Multiple Carolina graduate programs receive high rankings by U.S. News & World Report

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received high ratings on multiple lists of schools, degree programs and specialty areas newly ranked by U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”

U.S. News ranks business, education, engineering, law, nursing and medicine programs annually, while other disciplines and specialties in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and other areas, including selected health specialties, are only ranked periodically. In recent years, the University has received high rankings in a number of these periodically ranked areas. A comprehensive list of all UNC-Chapel Hill rankings, both graduate and undergraduate, can be found here.

Following are the complete UNC-Chapel Hill rankings and specialty listings that will be available in the “Best Graduate Schools 2017” guidebook and in March and on newsstands in April.

Eshelman School of Pharmacy


School of Medicine


  • Primary Care, 2nd
  • Research, 22nd

Specialty areas

  • Family medicine, tied for 2nd
  • Rural medicine, tied for 2nd

Health disciplines

  • Audiology, tied for 4th
  • Occupational therapy, tied for 9th
  • Speech-Language pathology, tied for 12th
  • Physical therapy, tied for 15th

College of Arts and Sciences (social sciences and humanities Ph.D. programs)

  • Clinical psychology, tied for 2nd  (doctorate degree program)

School of Social Work


  • Tied for 7th  (master’s degree program)

Kenan-Flagler Business School

Overall full-time programs

  • Tied for 16th (master of business administration degree program)

Specialty areas

  • Executive MBA, 10th
  • Accounting, 10th
  • Management, tied for 13th
  • Marketing, tied for 16th

Best online programs

  • Master in business administration degree programs, 3rd (as previously reported in January 2016)

School of Nursing


  • Tied for 21st (doctor of nursing practice degree program)
  • Tied for 21st (master’s degree program)

Specialty areas

  • Administration, 4th
  • Nurse Practioner: Family, tied for 10th

Public affairs

UNC-Chapel Hill has master’s degree programs and specialty areas within several units based in the School of Government, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Gillings School of Global Public Health that are ranked as part of a public affairs category. UNC-Chapel Hill’s listing follow:


  • Tied for 25th

Specialty areas

  • City Management and Urban Policy, 5th
  • Environmental Policy and Management, tied for 15th
  • Public Finance and Budgeting, 17th
  • Public Management Administration, 16th
  • Public Policy Analysis, tied for 33rd

School of Education


  • Tied for 35th

Specialty areas

  • Educational Administration and Supervision, 16th
  • Curriculum and Instruction, tied for 17th
  • Special Education, tied for 18th

School of Law


  • Tied for 38th

Specialty areas

  • Legal Writing, tied for 19th

Note: In past years, numerous UNC-Chapel Hill disciplines have been ranked among specialty areas, appearing in the top 25. This advisory is based on available information in advance of the embargo lifting. The Office of Communications and Public Affairs will update this posting on its news site as any additional rankings information becomes available starting on March 16.

Methodology: U.S. News first ranked graduate programs in 1987 and has done so annually since 1990. Its annual business, education, engineering, law, nursing and medicine rankings are based on expert opinion on program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students, according to U.S. News officials. Its periodic rankings of additional disciplines and specialties in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, health area and other areas are based solely on the ratings of peer academic experts, including deans, program directors and faculty.

The data come from statistical surveys sent to administrators at more than 1,900 graduate programs and from reputation surveys sent to more than 18,400 academics and professionals in the disciplines. Surveys for the 2017 rankings were conducted during the fall of 2015 and in early 2016.

In addition to the new rankings, U.S. News republishes older rankings – dated 2011 or before –  on its website and in the guidebook. These older rankings are based on peer ratings in various health disciplines, nursing schools and Ph.D. programs in the sciences.

Additional details on methodology can be found here.

Published March 16, 2016