UCSF ranks among top five medical schools in new "U.S. News" survey

By Kristen Bole

U.S. News & World Report

The UCSF School of Medicine is ranked among the top five medical schools in the nation in a new survey on “America’s Best Graduate Schools” conducted by U.S. News & World Report.

The survey ranks schools according to the quality of training in both research and primary care. UCSF is the only university in the nation to rank in the top five in both categories.

In research, the UCSF School of Medicine tied for fourth place, alongside Washington University in St. Louis. In primary care, UCSF tied for fifth, along with the University of Colorado-Denver.  Last year, it ranked fifth in both categories.

UCSF also tied for seventh place in graduate programs in the biological sciences, with Princeton University, Scripps Research Institute, and Yale University.

In the specialty rankings in both medicine and the biological sciences, UCSF ranked in the top 10 in all areas in which it was assessed. 

The rankings are reported online today (April 15, 2010) at www.usnews.com/grad.  Highlights of the report will be published in the May issue of the magazine, which will be available on newsstands April 27.

“The UCSF School of Medicine has been recognized once again as one of the foremost medical training programs in the country,” said UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH. “Our unique position among the top five schools nationwide in both research and primary care education, alongside our top-10 ranking in biological sciences, reflects the excellence of the UCSF faculty and the breadth of experience available to our students.”

The most recent rankings for all graduate schools that are part of the survey process also are represented in the U.S. News Media Group’s 2011 edition of the guidebook America’s Best Graduate Schools. That guidebook will be available for purchase April 20.

The new rankings include previous assessments of both nursing and pharmacy school programs, which U.S. News also surveys but not on an annual basis. The most recent ranking for “best” nursing schools was reported in 2007 and for “best” pharmacy schools in 2008.  In those surveys, the UCSF School of Nursing ranked second and the UCSF School of Pharmacy was first.  U.S. News does not conduct a survey of dental schools.

The new medical school rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinions about program quality and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students.  Survey information was provided by 122 medical schools fully accredited in 2008 by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, plus the 20 schools of osteopathic medicine fully accredited by the American Osteopathic Association, according to the magazine.

The medical school rankings are based on assessments of research activity and primary-care programs by deans and senior faculty, admission acceptance rates and faculty resources. Research activity also was measured by the funding from the National Institutes of Health and the average amount of those grants calculated per full-time medical school science and clinical faculty member. Both factors were averaged for fiscal years 2008 and 2009, according to the magazine. Specialty rankings were based on ratings by medical school deans and senior faculty at peer schools.

The new rankings for specialty programs in the UCSF School of Medicine, according to the survey, are:

  • AIDS – 1
  • Drug/alcohol abuse – 1 (tied with Johns Hopkins University and Yale University)
  • Women’s Health – 2
  • Internal Medicine – 3
  • Family medicine – 6
  • Pediatrics – 7
  • Geriatrics – 10

The new rankings for UCSF specialty programs in the graduate biological sciences, according to the survey, are:

  • Immunology/Infectious Disease – 2
  • Neuroscience/Neurobiology - 3
  • Cell Biology – 4 (tied with UC-Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University)
  • Microbiology – 4 (tied with Johns Hopkins University and Washington University in St. Louis)
  • Biochemistry/Biophysics/Structural Biology – 5
  • Molecular Biology – 6
  • Genetics/Genomics/Bioinformatics – 8 (tied with Yale University)

In the survey of graduate chemistry programs, UCSF’s specialty program in biochemistry ranked third. 

The UCSF School of Medicine is one of five medical schools in the 10-campus University of California system and its faculty and medical students support the UCSF Medical Center, which routinely ranks in the top 10 medical centers nationwide in outside surveys. The UCSF schools of dentistry, nursing and pharmacy also routinely rank among the premier schools in their fields in education and research funding.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. For further information, please visit www.ucsf.edu.