Set in the heart of California’s wine country, Sonoma State makes good use of its location. For starters, the university offers one of the only wine business programs in the country. Students undertake a variety of projects in the Grape Expectations Research Lab and campus residences are named after different varietals. (Cabernet, Zinfandel, Sauvignon … you get the idea.)

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But there’s more to SSU than viticulture. Sonoma State, which belongs to the California State University network of 23 schools, offers its nearly 7,000 undergraduate students about 60 majors to choose from; its most popular include business, psychology, sociology and early childhood development. Campus housing is known for its suite-style living and comfortable accommodations situated across six “villages.”

Outdoor research opportunities take place in three college-owned preserves, one of which is the stunning, 3,200-acre Galbreath Wildlands Preserve in Mendocino County. Notable on-campus facilities include the Cerent Engineering Science Complex, which houses eight state-of-the-art laboratories, and the Environmental Technology Center, which serves as a working lab on sustainable building techniques. SSU’s library is housed in the Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center, named for the late “Peanuts” cartoonist and his wife.