Natural Resources

The graduate program in Natural Resources is designed to provide students with the knowledge and experience necessary to address natural resource problems and to carry out scientific investigations including design, implementation, and evaluation of research in their specific area of study. While it is designed to provide and in-depth understanding of the student's particular area of emphasis, it is also intended to develop an appreciation for the interdisciplinary character of natural resource problems. Each candidate for the degree is required to consult with an appropriate faculty committee and to prepare an individualized program of study which must be approved by that committee.

The Natural Resources Graduate Program includes four options (one of which must be specified on the application). The options are Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Fisheries, Forestry Watershed & Wildland Sciences, and Wildlife.

Environmental Science & Management (ESM)

Environmental Science & Management (ESM) graduate studies are oriented toward environmental analyses and land use planning, ecological restoration, recreational use of wildlands and geospatial science.


The Fisheries program is designed primarily to produce graduates who can assess, manage, and conserve fish habitats, populations, and commercial and recreational fisheries. The program is broad enough to allow students to prepare themselves for work in additional areas such as water pollution ecology, fish population dynamics, and fish culture.

Forestry, Watershed, & Wildland Sciences

Graduate students in Forestry, Watershed, & Wildland Sciences are focused on a wide variety of topics including forest ecology, tree physiology, conservation biology, forest growth, and administration of forest land for ecosystem management. Watershed management issues focus on watershed processes and the interactions between geophysical, biological, and socioeconomic factors expressed in bounded drainages. The interplay between watershed processes and management of other natural resources is integral. Wildland soils deals with the maintenance of the quality of the soil for those same values and sustainable timber production.


Wildlife emphasizes research on wildlife species, behavior, and habitat requirements within the complex ecological interactions that govern the outcome of various land use practices. Wildlife managers should be able to maintain sustained yields of game animals, to minimize wildlife depredation, and to reverse conditions threatening species with extinction.


Program Coordinator

Andrew Stubblefield
Office: FR 212

Application Information

Apply through Cal State Apply

Complete the California State University Graduate Application online at Cal State Apply. A $70.00 application fee is required at the time of application. Limited Application Fee Waivers are available. If you are unable to pay with a credit card, a check can be mailed to the address indicated below.

Please note, once the application deadline closes it still takes time for your file to be processed. Once your file is complete it will be reviewed by the faculty review committee, which can take up to 6 weeks. The earlier your application is completed, the sooner your file will be complete.

You can follow your application status by:

  • Checking your Student Services Center. Approximately two weeks after application submission, you will receive a Posted letter with your Humboldt Student ID and login information.
  • Contacting the College of Natural Resources and Sciences to check on the status of your application.
  • If you are denied admission and disagree with the decision, please contact the department directly.

International Students

If you are an international student applicant, please visit the Center for International Program Graduate Students page for information about how to apply. Please note that most international students must submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores. However, this requirement may be waived in cases where the applicant has a prior degree from a university where English was the primary language of instruction. Scores from the TOEFL test and the other material indicated at the site should be submitted to:

International Student Admissions 
Cal Poly Humboldt 
1 Harpst St. 
Arcata, CA 95521-8299 

Other Requirements

You will also be required to submit transcripts from your previous colleges, names and email addresses of three references, a detailed statement of purpose, and a current resume.

1. Important
You must contact at least one potential advisor before you submit your application to see if the advisor is taking on new students. Please contact them by phone, email, or (best) in person. Make sure that your Statement of Purpose clearly states your research interests and career goals, to better determine which faculty will be the best fit, and to convince at least one faculty member that you would make an excellent graduate student. Check the department website for the list of faculty and their research areas. Graduate advisors are always on the lookout for promising students, so don’t be shy about making contact. You should be proactive and assertive about your strengths. Decisions about acceptance will not be made until your completed application file has been reviewed, so these prior conversations with potential advisors should reveal whether you are a serious candidate for consideration!

2. Official Transcripts
One official transcript is required from any college or university you have ever attended. They must be sent directly to Graduate Admissions (address below). Official transcripts must be in their original sealed envelope.

Cal Poly Humboldt 
Office of Graduate Admissions 
1 Harpst Street, 
Arcata CA 95521

Transcript Exceptions

Humboldt transcripts: You do not need to request transcripts for any work completed at Cal Poly Humboldt.
If you were enrolled at Humboldt as a regular matriculated student within the past 5 years we will still have your file, so you do not need to request transcript for college work completed elsewhere unless you completed that college work after you left Humboldt.

3. Statement of Purpose & Current Resume
Send a detailed Statement of Purpose (SOP) and current resume of work experience. In your Statement of Purpose be sure to include:

a) Potential research areas that are of interest to you;
b) at least one or more faculty who should review your file;
c) your reasons for pursuing a M.S. degree.

​A detailed statement of purpose and current resume can be uploaded to your Cal State Apply application. ​