Cal Poly Pomona students pose by the mural.
About Cal Poly Pomona

Well Ranked

A Portrait of Success

 When it comes to quality education, affordability and career prospects for graduates, Cal Poly Pomona consistently ranks among the best universities in the country. Each ranking category is a snapshot of achievement, but taken collectively, these snapshots provide a picture of a diverse, learn-by-doing university whose students graduate with the skills needed to succeed in a dynamic, evolving work environment.


  • Cal Poly Pomona is No. 2 among the “Top Public Schools: Regional Universities West” on the U.S. News “2021 Best College Rankings,” published today. The university also rose to No. 10 among all public and private institutions in the west, from No. 14 last year.

    Among schools in the western region, the university rankings included:

    • 3 on the "Most Innovative Schools" list as ranked by higher education leaders
    • 5 among "Top Performers in Social Mobility" (tie), rising four places
    • 8 in "Best Undergraduate Teaching"
    • 11 for "Best undergraduate Engineering Programs," in a tie with the U.S. Coast Guard Academy

  • Cal Poly Pomona is No. 15 nationally and the top California State University in Money Magazine’s list of the “Best Colleges in America, Ranked by Value 2020,” based on quality, affordability and alumni outcomes. The university also ranked No. 7 among “Best Public Colleges,” No. 2 among “Best Colleges Where More Than Half of Applicants Get In,” No 10 among “Most Transformative Colleges,” and No. 22 among “Best Colleges for Business Majors.

  • Cal Poly Pomona was recognized as the highest ranking polytechnic university in the nation on the “2020 Social Mobility Index” for propelling low-income students to financial success by graduating them into good paying careers. In addition, Cal Poly Pomona ranked No. 6 among all colleges and universities nationwide, climbing up from No. 10 in 2019. The university is one of only a handful of schools to reach the top 10 in each of the seven years the Social Mobility Index (SMI) has been published.
  • Forbes' third annual America's Best Value College list ranks Cal Poly Pomona among the best in the nation for a student's return on investment. The university was No. 59 among the 300 schools that made the list.
  • PayScale names Cal Poly Pomona one of the nation's "Best Value Colleges" in its 2018 College ROI Report. The university is ranked No. 96 nationally based on in-state tuition, moving up from No. 124 in 2017.

  • Money Magazine listed Cal Poly Pomona at No. 25 nationally among the 2019 “Best Colleges for Transfer Students.” The outlet started with educational quality, affordability, and alumni success then looked at four and six-year graduation rates as well as the share of transfer students on campus.

  • Cal Poly Pomona is among the nation’s leaders for first-year student retention in schools with acceptance rates above 50 percent, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. The university ranked No. 30, with 89 percent of Pomona’s first-year, full-time, undergraduate students in fall 2015 returning to campus for the 2016-2017 academic year

Program Recognition

  • The “Planetizen Guide to Urban Planning Programs” ranked the Department of Urban and Regional Planning graduate program, in the College of Environmental Design, among the nation’s best. The program was No. 4 for largest percentage of minority representation, No. 9 for programs without Ph.D. and for suburban program, and No. 14 among top small programs.

  • The American Physics Society found that Cal Poly Pomona is among the best in helping students to earn their Bachelor degrees in physics. The university tied for fifth, with the U.S. Naval Academy in the number of degrees awarded from 2015-2017. Cal Poly Pomona also came in second, just behind Morehouse College, in physics degrees to under-represented minority (URM) students.

  • U.S News ranked the Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering No. 11 among the nation’s engineering programs where a doctorate was not offered and No. 3 in the state among engineering programs where a doctorate is not offered, and No. 5 in the nation in civil engineering, computer engineering and electrical/electronic/communications engineering. The American Society of Engineering Education ranked the College of Engineering No. 19 for percentage of women faculty.

  • Cal Poly Pomona’s undergraduate landscape architecture program was ranked No. 11 in the nation by DesignIntelligence in their 2019-2020 list of America’s Top-Ranked Architecture and Design Schools among schools with more than 35 graduates. The graduate landscape architecture program was at No. 16. The program was No. 10 in the “top most hired from landscape architecture schools.” The undergraduate program made the top 10 in six of the report’s 12 focus areas, while the graduate program was recognized in four.

  • Cal Poly Pomona has been recognized among the “Top 10 Graphic Design Schools and Colleges in California” in 2019 by Animation Career Review. The graphic design program was ranked at No. 9.

  • The 2019-2020 DesignIntelligence rankings list the Department of Architecture at No. 20 among the most admired undergraduate architecture programs in the U.S., No. 34 for top graduate programs and No.4 among the “top 20 most hired from architecture schools.” The department’s undergraduate focus areas made the top 10 in six of the report’s 12 focus areas, led by engineering materials which was ranked No. 5. The graduate programs also made the top 10 in five of the report’s 12 focus areas.

  • Money Magazine named Cal Poly Pomona a “2018 Best College for Business Majors.” The university is No. 35 on the list based on estimated price with and without financial aid. The website listed Cal Poly Pomona’s MBA program No. 50 among the nation’s “Most Affordable MBA programs,” on list of 50.


  • Cal Poly Pomona ranks in the top six nationally among universities in the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanic students in architecture, engineering and agriculture, and in the top 25 for total Hispanic student enrollment, according to the “Top 100 Schools for Hispanics 2019” rankings by Hispanic Outlook on Education.
    • No. 2 for the number of Hispanic students receiving a Bachelor’s degree in architecture and related degrees
    • No. 5 for those graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in engineering
    • No. 6 for those graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in agriculture and agricultural operations
    • No. 25 for total enrollment of Hispanic students in 2018-19

  • Cal Poly Pomona is No. 25 for total minority Bachelor’s degrees awarded in all disciplines according to Diverse Issues in Higher Education (based on 2016-17 data).
    • No.1 in Architecture and Related Services
    • No. 3 in Hospitality Administration/Management
    • No 5. Engineering Technologies and Engineering Related Fields
    • No. 5 Business Administration Management and Operations
    • No. 6 Engineering
    • No. 9 Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Science
    • No. 11 Physical Sciences
    • No. 16 Mathematics and Statistics
    • No. 23 Philosophy and Religious Studies
    • No. 24 Family & Consumer Science/Human Science
  • Diverse Issues in Higher Education ranked Cal Poly Pomona No. 18 in the nation for Bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanic students in all disciplines (based on 2016-17 data). In their expanded online listing for “The Top of Hispanic Graduates,” the university was:
    • No 1 Bachelor’s in architecture and related services
    • No. 3 in business administration, management and operations
    • No. 5 in engineering technologies and related fields
    • No. 7 in mathematics and statistics
    • No. 8 in agriculture
    • No. 8 in engineering
    • No. 11 in physical sciences 
    • No. 6 in awarding master’s degrees in math and statistics to Hispanic students
  • Hispanic Outlook on Education ranked Cal Poly Pomona No. 6 on its list of the “Top 25 Engineering Schools for Hispanics” based on the number of Hispanic students in the major in fall 2016. At that time, 1,685 of the university’s 5,014 engineering majors were Hispanic.
  • Campus Pride includes Cal Poly Pomona on its “National Listing of LQBTQ-Friendly Colleges & Universities.” The campus earned four stars for both LGBTQ student life and campus safety.
  • The American Indian Science and Engineering Society has named Cal Poly Pomona one of “the Top 200 Colleges for Indigenous Students” based on “the Native community and the support system, from admissions through graduation,” in its 2018-19 Special College issue of Winds of Change.


Last updated on 4/2/2020