Sonoma State University Launches Wine Bachelor’s Degree Transition Program for fall 2020

Joint program offers wine production track and bachelor’s degree transition options for Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College students
January 9, 2020

Sonoma County, CA – The Wine Business Institute in the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University in partnership with Santa Rosa Junior College launched a new bachelor’s degree transition program to serve the community. The first of its kind in the region, the program combines well established strengths of two of the San Francisco North Bay’s leading institutions of higher education to provide state-of-the-art education for residents interested in careers in wine production and management. The new bachelor’s degree transition program will be available to SRJC and SSU students beginning fall semester 2020. More information can be found at

The transition program serves the needs of both students and employers. It provides the educational roadmap and curriculum expansion students seek and produces graduates who possess comprehensive knowledge of both the business and production of wine,” said Dr. Kevin Sea, director of the Wine Studies program at SRJC.

The joint program will provide a four-year degree transition pathway for SRJC viticulture and enology students and expand SSU’s wine business program to include a wine production track. SRJC students can complete their general elective and wine production coursework at SRJC to earn their associate’s degree before transferring to SSU to complete their upper-division business and wine business classes to earn their bachelor’s degree. Likewise, SSU students already pursuing a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in wine business strategies will be able to enroll in SRJC enology and viticulture courses to fulfill requirements for the new wine production track.

The new joint program between SRJC and SSU is the perfect foundation for students interested in the wine industry,” said Kim Stare Wallace, president of Dry Creek Vineyard in Healdsburg, CA. “I look forward to having a whole new pool of qualified candidates for a wide variety of positions.

We received overwhelming wine community support for the development of this bachelor’s degree transition program,” said Dr. Liz Thach, MW, Distinguished Professor of Wine at SSU. “We have a number of students requesting more wine production-related coursework, and several of our wine business alumni have transitioned into winemaking or wine production roles.

"We're thrilled to be expanding our undergraduate opportunities while strengthening our longstanding ties to the SRJC through this creative partnership," said Sonoma State President Judy K. Sakaki. "It's because of innovative programs like this that Sonoma State has the highest two-year transfer graduation rate among the 23 CSU campuses, and we are proud of that fact.

For more information on the new joint bachelor’s degree transition program, please visit, or contact Dr. Liz Thach, MW at SSU ( or Dr. Kevin Sea at SRJC (


About the Wine Business Institute

The Wine Business Institute in the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University is the first in the United States to offer an undergraduate degree (since 1998), an MBA (since 2008), and an Executive MBA (since 2012) focused on the business of wine. Today, our degree and certificate programs serve the wine industry and those aspiring to be a part of it.


About Santa Rosa Junior College

SRJC was established in 1918 and has since provided quality education to more than one million students.  SRJC is known for academic excellence, superb faculty and staff, comprehensive student services and beautiful facilities. This treasured community institution enrolls approximately 37,000 students annually. SRJC is dedicated to removing barriers to students’ success and making higher education accessible to all.