Sonoma State University (SSU, Sonoma State, or Sonoma) is a public university in Rohnert Park in Sonoma County, California. It is one of the smallest members of the California State University (CSU) system. Sonoma State offers 92 bachelor's degree programs, 19 master's degree programs, and 11 teaching credentials. The university is a Hispanic-serving institution.
Sonoma State College was established by the California State Legislature in 1960 to be part of the California State College system, with significant involvement of the faculty from San Francisco State University. As with all California State Colleges, Sonoma State later became part of the California State University system. Sonoma opened for the first time in 1961, with an initial enrollment of 250 students. Classes offered took place in leased buildings in Rohnert Park where the college offered its first four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. With the completion of its two main classroom halls, Stevenson Hall, named for politician Adlai Stevenson II, and Darwin Hall, named for Charles Darwin, the college moved to its permanent campus of 215 acres (87 ha) in 1966 where the first graduating class received their degrees.
In 1978, Sonoma State College became Sonoma State University when the school officially gained university status, after which the surrounding community provided funds for the new university to build a large swimming pool, completed in 1982, and the 500-seat Evert Person Theatre in 1989. Further enrollment increases and a new goal of movement toward a residential campus as opposed to a commuter campus facilitated the building of Verdot Village in 1995.