search button
newscenter logo
Friday, July 1, 2022

Follow SDSU Follow SDSU on Twitter Follow SDSU on Facebook SDSU RSS Feed

Aerial view of San Diego State University campus Aerial view of San Diego State University campus

SDSU Performance Up Despite U.S. News & World Report Rankings

SDSU’s priority has been and will remain improving the educational, social and economic opportunities for its students and the region.
By SDSU News Team

Over the last five to 10 years, San Diego State University has seen exceptional growth and improvement in its student success, research and philanthropic performance. 

“Our aspiration has and will continue to be to strengthen our research, improve our student performance and expand our positive community impact,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre. “The byproduct of that work has been and will continue to be our mark in national stature as a major public university.”  

SDSU is now tied for No. 68 among top public universities as ranked by the 2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings, released today — one spot above the university's five-year average of 69. This ranking also reflects SDSU’s placement for two years ago. Changes to SDSU’s ranking this year occurred after a major revision to the magazine’s ranking methodology, and the addition of 80 competitive schools at the national level, with 381 national universities ranked this year. Of the 80 new schools added, only two ranked higher than SDSU — the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Oklahoma. 

However, SDSU remains in a growth trajectory over the last 10 years and the rankings do not reflect the last year of performance. The rankings also do not fully characterize campuswide improvements in the areas of student success, philanthropy or the impact of faculty in recent years. 

SDSU remains a top 10 public university in California alongside a number of University of California schools and according to 2020 U.S. News & World Report rankings saw an increase or improvements in: 
  • The average freshman retention rate. 
  • The average six-year graduation rate. 
  • The percentage of classes with 20 or fewer students and in the reduction of the student-to-faculty ratio.
  • The overall percentage of full-time faculty. 
  • The overall “Student Excellence Rank,” which measures the academic performance of students. 
Institutional data — reported both to federal agencies and U.S. News & World Report — indicates a strong growth pattern for SDSU in the areas of overall student performance, philanthropy and research. These measures, notably in the last year, are based on data not reflected in this year’s Best Colleges dataset, which relies on data from the 2018-19 academic year and earlier. Regarding SDSU’s performance: 
  • More than 300 SDSU investigators received 786 grants in 2018-19 amounting to $148.5 million — the second-highest amount in university history. That is also a 10% increase over the previous year, indicating our continued commitment to and excellence in research. 
  • SDSU is in the process of hiring 50 faculty members — among them, 29 will be brand new faculty members this year to address the highest priority needs of our campus and our system, including Graduation Initiative 2025. 
  • SDSU Imperial Valley is seeing record enrollments and, this fall, began offering a full-time undergraduate degree again to full-time freshmen. The criminal justice degree program is a first of its kind on the campus since 2010. In fall 2020, SDSU Imperial Valley will add a full-time psychology degree program. 
  • SDSU also raised nearly $116 million in gifts during the 2018-19 fiscal year, a significant increase from just over $83 million in 2017-18. 
Aligned with the California State University system’s Graduate Initiative 2025, SDSU has worked to reduce the graduation outcomes gap in recent years between first-time freshmen who are underrepresented minorities, and the university is actively working to reduce the gap for Pell grant recipients. The university also implemented the Sophomore Success Program to bolster the retention rates among second-year students. 

Also, SDSU is two weeks away from launching one of the most important and ambitious initiatives in its recent history with the launch of the campuswide strategic planning process. Involving students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and general community members, the process will inform the development of SDSU’s new mission, vision and strategic priorities. The campus has been invited to attend a Sept. 23 kickoff event and three days of discussion group sessions.

“SDSU is a collective of individuals designing academic, research and career paths that prepare our students for the global economy, and we strongly contribute to the educational, social and economic needs of our students and our region,” said Salvador Hector Ochoa, SDSU’s Provost and Senior Vice President. “This is our foremost priority.”