Is a wine tasting class the same as a wine education course? At SDSU, our wine classes combine wine tasting and wine education. The wine certification program is a combination of lecture, reading, and tasting – a holistic approach to wine. If you're considering taking sommelier classes, our Professional Certificate in the Business of Wine program prepares you for the Sommelier certification exam and helps you train for success in wine-related occupations. Learn about the wine business in a series of informative and engaging wine education classes.

SDSU Global Campus is committed to keeping our community safe. Click here to view the latest COVID-19 guidelines.

Want to build your career in one of California’s most popular industries? Earning your Professional Certificate in the Business of Wine from SDSU Global Campus can help.

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About the Program

According to the Wine Institute, wines produced in California lead to more than 750,000 employed Americans, generate more than $114 billion in annual economic activity, and pay nearly $35 billion in annual wages. In California alone, there are more than 325,000 Californians working throughout our state’s wine industry. Wine is a booming industry in California, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

Designed with the help of career wine professionals from all over California, SDSU’s Professional Certificate in the Business of Wine can help you prepare for a career in many different areas of the wine industry. Our wine classes combine wine tasting and wine education, with courses on history, varietals, wine making, hospitality, marketing, and more.

$2,541

Estimated Cost

1 Year

Min. Completion Time

Hybrid

Course Format

Textbooks not included

Meet Your Instructors

Click to view Instructors

Luke Bramon
Luke Bramon
Intensive: French Wines
Founder of his own international brand, Luke's Leap Wines

Molly Brooks
Molly Brooks
Business Opportunities in the Wine Industry
Advanced Sommelier, Certified Cicerone BarWeThereYet Beverage Consulting

Stefano Butto
Stefano Butto
Intensive: Italian Wines
Certified Italian Wine Specialist / Owner at Sipiens Wine Brokerage, Founder of B.T.W. (Blind Taste Wine)

Maurice David DiMarino
Maurice David DiMarino
Sensory Evaluation, Intensive: South American Wines
Cohn Restaurant Group Beverage Director

 

Ben Probe
Ben Probe
Beer and Wine: Service and Selling
Certified Sommelier, Cicerone, and Specialist of Spirits

Lisa Redwine
Lisa Redwine
Exploring Wine
Past president and co-founder of the San Diego Women's Wine Alliance

Pamela Schwartz
Pam Schwartz
Dynamic Wine and Food Pairing
General Manager, Ranch 45

Jesse Rodriguez
Jesse Rodriguez
Intensive: Pacific Northwest Wines
Partner of Kaizen Wine Group

 

Gus Vizgirda
Gus Vizgirda
The Character of Wine, Wine Flaws and Faults
Winemaker, Wilson Creek Winery

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Whether you’re an aspiring wine business owner, Sommelier, or hospitality professional, earning your wine certificate from SDSU Global Campus can build your network, teach you essential business skills, and move forward without putting your career on hold.

Meet Our Alumni

Melani Harding photo and storyWhile stationed in Oceanside, I began searching online for wine courses near me. The program at SDSU appealed to me because of the topics and scheduling. It was ideal for working people like me, so I could attend when it was convenient for me. Plus, I could take the classes that were most applicable to me, which helped build my business plan once I started down that path."

— Melani Harding, Owner, Bon Niche Cellars

Is This Program Right for Me?

SDSU Alumni Lifetime Member Discount

Are you an SDSU Alumni Lifetime Member? Click here to learn more about how you can receive 20% off registration for this program.

Program Alumni Discount

If you’ve already completed your Certificate in the Business of Wine, you’re eligible to enroll in additional courses at a 10% discount. Please email registration at enrollment.global@sdsu.edu or call to apply a program alumni discount for 10% off the registration fee.

Discounts are not retroactive and cannot be combined. Only one discount can be applied.

These comprehensive wine education classes are geared for professionals and entrepreneurs in the wine, food, and hospitality fields who want to quickly expand their knowledge of wine topics. Our current and past students include:

  • Restaurant owners and staff
  • Winery employees
  • Event planners
  • Distribution and retail sales employees
  • Wine bar owners and staff
  • Anyone interested in a career in wine or hospitality
  • Wine enthusiasts who want to learn in an academic setting

The courses in the wine certification program can also prepare you for the Introductory Sommelier Certificate Exam. Graduates of the wine certification program include owners of local wine bars and bottle shops, wine import/export business owners, buyers for upscale grocery stores, and vintners at local wine vineyards.

SDSU is a State-approved provider for the Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). If you’re unemployed or underemployed, you may be eligible to receive full or partial tuition assistance on this program. Equal Opportunity is the Law. Equal opportunity employer/program auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Click here to learn more.

What Can I Learn?

Whether you’re interested in launching your career in the wine or hospitality industry, or you just want to learn more about the drink we all love to enjoy, our wine courses can help. Our program can help you:

  • Learn skills necessary to enter the budding wine industry
  • Experience interactive, hands-on learning with tastings and more
  • Engage with top leaders and industry experts in the classroom
  • Uncover an overall appreciation of wine outside of brewing
  • Explore wine’s past and present while looking towards the future
  • Boost your wine literacy and become an ambassador for wine
  • Build industry connections and network within San Diego’s growing wine community

Meet Our Alumni

Veronica Rodriguez photo and storyExploring Wine with Lisa Redwine was a highlight for me. In just eight weeks, my knowledge increased tenfold and gave me a great base to learn more in-depth about different regions."

— Veronica Rodriguez, Master's Student, Bordeaux

You’ll have up to two years from starting the program to complete your certificate.

You must be at least 21 years of age to register for courses in the wine certificate program.

Career Outcomes

Labor Analysis
Wine Industry — Nationwide

Job Postings
499,400
10-Year outlook total current jobs

Projected Growth
12%
Projected job growth over 10 years

Salary Range
$88,310
Average salary

Why Should You Choose Us?

Location

Home to dozens of wineries and within a few hours drive of many of the best vineyards in the world, San Diego and the surrounding region is a historic and rapidly-growing wine hotspot. SDSU Global Campus is well-positioned to tap into the booming local wine industry and provide access to leaders in the business of wine.

Expertise

Your teachers are a real who’s who of the wine industry and provide real-world examples and tips on how to succeed in the wine industry. You’ll also have the opportunity to network with and learn alongside local wine professionals.

Diverse Curriculum

Build your own certificate to meet your needs as a wine industry professional. In addition to four core courses, you’ll be able to choose from more than a dozen unique elective and intensive courses that cover a wide range of wine industry topics, from vineyard management and marketing wine to importing and distribution and wine list creation. You can also take online wine courses individually as needed.

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In order to earn your Professional Certificate in the Business of Wine, you’ll need to complete the following courses:

  • Core Courses - 4
  • Elective Courses - 2
  • Intensive Courses - 3

Click the course names below to read the course description, view course dates, and register for available courses.

Course List

Core Courses Schedule (complete all 4)

Core Courses List Cost SP SU FA
WI 0001 Exploring Wine
(recommended as first course in series)
$499    
WI 0007 Wine Making Behind the Scenes $279      
WI 0019 Business Opportunities in the Wine Industry $349    
WI 0023 Dynamic Wine and Food Pairing $339    

Elective Courses Schedule (complete 2)

Intensive Courses Schedule (complete 3)

*Dates and prices subject to change.

Finished all the required courses?
Click the button below to receive your certificate.

Request Your Certificate

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Registration Instructions

To register for courses in the Professional Certificate in the Business of Wine, please complete the following steps:

  1. Choose your courses in the "Courses" tab
  2. Click on the red course links to register
  3. Check the dates and times to ensure that you can attend all sessions of the course
  4. Click “Add to Cart”
  5. Add more courses to your cart or click “Checkout”
  6. Log into your SDSU Global Campus Account, if you haven’t already done so
  7. Pay for your course(s)

Enroll in the program at any time, even before registering for a course. It’s free, and offers many benefits:

  • Secure your curriculum (should the requirements change in the future).
  • See upcoming courses when you log into your student account.
  • Track your progress.

Enrolling in a program doesn’t mean you’re registered for courses. You’ll still need to register and pay for each course you wish to take.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I check my progress in the program?

Students in the business of wine certificate program can check their progress by logging into their SDSU Global Campus student account. If you need assistance with your account, contact our Registration staff at 619-594-5152 or enrollment.global@sdsu.edu.

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Do I receive a letter grade at the completion of the course?

These courses do not receive academic credit and will not show up on an SDSU transcript.

However, students who complete courses in our professional certificate programs (other than those that are graded as Pass/No Pass) will receive a final letter score that mimics the grading rubric SDSU uses for credit-bearing courses. Students will also receive a Letter of Completion from our registration team for each course they complete, which will include their final score.

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How is the program structured?

Our business of wine certificate program consists of:

  • Four core courses
  • Three intensives, and
  • Two electives

All courses need to be completed within two years.

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What is the program format?

Courses in our business of wine program are offered in a partial in-person instruction with plans for faculty supervision, approved lab space, social distancing, and meeting COVID-19 safety requirements.

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Is there financial support available for this program?

As a student in our wine program, you have options when it comes to paying for your courses. This program is eligible for the following discounts and support programs:

Students who complete the Business of Wine Professional Certificate are also eligible for a program alumni discount on all subsequent courses.

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How do I receive my Professional Certificate once I’ve finished the program?

Once you’ve completed all the program requirements, fill out a certificate request form. SDSU Global Campus will verify that you’ve completed all the required courses and assignments. Once you’ve been verified, you’ll receive a digital copy of your certificate.

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I’m interested. How do I get started?

Ready to take the next step? Connect with SDSU Global Campus by submitting the contact form at the bottom of this page.

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The Business of Wine program is a proud member of:

San Diego County Vintners Association Logo     San Diego Tourism Authority

Follow the Business of Wine on Facebook & Instagram

Facebook Link        Instagram Icon

Keeping Our Community Safe

Please ensure that you’re in compliance with all current COVID-19 guidelines when you take courses with SDSU Global Campus.

Parking Guidelines

Beginning in fall 2021, SDSU Global Campus students will need to purchase parking in order to park on campus.

Parking Rates for SDSU Global Campus Students
Daily:
$5
Weekly: $12
Monthly: $30

Please visit our parking instructions webpage to learn how to purchase your permit.

Resources

Request Your Certificate
Certificate Programs
Workforce Partnership
Alumni Lifetime Member Discount 
Wine Info FAQs
SDSU Global Campus Wine Blog
San Diego County Vintners Association
San Diego Tourism Authority

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Core Courses

2023 Spring2023 Summer2022 Fall2023 Winter
WI 0001 Exploring Wine
This course takes students on a journey around the world of wine. Topics covered include: history, grape varietals, viticulture, language and labeling, tastings; as well as an introduction to food and wine pairing, wine service and temperatures, and the wine-making process. This is an overview of the role and influence of wine in history and today's culture, a foundation for further wine education.
Course Date(s)

Register
Instructors
Lisa Redwine
WI 0007 Wine Making Behind the Scenes
This course will give true insight into the way wine is made by visiting a local winery. Learn the "from grape to table" philosophy as well as manufacturing, and operations of the wine business. Basic knowledge of state regulations will be examined as well as discussion focusing on how climate, soil, and perception relate to profit.
Course Date(s)

Register
2023 Spring
WI 0019 Business Opportunities in the Wine Industry
The wine industry has many exciting possibilities for success. How will you find your opportunity? In this course, you’ll explore current wine market trends through the lens of the three-tier system in the United States. We’ll examine wine production, importing, distribution, and retail segments through specific case studies and interviews with members of the industry. You’ll also learn how the wine industry has changed and adapted to different challenges over the past year. At the end of the course, you’ll create your own proposal for participation in the business of wine.
Course Date(s)
February 21 - March 21
WI 0023 Dynamic Wine and Food Pairing
In this four-day course, you will wine and dine your way through classic wine pairings. We will start with debunking wine pairing myths, then dive into the structure of wine and foods and how to pair the two. You will taste and describe the wines separate from the food. Then the fun begins, adding samples of various foods and re-tasting the wines! Our goal is to teach students how to identify what works, what doesn't, and why. With the knowledge of wine and food pairing, you will be able to elevate your guests' experience. This knowledge translates into higher sales and revenue, opens doors for career growth in all segments of the industry, and gives you the personal confidence to recommend pairings with ease.
Course Date(s)

