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Cal Poly Humboldt - work in progress

Cal Poly Humboldt is the third and newest of the California State Polytechnic Universities, and the northernmost university in the California State University system. The university is also one of the smallest CSU campuses, dating back to 1913, when it first served as a teacher’s college before becoming Humboldt State University. In the early 2020s, the CSU identified the need for a third polytechnic campus, along with San Luis Obispo and Pomona, making Humboldt its newest addition in 2022.

Humboldt has a long tradition of serving and preserving the environment, through research, education and campus policies. Located at the edge of California’s magnificent coastal redwood rainforest on the shores of the Pacific, this campus offers a wide variety of programs in wildlife care, ecology, marine biology and other environmental subjects. In addition, Humboldt is known for its service-learning programs that provide academic instruction through a community-service framework, giving students a grounded education that connects directly to classroom theory.

Quick Info - in progress

Students who thrive

Students who thrive

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Students who may have challenges

Students who may have challenges

Successful applicants

Cal Poly Humboldt’s admissions process seeks to admit all qualified students, with over 90% of applicants admitted. Currently (2022), none of the academic programs at Humboldt are impacted, meaning that all qualified applicants may be admitted.

To determine qualification, applications are evaluated for weighted GPA (wGPA), which can include extra grade points for up to 8 semesters of honors, AP, or community coursework. Eligible California residents must have an academic wGPA of 2.5 or higher, but California applicants with a wGPA between 2.00 and 2.49 may also be considered. Eligible non-residents must have a wGPA of 3.0 or higher, and non-residents of WUE member states are given additional consideration. Cal Poly Humboldt reviews applicants for progress toward completion of required core coursework, including a minimum of 4 years of English, 3 years of math (4 recommended), 2 years of US history and government, 1 year of physical lab science, 1 year of biological lab science, 2 years of the same foreign language, 1 year of the same visual and performing arts, and 1 additional year of coursework in any of the previous categories. Interested applicants should verify their eligibility for admission.

The California State University system eliminated the use of SAT or ACT scores as part of the application process, although certain scores can allow matriculating students to waive out of required coursework.

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How the application process handles majors

How the application process handles majors



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Academic support

Academic support

Support for disabilities & learning differences

Support for disabilities

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Housing & transportation

Housing & transportation

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Social life, recreation & campus spirit

Social life



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Graduation requirements

Grad requirements

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humboldt_colors (green alt) @400

Arcata, California
Est. 1913
Motto: Discere Faciendo
(Learn by Doing)

Mascot: Lucky Logger

Public polytechnic university
Rural setting

5,200 undergraduates
520 master's students
314 faculty members
18:1 student to faculty ratio
25 students average class size

144 acre main campus

Semester system:
Two 15-week terms per year, plus summer sessions

Temperate, rainy climate with cool winters, and mild, foggy summers

Application Deadline

December 15 (Fall Admit)

Submissions accepted October 1 to December 15

September 30 (Spring Admit)

Submissions accepted August 1 to September 30

Regular Decision Only


$16,300-$31,300 / year
California resident total cost

$25,300-$43,200 / year
Non-resident total cost

Member of Western Undergraduate Exchange

California registration fees:
$5,000-$7,900 / year

Non-resident fee:
Base registration plus $396 / unit

Housing & Meal Plan:
$5,000-$20,000 / year

Transportation & Misc.:
$3,400 / year

Health Services Fee:
Included in registration fees

Notable Majors & Programs

Marine Biology

Unique Majors:
Native American Studies

Unique Minors:
Multicultural Queer Studies
Scientific Diving
Appropriate Technology

Other Programs:
Wildlife Care
Redwood Forest Ecology
Fire Science Program
International English Language Institute
College of eLearning & Extended Ed (CEEE)

Equity & Inclusion

Transfer Equity

  • Transfer programming & services: Yes
  • Transfer housing guaranteed: No
  • Separate transfer housing provided: No
  • Accepts lower-division & upper-division transfers
  • Transfer in Spring or Fall
  • Campus & housing tours for transfers
  • 15% of undergraduates are transfers

Disability Support & Equity

Racial Equity

  • Hispanic-serving institution (HSI)
  • Dreamer Student Resources
  • Free immigration legal services
  • Supportive housing options
  • Diverse student body
  • Indigenous students well-represented
  • Programs, centers, organizations for Indigenous, Latinx, ADPI, Black students
  • Black, Asian students underrepresented

LGBTQ+ Equity

  • Campus Pride Index: 4.5 / 5
  • Eric Rofes Multicultural Queer Resource Center
  • Queer Student Union
  • Inclusive campus & local community
  • Supportive queer/trans policies
  • Inclusive housing policies & options
  • Trans Support Group through CAPS
  • Queer Humboldt (community resources)

Other Inclusion & Equity

  • Admissions consideration, services & financial aid for foster youth
  • Childcare services for student families with sliding fee scale based on income
  • Inclusive veteran housing
  • Veteran Enrollment & Transition Services

After Graduating

95% of students graduate with practical career experience through serivce-learning projects, field research, study aborad programs, or other hands-on learning experiences.

Academic & Career Advising Center (ACAC)

Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Courtesy of US Fish & Wildlife Service