Cal State LA ascends in U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges rankings

September 5, 2019

By Margie Low | Cal State LA News Service

Cal State LA continues an impressive rise as one of the nation’s top regional universities in the U.S. News & World Report 2020 Best Colleges rankings.

Cal State LA ranks 31st among all private and public regional universities in the western United States, jumping 21 spots from the previous year. The university also received strong marks for its undergraduate engineering and business programs, low student debt and support for veterans. In the past six years, Cal State LA has risen 65 spots among all private and public regional universities in the West, according to the latest rankings, which were released today.

Among top public regional universities in the West, Cal State LA ranks 12th, a step up from last year’s ranking.

“Cal State LA’s ascension in the U.S. News & World Report rankings reflects our continuing commitment to student success and academic excellence,” Cal State LA President William A. Covino said. “We’re proud of our role as one of the premier regional universities in the nation.”

Two Cal State LA programs were featured among the nation’s best undergraduate programs. The engineering program in the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology is one of the top 10 in the nation among public, master’s awarding institutions, excluding military academies, the rankings show. The business program in the College of Business and Economics continues to be one of the top 10 in California among public institutions. Both programs have been included in the U.S. News & World Report rankings for two decades.

The rankings are based on key measurements such as graduation rates, alumni giving, class size and student-faculty ratio, areas in which Cal State LA continues to achieve significant success.

Alumni giving has been an important factor in We Are LA: The Campaign for Cal State LA, which has raised more than $61 million so far. The campaign goal is $75 million by the university’s 75th anniversary in 2022.

This past academic year, Cal State LA awarded 7,000 degrees, the most in the history of the university. That’s an increase of nearly 72% from 10 years ago, and up 54% from just 5 years ago. The university also has hired more than 220 tenure-track faculty in the past six years.

“Our rise in the rankings is a testament to the excellent work of our dedicated faculty,” said Cal State LA Provost and Executive Vice President Jose A. Gomez. “Our faculty are exceptional teachers and mentors whose first priority is the success of our students.”

U.S. News & World Report also recognized Cal State LA for its affordability. Those who received bachelor’s degrees from Cal State LA have the third lowest debt among graduates of schools in the western region. Cal State LA is also listed as one of the top 20 Best Value Schools and among the Best Colleges for Veterans.

Line graph tracking Cal State LA's rise in the U.S. News rankings over the past six years. Photo: Cal State LA. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

# # #


California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 28,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit