete is not made up within one year. If the Incomplete is not converted within the prescribed time limit, it shall be counted as a failing grade in calculating grade point average and progress points unless the faculty member has assigned a grade in accordance with campus policy.

Incomplete Charged (IC)

This limitation prevails whether or not the student maintains continuous enrollment. Failure to complete the assigned work will result in an “I” being converted to an “IC” symbol, unless the faculty member assigns a specific letter grade at the time the Incomplete is assigned, which would replace the “I” in the student’s record at the end of the calendar year deadline. If the Incomplete is not converted within the prescribed time limit, it shall be counted as a failing grade (if the course was registered as a graded course) in calculating grade point average and progress points unless the faculty member has assigned a grade in accordance with campus policy. If the course was registered as CR/NC, a NC will be assigned as the final grade.

Repeat (RPT) (inactive as of Spring 2011)

The “RPT” grade indicates course has been approved as repeat. Units are not used in calculation of grade point. Repeated courses are noted on the transcript as either, replaced or averaged.

Report in Progress (RP)

The “RP” symbol is used in connection with Graduate level courses that extend beyond one academic year. It indicates that work is in progress but that assignment of a final grade must await completion of additional work. Work is to be completed within one year except for graduate degree theses.

Enrollment for more units of credit than the total number of units that can be applied to the fulfillment of the student’s educational objective is prohibited. Work is to be completed within a stipulated time. This may not exceed two years, but may not exceed the overall time limit for completion of all master’s degree requirements. Any extension of time limits must receive prior authorization by the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs and Graduate Studies.

Report Delayed (RD)

The “RD” symbol is an administrative grade used when a grade has not yet been determined for the student or has been delayed in the grade reporting process and is not used in calculating grade point average.

Withdrawal (W)

“W” indicates that the student withdrew from the course after the end of the add/drop period. It carries no connotation of quality of student performance and is not used in calculating grade point.

Withdrawal Unauthorized (WU)

The symbol “WU” indicates that an enrolled student did not formally withdraw from the course and failed to complete course requirements. It is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities or both were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. For purposes of grade point average and progress point computation, this symbol is equivalent to an “F.”

Credit (Cr)

“CR” grades are not included in the calculation of grade point average.

No Credit (NC)

“NC” grades are not included in the calculation of grade point average.

Grade Reporting

Grades for Fall and Spring semesters are posted one time per semester in batch. Once grades are posted, they will be available to view online. If a clerical or procedural error in the reporting of a grade by the instructor can be documented, you may request a change of grade with the instructor. It is preferred that the request be made by the 2nd week of the following semester. Summer and winter-session grades are posted by the School of Extended & International Education. No changes to the permanent record will be permitted after a degree has been awarded.

Dean’s List

Undergraduate students who earn at least a 3.50 GPA in a minimum of 12 units of letter-graded work will be awarded Dean’s List recognition. Courses taken from Extended Education or credit by examination will not be included in this calculation. Only the grades for one semester will be used in the computation of the GPA for purposes of granting this recognition.

Academic Records

Student academic records are maintained by the Office of Admissions and Records. These records are considered confidential and, while available to faculty members for advising purposes, the information contained is subject to very strict control. Parents of minor students have authorized access to the academic records of their children. All other persons requesting access to academic records, including governmental investigators and parents of students 18 years old or older, must have the student’s written permission.

A student’s permanent academic record cannot be changed except where an error in recording has occurred or by approval of the proper University authority. Records will not be changed once a degree has been awarded.

Individuals may have access to their official records by appointment with the Office of Admissions and Records. Records of work done at other institutions cannot be copied; students’ files will be kept for no more than five years after the semester last attended.


After students apply for graduation they can go into their MySSU account and review/edit their diploma name and address. The name must be legally and verifiably their own as it appears on an appropriate form of identification, such as a driver’s license or Social Security card. Family names and nicknames cannot be used. The policy applies for reissued diplomas and certificates as well.

Diplomas are mailed approximately ten to twelve weeks after the graduation date so be sure you adjust for this when changing or modifying your diploma address. A replacement copy of a lost diploma may be purchased for $10.

Scholastic Status

Grade point average (GPA), used as a measurement of satisfactory scholarship, is calculated by dividing the number of grade points by the number of units attempted for the grades of A, B, C, D, F, WU, and IC. CR and NC are not used in this calculation.

Academic Standing

Academic standing refers to the quality of a student’s academic work at the University. Academic Standing is calculated for all college units attempted (cumulative GPA) and for all units attempted at Sonoma State University (resident GPA). Students falling below acceptable standards are placed on academic probation and become subject to academic disqualification should the quality of their academic work not improve to meet minimum standards.

Good Standing

Undergraduate students who have maintained satisfactory scholarship with at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average and their SSU resident GPA are in good standing. Graduate and Credential students who have maintained satisfactory scholarship with at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average are in good standing.

Academic Probation and Academic Disqualification

Academic Standing is computed twice a year - once at the end of the Spring semester, and once at the end of the Fall semester. There are two probationary and disqualification statuses to which students may be subject to: academic or administrative. Grade changes made after the running of academic standing will not be reflected until academic standing is run following the next regular graded semester.

Academic Probation

An undergraduate student is subject to academic probation if at any time the cumulative grade point average in all college work attempted or cumulative grade point average at the campus where enrolled falls below 2.0 (Title 5. California Code of Regulations, Section 41300 (a)).

An undergraduate student shall be removed from academic probation when the cumulative grade point average in all college work attempted and the cumulative grade point average at the campus where enrolled is 2.0 or higher.

Probation and Disqualification of post-baccalaureate and graduate students are subject to Section 41300 (d), (e), and (f) of Title 5 and criteria established by the campus.

Undergraduate 2.00
Graduate and Credential Students 3.00

Academic Disqualification

As authorized by Section 41300 (b) of Title 5, undergraduate students on academic probation are subject to academic disqualification when they fall below a 2.00 (C) average by the number of grade points indicated either for all units attempted or for all units attempted at Sonoma State University.

Class Level Minimum GPA
Freshmen (0-29 units completed) 1.50
Sophomores (30-59 units completed) 1.70
Juniors (60-89 units completed) 1.85
Seniors (90 or more units completed) 1.95

Undergraduate students who have been disqualified may not apply for immediate reinstatement. Students who have been disqualified should plan to retake any course(s) for which you received grades of C- or below (including WU and IC); examine the circumstances that led to your unsatisfactory performance and make appropriate adjustments to ensure the circumstances do not recur.

Once a student has been disqualified and who has been separated from the University for at least one full semester, may apply to the University Standards Committee for consideration of reinstatement. The Committee shall take into consideration qualitative and quantitative evidence of the student’s ability to overcome his/her grade point deficit (SSU and cumulative). Lower division students shall normally be expected to repeat and complete enough transferable college-level course work elsewhere to raise their GPA to at least 2.0 before applying for reinstatement.

