SONA: Online Research Participant Pool

About Sona

San Diego State University is one of the nation’s premier urban research universities. One way the College of Professional Studies & Fine Arts contributes to that research culture is through the management of SONA, an online system where researchers post studies and recruit participants from enrolled courses.

Beyond being a platform to support original faculty research, SONA presents a number of unique opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students.

Graduate students can post studies in this system as the PIs of their own graduate course or thesis projects. For many graduate students, navigating study posting and data collection through SONA is their first opportunity to gather their own research data.

Undergraduate students will predominantly experience SONA as a research participant. Each semester, over 3,000 students are enrolled in the PSFA SONA system, creating a diverse pool of participants. Participation in such research provides important insights into the process of knowledge generation.

Thus, SONA brings together faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students across our college in an effort to learn about and produce original research.

Resources for Researchers

SONA is open for all faculty, staff, and student researchers in our college. If you are preparing to conduct a research project, reach out to SONA administrators ( during project planning to learn how SONA can help you recruit from our diverse pool of participants.

Administrators have experience using SONA for a variety of methodological approaches, including lab, survey, focus group, and interview based approaches.

Administrators will provide researchers with the SONA language needed for IRB approval and be available throughout the sampling process to assist with recruitment.

Instructors looking to provide their students (graduate or undergraduate) with opportunities to conduct original research can also have their students post research studies in SONA for course-related projects.

Resources for Students

Courses participating in SONA will specify SONA recruitments in the course syllabus.

Students can create a SONA Account using their SDSU ID. Login directly at:

Any questions about SONA, SONA credits, or research participations should be directed to: