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Carolina graduate programs ranked among “Best Graduate Schools”

U.S. News & World Report ranked UNC School of Medicine's primary care program No. 1.

Bell Tower on UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate programs received high rankings as part of U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 “Best Graduate Schools.” Among the rankings, the UNC School of Medicine is first for its primary care program, following a second-place ranking last year.

U.S. News ranks business, education, engineering, law, nursing and medical programs annually, while various disciplines and specialties in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and other areas are only ranked periodically.

This year, U.S. News ranked doctoral programs in criminology and criminal justice; master’s degree programs in social work, public affairs and related specialty areas; and doctoral programs in the sciences, specifically in biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences, mathematics, physics and statistics.

The following are the complete UNC-Chapel Hill rankings and specialty listings. A comprehensive list of all rankings and data can be found here.

School of Medicine


  • Primary Care, first
  • Research, tied for 23rd

Specialty area

  • Obstetrics & Gynecology, 14th

School of Nursing


  • Master’s Degree, tied for 14th
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice, tied for 13th

Specialty areas

  • Nursing Administration, tied for 12th
  • Nurse Practitioner: Family, tied for 12th
  • Nurse Practitioner: Psychiatric/Mental Health, Across the Lifespan, tied for ninth

School of Social Work


  • Tied for fifth

Kenan-Flagler Business School


  • 19th

Specialty areas

  • Accounting, 11th
  • Executive MBA, 16th
  • Finance, 29th
  • Management, tied for 20th
  • Marketing, tied for 15th

School of Law


  • 45th

Specialty area

  • Legal Writing, tied for 12th

School of Education


  • Tied for 30th

Specialty areas

  • Administration/Supervision, tied for 14th
  • Curriculum/Instruction, 17th
  • Secondary Education, 14th
  • Special Education, tied for 11th

Public Affairs


  • Tied for 23rd

Specialty areas

  • Environmental Policy and Management, 14th
  • Local Government Management, third
  • Public Finance and Budgeting, tied for 20th
  • Public Management and Leadership, tied for 15th
  • Public Policy Analysis, tied for 32nd

Note: Carolina has 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 with master’s degree programs that are ranked by U.S. News as part of a public affairs category.


  • Biology, tied for 33rd
  • Biostatistics, tied for eighth
  • Chemistry, tied for 15th
  • Analytical Chemistry, second
  • Inorganic Chemistry, 10th
  • Computer Science, tied for 25th
  • Earth Sciences, tied for 54th
  • Mathematics, tied for 34th
  • Physics, tied for 47th
  • Statistics, 19th

Methodology: U.S. News first ranked graduate programs in 1987 and has done so annually since 1990. Each year it ranks professional programs in business, education, engineering, law, nursing and medicine. Those rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinion on program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students. Its periodic rankings of additional disciplines and specialties in the sciences, social sciences, humanities 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 1,970 graduate programs and from reputation surveys sent to more than 16,500 academics and professionals in the disciplines. Surveys for the 2019 rankings were conducted during the fall of 2017 and in early 2018.