University Benchmarks

Ranking the Top 100 Academic Universities ranks the universities that attract and produce the best academic students.

There are many 'University Rankings' on the internet. Most rankings rely heavily on subjective metrics like 'reputation' and 'selectivity'. UniversityBenchmarks is purely an academic ranking model. The rankings are based on the reported academic and financial metrics of the colleges. There are no subjective factors like 'reputation' that are used. The calculations are performed using normal statistical models. All universities are considered equal and there is no weighting of the ranking categories.

The university 2014-2015 dataset is comprised of over 2400 US Universities & Colleges and comes from multiple sources using the most favorable reported metrics for a university.

The universities are ranked against each other in each filtered set. It is an iterative process whereby lower ranking universities are removed and the set is re-ranked until the final set of 100 is reached.

Selecting 'Rank Top 10 Only' will show the Top 10 for each filter category ranked against each other.

The academic rankings of the universities within the major conferences (ACC, Big12, Big10, Pac12, SEC) are available.

The 2017 rankings will be available in August.

  • It is possible for universities to be ranked higher/lower than one another depending on the filter set.
  • Conference averages are based on the top 8 schools in the conference.
  • Public Schools are highlighted
  • Clicking on the university's seal icon will take you to the university's website.

Ranking Fields

Rank - Overall rank based on the average of the ranking fields (Scores, Difficulty, Smartest, Brainpower, Faculty and Research).

Scores - SAT & ACT scores. The university's test scores are corrected for dropout rate when score level is Good, Excellent or Elite. This will slightly boost scores for highly competitive schools.

Difficulty - Academic rigor is estimated based on how difficult it is to get an "A" at the university. An estimated GPA at the university is calculated for the average US Student. University grade inflation, average GPA, and STEM density are factors.

Smartest - University that can field the highest scoring students based on the average US University size. Higher Smartest Rank = "Smartest for the Average University"

Brainpower - The average "smartest" rank using 5 reference populations (CalTech, MIT, Stanford, GaTech and Berkeley). Higher Brainpower Rank = "Higher Density of Smart Students". The university ranked higher can mathematically field 'X' number of smarter students than universities ranked below them.

Faculty - Ranking based on number of % of faculty with awards and academy membership.

Research - Ranking is achieved by iteratively ranking the average of 3 research metrics (r-pop, r-stem, r-other ). The lowest ranked college is then removed and the new set is re-ranked. The result is the schools with potentially the strongest research environments per student bubble up to the top regardless of size or research budget.

  • r-pop - Average research spending for student population
  • r-stem - STEM research spending
  • r-other - Other/Medical/Health research spending

Salary ROI - "Salary Return on Investment" is not used in the overall ranking but is provided for additional information. Using the undergraduate average starting and mid-career salaries, the rank is based on a 20yr salary accumulation (with raises) minus the cost of a 4 year education at the university. Salaries are normalized across the country using the average COLA for the university's geo-economic region (7 regions total). The COLA effect is diminished by the level of the university. Elite, Excellent and Good universities have a greater distribution of graduates across the country and a diminishing COLA effect. The resultant value would be the graduate's spending potential over the 20yr period.

Overall ROI - "Overall Return on Investment" is not used in the overall ranking but is provided for additional information. The average of Overall Rank and Salary ROI. This would be the "Best academic bang for the buck". Colleges that produce the best education, at the best price, with the best return will be ranked higher.

Color Key - ranks are colorized as follows 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 50 100

The 2016 University Academic Rankings

California State University-Fresno

2016 University Academic Rankings

California State University, Fresno (commonly referred to as Fresno State) is a public comprehensive university and one of 23 campuses within the California State University system. It is located at the northeast edge of Fresno, California, approximately 58 miles (93 km) from the entrance to Yosemite National Park, and sits at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the San Joaquin Valley. The city of Fresno is the fifth largest city in California. The university is within an hour's drive of many mountain and lake resorts and within a three-hour drive of both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The university has a total enrollment of 23,060 undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students. It offers bachelor's degrees in 60 areas of study, 45 master's degrees, 3 doctoral degrees, 12 certificates of advanced study, and 2 different teaching credentials.

The university's unique facilities include an on-campus planetarium, on-campus raisin and wine grape vineyards, and a commercial winery, where student-made wines have won over 300 awards since 1997. Members of Fresno State's nationally ranked Top 10 Equestrian Team have the option of housing their horses on campus, next to indoor and outdoor arenas. Fresno State has a 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) Student Recreation Center and the third-largest library, in terms of square footage, in the California State University system.


Fresno State was founded as the Fresno State Normal School in 1911 with Charles Lourie McLane as its first president. The original campus was what is now Fresno City College. In 1956, Fresno State moved its campus to its present location in the northeast part of the city, and FCC bought the old campus and moved back in. Fresno State College became a charter institution of the California State University System in 1961. In 1972 the name was officially changed to California State University, Fresno.


The greater campus extends from Bulldog Stadium on the west boundary to the Save Mart Center and, Maya Theater, Campus Pointe and Highway 168 on the east side. Vineyards and orchards designate the northern boundary of the campus, while Shaw Avenue designates the southern edge.

The 388 acres (157 ha) main campus features more than 46 traditional and modern buildings. An additional 34 structures are on the 1,011 acre University Farm, which includes the student-run Equine, Swine, Beef, Dairy, Poultry, and Sheep Units as well as several hundred acres of cattle rangeland. It is considered one of the most modern and best equipped agricultural facilities in the West. Fresno State was officially designated as an arboretum in 1979 and now has more than 4,000 trees on campus.

Henry Madden Library

The Henry Madden Library is a main resource for recorded knowledge and information supporting the teaching, research, and service functions of Fresno State. Because of its size and depth, it is an important community and regional resource and a key part of institution's role as a regional university.

The library recently underwent a $105 million renovation that was completed February 2009. The library held its grand opening on February 19, 2009 and is now home to a variety of book collections. The library houses 1,000,000 books in its 327,920 sq ft (30,465 m2). The library is home to the largest installation of compact shelving on any single floor in the United States. The shelves amount to over 20 miles (32 km) in length. It is currently the third largest library in the CSU system (in terms of square footage), and among the top ten largest in the CSU system based on the number of volumes. It also is the largest academic building on the Fresno State campus. The five-story building features seating areas for ... [more on wikipedia]

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "California State University-Fresno", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

California State University Details

California State University Details
detail value
conferenceMountain West Conference
overall ROI rank[-1
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for California State University-Fresno?

1. number -1 for Academics.

2. number -1 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to California State University-Fresno?

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

California State University National Academic Rankings

California State University National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
Mountain West Conference1212121211991112
West Coast Region719591424128266669
State of California527572323020184648

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

(mathematically similar student body, size, academics, stem, salary... etc)

California State University Peer Universities, Similar Universities to California State University

California State University Peer Universities, Similar Universities to California State University
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

California State University Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to California State University

California State University Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to California State University
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI