For the 25th consecutive year, Cal Poly has been named the best public, master’s-level university in the West by U.S. News & World Report’s annual America’s Best Colleges guidebook.
The 2018 guidebook lists Cal Poly in 11th place overall in the West for regional universities.
The Western regional list includes 141 public and private institutions in 15 states that provide “a full range of undergraduate and master’s-level programs but few, if any, doctoral programs.” Universities that grant doctoral degrees, such as those in the University of California system, are listed in a separate category.
“We are honored that U.S. News has now recognized the value of a Cal Poly education for a quarter of a century,” Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong said. “This impressive distinction would not be possible without our talented and dedicated faculty and staff, who provide the foundation for our students’ successful Learn by Doing experience, along with our crucial industry partnerships and continued support from our generous alumni and friends.”
Cal Poly’s College of Engineering ranked No. 7 on the list of best engineering master’s/bachelor’s programs in the nation, in a tie with Bucknell University of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Among specialty programs, the college’s computer engineering program was ranked No. 2 nationwide; civil engineering tied for second; and aerospace, electrical and mechanical engineering each ranked third.
Cal Poly also ranked sixth in the West for most veteran-friendly universities — a listing that shows military vets and active-duty service members which top-ranked schools offer benefits that can help them make pursuing a college education more affordable. Cal Poly is also the top-ranked public university in this category.
The U.S. News rankings methodology focuses on academic excellence, with schools evaluated on hundreds of data points and up to 15 measures of academic quality. Overall, the rankings emphasize student outcomes — such as graduation and freshman retention rates — which carry the most weight at 30 percent.
— By Matt Lazier