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Cal State L.A. ranked #7 nationally in Washington Monthly’s College Guide for top Master’s Universities

August 26, 2014

Also ranks 4th nationally in Social Mobility category

California State University, Los Angeles is not only included again in this year’s Washington Monthly College Guide's ranking, the University jumped a significant 11 places.

Ranked at #7 overall in the top master’s universities category, Cal State L.A. has moved up from last year’s ranking of #18. The rankings are based on social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and Ph.D.s), and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).

Cal State L.A. has also moved up two notches from last year to #4 nationally, specifically in the category of social mobility, which is tied in part to how a university exceeds a predicted graduation rate based on the socioeconomic status of the student population.

The University is among the top 15 percent in number of students participating in community service and the total number of service hours performed, and the top 25 percent in the number of bachelor’s recipients who go on to receive PhDs.

“We are pleased to be ranked among Washington Monthly’s College Guide’s top master’s universities two years in a row,” said Cal State L.A.’s President William A. Covino. “This definitively demonstrates the University’s strong commitment to engagement, service, and the public good, and our ongoing efforts to provide all students with an affordable and accessible education.”

For the Washington Monthly’s College Guide listing:

Examples of Cal State L.A.’s strengths in each category

Social mobility: Providing a top-tier academic, social and educational experience at an affordable price, Cal State L.A. has one of the lowest fees in the country. Additionally, private scholarships, grants, work study programs, and need-based loans are available for students. In 2012-13, the University awarded more than $53 million in Pell grants to 12,749 students. This past June, Cal State L.A. conferred more than 4,300 bachelor’s degrees, 1,300 master’s degrees and 18 doctoral degrees. Since 1948, more than 235,000 graduates have gone forth to make a difference in every type of endeavor. 

Research: Cal State L.A. offers numerous student enrichment and development programs, which include opportunities for research participation under the direction of training faculty. These programs have received major support from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Institute of Justice, National Endowment for the Arts, and NASA, among others. Since 1998, more than 180 students from Cal State L.A. have been recognized as Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars. More than 50 percent of these Cal State L.A. scholars have entered top-ranking doctoral programs throughout the United States and in several foreign countries.

Service: From state legislators and innovative classroom teachers, to muralists, leading engineers, CEOs, and highly regarded healthcare providers, Cal State L.A. alumni are a guiding force in the direction of their communities and industries of work. Nearly $2 billion of the earnings by alumni from Cal State L.A. are attributable to their CSU degrees, which create an additional $3.2 billion of industry activity throughout the state. Cal State L.A. has recently opened a Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good to serve as the university’s vehicle to affect positive change in Los Angeles, and link students with community organizations. President Covino announced the formation of #IServeLA, a university-wide service-learning program that will provide up to 3,500 student volunteers to the city each year. Cal State L.A. was named a member of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its exemplary commitment and meaningful partnerships with California’s communities.

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Cal State L.A. is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University is home to over 23,000 active students, and 235,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State L.A. has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.

Cal State L.A. 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, TV, Film and Media Center and the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. For more information, visit, or like us at