Elective Courses

2023 Spring2023 Summer2022 Fall2023 Winter
WI 0021 Wine List Creation
Learn how to create an elegant, diverse, and cost effective wine list. Topics include: how to determine and achieve a profitable wine cost percentage; the language of buying wine; how allocated wine can help and hinder your program; proper wine markups; inventory controls; how to converse with wine vendors, importers and suppliers; and writing a list that is appealing to the guest and fulfills the needs of the beverage manager.
Course Date(s)

Register
Instructors
Pamela Schwartz
WI 0022 The Character of Wine
Character can be defined as a wine with top-notch distinguishing qualities. Learn what is involved in creating the character of red, white, or blush wines. In this class, you will learn the basic mechanics of wine making, concerns winemakers face, and decisions they make during the process. This course will review in detail the differences involved in making quality wine varietals.
Course Date(s)

Register
WI 0030 Wine Flaws and Faults
This course will provide you with the insight needed to identify, and accurately describe various wine flaws and faults. You will learn the basic mechanics of wine making and the results of wine making when carelessness and elements beyond the control of the winemaker produces an "off character" in wine, such as volatile acidity, TCA, and Brettanomyces. This course is ideal for restaurant managers, wait staff, winery employees, bartenders, and anyone interested in wine careers.
Course Date(s)

Register
WI 0032 Sensory Evaluation
Learn how to taste wine like a professional. This course will teach you how to objectively evaluate a wine by sight, smell and taste. You will learn the building blocks of blind tasting, or how to use sensory information to help determine the quality, origin, age, and varietal composition of a wine. The definitions for common tasting jargon will be provided so that you can effectively join the conversation.
Course Date(s)

Register
WI 0034 Importing and Distribution
Importing and distributing wine isn’t all traveling and tasting. To become a successful wine importer/distributor, you need a comprehensive understanding of warehousing, budgeting, time management, marketing, branding, packaging, pricing, licensing, regulations, shipping, and working with wholesalers and retailers.

In this class, you’ll learn how to create a strong business model and start building a portfolio to match. You’ll also learn about different resources that wine industry professionals have used to build their businesses. Through real-world advice, guided wine tastings, and a close examination of different brands, styles, and packaging, you’ll learn what it takes to stand out in a crowded field and find success in importing and distribution.
Course Date(s)

Register
WI 0040 Vineyard Management
This course for the wine enthusiast covers the basics of viticulture and its importance to quality winemaking. Topics include viticulture history (global and local); vineyard considerations and management; exploration of wine grape varieties and clones; considerations of soils, climate, terroir and sunlight; and the final processing of the grapes as they become wine. The course concludes with a hands-on visit to a working vineyard/winery in Temecula, which includes a tasting, showcasing wine grapes at their finest.

“Wine is sunlight, held together by water.”
~ Galileo
Course Date(s)

Register
Instructors
Luke Bramon
WI 0041 Marketing Wine
In the fast-paced world of media and marketing, wineries must be current on the latest trends and adept at time-tested strategies for success. Following an overview of the intrinsic elements of marketing -- research, targeting, positioning, and branding -- we'll explore the major tenets of wine marketing including locating and working with distributors, portfolio placement, promotions/incentives, and pricing structures. We'll also look at how to build your customer base on-premise, off-premise, and direct-to-consumer using traditional -- public relations, websites, blogs, and emails -- as well as unique forms of marketing.
Course Date(s)

Register
CB 0012 Beer and Wine: Service and Selling
Students will learn all aspects of selling both beer and wine in a restaurant. They will learn how to promote each to not only increase beverage sales but give the customer a greater experience which will lead to more positive reviews, and greater revenue for the restaurant as a whole. Students will learn how to cross-sell as well as upsell while enhancing the customer experience. They will also be provided with tools to learn beyond the course and further their knowledge for personal and/or professional gain in the craft beer and wine industries, while networking with like-minded individuals.
Course Date(s)

