Graduate Programs

Applied Anthropology Website »

The Master of Arts in Applied Anthropology at Humboldt State University is a rig­or­ous yet flex­i­ble pro­gram designed to pre­pare stu­dents for in-demand careers in today’s pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor job mar­ket (e.g., researchers, admin­is­tra­tors, pro­gram devel­op­ers, advo­cates), and also for teach­ing at the col­lege level or for fur­ther study at a Ph.D. pro­gram. Those with a focus in archae­ol­ogy are also pre­pared for eli­gi­bil­ity to become Registered Professional Archaeologists.

The MA in Applied Anthropology is a lim­ited res­i­dency degree pro­gram. Upon enter­ing the pro­gram, stu­dents first attend a five-week (5-unit) Summer Institute held annu­ally on the HSU cam­pus. The focus of the Summer Institute is to build com­radery among the fac­ulty and cohort while offer­ing rig­or­ous hands-on meth­ods train­ing spe­cific to the student’s field of inter­est; while on cam­pus, stu­dents will have access to depart­men­tal facil­i­ties such as the Archaeology and Biological Anthropology lab­o­ra­to­ries, the sim­u­lated archae­o­log­i­cal site, and the Cultural Resources Facility.

Upon suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of the Summer Institute, stu­dents will under­take the bal­ance of their 35 required units of course­work via online dis­tance learning. Students are not required to phys­i­cally be on cam­pus dur­ing this time, allow­ing flex­i­bil­ity to fit the pro­gram around daily lives, loca­tions, and any need/desire to con­duct fieldwork/research off-campus. Students that would like to be on cam­pus are of course wel­comed and encour­aged to do so and will have access to depart­men­tal facilities.

Students have the option of com­plet­ing the pro­gram either full-time (Summer Institute + 3, 10-unit semes­ters) or part-time (Summer Institute + 6, 4–6 unit semesters).

This pro­gram aims to pro­duces skilled prac­ti­tion­ers at the MA level. Some exam­ples of areas in which stu­dents may pur­sue a project/thesis include:

Archaeology:Cultural Resources Management, Museum Studies, Bioarchaeology
Biological Anthropology:Forensics, Primate Ecology & Conservation, Evolutionary Medicine, Human Ecology & Communication
Cultural Anthropology:Development, Public Health, Ethnography, Media, Medical Anthropology
Degree Outcomes
Upon com­ple­tion of the MA degree in Applied Anthropology, stu­dents will demonstrate:

Substantive knowl­edge of the dis­ci­pline; includ­ing its the­o­ries, meth­ods, and approaches.
Specialized skills and knowl­edge applic­a­ble within a sub­dis­ci­pline of anthropology.
Experience in the appli­ca­tion of anthro­po­log­i­cal the­o­ries and meth­ods out­side of an aca­d­e­mic setting.
Familiarity with eth­i­cal stan­dards and con­duct in anthro­po­log­i­cal research, teach­ing, and service.
The abil­ity to con­duct research, under­take projects, and com­mu­ni­cate at a pro­fes­sional level.
Visit the Anthropology Department web­site infor­ma­tion on the Anthropology Department and its resources and fac­ulty.

Biology (MS) Website »

Graduate students in the Master of Science program in Biology at Humboldt State can choose to pursue investigations with an emphasis in the laboratory, forests, marine habitats, or a variety of other settings. This northernmost campus of the California State University is surrounded by ancient redwood forests, fir and pine forests, nearby marine and freshwater habitats, and is within easy driving distance of many national, state, and regional parks. Students can study living processes at all levels, from cellular-molecular to ecosystems.


  • Diverse faculty committed to undergraduate education and mentorship.
  • Low student-to-faculty ratio.
  • Wide-ranging courses and opportunities, including numerous specialized topics.
  • Emphasis on hands-on learning.
  • Excellent facilities available, including the Telonicher Marine Laboratory; ocean-going research vessel, The Coral Sea; Biotechnology Laboratory; Greenhouses; Vertebrate Museum; Herbarium; Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopes; HSU Natural History Museum; and the Biotechnology Core Facility.
  • Outstanding natural environments including ocean and estuarine areas, undeveloped coastal dunes, redwood forests, alpine and subalpine forests, and numerous state and national parks and forests.
  • Rigorous coursework designed to prepare students for active careers and graduate study.

Business (MBA) Website »

The MBA curriculum provides students with the tools for solving problems and making decisions within the framework of a strategic plan. The MBA is designed not only to impart the traditional knowledge of accounting, economics, finance, management, and marketing but also to equip graduates with the foundation for effective team building, quantitative and qualitative decision making, and creative problem solving.

We designed the one-year MBA program for students from disciplines other than business administration such as biology, engineering, art, psychology, and natural resources. The MBA allows students to manage in a variety of profit and non-profit organizations. The MBA provides a solid qualification in business management for those who either seek a new job, want to improve their career prospects, or are interested in setting up a business of their own. MBA courses are wide-ranging in content, covering essential areas of knowledge and skills required in the competitive business environment of today.

