Welcome Dr. Lisa A. Rossbacher, HSU’s new President of the university, and first female to attain the honor!

Arcata Stay shares close ties with Humboldt State University. Within our Lodging Network, owner/manager Christy Laird is an HSU alumnae and so are nearly all of the owner/partners, and several employees. We are very connected to our alma mater and truly appreciate the fact that we have a California State University in our community. We support  HSU by sponsoring events as well as offering discounts to guests conducting business on campus and to families of prospective HSU students or current students, who book with Arcata Stay.




HSU Fast Stats:  10,274 first time freshman applicants for fall 2013, an HSU record

                                     8,293 students enrolled at HSU for Fall 2014 term

                                     538 HSU faculty and instructors (an average ratio of 15 students per instructor)

                                     14.1 (an average number of units taken by an HSU student) 


HSU News:  2014– HSU was ranked the “friendliest school” in the California State University system and the “12th friendliest” college in the nation according to a study on, a ranking and review site that gathered over 84,000 responses to opinion-based survey questions focused on student’s opinions of their campus community.

HSU has achieved 25.6% Hispanic-Latino enrollment, gaining recognition as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).  HSU has been named a top school for Fulbright Scholars by the Chronicle of Higher Education.   August  25, 2012, once again  The Princeton Review (a privately held company which provides test preparation courses, tutoring, books, and other student resources) has named Humboldt State University one of the “Best Colleges in the West” in its “2013 Best Colleges: Region by Region” web feature.  HSU was one of 6 California State University campuses to earn the title, along with UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and Stanford University, to name a few.  Colleges earned distinction mainly due to their excellent academic programs.  View the full ranking at


HSU opened as Humboldt State Normal School on April 6, 1914 with 55 students training to be teachers, housed in a cabin-like building on 11th and M Streets in Arcata, California. The first graduating class, comprised of 15 female students, received their degrees on May 26, 1915. Founders Hall construction began in 1922. The name was changed to Humboldt State College in 1935, and to Humboldt State University in 1974. Between the 1950s to early 1970s, the campus population grew to more than 6000. By 2011, the main Humboldt campus covered 144 acres, and multiple off-campus facilities included a marine lab, ocean-going research vessel, aquatics center, astronomy observatory, natural history museum, First Street Gallery, Wildlife Care Facility, and demonstration tree forest. Presently, nearly 8000 students study with 500 instructors, with a student/faculty ratio of 22.5, and can choose from 44 baccalaureate degree majors, comprising 73 minors, 72 options/ concentrations, 12 graduate programs, 13 credential programs and 12 certificates of study.

HSU is consistently recognized by Princeton Review as a “College With a Conscience” and a “Best in the West” designation for regional schools as well as a “Top Public Master’s Level University” by U.S. News and World Report. Money Magazine’s College Guide said the campus was “worth a special look.”

HSU is all about INNOVATION. According to the website homepage: “ Innovation begins with the way faculty approach the teacher-student relationship. Many colleges boast prestigious, but distant, faculty members. Our students actually know their world-renowned professors. In addition to being leaders in the sciences and humanities, HSU professors are committed to mentoring their students by including them in all kinds of experiments, lab research, and field work. At Humboldt State, learning isn’t limited to sitting in a classroom and taking notes. Our students take that knowledge and apply it in the real world by doing their own seismic readings, photography, wildlife studies, social work and more. Why is this important? Because success in the job market, whether you wind up in business, zoology or any field in between, requires strong entrepreneurial and critical thinking skills.”

A 2009 survey of HSU Alumni indicated that three quarters of alumni said that attending HSU was a great decision, a vast majority agreed their education prepared them well for life-long learning, and they praised the campus for its quality academics and valuable relationships. Former students talked about the importance of personal connections with faculty, hands-on learning opportunities, and the strong sense of community at Humboldt.

HSU students often become friends with their professors and work with them on research and scholarship. Alumni believe that HSU prides itself on the applied nature of its academic programs.

The faculty at HSU has a strong commitment to fostering students’ inherent potential. They motivate, inspire, and guide students, providing them with a supportive community that brings out their best, and the surrounding community welcomes HSU students, and HSU alumni enthusiastically promote their unique HSU experience.

In 2011, 2012 students lived on HSU’s campus, up from 1570 in 2010 and primarily due to the completion of the new College Creek Complex which houses 430 residents in 97 apartments. Included in the Complex is College Creek Marketplace, a 15,000 square foot Great Hall, and an NCAA soccer field.

Commencement 2011 saw 2100 new graduates, and now celebrating its 100th year, HSU has had more than 50,000 students claim their diplomas and go on to share their knowledge around the world.

Humboldt State University will be celebrating its Centennial during the 2013-14 academic year. Stay tuned for a series of very special events to honor its 100th anniversary.


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