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Washington Monthly continues to rank Cal State LA among nation's top universities

August 31, 2020

By Margie Low | Cal State LA News Service

Cal State LA continues to rank among the top universities in the nation in Washington Monthly’s 2020 college guide, which relies on public service, upward mobility and other factors to compile its annual report.

The magazine’s 2020 College Guide and Rankings named Cal State LA in the top 10 in both its “Top Master’s Universities” and “Best Bang for the Buck Western Colleges” categories.

“At a time when calls for social justice are reverberating across our county, we’re proud to be recognized for our dedication to community service and the public good,” Cal State LA President William A. Covino said. “These rankings highlight the hard work and commitment to excellence of the entire university community.”

Washington Monthly rates universities based on their contribution to the public good, considering factors that include research, promoting public service and social mobility. 

In the “Best Bang for the Buck” category, Cal State LA is ranked number three in the West. These findings rate higher education institutions on their success in enabling non-wealthy students to obtain marketable degrees at affordable prices.

A groundbreaking study by The Equality of Opportunity Project examined the role of colleges and universities in helping individuals climb the income ladder—ranking Cal State LA number one in the nation for upward mobility. The study, which examined records from more than 2,000 colleges and universities, concluded that Cal State LA has propelled a higher percentage of students from the bottom fifth of income into the top fifth of U.S. earners.

In The Chronicle of Higher Education's 2020-2021 Almanac, Cal State LA was ranked number four in the nation for the greatest racial and ethnic diversity among faculty members at four-year colleges and universities. 

Cal State LA has also recorded impressive gains in recent years in the U.S. News & World Report rankings.

In its report last September on best colleges, U.S. News & World Report ranked Cal State LA 31st among all private and public universities in the Western United States, a jump of 21 spots from the previous year. Among top public universities in the West, Cal State LA ranked 12th, a step up from the year before. In the previous six years, Cal State LA rose 65 spots among all private and public regional universities in the West.

Photo: Entry sign at Cal State LA. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.

Cal State LA 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 and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit