California State University, Long Beach
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U.S. News & World Report Ranks CSULB 4th Best Public Master’s University in the West in Its 2009 Best Colleges Guide

U.S. News & World Report has ranked CSULB the fourth best university among all public master’s universities in the western United States in its 2009 edition of America’s Best Colleges Guide. The West region includes 13 states from Texas to California to Washington state.

The No. 4 ranking is one higher than the campus’ ranking in the same category last year, and overall, CSULB was listed as the 25th best among the more than 115 western public and private master’s universities listed in the guide’s top four tiers. Last year, CSULB was at No. 28 overall.

“It is always nice to receive a high rating in any academic rankings.It is a tribute to the ongoing efforts of our great faculty and staff,” CSULB President F. King Alexander. “However, it is particularly difficult for large public universities to rank well under the current U.S. News & World Report methodology. Most of the criteria overwhelmingly favors small private institutions and underestimates the highly significant social and economic contributions of public universities.

“Still, we are pleased with where Cal State Long Beach placed in this year’s U.S. News rankings, especially among our peer institutions,” he added. “We’re also proud of our ranking in the ‘Least Debt’ category, which again shows that students do not have to spend a fortune or go deeply into debt to receive one of the best higher education experiences in the nation.”

In the “Least Debt” category, CSULB ranked third lowest among master’s universities in the west with 39 percent of its grads leaving the campus with an average debt of $10,183. The campus’ average debt load of $10,183 ranked eighth lowest among all master’s universities nationally (the lowest was $6,500 at Cameron University in Oklahoma).

Additionally, the CSULB College of Engineering was ranked as one of best undergraduate engineering programs in the nation. Based on a spring 2008 peer survey of deans and senior faculty, 50 different programs across the country were recognized with CSULB’s tying for the 38th spot with several other schools.

In U.S. News & World Report’s survey methodology, colleges provide data for up to 15 indicators of academic excellence. Each factor is assigned a weight that reflects publication officials’ judgment regarding how much a measure matters. Finally, the colleges in each category are ranked against their peers, based on their composite weighted score.

Among the indicators used to measure the academic quality of the colleges and universities were peer assessment (weighted by 25 percent), retention (25 percent in master's colleges), faculty resources (20 percent), student selectivity (15 percent), financial resources (10 percent), and alumni giving rate (5 percent).

As defined by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, institutions in the universities-master’s category provide a full range of undergraduate programs and some master’s level programs. They also offer few, if any, doctoral programs.