Health colleges help fuel UF’s overall rise in national graduate program rankings

The University of Florida College of Medicine made substantial gains in its primary care ranking while remaining the No. 1 overall medical school in Florida and again securing a place among the nation’s best medical schools in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of graduate schools. The College of Nursing’s doctoral program — No. 1 in Florida — and the College of Medicine’s School of Physician Assistant Studies rose in the national rankings, while the UF College of Veterinary Medicine broke into the Top 10 programs.

The College of Medicine is ranked No. 43 in the nation and No. 19 among public medical schools for medical research. The college made its biggest gain in the primary care rankings, jumping 12 spots to 53rd from 65th in a category that considers the percentage of graduates doing residencies in pediatrics, internal medicine and family medicine.

“It is especially satisfying for the University of Florida to be recognized for what takes place here every day: an unwavering commitment to exceptional medical research and education,” said David R. Nelson, M.D., interim senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health, the university’s academic health center. “UF’s continued presence among the nation’s best medical schools, nursing doctoral programs and veterinary schools is a testament to the many accomplishments of  faculty, staff and students.”

The College of Medicine’s overall research ranking was derived from factors that include acceptance rate, federal research funding, faculty-to-student ratio and surveys of academic administrators around the country. 

“The University of Florida continues to strengthen its reputation as a place where talented researchers and educators, exceptional clinicians and gifted students come to further their careers. Our substantial rise in the primary care rankings is more evidence that the College of Medicine fosters an environment of excellence,” said Joseph A. Tyndall, M.D., M.P.H., interim dean of the UF College of Medicine and a professor of emergency medicine.

Physician Assistant school gains ground in rankings

UF’s School of Physician Assistant Studies rose to 21st from 27th among physician assistant programs nationwide. In the past year, the school has inaugurated a research initiative, increased experiential learning opportunities and increased the use of educational technologies.

“The latest ranking shows that our school is earning its place among the nation’s best physician assistant programs,” said Nina Multak, Ph.D., PA-C, the school’s dean and director. “Our faculty and staff have contributed greatly to this accomplishment.”    

Nursing doctoral ranking jumps

The College of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program improved its standing, rising to 24th in the nation from 28th.

“As the top D.N.P. program in the state and No. 24 nationally, the UF College of Nursing remains on the forefront of preparing graduates who provide excellent personalized nursing care, influence evidence-based practice and provide leadership in health care delivery, education and the profession,” said Anna McDaniel, Ph.D., dean of the College of Nursing. “The D.N.P. program continues to be a point of pride for the College of Nursing, and our graduates are a reflection of our college’s dedication to transforming health at the crucial intersection of research and practice.”

UF Veterinary Medicine breaks into Top 10

The College of Veterinary Medicine joined an elite group, ranking ninth among all veterinary programs. It had previously been ranked 14th in the country.

“These new rankings reflect amazing success in our ongoing pursuit of preeminence across the mission: teaching, research and clinical service. Without a doubt, our success is squarely rooted in the incredible hard work, dedication, creativity, scholarship and unwavering commitment to quality of our faculty, staff and students,” said James W. Lloyd, D.V.M., Ph.D., dean of the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. “Among all institutions in this ranking, the UF Small Animal Hospital now boasts the third-highest companion-animal caseload, our research enterprise is now among the leaders in National Institutes of Health funding, and our Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree is among the most highly sought-after as reflected by the ever-increasing size, strength and diversity of our applicant pool.”

Jack Payne, Ph.D., UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, said, “This significant jump in the national rankings just proves that the faculty and staff at the College of Veterinary Medicine are some of the best in serving Florida’s robust agriculture industry.”

Public Health and Health Professions recognized with ranking

Among graduate programs in public health, UF is ranked 37th out of 177 institutions.

“The UF College of Public Health and Health Professions is a relatively young school of public health, yet in the 10 years since achieving public health accreditation, we have attracted faculty members who are leaders in their fields, developed a comprehensive offering of degree programs at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels, and created outreach programs that serve our community, the state and countries around the world,” said Michael G. Perri, Ph.D., the school’s dean. “The college’s standing as ninth in National Institutes of Health research funding among schools of public health at public universities and a solid ranking from U.S. News & World Report are a testament to our success to date.”

Other ranked programs

In the latest rankings, UF’s graduate program in health care management was ranked 33rd. Other health-related graduate school colleges and programs at UF that have been ranked in prior years (U.S. News & World Report does not rank all graduate programs every year) include the College of Pharmacy (No. 9, 2016), physical therapy (No. 10, 2016), occupational therapy (No. 17, 2016), audiology (No. 26, 2016) and speech-language pathology (No. 28, 2016).

In September, UF was ranked No. 8 among the nation’s top public universities by U.S. News & World Report. 

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Doug Bennett

Science Writer, Editor

Doug Bennett joined the UF Health staff in January 2015 as a science writer and editor. His topic areas include anatomy; biochemistry and molecular biology; molecular genetics and microbiology; pathology,...Read More