The mission of Sonoma State University is to prepare students to be learned persons who:
- have a foundation for life-long learning,
- have a broad cultural perspective,
- have a keen appreciation of intellectual and aesthetic achievements,
- will be active citizens and leaders in society,
- are capable of pursuing fulfilling careers in a changing world, and
- are concerned with contributing to the health and well-being of the world at large.
To achieve its mission, Sonoma State University recognizes that its first obligation is to develop and maintain excellent programs of undergraduate instruction grounded in the liberal arts and sciences. Instructional programs are designed to challenge students not only to acquire knowledge but also to develop the skills of critical analysis, careful reasoning, creativity, and self-expression. Excellence in undergraduate education requires that students participate in a well-planned program that provides both a liberal education and opportunities for specific career preparation.
The university offers a wide range of traditional disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary programs, so that students are able to explore diverse modes of inquiry, the understanding gained within the various disciplines, and a global spectrum of ideas, institutions, values, and artistic expressions.
The university offers selected professional and graduate programs leading to master's degrees, teaching credentials, and certificates in various career fields. These programs respond to regional and state needs within the academic, business, education and professional communities.
The quality of the educational experience at Sonoma State University depends upon close human and intellectual relationships among students and faculty to foster the open exchange of ideas. The university is committed to creating a learning community in which people from diverse backgrounds and cultures are valued for the breadth of their perspectives and are encouraged in their intellectual pursuits. SSU's special character within California higher education emerges from its relatively small size; its commitment to effective teaching, high standards of scholarship, and ongoing professional development; and its policy of promoting diversity in the faculty, staff, and student populations.
The university also recognizes its obligation to serve as an educational and cultural resource for people in the surrounding communities. It offers courses, lectures, workshops, and programs that are open to the public. Special events in the arts, the sciences, and athletics contribute to the intellectual and cultural life of students and the community.