Graduate and credential students: Minimum GPA 3.0. A graduate or credential student on academic probation who fails to earn sufficient grade points for removal from probationary status is subject to academic disqualification.

Notice of Disqualification: Students who are disqualified at the end of an enrollment period under any of the provisions of Executive Order 823 will be notified before the beginning of the next consecutive regular enrollment period. Students disqualified at the beginning of a summer enrollment break should be notified at least one month before the start of the fall term.

Academic Disqualification of Students not on Probation

A student not on probation may be disqualified if a) at the end of any term, the student has a cumulative GPA below 1.0, AND b) the cumulative GPA is so low that, in view of the student’s overall educational record, it seems unlikely that the deficiency will be removed within a reasonable period, as determined by the registrar in consultation with the University Standard Committee. Such disqualifications may be appealed to the University Standards Committee.

Administrative-Academic Probation

A student may be placed on administrative-academic probation for 1) withdrawal from a substantial portion of a program in two successive terms; 2) repeated failure to progress toward a degree; 3) repeated failure to progress toward the stated degree objective or other program objective, including that resulting from assignment of 15 units of NC; or 4) failure to comply with an academic requirement or regulation that is routine for all students or for a defined group of students.

Administrative-Academic Disqualification

Students may be placed in administrative-academic disqualified status for continued failure to remedy the condition resulting in their being on administrative academic probation. Additionally, the President may designate a campus official to act for him or her in the disqualification of students not on probation when: 1) a student has, at the end of any term, fewer cumulative grade points than cumulative units attempted; and 2) the cumulative grade point deficiency is so great that, in view of the student’s overall educational program, it seems unlikely that the deficiency will be corrected within a reasonable period of time. A student disqualified from the University may be reinstated only by special action.

Reinstatement after Disqualification

Students are not academically disqualified from the University on the basis of a single semester of unsatisfactory work EXCEPT in the case above (Academic Disqualification of Students not on Probation). A student who has been at the University for more than one semester and whose SSU or cumulative grade point average results in disqualification will not be allowed to apply for readmission to the University until he/she has been away from the University for a period of time (generally a minimum of one semester) and has demonstrated academic success (or an equivalent experience) in another environment.

Disqualified students may be considered for reinstatement by petitioning to the University Standards Committee (in care of the Office of Admissions and Records). Petitions must be accompanied by evidence (such as satisfactory academic work elsewhere) that would justify reinstatement and a letter of support from the student’s SSU major department. Petitions are reviewed and approved or denied by the University Standards Committee. Disqualified students who are reinstated will be on a probationary basis until all grade point deficiencies have been removed or until they are again disqualified. Students who have been reinstated after disqualification and then disqualified again will not be reinstated except under exceptional circumstances.

Course Repeat

For detailed information on the CSU’s Course Repeat Policy

Excessive Enrollment and Duplicate Credit

If a student enrolls in the same course beyond catalog limitations, units earned will not be counted toward a baccalaureate. The grades and any grade points earned, however, will be averaged with the student’s other grades. The same holds true for students who have taken the same course outside of what Is allowed. Units will only count once, but the two grades will average Into the GPA. The University does not award credit for a course twice.

Academic Renewal

The trustees of the California State University have established a program of academic renewal whereby students who are having difficulty meeting graduation requirements due to a grade point deficiency may petition to have up to two semesters or three quarters of previous college work discounted from all considerations associated with meeting requirements for the baccalaureate. Academic renewal is intended only to facilitate graduation from SSU and is not applicable for individuals who already possess a baccalaureate or who meet graduation requirements without the approval of a petition for academic renewal.

Conditions: To qualify for academic renewal, all of the following conditions established by the trustees must be met:

  1. The student must present evidence in the petition that the coursework to be disregarded was substandard and not representative of the student’s present scholastic ability and level of performance, because of extenuating circumstances.
  2. The student must present evidence that if the petition is denied, it would be necessary for the student to enroll in additional coursework involving one or more additional terms in order to qualify for graduation. The student should include the specific coursework or requirements involved. Normally students should have completed 90 units prior to filing the petition.
  3. Five years must have elapsed since the term or terms to be disregarded were completed. Terms taken at any institution may be disregarded.
  4. Subsequent to the completion of the term(s) to be disregarded, the student must have completed the following coursework at Sonoma State University: 15 semester units with at least a 3.00 GPA, or 30 semester units with at least a 2.50 GPA, or 45 semester units with at least a 2.00 GPA.

If and when the petition is granted, the student’s permanent academic record will be annotated so that it is readily evident to all users of the record that no work taken during the disregarded term(s), even if satisfactory, will apply toward baccalaureate graduation requirements. However, all work will remain legible on the record to ensure a true and complete academic history.

A final decision on the petition will be made by the University Standards Committee. The Committee will review petitions only if all of the basic requirements (indicated above) are met. Normally, students will be notified of the decision within 30 days after the completed petition is submitted.

Class Attendance

Class attendance is an important part of a student’s university experience. However, there are legitimate reasons for missing class, such as illness, accidents, death of a close family member, jury duty, religious observance or representing the University at officially approved University activities. Students should be cautioned that even though absences may be for legitimate reasons, such absences can impair performance and result in a lower grade. Faculty have primary authority for setting class attendance policy according to discipline standards. There are class activities, such as labs, assignments and discussions that cannot reasonably be made up.

When students are absent from classes, it is their responsibility to provide the instructor with due notice and documentation when possible, and to inform the instructor of the reason for absence. Students are also responsible for requesting, in a timely manner, to make up missed assignments and class work if these are reasonably able to be provided.

Instructors are responsible for providing a clear statement on the course outline about the impact of attendance on students’ grades. For students who have missed classes for legitimate reasons, instructors are also responsible for providing an opportunity to complete make-up work or grade substitution, if the instructor determines that such is reasonably able to be provided.

Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Regulations

  1. No fewer than one-half of the units shall be in graduate (500-level) courses.
  2. A classified student must continue to demonstrate, throughout enrollment in the graduate program, the level of competence required to be successful in the completion of the requirements. This evaluation of competence is primarily the responsibility of faculty actively teaching in the program.
  3. The master’s program contract advances the student to candidacy and must be filed no later than the time the student files for graduation.
  4. At least 21 semester units shall be completed in residence.
  5. At least 18 semester units shall be completed in the major.
  6. No more than 6 semester units shall be allowed for a thesis.
  7. No more than 9 units of Extension or transfer credit (or combination of the two) may be allowed, subject to the approval of the department concerned.
  8. No credit toward a master’s degree will be given for student teaching in a credential program.
  9. The candidate must complete a thesis, project, or comprehensive exam as required by the department. Culminating projects that are published by the library require review by the Graduate Studies Office, as well as the student’s faculty committee. A public defense of the thesis or project is required.
  10. Graduate students at Sonoma State University may, at the discretion of the department, take up to one-third of the total units applied to the master’s degree in a nontraditional grading mode.
  11. The student may take three semesters to complete the thesis/project following initial enrollment in the units. The SP grade will remain until the student submits the culminating project. Projects taking more than four semesters to complete will require approval by the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs and Graduate Studies, the appropriate campus authority, or re-enrollment in units.

