Education

Cal Poly ranks No. 1 on Best Colleges list for 25th straight year

Cal Poly has been named U.S. News and World Report’s best public master’s-level university in the West for a quarter century.
Cal Poly has been named U.S. News and World Report’s best public master’s-level university in the West for a quarter century. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

For the 25th straight year, Cal Poly has been ranked as the No. 1 master’s-level public university in the West, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Best Colleges list.

Cal Poly was selected as the top-ranked public regional university in a region that includes of 141 schools in the western half of the United States. The university ranked 11th among all regional universities in the West.

“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 in a news release.

The U.S. News rankings focused 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.

Regional universities offer a full range of undergraduate programs and some master’s programs, but few doctoral programs, according to U.S. News.

Individual Cal Poly programs also placed high:

▪  The College of Engineering tied for No. 7 on the list of best engineering master’s/bachelor’s programs in the nation.

▪  The computer engineering program was ranked No. 2 nationwide.

▪  The civil engineering program tied for second.

▪  Aerospace, electrical and mechanical engineering each ranked third.

Among regional universities in the West, Cal Poly was also ranked sixth-best for veterans.

For the third consecutive year in 2016, the Arbor Day Foundation named Cal Poly San Luis Obispo a Tree Campus USA in recognition of the campus' work to promote healthy trees on campus and conservation. Cal Poly has 6,600 trees in its campus core a

Among national public universities, UC Berkeley and UCLA tied for the No. 1 spot among national public universities, followed by the University of Virginia, University of Michigan and University of North Carolina.

UC Santa Barbara landed at No. 8 on that list.

Princeton University was ranked No. 1 among national universities for the seventh consecutive year.

And for the 15th straight year, Williams College earned the top spot for best national liberal arts colleges.

Cal Poly's new student housing community, slated to open in fall 2018, will be named for the Northern Chumash tribe using words and letters likely unfamiliar to students, such as elewexe, nipumūʔ and tiłhini. Here's how to say the names.

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