UCSF Ranks Among Nation's Best Medical, Pharmacy Schools in U.S. News Survey

By Kristen Bole

School of Pharmacy grads

UCSF’s School of Pharmacy ranked first in its field this year, while its School of Medicine tied for third place nationwide, according to a new survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report.

Results are published in the magazine’s 2013 issue of “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” which appeared online today at www.usnews.com and will be available on newsstands on April 3.

The survey ranks medical schools according to the quality of training in both research and primary care. The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), has the only school of medicine in the nation that ranks in the top five in both categories — a tie for third place in primary care, alongside Oregon Health and Science University, and fifth place for research.

Summary of 2013 Rankings

UCSF School of Medicine (overall rankings):

  • Primary Care — 3 (after University of Washington and University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill, and tied with Oregon Health and Science University)
  • Research — 5
  • UCSF School of Pharmacy, PharmD — 1

Medical specialty rankings for UCSF School of Medicine:

  • AIDS — 1
  • Women’s Health — 2
  • Internal Medicine — 3
  • Family medicine — 3 (tied with University of Colorado – Denver)
  • Drug/alcohol abuse — 6
  • Geriatrics — 9
  • Pediatrics — 10
  • Physical Therapy, joint PhD program with San Francisco State University — 19 (tied with seven institutions)

The new report also includes last year’s rankings for schools of nursing, in which UCSF ranked fourth overall and first in training family nurse practitioners and clinical nurses in medical/surgical and psychiatric specialties. U.S. News does not rank dentistry schools.

“Students in the health science professions are entering a world of tremendous change and opportunity, ranging from our growing understanding of the molecular basis of disease to team-based health clinics,” said UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH. “These rankings reflect the level of excellence in education that students will need to meet those opportunities as leaders in their fields.”

The pharmacy ranking applied to UCSF’s four-year Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program, which admits 122 students each year for clinical training in pharmacy. The school also runs five PhD programs in the quantitative biosciences through the UCSF Graduate Division.

“Our goal has always been to push the boundaries of pharmacy education and to recruit the kind of student who will be tomorrow’s professional leaders,” said Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy. “The result is a student body that is beyond compare. The world desperately needs the advances these students will make toward new, effective, safe therapeutics for patients.”

The university ranked in the top 10 in all medical specialty areas in which it was assessed. Among those, UCSF ranked first for its medical program in AIDS, second in Women’s Health and third in both family- and internal medicine.

“Being once again recognized among the nation’s top medical schools reflects the success of our innovative education programs, which thrive in an extraordinarily collaborative research and patient care environment,” said Sam Hawgood, MBBS, dean of the UCSF School of Medicine.

According to the magazine, the overall medical school rankings are based on two types of data: surveys sent last fall to medical school deans and administrators, and statistical indicators provided by 126 medical schools fully accredited in by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, as well as by the 20 schools of osteopathic medicine fully accredited by the American Osteopathic Association.

These data measured such factors as acceptance rates, faculty resources, and the number of graduates entering primary care. Research activity also was measured by funding from the National Institutes of Health, of which UCSF is the largest public recipient in the nation.

Specialty rankings for medical schools were based on surveys of medical school deans and senior faculty. Rankings for Pharmacy were based on surveys sent to deans, administrators, and faculty at programs in those fields.

Physical Therapy, joint PhD program with San Francisco State University — 19 (tied with seven institutions)

The 2013 edition also includes last year’s listings for graduate science programs, in which UCSF programs ranked among the top schools in both biological sciences and biochemistry. Specialty rankings included Immunology/Infectious Disease (2nd), Biochemistry (3rd), Neuroscience (3rd), Cell Biology (4th), Microbiology (4th), Biochemistry/Biophysics/Structural Biology (5th), Molecular Biology (6th) and Genetics (8th).

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.

Photo credit: GradImages(R)