Change in Graduate Standing

Many students are admitted to the University in conditionally classified standing with contingencies to remove prior to becoming a classified student. This admission does not guarantee a space in the graduate program. Such a guarantee is obtained by a change in graduate standing to classified status verified by the program in question. Each department has its own procedures for granting the student a place in its program. At the time this status is confirmed, a Change in Graduate Status form is filed with the Admission and Records Office and the Graduate Studies Office confirming the department’s approval of this change in status. Changes to graduate status may not be processed until the end of the semester.

Students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree from a foreign institution and change from working toward a second bachelor’s to a graduate program must submit a qualifying TOEFL or IELTS score.

Syllabus Policy

The University Syllabus Policy states faculty Faculty shall provide students with a syllabus for all university courses that confer academic credit. Course outlines shall be provided to students that are accessible to each student within the first full week of classes and must include the following items:

  1. Name of instructor, office location, office hours, office telephone number, and email address.
  2. Course number, title, and semester/year.
  3. General course information, including classroom, course format, meeting days/times, pre-requisites, fees, and GE category (as applicable).
  4. Course description from the catalog or departmental description compatible with description from the university catalog.  
  5. Student learning outcomes. Student learning outcomes should be written in such a way thaSSU
    a.  Outcomes are measurable, specific, and achievable in the course time frame.
    b.  Alignment between course requirements and student learning outcomes is clear.
  6. General Education Mission, Goals, and Objectives (MGOs), either printed or as URL reference (for GE Courses).
  7. Course materials that must be procured by the student, including texts, software, or other equipment
  8. Course requirements such as written work, exams, quizzes, projects, labs, fieldwork, and attendance
  9. Expected Schedule of topics, readings, assignments, and exams. Specify how students will be notified if changes to the schedule are necessary.
  10. Grading policy – indicate the relative weight of course requirements, expected due dates, and method for determining final grades.
  11. Reminder about policies – for recommended language, see the Accessible Syllabus Template
  12. Clear statement of department or faculty member’s policy for assigning attendance and participation credit, responding to cheating and plagiarism, and accepting late work.

For more information, see the full syllabus policy.

Student Policies

Privacy Rights of Students in Education Records (FERPA)

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. 1232g) (FERPA) and regulations adopted thereunder (34 C.F.R. 99) set out requirements designed to protect students’ privacy in their educational records maintained by the campus. The statute and regulations govern access to certain student records maintained by the campus and the release of those records. FERPA provides that the campus must give students access to most records directly related to the student, and must also provide opportunity for a hearing to correct the records if the student claims they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate. The right to a hearing under this law does not include any right to challenge the appropriateness of a grade determined by the instructor. FERPA generally requires the campus obtain a student’s written consent before releasing personally identifiable data pertaining to the student. The campus has adopted a set of policies and procedures governing implementation of FERPA and the regulations. Copies of these policies and procedures may be obtained in the Registrar’s Office. Among the information included in the campus statement of policies and procedures is: (1) the student records maintained and the information they contain; (2) the campus official responsible for maintaining each record; (3) the location of access lists indicating persons requesting or receiving information from the record; (4) policies for reviewing and expunging records; (5) student access rights to their records; (6) procedure for challenging the content of student records; and (7) the student’s right to file a complaint with the Department of Education. The Department of Education has established an office and review board to investigate complaints and adjudicate violations. The designated office is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-5920.

FERPA authorizes the campus to release “directory information” pertaining to students. “Directory information” may include the student’s name, address, telephone listing, electronic mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status, degrees, honors, and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution the student attended. The campus may release this “directory information” at any time unless the campus has received prior written objection from the student specifying the information the student requests not be released. Written objections must be sent to:

Sonoma State University
EOP Office in Salazar 1060
1801 East Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, CA 94928-3609
Tel: (707) 664-2427
Fax: (707) 664-3999
Major field of study
Dates of attendance
Grade level
Enrollment status (e.g., graduate or undergraduate; full-time or part-time)
Participation in intercollegiate athletics
Degrees received
Most recent educational agency or institution attended.

The campus is authorized to provide access to student records to campus officials and employees who have legitimate educational interests in such access. These persons have responsibilities in the campus’s academic, administrative or service functions and have reason for accessing student records associated with their campus or other related academic responsibilities. Student records will be disclosed to the CSU Chancellor’s Office to conduct research, to analyze trends, or to provide other administrative services. Student records may also be disclosed to other persons or organizations under certain conditions (e.g., as part of the accreditation or program evaluation; in response to a court order or subpoena; in connection with financial aid; or to other institutions to which the student is transferring).

Immunization Requirements and Registration Holds for Non-Compliance

In accordance with California State University policy, entering students are required to provide SSU with copies of official records showing full immunization (or blood test proof of immunity) to the diseases listed below. All incoming new students are required to submit immunization documentation to the SSU Student Health Center through the “My Health Portal” tile on their My SSU Online Services Portal. This must be completed at least 6 weeks prior to the start of each student’s first semester of classes at Sonoma State University. Students who do not meet this deadline are subject to conditional enrollment and other late compliance penalties. Holds are placed on the records of students who have not provided SSU with the required documentation.These registration holds prohibit students from registering for future classes until the required documents have been received and processed.

  1. Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR): proof of immunization is required of all students born after 12/31/56. Immunization records must show that the student received two doses of MMR vaccine after 12 months of age and spaced at least one month apart. Students may also meet this requirement by submitting copies of blood test results showing that the student is immune to Rubeola (Measles), Mumps and Rubella.
  2. Hepatitis B vaccine: proof of immunization is required of all students who are or were under age 19 at the start of their first semester of classes at SSU. Immunization records must show that the student received three appropriately spaced doses of Hepatitis B vaccine or copies of a blood test showing immunity to Hepatitis B. These requirements persist until fully satisfied, regardless of the student’s subsequent age.
  3. Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine: two doses with first dose on or after 1st birthday; OR blood test showing immunity. History of contracting the disease does NOT meet compliance requirement.
  4. Meningococcal conjugate (Serogroups A, C, Y & W-135) vaccine: one dose on or after age 16 years for all students age 21 years or younger at the time of the start of first semester of classes at SSU.
  5. Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine: One dose after age 7
  6. Screening/Risk Assessment for Tuberculosis (TB): All incoming students must complete a TB risk questionnaire. Incoming students who are at higher risk for TB infection, as indicated by answering “yes” to any of the screening questions, should undergo either skin or blood testing for TB infection within one year of CSU entry. Higher risk includes travel to or living in (for one month or more) South or Central America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East; prior positive TB test; or exposure to someone with active TB disease.

Students in need of immunizations or blood tests to demonstrate immunity should contact an off campus health care provider. Incoming SSU students who have paid their enrollment deposit are eligible to utilize the SSU Student Health Center (SHC) for these services prior to the beginning of their first semester of classes. There are charges for these services at the SHC.

In addition to the required immunizations, the following immunizations are strongly recommended for college students by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

  • Hepatitis B vaccine– Students age 19 and older
  • Hepatitis A vaccine – All students regardless of age
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine –Women and men through age 26 years
  • Meningococcal B vaccine–Students age 16-23 who elect vaccination after discussion with their healthcare provider
  • Pneumococcal vaccine – for students with certain medical conditions such as severe asthma, diabetes, vhronic liver or kidney disease
  • Poliovirus – Regardless of age, if the series was not completed as a child

Student Conduct

(707) 664-3225

The President of the University has authority in disciplinary actions. In compliance with CSU Executive Order 1098 the President may assign a campus official or officials to be the Student Conduct Administrator (SCA), whose responsibility is to determine whether to initiate disciplinary action under the Student Conduct Code. The Chief Student Affairs Officer is the designated Student Conduct Administrator for this University.

Purpose Statement

Promote a safe and secure campus environment for learning and growing by serving as the primary source of student conduct and academic integrity.

Student Conduct Procedures

Inappropriate conduct by students or by applicants for admission is subject to disciplinary action by the University as provided in sections 41301 through 41304 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. The purpose of the code is to provide procedures that are fair and just, both to the student alleged and to the institution, by which it can be determined whether violations of conduct have occurred. A complaint against a student for an alleged violation of conduct (as defined in Sections 41301 through 41304 of Title 5) may be filed by a student, faculty member, staff member, University police officer, or community member. The complaint should be filed with the SCA, and will be assigned a hearing officer who will investigate the alleged violation. The hearing officer will hold a conference with the student to obtain their response to the alleged misconduct and to determine if the complaint may be dealt with informally by mutual consent through a student conduct resolution agreement. If the allegations of misconduct have not been resolved informally by conference and the Student Conduct Administrator determines that formal disciplinary action should be taken, the SCA shall initiate the disciplinary action process by written Notice of Hearing. This notice shall be served in person or served by certified mail return receipt requested to the student charged at the last known address on campus records. For detailed information about the Notice of Hearing process and requirements, please refer to CSU Executive Order 1098. At any point in the process, the student may waive a hearing and accept a sanction without admitting that they engaged in the conduct charged. The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer, who will be an administrative officer of the University appointed by the President. The hearing officer will submit a report and recommendations to the President, who will decide the matter, notify the student, and take action as appropriate. Discipline that may be imposed includes, but is not limited to, probation, suspension, and expulsion.

Student Conduct

Title 5, California Code of Regulations, § 41301. Standards for Student Conduct

  1. Campus Community Values
    The University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy living and learning environment for students, faculty, and staff. Each member of the campus community should choose behaviors that contribute toward this end. Students are expected to be good citizens and to engage in responsible behaviors that reflect well upon their university, to be civil to one another and to others in the campus community, and contribute positively to student and university life.
  2. Grounds for Student Discipline
    Student behavior that is not consistent with the Student Conduct Code is addressed through an educational process that is designed to promote safety and good citizenship and, when necessary, impose appropriate consequences. The following behavior is subject to disciplinary sanctions:
    1. Dishonesty, including:
      1. Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty that are intended to gain unfair academic advantage.
      2. Furnishing false information to a University official, faculty member, or campus office.
      3. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of a University document, key, or identification instrument.
      4. Misrepresenting one’s self to be an authorized agent of the University or one of its auxiliaries.
    2. Unauthorized entry into, presence in, use of, or misuse of University property.
    3. Willful, material, and substantial disruption or obstruction of a University-related activity, or any on-campus activity.
    4. Participating in an activity that substantially and materially disrupts the normal operations of the University, or infringes on the rights of members of the University community.
    5. Willful, material, and substantial obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or other traffic, on or leading to campus property or an off-campus University related activity.
    6. Disorderly, lewd, indecent, or obscene behavior at a University related activity, or directed toward a member of the University community.
    7. Conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person within or related to the University community, including physical abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, or sexual misconduct.
    8. Hazing or conspiracy to haze. Hazing is defined as any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university or other educational institution in this state (Penal Code 245.6), and in addition, any act likely to cause physical harm, personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm, to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university or other educational institution. The term “hazing” does not include customary athletic events or school sanctioned events.
      ​Neither the express or implied consent of a victim of hazing, nor the lack of active participation in a particular hazing incident is a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing is not a neutral act, and is also a violation of this section.
    9. Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of illegal drugs or drug- related paraphernalia, (except as expressly permitted by law and University regulations) or the misuse of legal pharmaceutical drugs.
    10. Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of alcoholic beverages (except as expressly permitted by law and University regulations), or public intoxication while on campus or at a University related activity.
    11. Theft of property or services from the University community, or misappropriation of University resources.
    12. Unauthorized destruction, or damage to University property or other property in the University community.
    13. Possession or misuse of firearms or guns, replicas, ammunition, explosives, fireworks, knives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals (without the prior authorization of the campus President) on campus or at a University related activity.
    14. Unauthorized recording, dissemination, or publication of academic presentations (including handwritten notes) for a commercial purpose.
    15. Misuse of computer facilities or resources, including:
      1. Unauthorized entry into a file, for any purpose.
      2. Unauthorized transfer of a file.
      3. Use of another’s identification or password.
      4. Use of computing facilities, campus network, or other resources to interfere with the work of another member of the University community.
      5. Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or intimidating and abusive messages.
      6. Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with normal University operations.
      7. Use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws.
      8. Violation of a campus computer use policy.
    16. Violation of any published University policy, rule, regulation, or Presidential order.
    17. Failure to comply with directions or, or interference with, any University official or any public safety officer while acting in the performance of his/her duties.
    18. Any act chargeable as a violation of a federal, state, or local law that poses a substantial threat to the safety or well-being of members of the University community, to property within the University community or poses a significant threat of disruption or interference with University operations.
    19. Violation of the Student Conduct Procedures, including:
      1. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information related to a student discipline matter.
      2. Disruption or interference with the orderly progress of a student discipline proceeding.
      3. Initiation of a student discipline proceeding in bad faith.
      4. Attempting to discourage another from participating in a student discipline matter.
      5. Attempting to influence the impartiality of any participant in a student discipline matter.
      6. Verbal or physical harassment or intimidation of any participant in a student discipline matter.
      7. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under a student discipline proceeding.
    20. (20) Encouraging, permitting, or assisting another to do any act that could subject him or her to discipline.
  3. Procedures for Enforcing This Code
    The chancellor shall adopt procedures to ensure students are afforded appropriate notice and an opportunity to be heard before the university imposes any sanction for a violation of the Student Conduct Code. [Note: At the time of publication, such procedures are set forth in California State University Executive Order 1098 (Revised June 23, 2015), available at calstate.edu/eo/EO-1098-rev-6-23-15.html.

  4. Application of This Code
    Sanctions for the conduct listed above can be imposed on applicants, enrolled students, students between academic terms, graduates awaiting degrees, and students who withdraw from school while a disciplinary matter is pending. Conduct that threatens the safety or security of the campus community, or substantially disrupts the functions or operation of the university is within the jurisdiction of this Article regardless of whether it occurs on or off campus. Nothing in this Code may conflict with Education Code Section 66301 that prohibits disciplinary action against students based on behavior protected by the First Amendment.

Title 5, California Code of Regulations, § 41302. Disposition of Fees: Campus Emergency; Interim Suspension.

The President of the campus may place on probation, suspend, or expel a student for one or more of the causes enumerated in Section 41301. No fees or tuition paid by or for such student for the semester, quarter, or summer session in which he or she is suspended or expelled shall be refunded. If the student is readmitted before the close of the semester, quarter, or summer session in which he or she is suspended, no additional tuition or fees shall be required of the student on account of the suspension.

During periods of campus emergency, as determined by the President of the individual campus, the President may, after consultation with the Chancellor, place into immediate effect any emergency regulations, procedures, and other measures deemed necessary or appropriate to meet the emergency, safeguard persons and property, and maintain educational activities.

The President may immediately impose an interim suspension in all cases in which there is reasonable cause to believe that such an immediate suspension is required in order to protect lives or property and to insure the maintenance of order. A student so placed on interim suspension shall be given prompt notice of charges and the opportunity for a hearing within 10 days of the imposition of interim suspension. During the period of interim suspension, the student shall not, without prior written permission of the President or designated representative, enter any campus of the California State University other than to attend the hearing. Violation of any condition of interim suspension shall be grounds for expulsion.

Notwithstanding any provision in this Chapter 1 to the contrary, admission or readmission may be qualified or denied to any person who, while not enrolled as a student, commits acts which, were he enrolled as a student, would be the basis for disciplinary proceedings pursuant to Sections 41301 or 41302. Admission or readmission may be qualified or denied to any person who, while a student, commits acts which are subject to disciplinary action pursuant to Section 41301 or Section 41302. Qualified admission or denial of admission in such cases shall be determined under procedures adopted pursuant to Section 41304.

41304. Student Disciplinary Procedures for the California State University

The Chancellor shall prescribe, and may from time to time revise, a code of student disciplinary procedures for the California State University. Subject to other applicable law, this code shall provide for determinations of fact and sanctions to be applied for conduct which is a ground of discipline under Sections 41301 or 41302, and for qualified admission or denial of admission under Section 41303; the authority of the campus President in such matters; conduct related determinations on financial aid eligibility and termination; alternative kinds of proceedings, including proceedings conducted by a Hearing Officer; time limitations; notice; conduct of hearings, including provisions governing evidence, a record, and review; and such other related matters as may be appropriate. The Chancellor shall report to the Board actions taken under this section.


The annual security report for Sonoma State University includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain non-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Sonoma State University, and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus safety, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. Crime prevention and personal safety information and pamphlets are available at Police Safety Services and on the SSU Police website.

In 2013, the VAWA/SaVE Act was reauthorized to include broader hate crime definitions and the additional crimes of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. These statistics are included in this year’s report.

You can access this report online or you can obtain a paper copy upon request by calling (707) 664-4444 or visiting University Police in the Verdot Village.

In compliance with the Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know Act, Sonoma State University’s annual Fire Safety Report. The report is compiled courtesy of the SSU Housing Services office. It includes all on campus student housing fire statistics, a description of fire safety systems, the number of fire drills, procedures for student housing evacuation, fire safety education programs, any planned future improvements in fire safety, and policies and rules regarding use of appliances, smoking, and open flames in student housing. Paper copies of the report are available upon request by visiting the Housing Services Office in Zinfandel Village.

Student Grievance Procedures

Dispute Resolution Board
Stevenson 1027
(707) 664-2801

A grievance may arise out of a decision or action reached or taken in the course of official duty, following a specific policy or procedure, by a member of the faculty, staff, or administration of Sonoma State University. The purpose of the grievance procedures is to provide a process for an impartial review and to ensure that the rights of students are properly recognized and protected. A student who wishes to initiate the grievance process should read the Grievance Policy, the Formal Dispute Resolution Procedures and may contact the Vice President of Student Affairs office. Informal procedures must be followed before a formal dispute may be filed. The above mentioned policies, procedures and a handbook for students can be found online.

Grade Appeal

In order to protect the rights of students and faculty, principles of due process are incorporated into the grade appeal procedures. A student who wishes to initiate a grade appeal procedure should read the Grade Appeal Policy, the Formal Dispute Resolution Procedures and may contact the Senate Analyst in the Academic Senate office. Informal procedures must be followed before a formal dispute may be filed. The above mentioned policies, procedures and a handbook for students can be found online at

Student Complaint Procedure (Complaints Regarding the CSU)

Division of Student Affairs
International Hall 205
(707) 664-2838

The California State University takes very seriously complaints and concerns regarding the institution. If you have a complaint regarding the CSU, you may present your complaint as follows:

  1. If your complaint concerns CSU’s compliance with academic program quality and accrediting standards, you may present your complaint to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). WASC is the agency that accredits the CSU’s academic program.
  2. If your complaint concerns an alleged violation by CSU of any law that prohibits discrimination, harassment or retaliation based on a protected status (such as age, disability, gender (or sex), gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity (including color or ancestry), religion or veteran or military status), you may present your complaint as described in Section XVI (Nondiscrimination Policy).
  3. If your complaint concerns an alleged violation by the CSU of other state law, including laws prohibiting fraud and false advertising, you may present your claim complaint to the campus president or designee at Student Affairs. See Procedure for Student Complaints—Executive Order No. 1063 for details regarding the complaint requirements and complaint process.
  4. Other complaints regarding the CSU may be presented to the campus dean of students [or other appropriate administrator], who will provide guidance on the appropriate campus process for addressing your particular issue.

If you believe that your complaint warrants further attention after you have exhausted all the steps outlined by the president or designee, or by WASC, you may file an appeal with the Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs at the CSU Chancellor’s Office.

This procedure should not be construed to limit any right that you may have to take civil or criminal legal action to resolve your complaint.

Financial Aid Appeal Policy

Students have the right to appeal their financial aid award or any other financial aid decision that they feel affects them adversely and that falls outside of the jurisdiction of federal, state, or Chancellor’s office regulations. This right includes answers to questions, explanations of financial aid policies and procedures, and a request for reconsideration. The initial appeal is made to the student’s financial aid representative. After subsequent review by the Director of Financial Aid, the student’s case may ultimately be presented to the Financial Aid Advisory Committee.

