Prospective Students and Families FAQ
Do I need to reapply to Humboldt, now called Cal Poly Humboldt? (Applicant and Current Students)
Whether you have already applied or have been admitted (congrats!) there’s no need to resubmit your application. If you have questions about your application, contact the Admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org or check the Admissions website.
How hard will it be to get into Cal Poly Humboldt or will admissions requirements change?
Admissions requirements will not change. If you are interested in applying or have questions about your application, contact the Admissions office at email@example.com or check the Admissions website
What differences are between Humboldt and now Cal Poly Humboldt?
A polytechnic embraces a “learn by doing” approach to education. Academic programming is broad in natural sciences, applied sciences, technology and engineering. It has a strong liberal arts curriculum. It emphasizes hands-on learning, helping students apply what they learn to prepare graduates for that next step in life, whether that’s a career or graduate school.
In other words, it’s everything we already are; however, with a formal designation, we have the state funding and resources to provide you a bigger and better educational experience over the next several years.
Will tuition go up now that you’re a polytechnic?
Becoming a polytechnic will not increase tuition, which is determined by the California State University.
What is a polytechnic university?
Polytechnic universities embrace a “learn by doing” approach to education. They’re career-focused with an emphasis on ensuring students get a chance to apply what they are learning, making new graduates career-ready. Polytechnics also deliver a curriculum with broad offerings in natural sciences, applied sciences, technology, and engineering and, at the same time, maintaining a strong liberal arts curriculum.
Why Humboldt and why now?
A polytechnic university in the northern part of the state will help California provide access to high-demand programs, while improving education and career opportunities on the North Coast. Graduates from STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and applied sciences like health and agriculture are in high demand, as are graduates with hands-on experience, an education grounded in the liberal arts, and a strong understanding of sustainability. This designation will allow us to provide access to the education that students and employers alike are seeking.
What is the value of the polytechnic designation?
Many students seek the learning experience and prestige associated with a polytechnic designated institution. A formal designation would bring broader recognition to Humboldt, enable new grant and donation opportunities, facilitate development of new programs, raise the profile of all academic programs, and attract new students from California and beyond.
How will we be different from other polytechnic universities?
With a strong foundation in the liberal arts and long-standing commitment to sustainability and social justice, we are reimagining a polytechnic for the 21st century. We are building one that emphasizes environmental and social responsibility and infuses other ways of knowing, such as Indigenous wisdom, throughout the curriculum. At the same time, we will continue providing practical and meaningful educational experiences on campus and in the community. We're educating students who can solve the pressing issues we face today.
What does being a polytechnic mean?
In becoming a polytechnic, we will build new programs over the next several years in areas like climate resiliency, wildfire management, engineering, technology, cyber security, health, energy systems engineering, agriculture, and others. There will also be new degrees in high-demand areas such as mechanical engineering and software engineering.
Why Cal Poly Humboldt as opposed to other names?
Following campus forums on discussions about the name change, Humboldt provided a recommendation to the CSU Chancellor's Office and CSU Board of Trustees. It was: California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, a.k.a. Cal Poly Humboldt. The name is consistent with the other polytechnic universities within the CSU system while retaining the heart of our name over time—Humboldt.
Will there be costs associated with becoming a polytechnic?
There will be costs as we add programs, modify existing programs, expand support, improve technology, and more. We cannot expect CSU to cover all of these costs. We must be creative with the state investment, managing our current budget, and seeking additional grants, donations, and other external resources.
How do I submit feedback/questions? And how will I receive updates?
We invite you to submit your questions and comments using the polytechnic feedback form or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call (707) 826-3300 if you have feedback or questions. Also, don't forget to check your humboldt.edu email and the polytechnic website for updates.
What can we expect ahead?
The university will be proceeding with our branding initiative, developing curriculum for our new academic programs and continuing engagement in our enrollment management and inclusive student success planning. A significant portion of the spring semester will be focused on understanding the needs of our new academic programs and infusing that into our implementation planning across all working groups.
Where can I buy Cal Poly gear?
The Humboldt Bookstore on campus and The Campus Store in Eureka have Cal Poly Humboldt merchandise in stock now and will continue building inventory. You can also buy Cal Poly Humboldt gear online through the Humboldt Athletics website.
Can I still get Humboldt gear?
How is the state's $458 million investment being allocated?
With the generous infusion of state support—$433 million of one-time funding and $25 million in ongoing base support—Cal Poly Humboldt can increase enrollment by 50% in three years and double enrollment within seven years. Specifically, $25 million has been allocated to the launch of 12 new academic programs by 2023 (with even more to come after that), covering expenses related to faculty hires, specialty accreditation, and student support services. In addition, funding will be allocated to: infrastructure projects such as lab and classroom renovations and equipment modernization; and efforts related to student recruitment and retention, and communications, marketing, and branding.
Additionally, a portion of the one-time funding will go toward improving technology and broadband support which is vital to our rural campus, and toward infrastructure for mixed-use space for housing and other basic needs, academic instruction, and the support of students' success.
