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Frequently Asked Questions - Leadership Studies Program

Will my diploma/transcript indicate I received a degree online?

No. Your diploma will be from Cal Poly Humboldt. You will receive a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies: Leadership Studies.  Effective in fall 2024, all new and continuing students enrolled in the program will earn a B.A. in Leadership Studies.

Can I complete all course requirements for the program online at Cal Poly Humboldt?

Yes, we will help you choose courses each semester to fulfill all requirements for the degree.

How many units must I complete for this program?

The B.A. degree requires a total of 120 units. The number of units you are required to complete for this program will depend on the number of units and the courses you transfer in. Typically students will transfer in 60 units and will need to complete an additional 60 units for the degree. This will include a total of 40 upper division units. The 40 upper division units include 30 units in the major and 9 units of general education. There are other institutional requirements and opportunities for electives as well. These additional requirements can be taken as part of the program or transferred in, however only 70 community college units can apply toward the 120 unit total for the degree.

How long will it take me to complete the program?

This depends on the following:

  • Your total number of transfer units
  • How many units you can successfully complete each semester, given your other obligations and time commitments
  • If attending full time (12 units per semester) most students graduate in 2 years. If attending part time (6 units per semester), it can take 2-3 years to graduate. However, each student's circumstances vary based on how many units they transfer in -- the more units you begin with, the sooner you will graduate. Please email leadership@humboldt.edu if you have specific questions about your degree timeline.

It's important to note that if you need to take time off due to unexpected life circumstances, you can return to complete the program later.

What is the total cost of the program?

This depends on the following:

  • Your total number of transfer units
  • Where your transfer units were completed (community college or 4-year institution)
  • Financial aid award amounts (State University Grants and fee waivers cannot be applied to this program, however; Cal Grants, California Middle Class Scholarship, Federal Pell Grants, and Federal Student Loans CAN be applied.)

Please see the Benefits and Fees section for more detailed information.

Is the Leadership Studies program accredited?

Yes. The Leadership Studies Online Degree Completion program is a matriculated-degree awarding program at Cal Poly Humboldt. Cal Poly Humboldt is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission, certifying the quality and effectiveness of Humboldt’s degree programs and educational activities. Learn more about Cal Poly Humboldt’s WASC accreditation on its website.

WASC website screenshot

What does it mean for me that the program is a self-support program? How does being enrolled in a self-support program impact me as a student?

Self-support programs do not receive tax dollars from the State. The course fee is constant at $299 per credit. So you pay per course instead of paying a full time or part time tuition rate. Because the Leadership Studies Program is delivered by the College Extended Education & Global Engagement (CEEGE), students are not subject to Cal Poly Humboldt fees, although there could be additional small fees for ID cards or other items.

If you are planning to major in Leadership Studies, please refer to this Benefits and Fees section for more detailed information about your course fees for 8-week classes offered through CEEGE. You will NOT be subject to the stateside Tuition and Fees schedule. 

Will the change to a polytechnic university affect this program? 

Leadership Studies will remain the same with a continued emphasis on an interdisciplinary curriculum, hands-on practical projects, and sustainability and ethics. This aligns the broader values of Cal Poly Humboldt. 

Instead of saying Humboldt State University on your diploma, it will say “California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt” (also known as Cal Poly Humboldt). We are still a part of the 23 campus CSU system. 

In short, a focus on applied learning is what sets a polytechnic university apart from a traditional university. To learn more, check out "What is a Polytechnic University", an article written by the CSU system to share how Humboldt's majors and student support services will be enhanced as a result of the polytechnic designation.

Applying & Eligibility:

Am I eligible for this program?

All upper division transfer students are eligible for the Leadership Studies degree completion program, as long as they have completed minimum transfer requirements. See How To Apply for more details.

Humboldt is very flexible with utilizing coursework that students have already earned as CSU-transferable credit. To be admitted to Leadership Studies, you are not required to have an associate's degree. While most applicants do have an associate's degree of some form, Humboldt also admits students who have attended four-year institutions, multiple schools, or out-of-state schools, as long as they have completed the minimum upper division transfer student requirements. When you complete an application in Cal State Apply, you list all of your possible transfer units, and the application helps determine if you meet admission criteria.

Take the Leadership Studies self assessment to find out if Leadership Studies is a good fit for your educational goals.

Is there a minimum GPA eligibility?

You must complete -- before your application term -- at least 60 transferable semester college units, with at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average based on your transferable work.

How do I find out which of my classes are eligible for transfer?

Within the 60 to 70 units required to be an upper division transfer student, you must complete at least 30 units of general education (GE) coursework with grades of C- or higher. If you'd like to determine which of your GE courses are transferable, check online for California public colleges, at www.assist.org for useful course lists by college and GE subject area.

Please feel free to contact our office to speak with an academic advisor if you have additional questions.

Are there specific courses I must have as part of my undergraduate transfer package?

There are no prerequisites for the courses in the major, but as part of your undergraduate GE units, you must complete, with C- or better, all four of the following subject areas:

  • Written Communication (English Composition)
  • Oral Communication (Public Speaking)
  • Critical Thinking
  • Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning

If you'd like to check GE course articulation or transfer agreements for California public colleges, you can go to www.assist.org for useful course lists by college and GE subject area. The California Virtual Campus lists all online GE classes in the California Community College system. Lastly, San Francisco State University and other CSUs also offer GE courses online. 

