Why Cal Poly Humboldt?

Cal Poly Humboldt offers students a unique experience through a mix of academic programs, hands-on experiences, and commitment to social and environmental responsibility – all in the midst of an awe-inspiring natural environment. We’re also smaller than most public universities in California, and most students live on campus or nearby. So when you’re a student at Humboldt, you have a chance to get very involved in class projects and extracurricular activities. That’s a big reason our alumni have such fond memories of their time here. You not only earn a degree at Humboldt, you develop skills and confidence that give you an advantage in your career and help you make the world better.

Fisheries Biology aboard the Coral Sea

Campus Roof Tops & BSS

Don't be afraid to dream big. But without a plan, without the dedication, without taking the steps day in and day out, those lofty goals are just dreams. You have to do the work to get there."— Dan Phillips, Chief Technology Officer for Hulu ('91, Computer Information Systems and Business Administration)

Commencement Celebration

Biomechanics Lab

Minimize Global Warming Event

One my favorite academic experiences was my botany class, which was not like a typical class where you just look at a couple of samples in a lab. We actually got to go into the forest to collect our test samples and went into the greenhouse for even more observations."—Sabrina Sibbett, Biology Major

Sabrina Sibbet

not too big, not too small

lots of academic options

public school with comparably low tuition

17:1 student to faculty ratio

110 miles of coastline, 1.5 million acres of forest,
680,000 acres of state and national parks

Located in the Rural
College Town of Arcata

HSU Location in the California

Humboldt Students

Enrollment 5,739
17% local
73% California
1% international

59% female
41% male

Cal Poly Humboldt Humboldt County
population 5,739 population 135,558
32% 12% Hispanic/Latino
48% 74% White
3% 1% African American
1% 5% American Indian
3% 3% Asian American/Pacific Islander
5% 0% Other
6% 5% Multi-racial

More Humboldt Facts

A Close-knit Community

At Humboldt, professors, staff, and fellow students are here to support you – in the classroom and beyond. Most of our classes are small, giving you a chance to be actively involved in discussions. And you’ll really get to know your professors, who will challenge you and help you develop a passion for learning.

Hanging out with Friends

River Studies

World Languages & Cultures

Yes House Volunteers

Marching Lumberjacks

Men's Lacrosse

Over 70% of undergrad classes have fewer than 30 students

A student-faculty ratio of 17:1 means you’ll get to know your professors

One of the best choices I've made as a Humboldt student was getting involved. I highly recommend pursuing clubs that interest you. We have so many! You'll not only learn how to manage your time but you'll also meet new people and have a part of your day to de-stress." — Giovanni Guerrero, Environmental Science Major

Giovanni Guerrero

Real-World Experience

From academic internships to service projects, our students get to put their learning to work in the real world. They do seismic readings, art exhibitions, health studies, social work projects, and more. They study marine life at beaches where they also surf, and observe tree growth patterns in the same forests where they hike.

Why does that matter? Because success in the job market often requires practical experience along with critical thinking skills.

Each year, Humboldt students gain experience doing more than 196,000+volunteer, service-learning, and internship hours.

Humboldt’s annual IdeaFest features research & creative projects by hundreds of students.

Education in the classroom

Student Art Show

Forestry Students Explore Tree Canopy

One of the best academic experiences I've had here was the internship class the business department provided! People think that living in a small town, there's not enough businesses to work or even learn from, but the business department made it possible to get involved."— Kimberly Encio, Business Administration

Kimberly Encio

Sustainability at our Core

Cal Poly Humboldt is a nationally recognized leader in sustainability. We care about protecting the environment and building a more just society — a commitment you’ll find throughout our curriculum. More than 300 of our courses have a sustainability theme.

Students often lead the way. They manage the university’s eco-demonstration house, and they voted for a fee to fund student-led renewable energy projects. Four decades ago, students helped create the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, an innovative wastewater treatment facility.

We are consistently ranked as a leading “Green College” by Princeton Review.

More than 100 schools from around the country have adopted HSU’s Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility.

We go well beyond recycling and composting. We also no longer sell plastic water bottles, give out plastic straws, or use plastic shopping bags on campus.

Inspired by Place

Humboldt is the northernmost campus in the California State University system, located in a rural area 270 miles north of San Francisco. Our stunning natural environment is both a natural laboratory and a great place for adventure. Our “backyard” is 110 miles of coastline and 680,000 acres of state and national parks.

Humboldt’s Center Activities program offers outdoor adventure classes and rentals.

Canoeing with Center Activities

Arcata Plaza

Redwood Forest

Field work at Trinidad Head

We've been called 'America's Most Scenic Rural County' by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Lonely Planet named our Redwood Coast its #1 place to visit in the U.S. in 2018, and National Geographic Adventure magazine called our hometown of Arcata one of its "50 next great adventure towns."

Just behind campus is the 2,350-acre Arcata Community Forest, which features trails and a disc golf course.

Humboldt on social media