UNC graduate programs ranked by U.S. News & World Report

March 15, 2011

The latest rankings for "America's Best Graduate Schools" were released today by US News & World Report. Besides new rankings in business, education, engineering, law and medicine (these are ranked annually), new this year are rankings for public health and several nursing areas in the health disciplines. 

The School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill retains its #1 ranking in the nation tied with University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and it is the only school ranked #1 on the UNC at Chapel Hill campus. Library and Information Studies programs were last ranked in 2009 for the 2010 edition of the magazine. In addition to placing #1 overall, SILS placed in six of the specialty areas including:

  • First in Digital Librarianship
  • Second in Health Librarianship
  • Fifth in Archives and Preservation
  • Sixth in Services for Children and Youth
  • Seventh in Information Systems
  • Thirteenth in School Library Media

UNC at Chapel Hill appears on more than 20 lists of schools, programs and specialty areas newly ranked for 2011 by U.S. News and World Report for the 2012 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools." Following are the new UNC rankings and specialty listings that are currently available:

Gillings School of Global Public Health


  • 2nd (master's and doctorate degree programs)
  • Health-care management, 3rd (master's degree program) Specialty areas
  • Environmental/environmental health, tied for 11th (U.S. News listed environmental/environmental health under engineering schools. UNC has no engineering school, but related programs are based in public health.)

School of Medicine


  • Primary care, 2nd
  • Research, 20th 

Specialty Areas

  • Family medicine, tied for 2nd
  • Rural medicine, 6th
  • AIDS, 10th

Health Disciplines - Nursing

Master's degree programs

  • School of Nursing, tied for 4th
  • Gillings School of Global Public Health, tied for 11th Nursing specialties

Clinical nurse specialist

  • Community/public health, 3rd (Gillings School of Global Public Health)
  • Psychiatric/mental health, tied for 4th (School of Nursing) Nurse practitioner
  • Pediatric, 10th (School of Nursing)

Nursing service administration

  • 6th, (School of Nursing)

Kenan-Flagler Business School


  • 19th (master of business administration degree programs) Specialty Areas
  • Accounting, 10th
  • Executive MBA, 10th

School of Education


  • Tied for 29th

School of Law


  • Tied for 30th
  • Tied for 25th in a category called "When Lawyers Do the Grading," a new ranking of law schools based on the opinions recruiters hiring graduates from the nation's top law firms from a reputation survey.

Diversity. In a chart identifying schools where students are most likely to encounter classmates from a different racial or ethnic group. Carolina's score was 0.45 out of an index that ranges from 0.0 to 1.0. The closer a school's number is to 1.0, the more diverse is the student population. At 10 percent, Hispanics were reported as UNC's largest minority in the school.

Rankings information is posted at www.usnews.com/grad . Highlights of the rankings are published in the 2012 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools," by U.S. News Media Group.

Note:  In past years, a number of UNC-Chapel Hill specialty areas have been ranked in the top 25. This year, advance information available from the magazine generally goes through the top 10 rankings. This advisory will be updated online on the News Services Web site, www.unc.edu/news/ as any new information becomes available.

Methodology:  U.S. News first ranked graduate program in 1987 and has done so annually since 1990. Business, education, engineering, law and medicine are ranked annually based on expert opinion about program quality and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school's faculty, research and students, according to U.S. News officials. Other disciplines and specialties in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and other areas, including selected health specialists, are ranked periodically. Those rankings are based solely on the ratings of peer academic experts.

In addition to the new rankings, U.S. News republishes, on its Web site and in the guidebook, older rankings that are based solely on peer ratings in various health fields, Ph.D. programs in the humanities and social sciences, master's of public affairs and public policy, master's of fine arts, and master's of library and information studies programs.