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Best Public Master's-Level University in California

Forbes Magazine named Cal Poly the best public master's-level university in the state.

Cal Poly was again named the best public master’s-level university in California and has cracked the list of Top 20 public and private universities in the West in the Forbes’ 2021 list of America’s Top Colleges.

Cal Poly, ranked No. 24 in the rankings among public and private universities in the West in 2019, moved up to No. 17 on the 14th annual America’s Top Colleges list released this month.

Overall, Cal Poly was 58th — up from 115 in 2019 — among the 600 public and private not-for-profit universities in the U.S. that were ranked. The top five schools on this year’s list are UC Berkeley and four private institutions, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and Columbia universities.

Among public schools, Cal Poly was again ranked seventh in the Golden State, behind University of California campuses at Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Diego, Davis, Santa Barbara, and Irvine — all doctorate-level institutions.

Forbes' new methodology counted low-income student outcomes and added a large federal database to Forbes’ tally of graduate earnings. As a result, lower-cost public universities surged it its 2021 rankings, grabbing six of the top 25 spots — including four University of California campuses.