California State Universities

<p>US News' best colleges 2009 confuses me...</p>

<p>I wonder why no Cal State campuses are on the top 300 list. I find it completely absurd that some universities in Iowa or Idaho or North Carolina are on the top 300 but Long Beach State, Cal Poly SLO or San Jose State are not. How can schools in poor, tornado-prone Iowa be possibly "better" than Cal State??</p>

<p>I do not pay attention to prestige or "brand name". I believe that all accredited universities are basically the same...</p>

<p>I got accepted to USC (mechanical engineering) but chose Long Beach State simply because Long Beach was cheaper and its mechanical engineering program was ABET accredited (top engineering accreditation).</p>

<p>That said, what does "UCLA is better than Cal Poly SLO" mean? Does that mean quality of education at UCLA is superior to quality of education at Cal Poly? Does that mean UCLA produces better engineers than Cal Poly? Or is it just a matter of "prestige"</p>

<p>Where I work I have 6 fresh out of college engineers report to me. One of them is a Cal Poly SLO graduate and the others are from UCLA, RPI, UCSD and Michigan. Though Cal Poly is probably the least known school, I must say the Cal Poly guy is easily the smartest and most creative.</p>

<p>The Cal states are ranked under Masters Universities as they only grant Master degrees.
I found these rankings troubling as well. Where I work, one of the engineers graduated from top UC(X=LA,Berkeley, Diego), but the quality of work is so appalling. We are waiting for opportunity to fire this guy.</p>

<p>lextrio, you've pointed out yet another reason why the USNWR rankings are themselves incredibly overrated and, in my opinion, completely useless.</p>

<p>I attend a state flagship land grant university that's "fourth tier," according to USNWR - and will forever be fourth tier, because by state law it maintains an open-enrollment community college campus, which tanks the nonsense "selectivity."</p>

<p>Never mind that my university is one of the world's leading research institutions in the fields of climate change, space physics and polar regions issues such as engineering and biology. Never mind that it operates the world's only university-owned space rocket range. Never mind that it's one of the top 75 universities in America for federal research spending. Never mind that the student-faculty ratio is 10:1.</p>

<p>No, UAF is fourth-tier, sucks and is totally worthless... because it's "non-selective."</p>

<p>The same totally-nonsensical rankings failure can be said to apply to the California State Universities. In fact, I'd argue that a student will get a substantially superior undergraduate education at some of the smaller CSUs (Chico, Humboldt, Sonoma, Monterey Bay, et al.) than they'd get at the giant student-factory UCs.</p>

<p>You bring up very good points. The ranks are stupid and as a Cali resident I applied mostly to UC schools. I wish I had considered applying to CalPoly pomona and SLO. Engineering is what I want to study and they seem like very good choices over any UC. </p>

<p>At the time I didn't know of very many schools that were good but not in the top ranks of usnews. In other words I didn't know of these places b/c I was so focused on "ranks". </p>

<p>CSU's don't get the credit they deserve. they have some very good programs.</p>

<p>The smartest and most talented scientist in my department at work earned her bachelor's at a Cal State.</p>

<p>My smart and talented parents are both CSU grads - and they LOVED their schools.</p>

<p>The 2008 FISKE Guide to Colleges says: "CSU's biggest problem is the success of UC, and its frequent lament- "anywhere else we'd be number one" -is not without justification."</p>

<p>If you look at the list of undergrad colleges (colleges not offering graduate degrees) you'll find that the Cal states get the respect they deserve. In engineering for example:</p>


Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs
(At schools whose highest degree is a bachelor's or master's)
Rank/School Peer assessment score
( 5.0 = highest)
1. Harvey Mudd College (CA) 4.5
1. Rose-Hulman Inst. of Tech. (IN) 4.5
3. Cooper Union (NY) 4.2
4. Cal Poly–San Luis Obispo * 4.0
16. Calif. State Poly. Univ.–Pomona * 3.3
16. San Jose State University (CA)* 3.3</p>



<p>I agree that the CSU system suffers from being in the same state as the excellent UCs, but that's true for the community colleges in California as well. What's most important is that the college fit the student, and vice versa. Students who can see past the relative prestige of the UCs and look carefully at what they want from their college experience will consider the Cal States as attractive alternatives.</p>

<p>To me, there are two downsides to the Cal States: most tend to be commuter schools and so don't offer a "traditional" campus experience (CP-SLO and Chico state being the exceptions) and they are feeling the current California budget woes.</p>

<p>I think the schools are good; however, they are getting hurt by continously constricting budgets.</p>

<p>The constricting budget has resulted in many, if not all, of them having a Nov. 30 application deadline this year, too</p>

<p>UC's garner much of their prestige from research, which doesn't have much to do with quality of education. also, selectivity is indeed a trivial factor because they're based on how well someone did in HIGH SCHOOL, which no one cares about once they're in college. arguing over WHERE someone goes to college is overstressed, which is an ignorant thing to do, because there are more important factors out there that should be considered. i'm just glad that in the field that i'm interested in (accounting), it doesn't matter where you go to school. if anything, this should be the case for all fields and subjects, but you know how superficial people get..</p>