Adapted Physical Education, Administrative Services, Elementary Education, School Psychology-PPS, Secondary Education, Special Education

Education (MA) Website »

Humboldt State University has a long tradition of teacher education dating back to 1914, when it first opened as a Normal School. Over the years, Humboldt has prepared many of the teachers of this region while developing a reputation for innovation and close cooperation with local school districts. One of every seven Humboldt students is involved in some phase of teacher education (including undergraduate preparatory programs).

Humboldt's teacher education programs enjoy positive working relationships with the local schools that accommodate credential candidates from year to year. With the cooperative efforts of supportive school administrators, excellent mentor teachers, university professors, and university supervisors, candidates receive the individual attention that makes their credential-year experiences most rewarding.

In addition to the Minor and Masters of Arts degrees, Education contains the following programs:

Elementary Education

  • Preliminary Credential in Multiple Subjects

See also:

  • Liberal Studies/Elementary Education
  • Child Development/Elementary Education

Secondary Education

Preliminary Credentials in the following Single Subjects:

  • Art Education
  • Business Education
  • English/Language Arts Education
  • Applied Technology Education
  • Mathematics Education
  • Music Education
  • Physical Education
  • Science Education (Biology, Chemistry, Geoscience, or Physics)
  • Social Science Education
  • World Languages

Special Education

  • Preliminary Education Specialist Credential in Mild/Moderate Disabilities
  • Preliminary Education Specialist Credential in Moderate/Severe Disabilities

Administrative Services

  • Preliminary Administrative Services Credential

The MA in English—with an emphasis in Applied English Studies—offers a comprehensive curriculum meant to prepare students for a range of pursuits. With an emphasis on professional development, the program expands opportunities for K-12 teachers and prepares students for Ph.D. programs and jobs in college teaching as well as careers in publishing, editing, professional writing, librarianship, digital scholarship, and teaching English abroad. Member Western Regional Graduate Program


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You’ll study how language acts upon the world in order to communicate effectively with diverse communities, in both print and digital media. You’ll participate in conversations about social justice, pedagogy, literature, writing, and representation that extend beyond the classroom and hone your skills in critical reading, writing, teaching, research, and digital humanities. Working one-on-one with faculty and in a supportive cohort of emerging writers and scholars, you’ll apply learning in real-world settings—in the community, in the university library, in the classroom and writing center. The program values the deep connection between theory and practice and emphasizes hands-on learning through teaching assistantships, tutoring positions, and internships in digital humanities, ESL/EFL, library curating and archiving, teaching, editing, and tutoring.


  • Graduate Studies Introduction (ENGL 600)
  • Cultural Studies Introduction (ENGL 605)
  • Digital Humanities (ENGL 615)
  • Teaching ESL Reading & Writing (ENGL 614)
  • Theory of Rhetoric & Composition (ENGL 612)
  • Reading and Writing Pedagogy (ENGL 611)
  • Reading Historically (ENGL 546)
  • Problems in Form, Genre, Media (ENGL 536)
  • Master’s Thesis Project (ENGL 690)
  • One year of a language other than English taken at the college level

Energy Technology & Policy, Environmental Resources Engineering, Geology Member Western Regional Graduate Program

The graduate program in Environmental Systems at Humboldt State University is unique in combining studies in Environmental Resources EngineeringGeology, and Energy Technology and Policy  within a single graduate program.

Graduate studies in environmental systems are devoted to providing a solid scientific foundation for the study of environmental problems or the management of the environment. While it is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of the student's particular area of emphasis, it is also intended to develop in the students an appreciation for the interdisciplinary character of any environmental systems.

The curriculum normally requires two years for completion and includes a thesis or project, depending on the option, as part of the student's program of studies. A candidate for the degree is required to consult with an appropriate faculty advisor and then to prepare an individual program of study that must be approved by a faculty graduate committee. The student must choose one of the four options listed above.

Exercise Science, Teaching/Coaching

Kinesiology (MS) Website »

We offer a Master of Science degree in Kinesiology with thesis and publication submission option. Our program's blend of engaged faculty, practical hands-on learning, and cutting-edge facilities will prepare the student to succeed in a variety of rewarding careers! The Master of Science Degree in Kinesiology offers two areas of specialization:

  • Exercise Science
  • Teaching/Coaching

Kinesiology Graduate Student Handbook »

Environmental & Natural Resources Sciences, Fisheries, Forestry, Watershed & Wildland Sciences, Wildlife Member Western Regional Graduate Program

Environmental & Natural Resources Sciences(MS)

The Environmental & Natural Resources Sciences option of the Natural Resources graduate program is oriented toward ecological restoration, environmental analysis and land use planning, recreational uses of natural resources, and application of spatial analysis technologies including GIS and remote sensing.

