Jun 23, 2024  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
2020-2021 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Business Administration, B.S.

Department Mission

The Department of Business Administration at Sonoma State University offers high-quality, relevant education in business to as aspiring and practicing professionals, managers, and entrepreneurs in the private and public sectors. It does this in a liberal arts and sciences environment in which faculty emphasize the development and continuous improvement of the skills of critical thinking, effective communication, ethical reasoning, maintaining a global perspective, and applying disciplinary tools.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate general business problem-solving skills
  • Employ ethical reasoning
  • Apply global perspectives
  • Interpret quantitative applications
  • Demonstrate written communication skills
  • Show oral communication skills

Careers in Business Administration

The Department of Business Administration offers a wide selection of specialized courses designed to meet a variety of career objectives. These career objectives include, but are not limited to, management-level accounting positions in business, government, or public accounting; financial management, financial analysis and planning, investment banking, and insurance; general management, personnel, labor relations, public relations, wage and salary administration, training, and international business; advertising and promotion, product development, marketing research, and sales management; and positions in sales and management within the wine industry.

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

The bachelor’s degree in Business Administration includes a pre-business program, a core of course requirements, and a broad range of fields of concentration. All students in the major take preparatory courses and lower-division core requirements and then select concentrations based on individual interest and career plans. The fields of concentration include: accounting, finance, financial management, management, marketing, wine business strategies, and a special concentration designed by the student with the approval of the department chair. A Bachelor of Science in Business Administration prepares students for careers in an increasingly globalized world and trains them to be responsible citizens and effective leaders.

  Degree Requirements    
  General Education  48  
  Pre-Major Preparatory Courses    

MATH 131  or MATH 161  in GE category B4


ECON 204  in GE category D5


ECON 205  in GE category D1


BUS 211 or MATH 165 or ECON 217

  Major requirements [minimum] 55  
  General electives (to meet minimum degree requirements) 17  
  Minimum units needed for graduation: 120  

A minimum of 120 semester units is required to graduate with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. A total of 55 units with a minimum 2.00 GPA is required for the major; 20-21 additional units are needed in preparatory courses, many of which might apply toward general education requirements. In addition to general education and the major, some students need to take other coursework to fulfill unit requirements for the degree. Such courses may be selected from the entire University curriculum and may be used to explore other disciplines, complete a minor, or take more classes in the major.


The Department of Business Administration believes that advising is essential for students’ success. Students are encouraged to meet regularly with their advisor and are required to seek advising at certain critical junctures. These junctures occur when creating a 4-year plan, when changing status from Pre-Business to Business and planning a concentration, when applying for graduation, and when experiencing academic difficulties.

The department maintains an active advising function in a two-tier system. Business administration employs a full-time academic advisor with whom each Pre-Business student should consult on matters regarding general education, University requirements, the Pre-Business program, and routine major issues. When students move from Pre-Business to the Business Administration major, they are assigned a faculty advisor. Every full-time faculty member actively advises students, especially on matters relating to the major and careers.

Pre-Business Administration Program

All students enter the Business Administration program as Pre-Business majors. Pre-Business students must meet the computer competency requirement and complete all pre-major coursework prior to being granted Business Administration major status. Business major status is required to take upper-division business courses.

Computer Competency

Prior to being admitted to Business Administration status all Pre-Business majors must demonstrate computer competency. Students may demonstrate competency by passing an approved Microsoft Excel competency examination. Students should plan carefully and consult with the school website for test and registration information. Students may also demonstrate competency by earning a grade of C of better in an approved course that covers Microsoft Excel at an intermediate level.

Pre-Major Courses

Pre-major coursework consists of both preparatory courses and the lower-division portion of the Pre-Business major. Preparatory courses and lower-division core courses together constitute the Pre-Business major. A letter grade of C or better is required in each Pre-Business major course. In addition to demonstrating computer competency, all the following coursework must be completed as part of the Pre-Business program.

When the pre-major courses listed below are completed with a C or better, students have to file a Change of Status form along with all corresponding unofficial transcripts in order to change their major to Business Administration. Then the student will be able to register for upper-division Business major classes.

Lower-Division Pre-Business Core

(units count in the major)

Major in Business Administration

Major Component Normal Unit Distribution
Lower-division business core (3 courses) 9-12
Upper-division business core courses (7 courses) 28
Concentration (5 courses) 15-20
Electives in major As needed
Total units needed for major: 55

Transfer students may complete the Business Administration course requirements (10-course core and 5-course concentration) with fewer than 55 units; however, additional business electives must be taken to complete the 55-unit major requirement. Such students may elect to take additional coursework from their own or another area of concentration as long as they meet the prerequisites for such courses. It is recommended that students familiarize themselves with course requirements and consult with a faculty advisor prior to choosing elective courses intended to meet the major requirements. At least one-half of the courses, including a minimum of 3 courses in the concentration, must be completed at SSU.

