california state university ranking in world


What are the top Universities in California? uniRank answers this question by publishing the 2023 uniRank University Ranking of 135 California higher-education institutions meeting the following uniRank selection criteria:

  • being chartered, licensed or accredited by the appropriate US higher education-related organization
  • offering at least three-year bachelor’s degrees or postgraduate master’s or doctoral degrees
  • delivering courses predominantly in a traditional, non-distance education format

uniRank aims to provide a non-academic League Table of the top California Universities based on valid, unbiased and non-influenceable web metrics provided by independent web intelligence sources rather than data submitted by the Universities themselves.


The California State University is consistently renowned for its academic excellence and contributions to the public good. Each year, the 23 CSU campuses have received accolades for providing quality education, ensuring access and affordability, and serving as an engine of social mobility.


America’s Top Colleges
Forbes | 22 Campuses

2024 Best Colleges in the U.S.
The Wall Street Journal | 13 Campuses

Best Colleges in America 2023
Money Magazine | All 23 Campuses

Best Public Colleges 2023-24
Money Magazine | 18 Campuses

Best Colleges in the West 2023-24
Money Magazine | 22 Campuses

2024 Top Public Schools
U.S. News & World Report | 7 Campuses

2024 Best National Universities
U.S. News & World Report | 7 Campuses

2023 4-Year Master’s Universities
Washington Monthly | 15 Campuses

2024 Best Regional Colleges
Princeton Review | 10 Campuses

2024 Best Student Experience
The Wall Street Journal | 14 Campuses


2024 Top Schools for Social Mobility
The Wall Street Journal | 13 Campuses

2024 Top Performers on Social Mobility
U.S. News & World Report | 7 Campuses

2023 Economic Mobility Index
Third Way | 22 Campuses

2023 Social Mobility Elevators
Education Reform Now | 21 Campuses

2022 Social Mobility Index
CollegeNET | All 23 Campuses

Top Colleges by Mobility Rate
The Equality of Opportunity Project


2023 Best Bang for the Buck: West
Washington Monthly | All 23 Campuses

2024 Best Value Schools
U.S. News & World Report | 4 Campuses

2024 Best Value in the West
U.S. News & World Report | 7 Campuses  

California is known for its diverse higher education landscape, offering a wide range of institutions from world-renowned research universities to state-funded public universities. In the midst of this diversity, the California State University (CSU) system is a vital player. However, whether CSU is prestigious, and how suitable it is for international students, are questions that merit consideration. In this blog, we’ll explore these aspects and more.

Is California State University Prestigious?

The CSU system is a prestigious collection of 23 campuses across California. It may not be as globally acclaimed as the University of California (UC) system, which includes institutions like UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC San Diego, but it has earned its own reputation for excellence in various academic fields. CSU is recognized for its strong focus on teaching and its commitment to offering affordable, accessible, and high-quality education to students.

What is the #1 University in California?

The title of the #1 university in California often goes to one of the University of California campuses, such as UC Berkeley or UCLA. These institutions are known for their research prowess, world-class faculty, and high-ranking programs. However, it’s important to note that rankings can vary depending on the criteria used, and the choice of the best university ultimately depends on your academic and career goals.

Is California State University Good for International Students?

CSU campuses are generally well-suited for international students. They offer a diverse, inclusive, and supportive environment that can help students from all over the world feel at home. The CSU system also has a variety of services and resources specifically designed for international students, including English language programs and cultural exchange opportunities.

What is California State University Known For?

CSU campuses are known for a wide range of academic programs, but some areas of expertise stand out. Many CSU campuses are renowned for their strong programs in engineering, business, health sciences, and the arts. Each campus within the system has its unique strengths, so it’s important to research specific campuses to find the program that best suits your interests and goals.

What is the GPA for California State University?

The GPA requirements for CSU admission can vary depending on the campus and the specific program you’re applying to. Generally, CSU campuses tend to have moderate GPA requirements, with many accepting students with GPAs in the 3.0 to 3.5 range. However, competitive programs and campuses may require higher GPAs.

Is California State University Accredited?

Yes, all CSU campuses are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), which is a recognized accrediting agency. This accreditation ensures that the quality of education at CSU campuses meets certain standards and that degrees earned are recognized and respected.

Is California Expensive to Live for International Students?

California is known for its high cost of living, particularly in major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. International students should be prepared for high housing and living expenses in these cities. However, costs can vary depending on the campus you choose, and some CSU campuses are located in less expensive regions of the state.

Which CSU is Cheapest for International Students?

While California is generally known for its high living costs, there are CSU campuses in more affordable areas of the state. Some of the less expensive CSU campuses for international students include CSU Bakersfield, CSU Fresno, and CSU Chico. These campuses offer quality education at a relatively lower cost of living.

Is California Expensive for International Students?

California, with its high living costs, can be expensive for international students, especially in major cities. However, the cost of living can vary depending on your choice of campus and location. In some cases, students find ways to manage expenses by sharing housing, seeking part-time employment, or applying for scholarships and financial aid.


The California State University system may not carry the same level of prestige as the University of California system, but it offers a diverse range of programs and is known for its commitment to accessible education. Whether CSU is the right choice for international students depends on their specific needs and goals. It’s essential to research individual campuses and their offerings to determine the best fit for your educational journey in the Golden State.

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