Register

Courses

2023 Spring2023 Summer2022 Fall2023 Winter
CB 0022 The Chemistry of Beer and Wine
This course will explore chemistry and its application in the creation of wine and beer. Beer and wine will be broken down to the molecular level to help you gain an understanding of how fermentation works to create such radically different alcoholic beverages. We'll also learn about the different flavor notes that are added into the alcoholic drinks for enhancement.
Course Date(s)

Register
WI 0017 Intensive: California Wines
California holds a prominent place on the international wine stage and has many interpretations of classic varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and a California original, Zinfandel. Through tasting California-produced wines and class discussions, you will:
  • Dive into the history and traditions of California wines to gain a solid understanding of the evolution of California wines. This is an imperative knowledge base for anyone seeking employment in the wine industry as they begin to sell, produce, or market wine in California.
  • Gain knowledge of California grapes
  • Develop an understanding of viti/viniculture practices, including the science, study, and production of grapes, as well as wine styles.
  • Get a glimpse into the future of California wines.
Course Date(s)

Register
WI 0020 Intensive: French Wines
France has some of the world's most prestigious, complex, and commercially successful wine regions. Through extensive tastings, this course will cover the wines of Burgundy, Alsace, Cotes du Rhone, Bordeaux, Loire, and Champagne. You will learn about varietals, wine production by region, terroir, vineyard sites, and quality levels.
Course Date(s)

Register
Instructors
Luke Bramon
2023 Spring
WI 0024 Intensive: Italian Wines
Italy is the largest wine-producing country in the world, with Italian wines being the most imported in the United States. Knowledge of Italian wine is critical to wine professionals, particularly those involved in the distribution, hospitality, and retail industries. Through extensive tastings, this course will cover predominantly, but not only, the wines of Piedmont, Veneto, and Tuscany. You will learn about varietals, wine production by region, terroir, vineyard sites, and quality levels. Consequently, you will be able to properly place Italian wines in the market and communicate their value to your customers.
Course Date(s)
February 23 - March 16
$339
Instructors
Stefano Butto
WI 0026 Intensive: Spanish Wines
Spain has more land planted with grapes than any wine growing country in the world and is ranked 3rd in global wine production. Spain has a lot to offer the world of wine. There is something for everyone in this amazing wine rich country. Class tastings will sample growing regions that are well established (Rioja) and up and coming regions. You will learn about Spain’s wine history, varietals, wine production by region, terroir, vineyard sites, and quality levels.
Course Date(s)

Register
WI 0028 Intensive: Dessert Wines
Explore the World of Sweet Wines produced globally. You will delve into different styles from both old world and new world countries. You will also explore different styles such as, Vin de Liqueur (VDL), Vin Doux Naturels (VDN), Fortified, Late Harvest, Botrytis, Ice, and Solera. For each style you will learn the methods of production, and how to pair these wines with desserts, cheeses and even savory foods.
Course Date(s)

Register
Instructors
Lisa Redwine
WI 0029 Intensive: South American Wines
The United States wine market has witnessed a huge increase in South American wine imports over the last 20 years. This course will cover the history, geographic locations, climate, soils, wine laws, grape varieties, and important wine producing regions of South America. Students will taste and focus intensively on the wines of Chile and Argentina with a brief introduction to Brazil, Uruguay, and Peru.
Course Date(s)

Register
WI 0031 Intensive: Australian Wines
Australian wine history dates back over 200 years, and its wine regions span a vast area with amazing diversity in climate, soils, winemaking and wine styles. Together we’ll explore the origins of Australia's wine industry, what influenced wines then and what influences them today. Australia is experiencing a renaissance, redefining itself beyond warm climates and generic styles with an explosion of sensational small-batch producers bucking tradition and pushing boundaries. This class will feature some tasting surprises to complement the material.
Course Date(s)