Upper-Division Business Core

All business students must complete the following seven core requirements. (Note that coursework in the selected area of concentration usually may be taken concurrently with the core courses.)

Concentrations for Business Administration Majors

Every business student must complete an area of concentration within the major. Each concentration consists of five courses. Each of these courses will be of 3 or more units. Students should plan carefully and consult their faculty advisor regularly and before enrolling in concentration courses. Those wishing to complete a double concentration must take at least eight concentration courses beyond the core. Many concentration courses can be taken while completing core requirements. Most courses in the concentrations have prerequisites. At times, appropriate courses from other majors, such as psychology, sociology, public administration, economics and environmental studies, may be substituted in a concentration with the approval of the concentration advisor and the department chair. Except for the special concentration, at least 3 of the concentration courses must be taken at SSU.


Accounting Concentration   Advisors: Kathryn Chang, Kirsten Ely, Elizabeth Stanny, Vincent Richman, Jinglin Jiang

Finance Concentration    Advisors: Aidong Hu, Douglas Jordan, Michael Santos, Zachary Wong

Financial Management Concentration    Advisors: Kathryn Chang, Kirsten Ely, Aidong Hu, Douglas Jordan, Vincent Richman, Michael Santos, Elizabeth Stanny, Zachary Wong

Management Concentration   Advisors: Angelo Camillo, Naga Damaraju, Armand Gilinsky, Sandra Newton, Nadiya Parekh, Janejira Sutanonpaiboon, Elizabeth Thach, Karen Thompson, John Urbanski

Marketing Concentration   Advisors: Thomas Atkin, Richard Campbell, David Horowitz, Kyuho Lee, Janeen Olsen

Wine Business Strategies Concentration   Advisors: Thomas Atkin, Armand Gilinsky, Sandra Newton, Janeen Olsen, Elizabeth Thach, Damien Wilson

Special Concentration   Advisors: Adele Santana

Undergraduate Program Special Requirements

At least one-half of the courses of the major, including three of the courses in the concentration, must be completed at Sonoma State University.

Change of Major
The catalog year for a student declaring a major in Business Administration will be the catalog in effect at the time of such declaration.

Change of Status from Pre-Business to Business Administration Major
Pre-Business students must file a Change of Status form in the department to request change of status to the Business Administration major. This request should be submitted as soon as the student has completed, with a C or better, all required courses in the pre-major program and demonstrated computer competency. A faculty advisor will be assigned to assist the student with matters related to the major program. The change to Business Administration status will not become effective until completion of Pre-Business major requirements (with minimum “C” grades) has been verified.

B.S. in Business Administration at College of Marin

The School of Business and Economics is offering a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree completion program in partnership with the SSU School of Extended & International Education and the College of Marin. The degree completion program provides a pathway for students in the greater San Francisco North Bay area to earn a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Courses are taught by SSU faculty, scheduled evenings and Saturdays on the Kentfield campus of the College of Marin. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and is designed specifically for students with work, family, or other commitments who are not able to join traditional Business degree programs on the main SSU campus in Rohnert Park.

Sample Four-Year Program

Please note: This is one possible four-year schedule. Other schedules may also be feasible. It is important to see your advisor each semester to confirm that you are taking the correct courses.

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Freshman Year: 33-34 Units

Avoid Upper-Division GE until junior year Computer Competency Requirement should be met by the end of the first semester in the sophomore year
Spring Semester (18 Units)

Sophomore Year: 30-32 Units

Select a lab with one GE Area B course; select an Ethnic Studies (i.e., Critical Race Studies) course for GE Areas C, D, or E Computer Competency Requirement should be met by the end of the first semester in the sophomore year
Fall Semester (15-16 Units)

Spring Semester (15-16 Units)

Junior Year: 30-33 Units*

Fall Semester (14-16 Units)

  • UD BUS Core**
  • UD BUS Core
  • UD GE  OR
  • Elective
  • Take WEPT
Spring Semester (16-17 Units)

  • UD BUS Core
  • UD BUS Core
  • BUS Concentration
  • UD GE 

Senior Year: 30-31 Units

Apply for graduation at beginning of senior year.
Fall Semester (15-16 Units)

  • UD BUS Core
  • UD BUS Core
  • BUS Concentration
  • BUS Concentration
  • GE or Elective (if needed)
Spring Semester (15-16 Units)

Total Units: 120

*Completion of all Pre-Business requirements is the prerequisite for any upper-division Business class.
**Students should take BUS 344 in their first semester in the Business major if they are planning to complete the Management concentration; 360 first for the Marketing concentration; 370 first for the Finance or Financial Management concentration.
***BUS 491 is designed to be taken in the last semester of the program (prerequisites: all 300-level Business Core courses and submission of graduation application.)