From topping the charts in national rankings to taking home the gold medal on the world's biggest athletic stage, SJSU has reached the pinnacle of excellence often during its more than 160 year history. Here are some of the recent and historic achievements.


Award ribbon icon.
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Faculty Fellowships
Olympic medal icon.Olympic Medalists


Money Magazine (2024) - National Rankings

Grad students posing for a photo.

  • Scored 4.5 out of 5 stars in rating system for Best Colleges
  • SJSU also appears on the following lists:
    • Best Public Colleges
    • Best Colleges in the West
    • Best Colleges with High Acceptance Rates 
  • In inaugural Best Graduate Programs rankings, SJSU's Public Health program earned 5 out of 5 stars and the Nursing program earned 4 out of 5 stars. 
    • Public Health is only one of two programs in the nation to earn 5 stars.
  • SJSU still holds the #1 Most Transformative University ranking first announced in 2020.

U.S. News and World Report (2024)

Two graduates pose with their diploma during commencement.

U.S. News and World Report Badges.

National Ranking - among public universities


Electrical/Electronic/ Communications Program


Mechanical Engineering Program


Best Undergraduate Engineering Program – Non-Doctorate


Computer Engineering Program

Regional Rankings (West) 


Best Value among Public Universities


Best Colleges for Veterans


Most Innovative School


Top Public Schools


Campus Ethnic Diversity among Public Universities


Top Performers for Social Mobility

Wall Street Journal (2024) - National Rankings


Public University for Accounting Salaries for Graduates


Public University for Marketing Salaries for Graduates


Public University for Data Science Salaries for Graduates


Public University for Engineering Salaries for Graduates


Public University for Software Developer Salaries for Graduates


Public University in California

Forbes (2023) - National Rankings


Public university in California

Washington Monthly (2023) - National Rankings

Top 50

Master’s University Rankings

Third Way (2023) - Economic Mobility Index

Tier 1

Top 20% of universities in the country

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings (2022) - National Rankings

Based on U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Top 15

Life Below Water
From Times Higher Ed (THE) - How "universities are protecting and enhancing aquatic ecosystems like lakes, ponds, streams, wetlands, rivers, estuaries and the open ocean.”

Top 15

Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
From THE - Focused on “universities’ research on law and international relations, their participation as advisers for government and their policies on academic freedom.” 

Top 20

Sustainable Cities and Communities
From THE - Highlights the “interaction between universities and their communities, urban and rural” and how higher education institutions must “act as custodians of heritage and environment in their communities, a sustainable community must have access to its history and culture in order to thrive.” 

Sustainability - National & International Rankings

SJSU Paseo with a water fountain.

#6 Among Master's Institutions - Top Performers List [pdf]

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
Recognizes top-performing colleges and universities overall by institution type and in 17 sustainability impact areas.

Gold Rating

Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS)
A program of AASHE, valid from 2024 to 2027.

LEED Gold Certification

United States Green Buildings Council
Awarded to the Interdisciplinary Science Building.

Green Colleges for 2023

The Princeton Review
Recognizes environmentally responsive schools—based on a review of more than 700 colleges. 

Top 55

Sierra Club Cool Schools 2021
Based on academics, engagement, operations and planning

Top 15% in Sustainability

UI GreenMetric World University Rankings
Based on environmentally friendly policies that support sustainability.

Faculty Fellowships

Magdalena Barrera speaking in front of an audience.

Magdalena Barrera

College of Social Sciences, Chicana and Chicano Studies

  • 2011 Recipient - WWNFF Career Enhancement

Faustina DuCros

College of Social Sciences, Chicana and Chicano Studies

  • 2017 Recipient - WWNFF Career Enhancement

Rebeca Burciaga

Connie L. Lurie College of Education, Educational Leadership

  • 2007 Recipient - National Institutes of Health

Jonathan Gomez

College of Social Sciences, Chicana and Chicano Studies

  • 2021 Recipient - Ford Postdoctoral Fellow

Ellen Middaugh

Connie L. Lurie College of Education, Child and Adolescent Development

  • 2020 Recipient - Spencer Fellows

Robert Marx

Connie L. Lurie College of Education, Child and Adolescent Development

  • 2020 Recipient - Society for Research in Child Development

Olympic Medalists

Tommie Smith reaching the finish line at the Olympics.

San José State has been a part of nearly every Summer Olympic Games since 1924. Spartans have competed, coached or earned medals, while representing the United States and countries around the globe.


Gold Medals

  • Jill Sudduth, 1996, synchronized swimming
  • Lee Evans, 1968, 4x400 meters
  • Lee Evans, 1968, 400 meters
  • Ronnie Ray Smith, 1968, 4x100 meters
  • Tommie Smith, 1968, 200 meters
  • Chuck Adkins, 1952, boxing
  • Willie Steele, 1948, long jump


Silver Medals

  • Clara Espar Llaquet, 2020, water polo, representing Spain
  • Jim Doehring, 1992, shot put
  • Kevin Asano, 1988, judo
  • Bob Berland, 1984, judo
  • Steve Hamann, 1984, water polo
  • Mitch Ivey, 1972, 100 meter backstroke
  • Mitch Ivey, 1968, 200 meter backstroke
  • Lynn Vidali, 1968, 400 meters IM


Bronze Medals

  • Emma Entzminger, 2020, softball, representing Canada
  • Marti Malloy, 2012, judo
  • Mike Swain, 1988, judo
  • John Powell, 1984, discus
  • John Powell, 1976, discus
  • Lynn Vidali, 1972, 200 meters IM
  • John Carlos, 1968, 200 meters