Humboldt State University


Humboldt State University

Humboldt State University


Situated among redwood forests and just a few miles from the Pacific coast, the Humboldt State University (HSU) campus is located in the city of Arcata*, California, about 1 hour 15 minute drive north of San Francisco.

Humboldt State University is ranked #52 in Regional Universities West by US News Schools [note1]. HSU prides itself on the applied nature of its academic programs. It was also ranked the “friendliest school” in the California State University (CSU) system and the 12th friendliest college in the nation [note2]

The most popular majors at Humboldt State University include: Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Social Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts and Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services.

[note1] Academic Ranking – The Princeton Review has named Humboldt State University one of the Best Colleges in the West in its“2013 Best Colleges: Region by Region” web feature. HSU was one of 6 California State University campuses to earn the title, along with UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and Stanford University, to name a few. Colleges earned distinction mainly due to their excellent academic programs.

[note2] according to a study on

The Basics

SettingRural, small town
School TypeUSA University
TuitionUS$16,100 (per academic year)
HousingDorm or Apartment
School Website
StateCalifornia (CA)
Nearest CityNorth of San Francisco ~ 1 hour 15 minute drive
Year Founded1913
Admission Requirement
Academic CalendarFall/Spring
Level OfferedBachelor, Master & PhD
International Studentsnot many
Student-Teacher Ratio23:1

Map link

Academic Programs

HSU offers 50 undergraduate degrees and about a dozen master’s programs, which fall into the colleges of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Professional Studies; and Natural Resources and Sciences.

(Given its location near the ocean and the Arcata Bay, it’s no surprise that HSU has an impressive oceanography research institute, which is home to a fully equipped marine lab and an oceanic vessel specifically for undergraduate research.

HSU also has nearly 20 other research institutes, including one that specializes in redwood forests, and another, named the Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC), where students look for clean, renewable energy options.)

Learning environment

Many colleges boast prestigious, but distant, faculty members. Our students actually know their world-renowned professors. In addition to being leaders in the sciences and humanities, HSU professors are committed to mentoring their students by including them in all kinds of experiments, lab research, and field work.

HSU students take that knowledge and apply it in the real world by doing their own seismic readings, photography, wildlife studies, social work and more. This is important for students’ future in the job market, whether you wind up in business, zoology or any field in between, requires strong entrepreneurial and critical thinking skills.”

Student activities

HSU has more than 180 campus clubs, or play for one of the 12 Humboldt State Jacks (short for lumberjacks) varsity sports teams, which compete in the NCAA Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

Campus living

At HSU, 9 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated or -affiliated housing and 91 percent of students live off campus.

The relatively new College Creek Complex houses 430 residents in its 97 apartments. Included in the Complex is College Creek Marketplace, a 15,000 square foot Great Hall, and an NCAA soccer field.


A survey of HSU Alumni indicated that three quarters of alumni said that attending HSU was a great decision, a vast majority agreed their education prepared them well for life-long learning, and they praised the campus for its quality academics and valuable relationships. Former students talked about the importance of personal connections with faculty, hands-on learning opportunities, and the strong sense of community at Humboldt.