Humboldt State University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Humboldt State University
Humboldt State University is the northernmost campus of the 23-school California State University system.

Humboldt State University

Arcata, California

Surrounded by a stunning natural landscape, the students at Humboldt State University have access to the beach, mountain ranges, redwood forests, and more. But beyond the beauty, Humboldt offers something even more spectacular: an abundant array of options to learn both on and off campus. Founded in 1913, Humboldt State University consists of over 8,500 students who are engaged in 51 majors and 69 minors. Small class sizes, with an average student-teacher ratio of 21:1, provide Humboldt’s students with numerous opportunities to create personal relationships with their professors. These engaged students have access to over 190 student organizations and are constantly participating in community service and other activities in and outside the classroom.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
8,259 undergraduate students
93% of undergrad students are full time
44% male — 56% female
7% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
280 full-time faculty
271 part-time faculty
23 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Retention Fall 2015

75% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

46% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 2%
Hispanic/Latino 33%
Black or African American 3%
White 45%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 4%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 6%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 7%

Study Abroad

Humboldt’s expansive study abroad program provides students with the chance to explore the world, all while racking up class credit. The University hosts informational meetings that provide the resources and materials needed to make the most cognizant decision about studying abroad. They allow for all students to learn and take advantage of the most possible experiences that Humboldt has to offer. Additionally, students can meet with study abroad advisors and apply for scholarships in order to make going abroad an achievable possibility. Students have traveled to a variety of places, including Australia, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Thailand, and Argentina. With options to go away for 10 weeks in the summer or an entire school year abroad, the travel programs can be altered to fit students’ preferences as they embark on an experience of a lifetime.

Redwood Coast Marine Science Summer Program

Humboldt offers a unique program that gives students the chance to gain hands-on experience aboard the University’s own ship, the Coral Sea. Throughout their studies, students learn about climate change, the ocean en masse, tides, animal and plant life, and much more. Courses in the Marine Science program even offer field trips to beaches and rivers at which students learn firsthand the inner workings of the complex natural biosphere. And, through an introductory course made up of a tightly knit group of 24 students, curious explorers work on research projects with extremely qualified staff who are highly experienced in such subjects as biochemistry and oceanography. These professors lead students each summer through the Redwood Coast Marine program on the Coral Sea, embarking on exciting adventures into the marine world.

Living-Learning Communities

Humboldt strives for inclusivity, acceptance, and a strong, caring community. With access to themed residence halls, students can apply to live alongside like-minded individuals, choosing from such themes as academic-intensive living, upperclassmen housing, veteran housing, a community for LGBTQ+ students, international living, gender-inclusive housing, and a community for those looking to explore further into the liberal arts. Humboldt’s diverse configurations of themed Living-Learning Communities create a welcoming environment for all people and all interests.


Humboldt’s service-learning program aims to create a communal, actively caring voice within the student body. Encouraging students to coordinate with outside organizations, create a feeling of loyalty, and connect to the needs of others in the surrounding community, Humboldt’s service-learning program makes it easy to learn and contribute to society at the same time. Through this program, students foster a sense of responsibility, reciprocity, and communal development.


Admissions Fall 2015

13,018 Total Applicants 
10,024 Total Admissions 
1,420 Total Freshman Enrollment

77% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 440 560
SAT Math 430 550
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 18 24
ACT Math 17 24
ACT English 16 24
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator


Expenses In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $5,472 $16,632
Fees $1,723 $1,723
Total $7,195 $18,355
Room and Board (on campus) $12,250 $12,250
Room Only $5,900 $5,900
Board Only $6,350 $6,350
Estimated Total On Campus $19,445 $30,605


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

79% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
60% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$9,212 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$5,325 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates