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UNC-Chapel Hill graduate programs ranked among best in the country

U.S. News & World Report again ranked UNC School of Medicine No. 1 for primary care.

Cars drive past the Bell Tower.
Early morning UNC Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower campus scene. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate programs once again received high rankings as part of U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 “Best Graduate Schools.”

For the second year in a row, the UNC School of Medicine is first for its primary care program. In addition, the Gillings School of Global Public Health tied for second and the School of Social Work tied for third. Two rankings for the School of Nursing saw big jumps, the master’s degree program tied for fifth this year and the nursing administration program ranked fourth. The School of Law jumped 11 spots to 34.

U.S. News ranks business, education, engineering, law, nursing and medical programs annually, while various disciplines and specialties in science, social sciences, humanities, health and other areas are only ranked periodically. This year, U.S. News ranked master’s degree programs in social work, public affairs, public health, health care management, physician assistant and rehabilitation counseling, and doctorate degrees in veterinary medicine.

The complete UNC-Chapel Hill rankings and specialty listings:

School of Medicine

  • Primary Care, first
  • Research, 23rd

Specialty areas

  • Family Medicine, fourth
  • Internal Medicine, 26th
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology, 11th
  • Psychiatry, tied for 20th

Gillings School of Global Public Health
Overall – Tied for second

School of Social Work
Overall – Tied for third

School of Nursing

  • Master’s Degree, tied for fifth
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice, tied for ninth

Specialty areas

  • Nursing Administration, fourth
  • Nurse Practitioner: Family, tied for 16th
  • Nurse Practitioner: Psychiatric/Mental Health, Across the Lifespan, tied for ninth

Health specialties

  • Health Care Management, tied for third
  • Rehabilitation Counseling, tied for ninth

Kenan-Flagler Business School
Overall – 19th
Specialty areas

  • Accounting, 11th
  • Executive MBA, 12th
  • Finance, tied for 28th
  • Management, tied for 18th
  • Marketing, 16th
  • Production/Operations, tied for 20th

School of Law
Overall – 34th
Specialty areas

  • Clinical Training, tied for 48th
  • Dispute Resolution, tied for 56th
  • Environmental Law, tied for 41st
  • Health Care Law, tied for 27th
  • Intellectual Property Law, tied for 41st
  • International Law, tied for 48th
  • Legal Writing, tied for 8th
  • Tax Law, tied for 25th
  • Trial Advocacy, tied for 34th

School of Education
Overall – 27th
Specialty areas

  • Administration and Supervision, tied for 17th
  • Curriculum and Instruction, tied for 18th
  • Education Policy, 16th
  • Educational Psychology, 15th
  • Elementary Teacher Education, 18th
  • Secondary Teacher Education, 15th
  • Special Education, 11th

Public Affairs
Overall – Tied for 21st
Specialty areas

  • Local Government Management, second
  • Public Finance and Budgeting, tied for 17th
  • Public Management and Leadership, tied for 15th
  • Public Policy Analysis, 28th

As part of the public affairs category, U.S. News ranked Carolina programs and specialty areas based in the School of Government and the College of Arts & Sciences’ department of public policy.

Specialty areas

  • Biomedical Engineering/Bioengineering, tied for 33rd (This is a joint department with N.C. State University.)
  • Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering, tied for 18th

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, health and other areas are based solely on the ratings of peer academic experts, including deans, program directors and senior faculty.

The data come from statistical surveys sent to administrators at more than 2,054 graduate programs and from reputation surveys sent to more than 22,018 academics and professionals in the disciplines. Surveys for the 2020 rankings were conducted during the fall of 2018 and in early 2019.