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Humboldt State University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
1 Harpst Street
Arcata, California 95521
(707) 826-4402
Email address
School Information
"On June 16, 1913, California Gov. Hiram Johnson signed the law establishing 'Humboldt State Normal School, for the training and education of teachers and others in the art of instructing and governing the public schools of this state.' The first classes at Humboldt State Normal School began on April 6, 1914, with 62 students in a small building near the rural bottoms of Arcata. By May of 1915, the school would celebrate its first graduating class of 15 women. The school was established to meet the demand for qualified teachers, which were needed following a state-wide education statute. Accordingly, the school offered four teacher-preparation programs all based on the student’s own experience levels" (Source: The total enrollment is nearly 6,000. 52 majors and 72 minors are offered. The student to faculty ratio is 19 to 1.
General Information
In response to the death of George Floyd, Humboldt State University made numerous changes to its structure and requirements. As of June 1, 2020, Humboldt State University requires that all of its faculty and staff undergoes training for "anti-Black classroom practices." Critical Race Theory is embedded in the core curriculum. All students from HSU are required to take diversity classes as well as classes that discuss anti-racism, white supremacy, and equity, among other topics. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The HSU University Senate developed an Anti-Racist Strategic Action Plan in 2021-2026 on April 13, 2021. This involved a plan to "collaborate with DEIC to train leadership on assessing and building policy applying a racial equity lens." In addition to this, "The Senate will advocate for 100% senator and committee member participation within the first 2 weeks of the terms of at least one anti-racist campus or professional association workshop (e.g. microagression training, bystander intervention, anti-racist pedagogy)."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The university holds an annual Campus and Community Dialogue on Race event that can count as a course credit as ES 480 Campus and Community Dialogue on Race. The 2021 theme is "Dismantle and Heal: Building Coalition Against Forced Division."
  • As of June 1, 2020, the university will be "expanding our capacities for inclusive pedagogy and expanding anti-racist curriculum."
  • In collaboration with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Humboldt offers credential programs that are "dedicated to social justice-oriented and anti-racist teach and learning."
  • As part of the School of Education's Statement in Support of Anti-Racist Education, the university commits to utilizing Critical Race Theory interwoven throughout its curriculum.
  • All HSU students are required to take six units of "Diversity and Common Ground" courses. The university states that, "the content of these courses focuses on the complexity of diversity through the perspective of differential power and privilege, identity politics, and/or multicultural studies."
  • All students are required to take a distribution requirement of "Ethnic Studies" courses which "analyze and articulate concepts such as race and racism, racialization, ethnicity, equity, ethno-centrism, eurocentrism, white supremacy, self-determination, liberation, decolonization, sovereignty, imperialism, settler colonialism, and anti-racism."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • As of June 1, 2020, the university will "train all faculty to eliminate anti-Black classroom practices."
Program and Research Funding
  • The university offers a minor in Critical Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Re-Imagining Policing
  • On April 25, 2021, the university released a statement responding to the verdict of Derek Chauvin's trial. The president indicated that numerous police reforms will take place, such as the implementation of "a Civilian Services Specialist position to respond to calls when an armed, uniformed officer isn’t necessary."
  • The Humboldt library offers numerous resources for "whiteness and anti-racism."
  • The Humboldt State University library offers numerous "SkillShops" events for anti-racism.
  • Humboldt offers students discussions and events as a supportive resource to discuss anti-racism.
  • The School of Education hopes to be "making financial and material resources and support more available to minoritized and underrepresented students."
Symbolic Actions
  • On June 1, 2020, the HSU University Senate Executive Committee released a Statement in Support of Black Lives in the United States of American in order to express " solidarity with a global movement demanding an end to white supremacy and state-sanctioned violence against and murder of the Black community."
Last updated July 26th, 2022
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