UCSF Schools Earn Top Rankings in 2017 US News Survey

By Laura Kurtzman

UCSF medical students talking in a lounge
Photo by Anastasiia Sapon

UC San Francisco’s schools of medicine, nursing and pharmacy received top rankings nationally in this year’s U.S. News & World Report survey of best graduate schools.

UCSF School of Medicine ranked third nationwide in both categories the magazine evaluated – research and primary care education – and was the only school of medicine in the nation ranked in the top five schools in both. It was also the top-ranked public university in research.

The UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Doctor of Pharmacy program (PharmD) ranked third nationwide.

The School of Nursing ranked third and was the top-ranked school at a public university.

“These rankings reflect the heart of UCSF’s mission,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, “a commitment to developing the next generation of compassionate, highly trained medical specialists and researchers to care for, and advance treatment for, patients at every stage of their lives.”

The schools, along with UCSF School of Dentistry, are embedded within UCSF’s broader biomedical enterprise, which includes two hospitals consistently ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News and World Report, and a major biomedical research enterprise. The magazine does not rank graduate schools of dentistry.

The School of Medicine ranked in the top 10 in six of the seven specialty areas, including drug/alcohol abuse, family medicine, geriatrics, internal medicine, pediatrics and women’s health. The exception was rural medicine, which did not apply to an urban medical school. HIV/AIDS, in which UCSF also has traditionally ranked first, was not included in the specialty rankings this year. Science PhD programs also were not ranked this year. 

“Today’s doctors need to bring the latest research into their clinical practice to provide the best care for their patients,” said Talmadge King, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. “We’re pleased to be credited once again with delivering exceptional training in both.”

Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD, dean of the School of Pharmacy, concurred. “The top programs share exceptional strength and breadth,” he said. “The survey underscores what we know so well: we have an exceptional, dynamic PharmD program and outstanding students and faculty.”

The School of Nursing was in the top 10 in all five of the ranked nursing programs that are offered at UCSF: adult/gerontology primary care, family, pediatric primary care, psychiatric/mental health across the lifespan, and nurse midwifery, which was ranked first.

“The UCSF School of Nursing continues to be recognized as a top school with excellence in teaching, research and clinical practice,” said David Vlahov, RN, PhD, dean of the School of Nursing. “We are proud of our outstanding students and alumni who go on to have impact in all areas of health and health care.”

The U.S. News medical and nursing school rankings are based on data provided by schools, as well as surveys of deans, deans of academic programs and heads of internal medicine or directors of admission. Other factors include the amount of funding that faculty receive from the National Institutes of Health; the rates at which graduates enter primary care residencies in family practice, pediatrics and internal medicine; how selective the school is in admitting students; and the ratio of full-time science and clinical faculty to medical students.

Medical specialty areas are ranked based on ratings made by medical school deans and senior faculty at peer institutions who were asked to identify up to 10 schools offering the best programs in each specialty. The pharmacy ranking is based solely on surveys sent to deans, administrators and faculty at accredited PharmD programs.

Results are published in the magazine’s 2016 issue of “Best Graduate Schools,” which appears online today.

UC San Francisco (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. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises two top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area.