If you need GE Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning, we recommend "Personal Finance" or "Math for Liberal Arts." Both can be found at California Virtual Campus.

What if I attended Humboldt in the past -- do I need to re-apply? 

If you completed at least one semester at Humboldt at any time in the past, you can likely return without having to re-apply. You are considered a returning student -- once a Lumberjack, always a Lumberjack! 

You can return to Humboldt in your former major, or to Leadership Studies, by completing the "Request to Re-enroll" form at the Office of Admissions website for Returning Students. 

If you have never been admitted to Leadership Studies before, you will have to complete a Cal State Apply application and have completed at least 60 units to be considered an upper division student.  


Is this program manageable for a working/family person?

This program was designed with working students in mind. The courses are formatted in eight week blocks to help you concentrate on one course at a time while you make progress toward your goals. Within this intensive schedule you may expect to spend approximately 18 hours a week of online instruction and individual readings and assignments. Take the Leadership Studies self assessment to find out if Leadership Studies is a good fit for your educational goals.

Do I need to be online at a certain time or for certain number of hours?

These classes have been developed to be flexible and accessible for busy adults, so you don't typically need to be online at any certain time. The online format will vary, depending on course topic and instructor, and there may be some opportunities for you to talk real-time with instructors and/or other students.

Fees & Financial Aid:

Is there a fee to apply?

There is a $70 non-refundable application fee you can pay when you apply at Cal State Apply.

Are there any additional fees beyond the $360 per unit fee and the cost of text books?

Because the Leadership Studies Program is delivered by the College of Extended Education & Global Engagement, students are not subject to other campus based fees. However, there could be additional fees for ID cards or other campus services if you want to access those services.

Is there a difference in fees if I'm not a California resident?

The fees for Leadership Studies courses are the same regardless of your residency.

Is there financial aid available?

Students admitted to the Leadership Studies program are eligible to apply for financial aid. All students should complete and submit a FAFSA (fafsa.gov). State University grants and fee waivers do not apply to this program, but other types of aid may be used, such as Cal Grants, California Middle Class Scholarship, Federal Pell Grants, and Federal Student Loans, if you are eligible.

Can I use my VA, VOC Rehab, Americorps benefits?

Federal aid and other programs that pay tuition can be used for the Leadership Studies program, but fee waivers do not apply.

Technology and Resources:

What computer technology do I need to take this online program?

Canvas is the Humboldt Learning Management System (LMS). Students will have access to the syllabus, course calendar, assignments and other materials and functions via Canvas. Because it's built using web standards, Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser.

Technical Requirements

Before logging into Canvas, confirm that your hardware, software and settings are correct and compatible with Canvas requirements to be able to run the LMS.

Computer Requirements

  • Use a computer 5 years old or newer when possible
  • Windows 7 and newer
  • Mac OSX 10.6 and newer
  • Linux - chromeOS

For all computers:

  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 2GHz processor
  • Internet connection of a minimum of 512kbps
  • Speakers or headphones (headset highly recommended)
  • Web camera or built-in computer/laptop camera for courses that may using web conferencing, Skype or other video applications
  • Flash is required for recording audio and video in the Canvas Rich Content Editor. Other than these features, Flash is not required to use most areas of Canvas. Please note that some browsers may no longer support Flash.
  • The Java plug-in is required for screen sharing in Conferences. Please note that some browsers do not support Java. Otherwise, there are no other browser plug-ins used by Canvas.
  • JavaScript must be enabled.

Supported Browsers

Canvas supports the current and first previous major releases of the following browsers:

  • Chrome 71 and 72
  • Firefox 64 and 65 (Extended Releases are not supported)
  • Flash 31 and 32 (used for recording or viewing audio/video and uploading files)
  • Internet Explorer 11 (Windows only—functionally supported; may exhibit slight visual differences from other browsers, but these differences do not restrict product functionality)
  • Edge 42 and 44 (Windows only)
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser (supporting the latest system requirements)
  • Safari 11 and 12 (Macintosh only)

You should always use the most current version of your preferred browser. Your browser will notify you if there is a new version available.

Some supported browsers may still produce a banner stating "Your browser does not meet the minimum requirements for Canvas." If you have upgraded your browser, but you are still seeing the warning banner, try logging out of Canvas and deleting your browser cookies.

Mobile Device Requirements

Canvas is best viewed at a minimum resolution of 800x600. If you want to view Canvas on a mobile device with a smaller screen, we recommend using the Canvas mobile app.

As of January 5, 2019, Android apps require version 5.0 or later and iOS apps require version 11 or later. All Android and iOS both support the two most recent versions of their respective operating systems.

Screen Readers and Browsers

Canvas officially supports the following screen reader and browser combinations:


  • Windows: JAWS and NVDA (latest version for Firefox)
  • Macintosh: VoiceOver (latest version for Safari)
  • There is no screen reader support for Canvas in Chrome, IE11, or Edge browsers

Mobile Apps:

  • Android: Talkback (latest OS version)
  • iOS: VoiceOver (latest OS version)

Do you offer an online library service? How will I access the Humboldt library?

Leadership Studies students have access to the Humboldt library and all of the library's online resources. You can also get a Student ID Card from the library.

Is there training offered for a prospective online student?

Technology is changing all of the time. Prior to enrolling in classes, you will be required to participate in an online orientation program. This online orientation will explain technology needs and provide important tips for the online learner. We recommend reviewing Humboldt's Keep Learning website for tips and resources.