Smoking and Tobacco Policy

Sonoma State University has a responsibility to students, employees, and visitors to support and maintain a safe and healthful environment. Research shows that the use of tobacco products, smoking, exposure to second hand smoke, and discarded smoking and tobacco related items constitute significant public and environmental health hazards, and contribute to campus fire risk, cleaning and maintenance expenses and costs associated with absenteeism, medical care for tobacco related illness, and health insurance premiums.

In order to reduce these significant hazards, smoking, as well as the use of chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes are prohibited on the entire Sonoma State University campus. These prohibitions also apply to off-campus sites and vehicles owned, leased, or rented by SSU. Tobacco products may not be disposed of in or on the grounds of all locations covered by this policy. Information, including frequently asked questions, cessation resources, the policy text, etc. is available at: http://www.sonoma.edu/uaffairs/smokingandtobaccofree

Nondiscrimination and Complaint Procedures

Protected Status: Genetic Information, Marital Status, Medical Condition, Nationality, Race or Ethnicity (including color or ancestry), Religion or Religious Creed, and Veteran or Military Status.

California State University does not discriminate on the basis of age, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, nationality, race or ethnicity (including color and ancestry), religion (or religious creed), and veteran or military status – as these terms are defined in CSU Executive Order 1097– in its programs and activities, including admission and access. Federal and state laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the California Equity in Higher Education Act, prohibit such discrimination. Joyce Suzuki, Campus Coordinator for the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, has been designated to coordinate the efforts of SSU to comply with all applicable federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination on these bases. Inquiries concerning compliance may be presented to this person at Salazar 2078A, 707-664-4470. CSU Executive Order 1097 Revised March 29, 2019, (or any successor policy) is the systemwide procedure for all complaints of discrimination, harassment or retaliation made by students against the CSU, a CSU employee, other CSU students or a third party.

Protected Status: Disability

The California State University does not discriminate on the basis of disability (physical and mental) – as this term is defined in CSU Executive Order 1097 – in its programs and activities, including admission and access. Federal and state laws, including sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, prohibit such discrimination. Joyce Suzuki has been designated to coordinate the efforts of SSU to comply with all applicable federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability. Inquiries concerning compliance may be presented to this person at Salazar 2078A, 707-664-4470. CSU Executive Order 1097 Revised March 29, 2019, (or any successor policy) is the systemwide procedure for all complaints of discrimination, harassment or retaliation made by students against the CSU, a CSU employee, other CSU students or a third party.

Protected Status: Gender (or sex), Gender Identity (including transgender), Gender Expression and Sexual Orientation

California State University does not discriminate on the basis of gender (or sex), gender, (including transgender identity), gender expression or sexual orientation in its programs and activities, including admission and access. Federal and state laws, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, prohibit such discrimination. Joyce Suzuki has been designated to coordinate the efforts of SSU to comply with all applicable federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination on these bases. Inquiries concerning compliance may be presented to this person at Salazar 2078A, 707-664-4470. The California State University is committed to providing equal opportunities to all CSU students in all campus programs, including intercollegiate athletics. CSU Executive Order 1097 Revised March 29, 2019, (or any successor policy) is the systemwide procedure for all complaints of discrimination, harassment or retaliation made by students against the CSU, a CSU employee, other CSU students or a third party.

As a matter of federal and state law and California State University policy, the following types of conduct are prohibited:

Sexual Discrimination or Gender Discrimination means an adverse act taken against a student by the CSU, a CSU employee, or another student because of gender or sex (including sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking).

Sexual harassment, a form of sex discrimination, is unwelcome verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that includes, but is not limited to, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and any other conduct of a sexual nature where:

  1. Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct is explicitly or implicitly used as the basis for any decision affecting a Complainant’s status or progress, or access to benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the University; or
  2. The conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the Complaintant, and is in fact considered by the Complainant, as limiting his or her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or opportunities offered by the University; or
  3. The conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the Complainant, and is in fact considered by the Complainant, as creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

Sexual Harassment could include being forced to engage in unwanted sexual contact as a condition of membership in a student organization; being subjected to video exploitation or a campaign of sexually explicit graffiti; or frequently being exposed to unwanted images of a sexual nature in a classroom that are unrelated to the coursework.

Sexual Harassment also includes acts of verbal, non-verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on Gender or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

Executive Order 1097 covers unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. While romantic, sexual, intimate, personal or social relationships between members of the University community may begin as consensual, they may evolve into situations that lead to Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct, including Dating or Domestic Violence, or Stalking, subject to this policy.

Claiming that the conduct was not motivated by sexual desire is not a defense to a complaint of harassment based on Gender.

Sexual misconduct: All sexual activity between members of the University community must be based on affirmative consent. Engaging in any sexual activity without first obtaining affirmative consent to the specific activity is sexual misconduct, whether or not the conduct violates any civil or criminal law. Sexual activity includes, but is not limited to, kissing, touching intimate body parts, fondling, intercourse, penetration of any body part, and oral sex. It also includes any unwelcome physical acts, such as unwelcome sexual touching, sexual assault, sexual battery, rape, and dating violence. When based on gender, domestic violence or stalking also constitutes sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct may include using physical force, violence, threat or intimidation, ignoring the objections of the other person, causing the other person’s intoxication or incapacitation through the use of drugs or alcohol, or taking advantage of the other person’s incapacitation (including voluntary intoxication) to engage in sexual activity. Men as well as women can be victims of these forms of sexual misconduct. Sexual activity with a minor is never consensual when the complainant is under 18 years old, because the minor is considered incapable of giving consent.

Sexual assault is a form of sexual misconduct and is an attempt, coupled with the ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another because of that person’s gender or sex.

Sexual battery is a form of sexual misconduct and is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another because of that person’s gender or sex as well as touching an intimate part of another person against that person’s will and for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification or abuse.

Rape is a form of sexual misconduct and is non-consensual sexual intercourse that may also involve the use of threat of force, violence, or immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threats of future retaliation and duress. Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to constitute rape. Sexual acts including intercourse are considered non-consensual when a person is incapable of giving consent because they are incapacitated from alcohol and/or drugs, is under 18 years old, or if a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability renders the person incapable of giving consent. The respondent’s relationship to the person (such as family member, spouse, friend, acquaintance or stranger) is irrelevant.

Acquaintance rape is a form of sexual misconduct committed by an individual known to the victim. This includes a person the victim may have just met; i.e., at a party, introduced through a friend, or on a social networking website.

Affirmative consent means an informed, affirmative, conscious, voluntary, and mutual agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that they have the affirmative consent of the other participant(s) to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be voluntary, and given without coercion, force, threats or intimidation.

