New wine production degree program announced for SSU and SRJC students

‘The perfect foundation for students interested in the wine industry,’ says local winery president|

The Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University is partnering with Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) to launch a new bachelor’s degree transition program. The first of its kind in the region, the program will provide a new education option for students interested in careers in wine production and management. The new bachelor’s degree program will be available to SRJC and SSU students beginning fall semester 2020.

“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 Kevin Sea, director of the Wine Studies program at SRJC, in press materials announcing the new program.

The 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 Sonoma State to complete their upper division business and wine business classes to earn their bachelor’s degree. Likewise, SSU students already pursuing a bachelor of science 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. “I look forward to having a whole new pool of qualified candidates for a wide variety of positions.”

SSU wine professor Liz Thach said that an increasing number of students are requesting wine production-related coursework.

“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, said SSU President Judy K. Sakaki.

For more information on the new joint bachelor’s degree program, contact Thach at or Sea at

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