Science at Humboldt State

Cal Poly Humboldt is an incredible place to study biology. Our faculty are dedicated to teaching excellence and hands-on learning, instructing courses that utilize specialized equipment, impressive natural collections, laboratory facilities, and the ecologically diverse field sites of our region. Extensive opportunities for research prepare our students for a wide range of careers in biology. Come be inspired!


A class of students in the forest surrounded by large redwood trees

Biology majors study organisms and how they function in the natural world. You can be a general biology major or focus your studies by choosing a concentration in one of five specialty areas: Cellular and Molecular Biology, Ecology, Marine Biology, Microbiology, or Science Education.


Professor Tomescu working with two students in the greenhouse

You will learn and appreciate the biological processes unique to plant life with a dedicated learning community and the best botanical collections in the CSU system.


Comparing fish on a clipboard

You will take courses in physiology, ecology, anatomy, and classification of animal groups, with many opportunities for field research in our diverse local habitats, as well as laboratory study.

Marine Biology

Tidal Zone Research

Using the nearby Pacific Ocean and North Coast as a living lab, students gain real-world experience on and in the ocean, beaches, and other marine habitats to study marine organisms and ecosystems. Students take advantage of excellent facilities, such as Cal Poly Humboldt’s own marine lab and ocean-going research vessel to conduct research directly with faculty.

Graduate Program

Graduate students in the Master of Science program in the Biological Sciences at Cal Poly Humboldt can choose to pursue investigations with an emphasis in the laboratory, forests, marine habitats, or a variety of other settings.

Pre-Professional Health Programs

If you choose one of our pre-professional health programs, in either pre-medical, pre-dental, or pre-veterinary, you will receive a core education based in biology, chemistry, physics, zoology, and mathematics.

Featured Alumni Profile

Luis Cruz, 2015

PhD Candidate & Instructor/Teaching Assistant, San Diego State University

Currently I am a PhD Candidate at SDSU/UCSD in Cell and Molecular Biology and an Instructor for an undergraduate molecular laboratory course at SDSU.

Career Options

Biological scientists are in high demand. Our graduates have gone onto careers in private and public sectors, and tribal and nonprofit conservation agencies. They have earned doctorate degrees, hold leadership positions at laboratories and institutes, have conducted research worldwide, and teach at major universities.

Here are a few possible career options:

Biology Careers

  • Anatomist
  • Physiologist
  • Taxonomist
  • Systematist
  • Herpetologist
  • Entomologist
  • Mammalogist
  • Developmental Biologist
  • Museum Curator or Manager
  • Naturalist
  • Science Educator
  • Veterinarian
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Professor
  • Scientific Writing
  • Scientific Outreach
  • Scientific Illustration
  • Consulting

Botany Careers

  • Herbarium Curator
  • Naturalist
  • Plant Physiologist
  • Technical Writer
  • Plant Ecologist
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Botanist
  • Horticulturist
  • Science Librarian
  • Plant Pathologist

                  Zoology Careers

                  • Zoologist
                  • Technical Writer
                  • Laboratory Technician
                  • Museum Curator
                  • Entomologist
                  • Health Technician
                  • Ornithologist
                  • Animal Nutritionist
                  • Ichthyologist
                  • Anatomist
                  • Embryologist
                  • Pathology Technician
                  • Science Librarian