UCSF Schools of Medicine, Nursing among nation's best in new survey

By Wallace Ravven

UCSF’s School of Medicine and School of Nursing rank among the best graduate schools in the country in the new survey conducted and published by “U.S News & World Report.”

In this year’s survey, the UCSF medical school once again ranked in the top 10 both for the quality of its research training and its primary care training - one of only two universities ranked so high in both categories, and the only California medical school to do so. The School of Medicine ranks fifth overall in quality of research training and eighth nationally in quality of primary care training.

The UCSF School of Nursing ranks second nationally in the quality of its graduate training, as it did in 2003, the last year that “U.S. News” ranked nursing programs.
The new rankings appear in the April 9 edition of “U.S. News & World Report,” and in the “America’s Best Graduate Schools” guidebook, both available on newsstands next week. The rankings appear online at USNews.com.

UCSF also ranks among the top 10 in seven of eight medical school specialty programs assessed this year, including first in AIDS medicine, second nationally in women’s health, and third in both the internal medicine and drug and alcohol abuse specialties.  The medical school ranked seventh nationally in its family medicine program and ninth in both geriatrics and pediatrics.

“We are proud to be once again recognized as one of the top medical schools in the country,” said David Kessler, MD, UCSF vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “Our consistently high rankings across the spectrum of research and clinical care provide medical and graduate students with rich, cross-disciplinary training opportunities, from bench to bedside, and into the community.”

The rankings this year also include assessments of PhD science programs. UCSF ranks seventh nationally in the quality of its overall biological sciences doctoral program - up from ninth last year, and ranks among the top 10 in all of the fields assessed for which the university has a research and teaching focus. UCSF’s immunology/infectious disease program ranks third nationally, while molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry/biophysics/structural biology rank fourth in the survey. UCSF ranks sixth in genetics/genomics/bioinformatics and also in neuroscience/neurobiology. The UCSF microbiology program ranks seventh nationally in the new assessments.

In the field of chemistry - traditionally dominated by undergraduate and graduate schools with full chemistry departments - UCSF ranks fourth nationally in its biochemistry program.

In addition to ranking second in the nation in the overall quality of its graduate nursing program, UCSF was among the top schools in seven of eight nursing specialties assessed. The UCSF program in adult/medical-surgical care is ranked number one nationally, with psychiatric/mental health, adult, and family nursing ranked second in the nation. Pediatric nursing ranks fifth and both the gerontological/geriatric and the nursing service administration programs rank seventh nationally. In a separate category, the nursing midwifery graduate program of UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital was ranked third in the country.

“Graduate education develops the advanced-practice nurses who lead in both patient care and clinical research on the most pressing health issues today, from patient safety in hospitals to supporting people who must cope with long-term and chronic illnesses and still live independent lives,” said Kathleen Dracup, RN, DNSc, dean of the UCSF School of Nursing. “UCSF is proud to remain at the forefront of that work, and we’re proud of producing the doctoral scholars who will teach coming generations of nurses in the U.S. and worldwide.” 

This year’s rankings also include the most recent assessments for several disciplines not surveyed every year. The pharmacy graduate program in the UCSF School of Pharmacy is ranked first in the nation, based on the most recent assessments. The UCSF physical therapy graduate program is ranked 14th nationally.

The medical schools ranked best for their research training are: (1) Harvard University (2) Johns Hopkins University (3) University of Pennsylvania (4) Washington University, St. Louis (5) UCSF (6) University of Washington (7) Stanford University (8/tie) Duke University and Yale University (10/tie) Baylor College of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

The top medical schools in terms of primary care training are: (1) University of Washington (2) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (3) University of Colorado-Denver and Health Sciences Center (4) Oregon Health and Science University (5) Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (6) East Carolina University (7) University of Vermont (8) UCSF (9) University of Wisconsin, Madison (10) University of Nebraska College of Medicine.

The nursing school graduate programs ranked in the top 10 are: (1) University of Washington (2) UCSF (3) University of Pennsylvania (4) Johns Hopkins University (5/tie) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (7/tie) Oregon Health and Science University; University of Illinois, Chicago; University of Maryland, Baltimore; University of Pittsburgh; and Yale University.

The medical school rankings are based on assessments by deans and senior faculty, admission acceptance rates, average medical college entrance exam scores, faculty/student ratios, NIH funding and other factors. The rankings of primary care training also include the percentage of graduates who enter primary care practice.

The medical school specialty rankings, the PhD science rankings and the rankings for nursing and other health disciplines are based solely on ratings by medical school deans and senior faculty at peer schools.

UCSF is a leading university that advances health worldwide by conducting advanced biomedical research, educating graduate students in the life sciences and health professions, and providing complex patient care.