Cal Poly Named California’s Top Public-Masters University in Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education Rankings

Sixth-annual list also names the Learn by Doing university among the nation’s Top 50 public colleges and universities

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly is the best master’s-level public university in California and is in the top 50 public universities in the nation in the 2022 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings. 

The WSJ/THE rankings emphasize student learning and how well a college or university will prepare students for life after graduation. Among the 796 colleges and universities ranked across the nation, Cal Poly placed No. 198 overall — up a dozen spots from last year.

Cal Poly was again No. 8 among all California public institutions, behind seven campuses in the University of California system. Cal Poly ranked 48th out of all public colleges and universities in the U.S., up two notches from the 2021 rankings.

The WSJ/THE rankings, released Sept. 21, come as U.S. News & World Report named Cal Poly the best public, master’s-level university in the West for the 29th straight year and Forbes once again designated Cal Poly the top public masters-level university in the state.

“Student success remains at the heart of what we do,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong, “and these rankings reflect well on the Learn by Doing experience and how it prepares our students to succeed after graduation — in their careers and in their lives.

“Cal Poly’s continued improvement in these prestigious publications year after year also reflects the work and dedication of our renowned faculty and staff, as well as the support of our proud alumni and industry partners who complete the circle of success.”

At the heart of the annual WSJ/THE rankings are outcomes, such as return on investment. The rankings considered more than 170,000 responses from students to survey questions, last updated in 2019 because of the coronavirus pandemic, including whether they feel inspired and motivated by their classmates, whether they think their college is worth what they and their families are paying, and whether they would choose the same school if they had to start all over again. 

At Cal Poly, the results showed most students said they made the right choice in attending the Learn by Doing university, that it is worth the cost of attendance, and that it provides an environment where they feel inspired. 

Elsewhere, Cal Poly scored well in outcomes (accounting for 40 percent of its rating score), a category that includes the university’s reputation, graduate salaries, student debt and graduation rate. 

The survey also ranked schools in 28 subject areas. The rankings recognized programs in all six of Cal Poly’s colleges and placed them high against California public schools and overall among the Golden State’s private and public education institutions:

— Cal Poly’s architecture program, in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, was fifth among public universities in the state and ninth overall.

— The College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences’ veterinary sciences program ranked fourth among public institutions and fifth-best overall. In addition, its agricultural and forestry programs were fifth among public schools and 11th overall in the state.

— The College of Liberal Arts’ geography program as ranked fifth behind four University of California campuses and ninth overall. In addition, its archaeology program was fifth among public schools and 11th overall.

— The Orfalea College of Business’s business and management subject ranked seventh among public universities in the Golden State, and its economics program was eighth among the top public state schools.

— Cal Poly’s College of Engineering’s general engineering major was seventh best public school, while civil engineering was 12th overall among private and public institutions and eighth after seven UC campuses.

— And Cal Poly’s College of Science and Mathematics was eighth among public schools in biological sciences, mathematics and statistics, and physics and astronomy. And its School of Education was also eighth in the state among public universities and 15th overall.

Harvard University tops the rankings for the fifth consecutive year, while Stanford University climbed two places to second, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University each dropped one place to third and fourth respectively. Fifth-ranked Duke University again rounded out the top five overall schools.

To see the full rankings, visit:!/page/0/length/25/sort_by/rank/sort_order/asc/cols/stats

Contact: Matt Lazier

Sept. 27, 2021

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