Register
Instructors
Luke Bramon
2023 Spring
WI 0033 Intensive: Austrian/German Wines
The Austrian and German class will showcase an understanding of wines and the regions of The Mosel, Nahe, Rheingau, Rheinhessen and Pflaz regions of Germany. For Austria the focus will be on Niederosteriech. There will be historical understanding of the area, the people that lived there and why they do what they do so well.
Course Date(s)
April 4 - April 18
WI 0035 Intensive: Sparkling Wines
Learn about what makes sparkling wine ... sparkle. From production techniques, major grape varietals, sweetness styles and benchmark wine regions, we will traverse the globe and delve into much more than Champagne. This is a class not to be missed.
Course Date(s)

Register
Instructors
Lisa Redwine
WI 0038 Intensive: Organic and Biodynamic Wines
This intensive course is designed to provide you with the basics of organic, biodynamic, natural and sustainable winemaking. At the end of the course you will have a stronger knowledge of the benefits that these winemaking styles can bring to the producer, the consumer and the environment and also of the position of these wines in the current market.
Course Date(s)

Register
Instructors
Stefano Butto
WI 0042 Intensive: Pacific Northwest Wines
Oregon and Washington State account for roughly 10% of the nation’s quality wines produced. In this intensive course, you’ll take a closer look at vast and varied wine regions and AVAs in the Pacific Northwest. Together, we’ll explore the history of winemaking in this region, as well as the region's different varietals, winemaking methods, and the role of the Pacific Northwest in the modern-day wine industry. Upon completion, you’ll have gained a deeper understanding of the wines of British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon.
Course Date(s)

Register
2023 Spring
WI 0043 Intensive: Sparkling and Dessert Wines
Develop opportunities in your wine program to help increase revenue and profitability from the beginning to the end of your guests’ dining experience. This class provides education and experience into understanding the complexities of champagne, along with Sparkling alternatives from other regions to bring greater depth through a wider range of variety throughout the dining service.
Course Date(s)
April 24 - May 15
$339
Instructors
Lisa Redwine

 


Student Testimonials

Sonia HyncikThe program is fun, the instructors are passionate … and it’s wonderful to see new courses being added as the program continues to grow and evolve. I also believe the program is a great networking vehicle for wine enthusiasts and industry professionals.

Sonia Hyncik

 

 

Brittany BartonThe program far exceeded my expectations. It would have been impossible to get these results out of a book on my own. I wouldn’t have known where to start. Each class takes you beyond the surface and really helps develop an understanding of cultures, geography, and history of the region of study. The instructors bring so much passion and personal experience into their teachings that I walk out of class feeling like I was just in France.

– Brittany Barton, Entrepreneur

 

Erin WoodardThe program is great for building a foundation of knowledge if you’re looking for a career change. Or if you’re looking at this more as a hobby, it’s educational and fun!

– Erin Woodard, Fine Wine Specialist, Henry Wine Group

 

 

 

Jeffrey MaltzmanMy company specializes in wine education programs on cruise ships, and SDSU’s program has given me an outstanding background of knowledge about the wine industry, wine making, and wine regions of the world. The courses are educational, entertaining and interactive; and the professors are, without exception, top leaders in the Southern California wine industry.

– Jeffrey Maltzman, Founder, Blend Craft Wines’ Winery at Sea Program

 

Grant TondroThe biggest strength of the Business of Wine certificate program was the breadth of the courses. If someone like me who’s already an industry professional has gaps to fill, there’s a course for them. The program is absolutely worth it and you can get out of it as much as you put into it.

– Grant Tondro, Co–Owner, The Barrel Room, Urge GastroPub, and Brothers Provisions

 

 

SDSU Research Foundation Program

San Diego Workforce Partnership: Creating Workforce Solutions

SDSU is a State-approved provider for the Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). If you’re unemployed or underemployed, you may be eligible to receive full or partial tuition assistance on this program. Equal Opportunity is the Law. Equal opportunity employer/program auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Click here to learn more.

 

Want to Learn More?

Submit this web form and we’ll be in touch to answer all your questions and explain the next steps in the process. Or, you can reach a program recruiter by emailing recruiter.global@sdsu.edu or by calling (619) 594-7700.