Humboldt State University

2014 Quick Stats
1 Harpst Street

Arcata, CA 95521-8299

Phone: (707) 826-3011
2013-2014 Tuition
male /
Nov. 30
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#53 Overall Score: 37 out of 100. Regional Universities (West)

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Humboldt State University is a public institution that was founded in 1913. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,597, its setting is rural, and the campus size is 144 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Humboldt State University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities (West), 53. Its in-state tuition and fees are $7,138 (2013-14); out-of-state tuition and fees are $18,298 (2013-14).

Situated among redwood forests and just a few miles from the Pacific coast, the Humboldt State University campus is located in the city of Arcata, Calif., about 275 miles north of San Francisco. The university, often abbreviated to HSU, offers about a dozen master’s programs and nearly 50 undergraduate degrees, which fall into the colleges of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Professional Studies; and Natural Resources and Sciences. Given its location near the ocean and the Arcata Bay, it’s no surprise that HSU has an impressive oceanography research institute, which is home to a fully equipped marine lab and an oceanic vessel specifically for undergraduate research. HSU also has nearly 20 other research institutes, including one that specializes in redwood forests, and another, named the Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC), where students look for clean, renewable energy options.

Outside of academics, students can join more than 180 campus clubs, or play for one of the 12 Humboldt State Jacks (short for lumberjacks) varsity sports teams, which compete in the NCAA Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Notable HSU alumni include Stephen Hillenburg, who studied marine resource planning, and then used what he learned to create Nickelodeon’s ocean-themed, animated series SpongeBob SquarePants.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Humboldt State University offers students personal attention from their professors in a small, residential community. There are plenty of academic choices, with 47 majors and nationally recognized programs in natural resources and science. Hands-on experiences often supplement classroom instruction, and students take part in hundreds of volunteer projects and internships in the surrounding area.
With an enrollment of 7,902, Humboldt State is large enough to offer a lively campus and major research facilities, but small enough that students are not lost in a crowd. It's a tight-knit community where professors and staff are known for really getting to know students.
Humboldt State is about five hours north of San Francisco and 90 minutes south of Oregon on California's redwood coast. Six rivers, mountains, forests and beaches provide an ideal environment for learning and living. Students picnic at the same beaches where they study marine life, and outdoor activities are practically limitless. Humboldt State's hometown of Arcata, as well as nearby Eureka, feature plenty of coffee houses, restaurants and shopping. In a single day, a student could surf or snowboard, study for a couple of hours and then attend a concert. In fact, Arcata was named by Outside magazine as one of its top 15 college towns and National Geographic recently named it one of its 50 next great adventure towns.
Humboldt State students started the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility, which has been adopted by hundreds of universities worldwide. That commitment is reflected in many of the University's class offerings, research efforts and projects. These include the Humboldt Energy Independence Fund, which funds student-led campus energy-saving projects, and the student-run sustainability demonstration house known as the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology, which is one of the oldest of its kind. In addition, students annually give more than 35,000 hours of volunteer work through service learning classes, and Humboldt State is consistently among the leading institutions in providing Peace Corps volunteers. For this and more, the Princeton Review includes Humboldt State on its list of 81 Colleges with a Conscience, as well as among its Best Western Colleges.
The campus offers more than 180 academic, career, cultural, sports and lifestyle clubs. Art exhibits and lectures take place throughout the year, and the University's Center Arts brings in nationally recognized performers and speakers. The campus has a student recreational facility with a state-of-the-art fitness/wellness center, and a recently completed physical education facility features kinesiology labs and gym space. Twelve intercollegiate athletic teams compete at the Division II level, including nationally ranked men's football and basketball teams and the women's rowing team.

General Information

School type public, coed college
Year founded 1913
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting rural
2012 Endowment $22,743,921


When applying to Humboldt State University, it's important to note the application deadline is November 30. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due July 16. The application fee at Humboldt State University is $55. It is less selective, with an acceptance rate of 79.7 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity less selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 79.7%
Application deadline November 30
SAT/ACT scores must be received by July 16

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Humboldt State University is 23:1, and the school has 36.8 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Humboldt State University include: Natural Resources and Conservation; Visual and Performing Arts; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Social Sciences; and Psychology. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 73 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 23:1
4-year graduation rate 14%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Natural Resources and Conservation 12%
Visual and Performing Arts 11%
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 10%
Social Sciences 9%
Psychology 7%

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Student Life

Humboldt State University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,597, with a gender distribution of 46.9 percent male students and 53.1 percent female students. At this school, 26 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 74 percent of students live off campus. Humboldt State University is part of the NCAA II athletic conference.

Total enrollment 8,116
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA II

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Campus Info & Services

Humboldt State University offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, day care, health service, and health insurance. Humboldt State University also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Humboldt State University, 20 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Humboldt State University.

Students who have cars on campus 20%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Humboldt State University, 80.6 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $7,866.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

In-state tuition and fees $7,138 (2013-14)
Out-of-state tuition and fees $18,298 (2013-14)
Room and board $11,678 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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