Are we going to be CPH? or CP Humboldt?
Until we complete the branding initiative, please avoid full or partial acronyms when referring to the University. Use Cal Poly Humboldt in most cases. Humboldt can be used on second and subsequent references and when using a casual tone or in place of an acronym.
What's the timeline for new academic programs?
The campus is moving quickly to offer several new degree programs by 2023 in areas like climate resiliency, wildfire management, mechanical engineering, and software engineering, with a full buildout of depth and breadth across science, applied science, technology, and engineering through phased-in program development through 2029. Cybersecurity, nursing (MS), energy systems engineering, and sustainable agriculture are among several of the degree programs being planned.
What new programs will Cal Poly Humboldt be offering?
Cal Poly Humboldt has 9 new degree programs and 3 certificate programs planned for 2023: Applied Fire Science & Management BS; Cannabis Studies BA; Data Science BS; Engineering & Community Practice MEng; Energy Systems Engineering BS; Geospatial Analysis BS; Marine Biology BS; Mechanical Engineering BS; Software Engineering BS; plus certificates in Cybersecurity (Stackable) Information Technology, and Sustainability. The total of 27 programs planned by 2029 include unique degree programs aligned with the state of California’s goals regarding areas like climate resilience and wildfire mitigation, and will create access to impacted degree programs in the CSU system that correlate with workforce demand.
Will my program get cut?
No academic programs will be reduced or eliminated due to Humboldt becoming a polytechnic. The polytechnic designation will provide increased opportunity to add programs to match student interests. However, as always, specific academic programs may be affected by other factors such as reduced demand. As a part of implementation planning, we are embarking on a strategic enrollment planning. This will involve planning across all three colleges to determine capacity for growth in each of our academic programs.
What is STEM?
Polytechnic universities have a high concentration of programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) as well as applied sciences like health and agriculture. Cal Poly Humboldt has the third highest percentage of students in the CSU enrolled in STEM programs—just behind Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly Pomona.
Are we losing liberal arts programs (arts, humanities, and social sciences)?
No academic programs will be reduced or eliminated due to Humboldt becoming a polytechnic. In fact, it's well-known that employers increasingly seek graduates with the knowledge and skills gained from a liberal arts education. Comprehensive 21st Century polytechnic universities incorporate creativity, critical thinking, social justice principles, social theory and philosophy, and much more.
A polytechnic designation highlights the value of Humboldt's exceptional liberal arts programming, doubling down on its value to our students and community. The skills and knowledge associated with the Liberal Arts contribute to graduates who are better able to respond to a changing world and are more competitive in today's workforce.
What is TEK?
Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), also known as Indigenous knowledge/wisdom or Native science, refers to the evolving knowledge acquired by Indigenous and local peoples over hundreds or thousands of years through direct contact with the environment. Indigenous Peoples compose 6-8% of the population globally and 1.5% of the United States population. All Indigenous groups come from distinct lands, cultures, languages, worldview, philosophies, and ways of knowing. Indigenous Peoples have millennia-old TEK systems that are tribally and geographically specific. TEK is fundamentally diverse, evolving, and rooted within specific cultural and geographical contexts.
The Cal Poly Humboldt campus is located in the traditional homelands and unceded territory of the Wiyot people, where Indigenous peoples have lived with and stewarded their lands for time immemorial. The region has a significant Native American population and 12 Tribal Nations, including the state's largest Tribal Nations and largest land-based tribes. Native Peoples in California developed sophisticated and complex ecological management regimes that promoted habitat heterogeneity and increased biodiversity for centuries.
How will we incorporate TEK in our curriculum?
Cal Poly Humboldt is home to some of the longest standing Native and Tribal Programs within the CSU and UC systems including the Native American Studies department, ITEPP (Native American Center for Academic Excellence,) and INRSEP (Indian Natural Resources, Science & Engineering Program + Diversity in STEM) programs. Humboldt was the first CSU campus to offer a Native American Studies baccalaureate degree. Humboldt also offers a graduate program in Social Work that focuses on the needs of Indigenous communities, a concentration in Tribal Forestry, and a first-of-its-kind minor in American Indian Education.
With Humboldt's leadership in sustainability and social justice, the campus will continue to uphold a model of higher education that integrates and reflects Indigenous knowledge across the University. Cal Poly Humboldt will engage with TEK in many disciplines, while also working to empower Indigenous students, communities, and partners Humboldt's Native American Studies department is currently recruiting two additional faculty members to expand the scope of the department's interdisciplinary leadership
Will Tribal communities be consulted in the polytechnic transition process?
Many of the Tribal Nations surrounding Cal Poly Humboldt are leading the way in managing and co-managing their traditional lands, waterways, airways, and natural resources with methods that include traditional values and traditional science coupled with Western science practices.
