California State University, Long Beach
Inside CSULB Logo

U.S.News & World Report Ranks CSULB Fourth in the West

Published: September 1, 2009

U.S.News & World Report has ranked CSULB the fourth best university among all public master’s universities in the western United States in its 2010 edition of America’s Best Colleges Guide, which was released on Aug. 20. The West region includes 13 states from Texas to California to Washington state and includes Alaska and Hawaii.

It is the second year in a row that CSULB has been ranked in that No. 4 spot, after moving up from the No. 5 slot in the 2008 rankings. Overall, the Long Beach campus was listed as the 26th best among the 116 western public and private master’s universities listed in the guide’s top four tiers.

“It is always gratifying to have your institution recognized in any academic rankings,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “While it is particularly difficult for large public universities to rank well under the U.S.News & World Report methodology, we are extremely pleased to see Cal State Long Beach continue to do well among this publication’s rankings. I believe the campus’ continuing success in these ratings is a direct result of the efforts of our faculty and staff.

“We are also proud that the rankings recognized Cal State Long Beach in a couple of other categories,” he continued, “especially the ‘Least Debt’ category, which again shows that students do not have to spend a fortune or go deeply into debt to receive one of the best higher education experiences in the country.”

In the “Least Debt” category, CSULB ranked third lowest among master’s universities in the west with 41 percent of its grads leaving the campus with an average debt of $10,671, seventh lowest among all master’s universities nationally (the lowest was $6,801 at CUNY–Hunter College).

CSULB was also recognized for its “racial diversity,” ranking sixth among all master’s universities in the western region with a 0.69 diversity index score. The formula produces a diversity index that ranges from 0.0 to 1.0.The closer a school’s number is to 1.0, the more diverse is the student population.

Additionally, the CSULB College of Engineering was ranked among the best undergraduate engineering programs in the nation. Based on a spring 2009 peer survey of deans and senior faculty, 48 different programs across the country were recognized with CSULB’s tying for the 42nd spot with several other schools.

In U.S.News & World Report’s survey methodology, colleges provide data for up to 15 indicators of academic excellence. Each factor is assigned a weight that reflects publication officials’ judgment regarding how much a measure matters. Finally, the colleges in each category are ranked against their peers, based on their composite weighted score.

Among the indicators used to measure the academic quality of the colleges and universities were peer assessment (weighted by 25 percent), retention (25 percent in master’s colleges), faculty resources (20 percent), student selectivity (15 percent), financial resources (10 percent), and alumni giving rate (5 percent).

As defined by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, institutions in the universities-master’s category provide a full range of undergraduate programs and some master’s level programs. They also offer few, if any, doctoral programs.