  • The existence of a dating or social relationship between those involved, or the fact of past sexual activities between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of affirmative consent. A request for someone to use a condom or birth control does not, in and of itself, constitute affirmative consent.
  • Affirmative consent can be withdrawn or revoked. Consent to one form of sexual activity (or sexual act) does not constitute consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent given to sexual activity on one occasion does not constitute consent on another occasion. There must always be mutual and affirmative consent to engage in sexual activity. Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time, including after penetration. Once consent is withdrawn or revoked, the sexual activity must stop immediately.
  • A person who is incapacitated cannot give affirmative consent. A person is unable to consent when they are asleep, unconscious or is incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication so that they could not understand the fact, nature or extent of the sexual activity. A person is incapacitated if they lack the physical and/or mental ability to make informed, rational decisions.
  • A person with a medical or mental disability may also lack the capacity to give consent.
  • Sexual activity with a minor (a person under 18 years old) is not consensual, because a minor is considered incapable of giving legal consent due to age.
  • It shall not be a valid excuse that a person affirmatively consented to the sexual activity if the respondent knew or reasonably should have known that the person was unable to consent to the sexual activity under any of the following circumstances:
    • The person was asleep or unconscious;
    • The person was incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication, so that the person could not understand the fact, nature or extent of the sexual activity;
    • The person was unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition.
  • It shall not be a valid excuse that the respondent believed that the person consented to the sexual activity under either of the following circumstances:
    • The respondent’s belief in affirmative consent arose from the intoxication or recklessness of the respondent;
    • The respondent did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the respondent at the time, to ascertain whether the person affirmatively consented.

Consensual relationships: Consensual relationship means a sexual or romantic relationship between two persons who voluntarily enter into such a relationship. While sexual and/or romantic relationships between members of the University community may begin as consensual, they may evolve into situations that lead to discrimination, harassment, retaliation, sexual misconduct, dating or domestic violence, or stalking.

  • A university employee shall not enter into a consensual relationship with a student or employee over whom they exercise direct or otherwise significant academic, administrative, supervisory, evaluative, counseling, or extracurricular authority. In the event such a relationship already exists, each campus shall develop a procedure to reassign such authority to avoid violations of this policy.
  • This prohibition does not limit the right of an employee to make a recommendation on the personnel matters concerning a family or household member where the right to make recommendations on such personnel matters is explicitly provided for in the applicable collective bargaining agreement or MPP/confidential personnel plan.

Domestic violence is abuse committed against someone who is a current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, someone with whom the abuser has a child, someone with whom the abuser has or had a dating or engagement relationship, or a person similarly situated under California domestic or family violence law. Cohabitant means two unrelated persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of relationship. It does not include roommates who do not have a romantic, intimate, or sexual relationship. Factors that may determine whether persons are cohabiting include, but are not limited to (1) sexual relations between the parties while sharing the same living quarters, (2) sharing of income or expenses, (3) joint use or ownership of property, (4) whether the parties hold themselves out as husband and wife, (5) the continuity of the relationship, and (6) the length of the relationship. For purposes of this definition, “abuse” means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another. Abuse does not include non-physical, emotional distress or injury.

Dating violence is abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a social or dating relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. This may include someone the victim just met; i.e., at a party, introduced through a friend, or on a social networking website. For purposes of this definition, “abuse” means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another. Abuse does not include non-physical, emotional distress or injury.

Stalking means engaging in a repeated course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their or others’ safety or to suffer substantial emotional distress. For purposes of this definition: 

  • Course of conduct means two or more acts, including but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveys, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property;
  • Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with the same protected status as the complainant;
  • Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

See further information in SSU’s sexual violence prevention and education statement, Title IX Notice of Nondiscrimination (which includes facts and myths about sexual violence), and Victim’s Rights and Options Notice

Who To Contact If You Have Complaints, Questions, or Concerns

Title IX requires the university to designate a Title IX Coordinator to monitor and oversee overall Title IX compliance. The campus Title IX Coordinator is available to explain and discuss the university’s complaint process, including the investigation and hearing process; the availability of reasonable supportive measures (both on and off campus regardless of whether the person chooses to report the conduct); the right to file a criminal complaint (for example, in cases of sexual misconduct); how confidentiality is handled; and other related matters. If you are in the midst of an emergency, please call the police immediately by dialing 9-1-1.

Campus Title IX Coordinator
Bill Kidder
International Hall 207
(707) 664-2480
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

University Police
SSU Police and Parking Services
Verdot Village
Emergency: 9-1-1 from a campus phone or (707) 664-4444
24-hour non-emergency: (707) 664-2143

U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
(800) 421-3481 (main office), or (415) 486-5555 (California office), or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or ocr@ed.gov  (main office) or ocr.sanfrancisco@ed.gov (California office)

If you wish to, you may fill out a complaint form online with the OCR

Safety of the Campus Community is Primary

The University’s primary concern is the safety of its campus community members. The use of alcohol or drugs never makes the victim at fault for gender discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct therefore, victims should not be deterred from reporting incidents of sexual misconduct out of a concern that they might be disciplined for related violations of drug, alcohol or other university policies. Except in extreme circumstances, victims of sexual misconduct shall not be subject to discipline for related violations of the Student Conduct Code.

Information Regarding Campus, Criminal and Civil Consequences of Committing Acts of Sexual Violence

Individuals alleged to have committed sexual misconduct may face criminal prosecution by law enforcement and may incur penalties as a result of civil litigation. In addition, students may face discipline at the university, up to and including suspension or expulsion and withholding of their degrees. Employees may face sanctions up to and including suspension, demotion or dismissal from employment, pursuant to established CSU policies and provisions of applicable collective bargaining unit agreements.

Students who are charged by the University with gender discrimination, harassment or misconduct will be subject to discipline, pursuant to the California State University Student Conduct Procedures (see Executive Order 1098 or any successor executive order) and will be subject to appropriate sanctions. In addition, during any investigation, the University may implement interim measures in order to maintain a safe and non-discriminatory educational environment. Such measures may include but not be limited to: immediate interim suspension from the University; a required move from university-owned or affiliated housing; adjustments to course schedule; and/or prohibition from contact with parties involved in the alleged incident.

Confidentiality and Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking

The University encourages victims of sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking (collectively sexual misconduct) to talk to someone about what happened – so they can get the support they need, and so the University can respond appropriately.

Privileged and Confidential Communications

Physicians, Psychotherapists, Professional Licensed Counselors, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, and Clergy

Physicians, psychotherapists, professional, licensed counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and clergy who work or volunteer on or off campus, acting solely in those roles or capacities as part of their employment, and who provide medical or mental health treatment or counseling (and those who act under their supervision, including all individuals who work or volunteer in their centers and offices) may not report any information about an incident of sexual misconduct to anyone else at the University, including the Title IX Coordinator, without the victim’s consent. A victim can seek assistance and support from physicians, psychotherapists, professional, licensed counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and clergy without triggering a University investigation that could reveal the victim’s identity or the fact of the victim’s disclosure. However, see limited exceptions below regarding when health care practitioners must report to local law enforcement agencies. Health care practitioners should explain these limited exceptions to victims, if applicable.

Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Counselors and Advocates

Sexual assault and domestic violence counselors and advocates who work or volunteer on or off campus in sexual assault centers, victim advocacy offices, women’s centers, and health centers (including those who act in that role under their supervision, along with non-professional counselors or advocates who or volunteer in sexual assault centers, victim advocacy offices, women’s centers, gender equity centers, or health centers) may talk to a victim without revealing any information about the victim and the incident of sexual misconduct to anyone else at the University, including the Title IX Coordinator, without the victim’s consent. A victim can seek assistance and support from these counselors and advocates without triggering a University investigation that could reveal his/her identity or that a victim disclosed an incident to them. However, see limited exceptions below regarding when sexual assault and domestic violence counselors and advocates must report to local law enforcement agencies. Counselors and advocates should explain these limited exceptions to victims, if applicable.

The University will be unable to conduct an investigation into a particular incident or pursue disciplinary action against a perpetrator if a victim chooses to (1) speak only to a physician, professional licensed counselor, licensed clinical social worker, clergy member, sexual assault counselor, domestic violence counselor or advocate; and (2) maintain complete confidentiality. Even so, these individuals will assist victims in receiving other necessary protection and support, such as victim advocacy, disability, medical/health or mental health services, or legal services, and will advise victims regarding their right to file a Title IX complaint with the University and a separate complaint with local or University police. If a victim insists on confidentiality, such professionals, counselors and advocates will likely not be able to assist the victim with: University academic support or accommodations; changes to University-based living or working schedules; or adjustments to course schedules. A victim who at first requests confidentiality may later decide to file a complaint with the University or report the incident to the police, and thus have the incident fully investigated. These counselors and advocates can provide victims with that assistance if requested by the victim. These counselors and advocates will also explain that Title IX includes protections against retaliation, and that the University will not only take steps to prevent retaliation when it knows or reasonably should know of possible retaliation, but will also take strong responsive action if it occurs.

Exceptions: Under California law, any health practitioner employed in a health facility, clinic, physician’s office, or local or state public health department or clinic is required to make a report to local law enforcement if he or she provides medical services for a physical condition to a patient/victim who he or she knows or reasonably suspects is suffering from (1) a wound or physical injury inflicted by a firearm; or (2) any wound or other physical injury inflicted upon a victim where the injury is the result of assaultive or abusive conduct (including sexual misconduct, domestic violence, and dating violence). This exception does not apply to sexual assault and domestic violence counselors and advocates. Health care practitioners should explain this limited exception to victims, if applicable.

Additionally, under California law, all professionals described above (physicians, psychotherapists, professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, clergy, and sexual assault and domestic violence counselors and advocates) are mandatory child abuse and neglect reporters, and are required to report incidents involving victims under 18 years of age to local law enforcement. These professionals will explain this limited exception to victims, if applicable.

Finally, some or all of these professionals may also have reporting obligations under California law to (1) local law enforcement in cases involving threats of immediate or imminent harm to self or others where disclosure of the information is necessary to prevent the threatened danger; or (2) to the court if compelled by court order or subpoena in a criminal proceeding related to the sexual violence incident. If applicable, these professionals will explain this limited exception to victims.

Reporting to University or Local Police

If a victim reports to local or university police about sexual misconduct crimes, the police are required to notify victims that their names will become a matter of public record unless confidentiality is requested. If a victim requests that their identity be kept confidential, their name will not become a matter of public record and the police will not report the victim’s identity to anyone else at the university, including the Title IX Coordinator. University police will, however, report the facts of the incident itself to the Title IX Coordinator being sure not to reveal to the Title IX Coordinator victim names/identities or compromise their own criminal investigation. The university is required by the federal Clery Act to report certain types of crimes (including certain sex offenses) in statistical reports. However, while the university will report the type of incident in the annual crime statistics report known as the Annual Security Report, victim names/identities will not be revealed.

Reporting to the Title IX Coordinator and Other University Employees

Most university employees have a duty to report incidents of sexual misconduct when they are on notice of it. When a victim tells the Title IX Coordinator or another university employee about an incident of sexual misconduct, the victim has the right to expect the university to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably. In all cases, the university strongly encourages victims to report incidents of sexual misconduct directly to the campus Title IX Coordinator. As detailed above, in the “Privileged and Confidential Communications” section of this policy, all university employees except physicians, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, sexual assault counselors and advocates, must report to the Title IX Coordinator all relevant details about any incidents of sexual misconduct of which they become aware. The university will need to determine what happened – and will need to know the names of the victim(s) and the perpetrator(s), any witnesses, and any other relevant facts, including the date, time and specific location of the incident.

To the extent possible, information reported to the Title IX Coordinator or other university employees will be shared only with individuals responsible for handling the university’s response to the incident. The university will protect the privacy of individuals involved in a sexual misconduct violence incident except as otherwise required by law or university policy. A report of sexual misconduct may result in the gathering of extremely sensitive information about individuals in the campus community. While such information is considered confidential, university policy regarding access to public records and disclosure of personal information may require disclosure of certain information concerning a report of sexual misconduct. In such cases, efforts will be made to redact the records, as appropriate, in order to protect the victim’s identity and privacy and the privacy of other involved individuals. Except as detailed in the section on “Privileged and Confidential Communications” above, no university employee, including the Title IX Coordinator, should disclose the victim’s identity to the police without the victim’s consent or unless the victim has also reported the incident to the police.

If a victim requests of the Title IX Coordinator or another university employee that their identity remain completely confidential, the Title IX Coordinator will explain that the university cannot always honor that request or guarantee complete confidentiality. If a victim wishes to remain confidential or request that no investigation be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the university must weigh that request against the university’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, employees, and third parties, including the victim. Under those circumstances, the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether the victim’s request for complete confidentiality and/or no investigation can be honored under the facts and circumstances of the particular case, including whether the university has a legal obligation to report the incident, conduct an investigation or take other appropriate steps. Without information about a victim’s identity, the university’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the perpetrator may be severely limited. See Executive Order 1095 (or any successor executive order) for further details around confidential reporting, and other related matters.

Additional Resources

Civil & Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws

Anyone who is found to be liable for copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages suffered as a result of the infringement along with any profits of the infringer attributable to the infringement that are not already taken into account in computing the actual damages, or “statutory” damages between $750 and $30,000 per work infringed. In the case of a “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. (See 17 U.S.C. §504.) Courts also have discretion to award costs and attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party. (See 17 U.S.C. §§504 and 505.) Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines. (See 17 U.S.C. §506 and 18 U.S.C. §2319.)