Majors & Programs


Degrees Offered: BA BS Minor

The geology program at Cal Poly Humboldt provides a broad and rigorous background in geology that emphasizes geological reasoning and field studies. Humboldt State University’s location on California’s North Coast provides an unparalleled natural laboratory to study tectonics, earthquakes, landsliding, shifting rivers and rapid erosion. The quality of our program has gained Humboldt a national reputation. Dr. Bert Slemmons, Geology Professor at the University of Nevada, describes Humboldt’s undergraduate geology program as “the best in the country.” Dr. Bernard Hallet, Geology Professor at the University of Washington, calls our Masters program a “hot spot.”

The job outlook for geologists is the best that it’s been in 25 years. Our graduates are sought after for jobs in both the private and public sector. Many work for geological consulting and engineering consulting firms or are employed as geologists and hydrologists with government agencies such as the US Geological Survey, California Geological Survey, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Caltrans, US Forest Service and the Army Corps of Engineers. Over 40% of our graduates go on to complete graduate studies. According to National Science Foundation data, Humboldt geology program ranks #2 in the country in the percentage of undergraduates that go on to complete doctorates in the earth sciences. Humboldt ranks above Stanford, UC Berkeley, Harvard and other major universities.

Faculty members in the Geology Department are active scientists dedicated to high quality, field-oriented teaching. Their expertise includes petrology, structural geology, paleontology, tectonics, geophysics, geomorphology, soils, hazards and hydrology. Humboldt faculty have been recognized as University “Outstanding Professors,” and “Scholars of the Year.”