U.S. News & World Report ranks multiple MUSC programs among best graduate schools

April 25, 2023

Several programs at the Medical University of South Carolina are included in U.S. News & World Report’s 2023-2024 rankings of the Best Graduate Schools. USNWR analyzed more than 10,000 graduate programs and specialties in the annual ranking process. The Best Graduate Schools rankings in these areas are based on two types of data: expert opinion about program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students.

Lisa Saladin, PT, Ph.D., executive vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, said it shows that MUSC is giving students of all cultures a chance to achieve their academic and professional goals. “MUSC is honored to be recognized for its commitment to providing world-class education through innovative curriculum and quality clinical training via award-winning faculty who are dedicated to excellence.”

MUSC’s ranked programs include Doctor of Nursing Practice, Physician Assistant, and Healthcare Management. USNWR has delayed the release of its medical school rankings until further notice.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The College of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program ranks No. 23. To put that in perspective, there are more than 300 DNP programs in the U.S.

“Our team provides high-quality advanced practice nursing education, and the U.S. News & World Report ranking validates this hard work. The amazing faculty team is committed to supporting primary care, improving health care outcomes and preparing future leaders. We look forward to many years of ongoing success,” said Catherine Durham, DNP, assistant dean for Graduate Practice Programs.

The DNP is considered the highest practice degree in nursing. Nurses with the degree not only become expert nurse practitioners but can also oversee the care of groups of patients, play administrative and managerial roles and develop policies.

College of Nursing Dean Linda Weglicki, Ph.D., R.N., said she’s proud of the nursing faculty’s commitment to providing curriculum that’s relevant. “This year’s ranking is so gratifying because it showcases the exceptional dedication and commitment of our outstanding MUSC College of Nursing graduate practice faculty and staff to providing excellence in graduate practice nursing education. It’s a testament to the high quality of our team and the rich learning environments and clinical experiences that our students have access to as part of a comprehensive academic health system. We prepare our graduates to be leaders and influencers in nursing and in health care so they can change what is possible.”

The College of Nursing consistently earns national accolades for everything from online programs to federal funding for its research.

Physician Assistant

U.S. News & World Report ranks MUSC’s physician assistant program at No. 50. There are almost 240 accredited PA programs across the country, so that puts it in the top 20%. The PA program welcomed students from Lenoir-Rhyne University and Francis Marion University in 2020 and 2021 respectively, with a class size of almost 100.

People who earn a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies work under the direction of medical doctors as part of the health care team making diagnoses and prescribing medications, with many choosing to specialize in certain areas. The role of PAs in serving underrepresented and rural communities is growing throughout the country as the national shortage of physicians across numerous specialties continues to increase.

“The recent U.S. News & World Report rankings validate our commitment to graduating highly competent physician assistants who are compassionate, demonstrate cultural humility and are attuned to the primary health care needs of the people of South Carolina and beyond,” said Helen Martin, DHSc, PA-C, Physician Assistant Studies division director.

Healthcare Management

U.S. News & World Report ranks MUSC’s healthcare management program, the Master of Health Administration, at No. 19. The College of Health Professions MHA program offers both a residential and an online executive track, with the executive track offering accelerated options to clinical doctorate holders and to our Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies students.

“The MHA program at MUSC is on the forefront of innovative research and scholarship, signified by the current rankings. We are developing the next generation of impactful health care leaders and are uniquely positioned to prepare students through premier interprofessional education,” said Zahi Jurdi, DHA, Master of Health Administration division director. “Our alumni serve in diverse roles and are actively addressing the challenges of today’s dynamic health care landscape. The driving force behind the success of the program is the outstanding faculty, staff and students.”

“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 take care of the citizens of South Carolina and beyond,” said Zoher Kapasi, PT, Ph.D., College of Health Professions dean.

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 $298 million in research funds in fiscal year 2022, leading the state overall in research funding. MUSC also leads the state in federal and National Institutes of Health funding, with more than $220 million. 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 and equity stake), with approximately 2,700 beds and four additional hospital locations in development; more than 350 telehealth sites and connectivity to patients’ homes; and nearly 750 care locations situated in all regions of South Carolina. In 2022, for the eighth 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 $5.1 billion. The nearly 26,000 MUSC family members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers, scientists, students, affiliates and care team members who deliver groundbreaking education, research, and patient care.