U.S. News & World Report best Grad Schools rankings include multiple MUSC programs

April 10, 2024

U.S. News & World Report has released its 2024 rankings of the Best Graduate Schools in the country, focusing on outcomes. It includes multiple programs at the Medical University of South Carolina.

MUSC’s ranked programs include Nurse Anesthesia, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Doctor of Nursing Practice and Pharmacy. USNWR has delayed the release of its medical school rankings until further notice.

In MUSC’s College of Health Professions, three programs achieved rankings in the top 10% of their categories.

Nurse Anesthesia

The college’s longest continuously running program is ranked No. 11, up from No. 29 when it was last ranked in 2018. The Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice degree is offered in both an entry-level (postbaccalaureate) and post-professional (post-master’s) format.

Certified registered nurse anesthetists are advanced practice registered nurses who administer anesthesia and medication in a variety of settings and are the primary providers of anesthesia care to U.S. military personnel. U.S. News & World Report ranked the profession No. 5 on its list of Best Paying Jobs and No. 6 on the Best Health Care Jobs in 2024.

Occupational Therapy

The occupational therapy program at MUSC is ranked No. 14 among the Best Grad Schools. It has consistently ranked as one of the nation’s best. Occupational therapists help patients develop, recover, improve and maintain skills needed for daily living and working. They work with a diverse range of patients in a variety of settings from pediatrics to stroke rehabilitation.

MUSC’s program offers an entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate for those new to the field and a post-professional doctorate for practicing occupational therapists. Occupational therapy is ranked the No. 1 Best Job for Work-Life Balance and No. 4  Best Health Care Job in 2024, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Physical Therapy

MUSC’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program came in at No. 21 among accredited physical therapy programs in the Best Grad School rankings this year. Physical therapists examine, diagnose and treat individuals of all ages who have health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and function in their daily lives. MUSC’s Therapy Division offers an entry-level doctorate degree and four residency programs. The profession was ranked the No. 7 Best Health Care Job for 2024.

The dean of the College of Health Professions, Zoher Kapasi, Ph.D., PT, was pleased by the college’s recognition in the Best Grad School rankings. “The latest rankings confirm our solid national reputation and are a testament to the stellar work of our faculty, staff and students. We are poised to fulfill our college’s vision of improving the health of populations by training outstanding health professionals to care for the citizens of South Carolina and beyond.”

In MUSC’s College of Nursing, the Doctor of Nursing Practice program was ranked No. 22 in the country and No. 1 in South Carolina.

This is a highly competitive area, as there are more than 300 Doctor of Nursing Practice programs in the U.S. “As a leader in nursing education, not only in South Carolina but also nationwide, we are graduating students who are meaningfully impacting nursing practice, nursing science, implementation science, health care delivery and patient outcomes,” said Catherine Durham, DNP, FNP, dean of the College of Nursing.

“This outstanding ranking is a direct reflection of both MUSC’s stellar reputation and our faculty’s commitment to mentoring the next generation of nurse leaders. I am so proud of their incredible work.”

The DNP is a practice-focused degree designed to prepare advanced practice nurses in one of four clinical specializations with a primary care foundation and is one of the highest levels of educational preparation for nurses. Nurse practitioner is also consistently ranked as one of the best jobs in the nation.

The MUSC College of Pharmacy was ranked No. 31 out of 141 accredited pharmacy colleges this year.

That places it not only in the top 22% of pharmacy colleges nationwide but also as the top pharmacy college in South Carolina.

The College of Pharmacy has been around for more than a century, accepting its first student in 1882. The dean says it has been a preeminent leader since pharmacy degrees were first available in the U.S. “Our Doctor of Pharmacy program offers a hands-on, interprofessional learning environment for our students,” said Philip Hall, Pharm.D.

Determining rankings

U.S. News uses a carefully honed formula to determine its rankings. According to its website: “The rankings and data for these disciplines are derived from survey data that schools reported to U.S. News in fall 2023 and early 2024, in some cases combined with third party-sourced information.”

The publication also cautions prospective students not to use the rankings as the sole basis for choosing a program. They should consider other factors such as:

-A school’s course offerings.
-Department culture.
-Total cost to obtain the degree.
-Networking after graduation.
-Advising or mentoring programs.
-Campus life.

For a closer look at the report’s ranking methodologies, visit the U.S. News & World Report website.


About MUSC 

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system, with a unique mission to preserve and optimize human life in South Carolina through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates more than 3,200 students in six colleges – Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy – and trains more than 900 residents and fellows in its health system. MUSC brought in more than $300 million in research funds in fiscal year 2023, leading the state overall in research funding. MUSC also leads the state in federal and National Institutes of Health funding. For information on academic programs, visit musc.edu.

As the health care system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest-quality and safest patient care while educating and training generations of outstanding health care providers and leaders to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided at 16 hospitals (includes owned or governing interest), with approximately 2,700 beds and four additional hospital locations in development, more than 350 telehealth sites and nearly 750 care locations situated in all regions of South Carolina. In 2023, for the ninth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health University Medical Center in Charleston the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.

MUSC has a total enterprise annual operating budget of $5.9 billion. The 31,000 MUSC family members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers, scientists, students, contract employees, affiliates and care team members who deliver groundbreaking education, research, and patient care.