21 graduate programs named among nation’s top 10

In U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 “Best Graduate Schools” list, 26 of Carolina’s programs increased their rankings.

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Twenty-six Carolina programs increased their rankings in U.S. News & World Report’s "Best Graduate Schools" list. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Editor’s note: This story was updated May 11 to include newly released rankings.

Numerous UNC-Chapel Hill graduate programs received high rankings — 21 were among the top 10 in the nation in their respective categories — as part of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools” list.

For the sixth consecutive rankings period, the Gillings School of Global Public Health was ranked second out of 206 schools and programs of public health in the United States, also maintaining its position as the top public school of public health. The Gillings School has been ranked among the top schools and programs of public health by U.S. News since the magazine first ranked public health schools in 1987.

Altogether, 26 programs increased their rankings, including numerous programs in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education and Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Note that not all graduate programs are ranked by U.S. News & World Report every year. For a complete list of rankings for UNC-Chapel Hill, visit the U.S. News & World Report website.

Gillings School of Global Public Health

  • Public Health programs, first public, tied for second overall.
  • Biostatistics, fourth.
  • Social Behavior, fourth.
  • Health Policy and Management, fourth.
  • Epidemiology, third.
  • Environmental Health Science, seventh.
  • Healthcare Management, tied for third.

UNC School of Medicine

  • Overall:
    • Primary Care, seventh.
    • Research, tied for 26th.
  • Specialty areas:
    • Family Medicine, tied for third.
    • Internal Medicine, tied for 19th.
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology, 13th.
    • Pediatrics, tied for 18th.
    • Surgery, tied for 21st.
    • Rehabilitation Counseling, tied for 13th.
    • Physician Assistant, tied for 50th (ranked for first time).
  • Additional rankings:
    • Percent of 2014-2016 graduates practicing direct patient care in rural areas, 45th.
    • Percent of 2014-2016 graduates practicing in primary care specialties, 73rd.
    • Percent of 2014-2016 graduates practicing direct patient care in health professional shortage areas, 72nd.

UNC School of Law

  • Overall, tied for 22nd.
  • Specialty areas:
    • Legal Writing, tied for 13th.
    • Contracts/Commercial Law, tied for 17th.
    • Criminal Law, tied for 17th.
    • Constitutional Law, tied for 21st.
    • Tax Law, tied for 24th.
    • Business/Corporate Law, tied for 29th.
    • Environmental Law, tied for 32nd.
    • Health Care law, tied for 35th.
    • Clinical Training, tied for 34th.
    • Intellectual Property Law, tied for 60th.
    • International Law, tied for 58th.
    • Trial Advocacy, tied for 80th.

UNC School of Nursing

  • Overall:
    • Nursing Schools, Master’s Programs, tied for 10th.
    • Nursing Schools — DNP Programs, tied for 15th.
  • Specialty areas:
    • Nursing Master’s, Administration/Management, tied for sixth.
    • Nursing Master’s, Adult Gerontology Primary Care, tied for seventh.
    • Nursing Master’s, Nurse Practitioner: Family, third.
    • Nursing Master’s, Nurse Practitioner: Psychiatric/Mental Health, third.
    • Nursing DNP, Administration/Management, 10th.
    • Nursing DNP, Adult Gerontology Primary Care, tied for sixth.
    • Nursing DNP, Family, fourth.
    • Nursing DNP, Psychiatric/Mental Health, tied for fourth.

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Chemistry:
    • Overall, tied for 16th.
    • Analytical, second.
    • Inorganic, tied for 12th.
    • Organic, tied for 18th.
  • Computer Science, tied for 24th.
  • Earth Science, tied for 47th.
  • Mathematics:
    • Overall, tied for 30th.
    • Applied Math, 12th.
  • Physics, tied for 33rd.
  • Public Affairs, tied for 19th.

As part of the public affairs category, U.S. News ranked Carolina programs and specialty areas based in the School of Government and the College of Arts and Sciences’ department of public policy.

  • Public Policy Analysis, tied for 29th.

School of Government

  • Local Government Management, second.
  • Public Management and Leadership, 13th.
  • Public Finance and Budgeting, tied for 22nd.

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

  • Overall, 22nd.
  • Specialty areas:
    • Real Estate, ninth.
    • Executive MBA, 11th.
    • Accounting, tied for 13th.
    • Production Operations, tied for 19th.
    • Marketing, tied for 23rd.
    • Management, tied for 27th.
    • Finance, tied for 29th.

UNC School of Education

  • Overall, tied for 21st.
  • Specialty areas:
    • Secondary Teacher Education, tied for 20th.
    • Education Psychology, tied for 17th.
    • Elementary Teacher Education, tied for 17th.
    • Education Policy, 20th.
    • Educational Administration, tied for 26th.
    • Curriculum and Instruction, tied for 24th.
    • Special Education, tied for 15th.


  • Overall, tied for 77th.
  • Environmental, tied for 28th.
  • Biomedical, tied for 34th.
  • Material, tied for 42nd.

Engineering rankings are spread across several schools. Environmental engineering is in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Biomedical engineering is in the School of Medicine. Material engineering is shared among the chemistry and applied physical sciences departments in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The methodology used to compile rankings for business, education, engineering, law, medicine and nursing programs consists of statistical surveys from 2,214 programs and reputation surveys sent to approximately 6,300 academics and 12,690 professionals, conducted in fall 2022 and early 2023.

Programs in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and health were based solely on ratings from academic experts.