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Humboldt State University offers a Masters degree with a Fisheries option under the Natural Resources Graduate Program. Typically, graduate students are enrolled for at least four semesters of coursework. Successful completion of a thesis and thesis defense are required for the Fisheries Master of Science degree.

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Forestry, Watershed & Wildland Sciences (MS)

Graduate studies in Forest, Watershed, & Wildland Sciences are oriented toward generating a greater understanding of the ecology and management of forests, rangelands, and the soils and watersheds that support them. Graduate research is focused on a wide variety of topics, including forest ecology, fire science, forest growth and dynamics, forest operations analysis, watershed processes, rangeland ecology soil science, and integrative analyses across these areas.

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Humboldt State's Wildlife Master's program is an option within the Natural Resource Master's Program. For information about application procedures for the program, see the general guidelines for graduate school admission. Prospective master's students are encouraged to contact individual wildlife faculty members as potential graduate advisors. The following is a current description of requirements for successful completion of master of science degree in Natural Resources (Wildlife option).

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Academic Research, Counseling Psychology, School Psychology.

Academic Research

The Academic Research program offers a two-year Master's degree program with a focus of study in one of three specializations: Biological Psychology, Development Psychopathology, and Social & Environmental Psychology. We also offer a blended progrma for our current students to begin taking graduate courses in their senior year of their undergraduate degree.

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The Counseling Masters of Arts program is a 4-5 semester program that emphasizes a solid foundation in clinical theory and research, along with extensive training in clinical skills.

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School Psychology

The program is fully accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. At program completeion students are recommended to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) for a Pupil Personnel Services Credential with an authorization to practice as a school psychologist.

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Environment & Community Member Western Regional Graduate Program

Social Science (MA) Website »

The graduate program in Environment and Community is a two-year interdisciplinary Master of Arts (M.A.) in Social Sciences. The mission of the Environment and Community program is to prepare students to understand the relationship between communities and their environment, to analyze environment-community issues at different scales, and to act effectively in situations where values and interests diverge.

On Campus, Online

Social Work (MSW) Website »

At Humboldt State, you'll take what you learn in the classroom and put it to work in the real world—applying your new skills in diverse settings, ranging from small non-profit agencies, tribal social services, large public organizations, and international programs. Our students form lasting partnerships with faculty and our professors are committed to student development. We recognize that people who join us are much more than university students and that all of us are members of a community. The relational quality between students and faculty reflects a mutual learning and educational process. The faculty is dedicated to the well being of students based on caring and compassion.

Social Work at Humboldt is a professional preparation program rooted in the liberal arts. It prepares its graduates for practice as social work generalists. This means students are provided the knowledge, values, and skills to work with people from diverse cultural, ethnic, and personal backgrounds in individual, family, organizational, community-based, and policy contexts. The undergraduate and graduate social work programs at Humboldt State are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

We value an educational approach that emphasizes critical reflection, ethical behavior, the development of human potential, and peaceful resolution of conflicts. The Department supports progressive practice that is based on peace, justice, experimentation, risk taking, inclusiveness, partnership, non-expert paradigms of relationships, and a belief in the uniqueness of each student's own professional goals and vision.

The mission of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program is to prepare students for advanced generalist social work practice responsive to the challenges and resources present in rural areas in general and indigenous communities in particular, and to present local historical and contemporary social issues within a global perspective.

Social work students have the opportunity to work with agencies and communities through a highly individualized field experience program. Students find this helpful in building skills and obtaining jobs following graduation. Emphasis is on the utilization of community resources and provision of service intervention in small town and rural areas.

Sociology (MA) Website »

How can I make a difference in the world? Why do some groups of people have many opportunities – and others struggle to make it? Where do I start if I want to effect social change?

These are the questions that catch the attention of students in Introductory Sociology classrooms and carry them through a major in the field. Sociology guides students in making connections between their own individual experiences and the interactions and social structures that shape those experiences.

Sociology students study patterns in interactions, experiences and life outcomes – particularly as they relate to group membership. For example, fathers in the United States are more likely to actively participate in day-to-day parenting than they did 50 years ago. In explaining these changes, and in identifying structural changes needed to bring about different social arrangements, sociologists study race, social class and gender. Sociologists also consider culture, social movements, globalization, deviance and crime against communities and their environments. Few disciplines have such broad scope and relevance. Indeed, sociology seems to offer something for everyone who is anxious to understand the web and rhythm of human behavior.

A career in sociology could include an academic career, but most students of Sociology are employed outside of education. They work in every sector: government, non-profit, research and business. Society is increasingly in need of people who can understand the complexities of a multicultural society. Sociology graduates offer a unique understanding of the social world and possible social solutions to major social issues, as well as the day-to-day issues faced by every organization.

Join us and develop your sociological perspective – then lead the change!