Humboldt State University was created in 1913 by Governor Hiram Johnson as a normal school on land donated by the Union Water Company. Named after the Prussian naturalist, the Humboldt State Teacher’s college graduated an inaugural class of 15 women. After World War II, HSU expanded into a public, co-educational research institution within the 23-site California State University system. Endowed for $28 million, Humboldt’s enrollment has since spiked to over 8,200 undergraduates and 550 post-graduates annually. Occupying 733 total acres, HSU is nestled in Arcata between coastal redwood forest and the Pacific Ocean. Humboldt State University also offers a distance program via the College of eLearning & Extended Ed.
The U.S. News and World Report ranked Humboldt State as the West’s 52nd best regional university and 12th top public college. On Forbes, HSU was deemed the 187th best public school nationally. Graded B+ for campus quality, Humboldt State University was declared America’s 52nd “Most Liberal College” and 174th “Best College for Environmental Science” by Niche. The Princeton Review included HSU among the United States’ “Guide to 361 Green Colleges.” According to Washington Monthly, Humboldt is the nation’s 20th best master’s university for contribution to the public good. HSU’s city, Arcata, was also honored among National Geographic’s 100 best adventure towns.
Humboldt State University Accreditation Details
Continuously since 1949, Humboldt State University has received full, 10-year accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This regional commission is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for reviewing schools in California, Hawaii, and U.S. territories like Guam. Certain HSU departments also hold approval from:
• Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
• Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
• National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
• American Chemical Society (ACS)
• National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
• California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC)
• National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
Humboldt State University Application Requirements
Admission at Humboldt State University is “selective” with an average acceptance rate of 75 percent. Incoming freshmen must be high school graduates or pass the GED and state equivalency exams. The 15-unit, college-prep curriculum prerequisites must be completed with a “C” or better. Applicants at HSU are evaluated based on an eligibility index. Calculate it by multiplying the GPA by 800 and adding the composite score for the SAT. California residents need an index score of 2901 or better, but non-residents are held to a 3502. Test scores remain optional for first-year students with a 3.0 GPA (3.61 for out-of-state) or better.
Transferring to Humboldt State is possible after finishing at least one full-time semester at another regionally accredited college. Interested transfers must have passed English composition and math with a “C-” or better. Having good standing with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher is required. Upper-division students can only transfer 90 units maximum. International learners whose native language isn’t English must pass the TOEFL pBT with a 525 or equivalent. Graduate programs always seek HSU applicants with an accredited bachelor’s degree who’ve obtained a minimum overall GPA of 2.75. Certain programs have varying criteria, such as the MBA requires a GMAT score above 500.
Applications to Humboldt State University are accepted from August 1st through November 30th for Fall enrollment via the CSU Mentor website. Prospective Lumberjacks should also send:
• Payment for the $55 application fee
• One original transcript from each school attended
• Official standardized testing results
• Two or three letters of recommendation
• Proof of California residency (if applicable)
• Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduates from California are billed annual tuition and fees at $7,212. Non-resident undergrads enrolling full-time will pay $18,364 yearly. Room and board is estimated to add $12,638 each year. Humboldt State suggests budgeting $1,660 for textbooks and $1,392 for miscellaneous supplies too. Total annual cost of attendance is roughly $23,367 (in-state) and $34,536 (out-of-state). Post-baccalaureate scholars from California pay $8,478 on average. Non-resident graduate students can expect shelling out $15,666 yearly. The MBA program is an exception by adding $254 more per unit.
According to the NCES, 79 percent of full-time HSU students receive assistance. The mean financial aid amount is $9,212 each year. Institutional funding, including the Trustee’s Scholarship, Next Generation Scholarship, Stanley W. Harris Scholarship, Richard E. Winnie Scholarship, and Alistair and Judith McCrone Graduate Fellowship, is abundant. Based on EFC, students could obtain the Federal Pell Grant or Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). Residing in the “Golden State” qualifies students for the Cal Grant A or B and State University Grant (SUG). AB540 learners are funded under the California Dream Act. Work-study jobs and assistantships provide money for tuition. Lumberjacks could also borrow Perkins, Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and PLUS loans cautiously.
Humboldt State University offers the top-notch academic resources of a CSU system campus while retaining a beneficial student-faculty ratio of 23:1. Students make meaningful connections with PhD-level faculty, including botanist Stephen C. Sillett and linguist Victor Golla. Curricular choice is abundant with HSU’s 48 bachelor’s, 12 master’s, and 16 teaching credentials. Some unique undergraduate majors include Dance Studies, Environmental Resources Engineering, Fisheries Biology, Native American Studies, and Rangeland Resource Science. There are also diverse minors from Social Advocacy to Art History. Students could participate in the Klamath Connection Program to learn essential STEM skills.
Attending Humboldt provides unparalleled access to state-of-the-art facilities for experiential learning. For instance, future oceanographers could step aboard the 90-foot RV Coral Sea for North Coast marine projects. Astronomy majors look to the stars through a 16-inch telescope in Fickle Hill Observatory. Young ecologists study the Redwoods at the L.W. Schatz Demonstration Farm. HSU has also started the nation’s first Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research. The university’s 2,100 campus dwellers live in five residence halls, including the Canyon. Relocating to the 144-acre rural campus places students near Clam Beach, Arcata Marsh, and Humboldt Redwoods State Park for recreation.
From scaling the 40-foot rock wall in the Rec Center to eating organic at the Hilltop Market, the HSU campus offers various activities for healthy engagement. Students can get social with nearly 200 clubs, such as Climate Crisis, Delta Phi Epsilon, The Marching Lumberjacks, and Homeless Student Advocate Alliance. Annually, Humboldt funds the Sustainable Living Arts and Music (SLAM) Festival. Events like the Humboldt Film Festival and Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service are also celebrated each year. Sports fans can root for 12 Humboldt State University teams in the NCAA Division II, including the 2014 women’s rowing national champions.