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UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate Programs Receive High Rankings by US News & World Report

March 14, 2017
College of Arts & Sciences

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received high ratings on multiple lists of schools, degree programs and specialty areas newly ranked by U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”

U.S. News ranks business, education, engineering, law, nursing and medicine programs annually, while other disciplines and specialties in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and other areas, including selected health specialties, are ranked only periodically. In recent years, the University has received high rankings in a number of these periodically ranked areas. A comprehensive list of all UNC-Chapel Hill rankings, both graduate and undergraduate, can be found on the U.S. News & World Report website.

Following are the complete UNC-Chapel Hill rankings and specialty listings that will be available in the “Best Graduate Schools 2018” guidebook and in early March and on newsstands in April.

School of Medicine


  • Primary care, 2nd
  • Research, 24th

Specialty areas

  • Family medicine, 6th
  • Rural medicine, 5th

Library & Information Studies


  • 3rd (master’s degree)

Specialty areas

  • Digital librarianship, tied for 1st
  • Health librarianship, tied for 1st
  • Archives and preservation, tied for 3rd
  • Law librarianship, 3rd
  • Services for children and youth, 3rd
  • Information systems, 7th
  • School library media, 8th

School of Nursing


  • 17th (master’s degree)
  • Tied for 20th (doctor of nursing practice)

Specialty areas

  • Nurse Practitioner: Family, tied for 11th

Kenan-Flagler Business School


  • 18th (MBA programs)

Specialty areas

  • Executive MBA, 11th
  • Accounting, tied for 9th

School of Law

  • Tied for 39th

School of Education


  • 31st

Specialty areas

  • Secondary Teacher Education, tied for 20th
  • Special Education, tied for 17th

Social Sciences & Humanities 

  • Economics, tied for 29th
  • English, tied for 18th
  • History, tied for 11th
  • African-American History, tied for 2nd (specialty)
  • Political Science, 11th
  • Psychology, tied for 13th
  • Sociology, tied for 6th
  • Sociology of Population, 3rd (specialty)

Methodology: U.S. News first ranked graduate programs in 1987 and has done so annually since 1990. Its annual business, education, engineering, law, nursing and medicine rankings are based on expert opinion on program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students, according to U.S. News officials. Its periodic rankings of additional disciplines and specialties in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, health area and other areas are based solely on the ratings of peer academic experts, including deans, program directors and faculty.

The data come from statistical surveys sent to administrators at more than 1,970 graduate programs and from reputation surveys sent to more than 16,500 academics and professionals in the disciplines. Surveys for the 2018 rankings were conducted during the fall of 2016 and in early 2017.

In addition to the new rankings, U.S. News republishes older rankings – dated 2011 or before – on its website and in the guidebook. These older rankings are based on peer ratings in various health disciplines, nursing schools and Ph.D. programs in the sciences.

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