At Humboldt, we believe in working directly with tribal communities; the interdisciplinary and applied nature of TEK makes it indispensable to our hands-on approach to higher education. For example, a major University partner is the Blue Lake Rancheria, a federally recognized Native American Tribal Nation located about five miles east of campus. The Tribe's strategic partnership with Humboldt has resulted in significant opportunities for hands-on field site work for students and faculty in climate-smart, clean energy, and other technology innovations.
Will our mascot change?
There are no current plans to change the mascot. However, during the University's branding initiative interviews and conversations, many members of the campus community have expressed a desire to consider alternatives.
Will we get a new logo?
Yes. As we expand into a polytechnic institution, we have a momentous opportunity to share our story and our distinctive strengths with a much broader audience. To do this effectively and authentically, Cal Poly Humboldt is partnering with marketing firm SimpsonScarborough on a broad-based initiative to energize and elevate our brand. This will include creation of new graphic identities; a new brand strategy and development; brand awareness campaign; prospective student recruitment collateral; and a refreshed digital presence and web templates.
What are the major construction projects, when will they begin, and when are they projected to end?
A $433 million one-time investment will fund new academic facilities, building renovations, upgrades to lab spaces, technology throughout the curriculum, expanded broadband, investments in renewable energy research capacity, and more.
Projects currently envisioned include:
- Student Housing at Craftsman's Mall: $150 million, Open 12/1/2024,
- Engineering & Technology Building + Housing, $135 million, Open 8/1/2025,
- Science A, C & D Renovations: $36.3 million, Phased delivery through 2026
- Applied Research and Climate Resilience:
- Coral Sea enhancements: $6 million,
- Eureka Research Lab: $15 million, Open 12/1/2024.
- Microgrid Lab: $24 million, Open 8/1/2024.
- Academic Projects: $11.5 million, Phased delivery through 2024. Projects include several smaller scale projects such as Advanced Campus Science Network, Updating Faculty and Student Computing Facilities, Expanding Access to Wireless Networking, Research and Teaching Laboratory Modernization.
- Telecom Projects: $8.5 million, Phased delivery through 2024.
- Student Housing, Health Center, Dining Facility: $175 million, Open 8/1/2026.
- Campus apartments Student Housing: $110 million, Open 8/1/2028.
How will we deal with parking with more people on campus?
The University is committed to our sustainability goals, and transportation supporting campus access is a major component. Over the next 12 months, as a companion to our campus master plan update, the University will complete a transportation demand management plan which will address supporting other campus access modalities in addition to single occupant vehicles. Over the coming years, new parking on the campus will incorporate integrated alternate transportation facilities such as transit hubs, designated carpool or bicycle parking, and other features to encourage sustainable transportation options.
How is the University pursuing its sustainability goals?
Sustainability at Cal Poly Humboldt is not just an initiative but a culture. The definition of sustainability touches on a wide variety of programs and populations with the intent of achieving the University's sustainability goals and educating our students as future ambassadors of sustainability. Our built environment, new and renovation, will strive to achieve carbon net zero and LEED Gold construction. These programs require our campus development to consider energy efficiency and production, sustainable material sourcing, and inclusive spaces.
What are the benefits of co-locating student housing and teaching/research space in the new Engineering and Technology complex?
The intent of this housing is to provide an integrated learning and living space for students who are in the early stages of their academic programs and are currently enrolled in STEM learning communities. This tight connection to advising resources, classroom and study spaces, and other supports will prove beneficial. Evidence from similar developments at comparable universities suggests the advantages and synergies of this co-location provide a more supportive environment for students than the traditional separation of academic and residential spaces. Both of the facilities development working groups for housing and the academic space will involve campus stakeholders in the proposed design elements and programming for both structures.
What role will the university have in the development of housing in the community?
The University is acutely aware that to accommodate growth we will need more housing for students, faculty, and staff than we can build on our own. The University has been a stakeholder alongside community members and partner agencies in reviewing city and county plans. Additionally, the University advocates that local development be affordable and inclusive. The University is considering opportunities to extend our housing program to off-site locations to ensure such goals are met.
Will there be more housing on campus and off campus?
Yes, the University is building additional housing for 2,400 students with the goal of building additional housing in the future. See a full list of projects.
What opportunities will there be for partnerships with the university?
On average, 1,400 students a year give approximately 180,000 hours of service to local community agencies. Humboldt has more than 400 approved community partners, including a number of Tribal entities, who offer student internships or opportunities for research. More than 50 faculty from across all three colleges teach community-based learning courses every semester. Humboldt adds approximately five to six new community-based learning courses every year. As we transition to a polytechnic, these opportunities will expand.
Are there plans for a Eureka campus? What is the size, scale, extent of the plans?
There are plans to develop a research lab in Eureka (See more details about capital improvements). Cal Poly Humboldt has also expanded its presence with The Campus Store Eureka and Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center.
Is the University acquiring real estate?
The University is strategically identifying properties to support infill development for housing and student services as well as expand the University's presence in our community and allowing greater access to our services.
FAQ for Prospective Students and Families