Skip to main content

Best Overall University in the West

For the first time ever, Cal Poly was named best overall master's-level university in the West.

A view overlooking the Cal Poly campus

For the first time, Cal Poly was named best overall master’s-level university in the West for both public and private institutions in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Colleges guidebook.

It’s the 31st year in a row the Learn by Doing university is ranked best public institution in the West and the first time it has been ranked tops among all 120 public and private institutions in the region.

The move to the top follows back-to-back No. 2 ratings in 2022 and 2023 behind the University of Portland. (The private Catholic university in Portland, Oregon, was rated No. 2 in the West this year.) The 2024 U.S. News & World Report, the magazine’s 39th rankings edition, released Sept. 17 and evaluated nearly 1,500 four-year bachelor's degree-granting institutions on as many as 19 areas, statistics that pertain to measures reflecting academic quality and graduate outcomes — factors universally important to prospective students and their families.

The Western regional rankings include public and private institutions in 15 states that provide “a full range of undergraduate and master’s-level programs but few doctoral programs.” (Universities that grant doctoral degrees, such as those in the University of California system, are listed in a separate category.)