badge-best-whiteU.S. News & World Report ranks a number of programs in the School of Health Professions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham among the nation’s top 20. The latest rankings were released in the 2012 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” available online at

According to the rankings released March 15, the master’s degree program in health services administration ranked No. 5 in the nation, up from No. 7 last year.

“We are gratified that our peers through U.S. News and World Report have recognized our continued excellence in healthcare management education and practitioner training,” said Harold Jones, Ph.D., dean of the School of Health Professions. “The rankings are a meaningful recognition of the contributions of our faculty and graduates who continue to shine in the healthcare management arena.”

The master’s program was developed in 1965 and has since enrolled 46 classes in health administration. Today there are more than 1,200 graduates.

“We have 32 faculty members with a very wide and deep array of expertise in health administration,” said Gerald Glandson, Ph.D., department chair. “We’re fortunate to have a school that allows us to grow, a university that is supportive and alumni who are extremely loyal. Our success is a reflection on how thriving our alums are in their careers and because of that they speak highly of our program as well as recruit for us.”

UAB Health System CEO Will Ferniany, Ph.D., is one success story. He graduated from the program in 1975 as Class 9.

“Over these past 36 years, I have never lost contact with the program, the faculty and the students,” said Ferniany. “The program’s attention and dedication to their students and alumni is amazing and sets the UAB experience apart. The program provides the basis for a growing community of health administrators and educators devoted to improving the American health system. When asked, I always recommend UAB as the school of choice for students interested in a career of health care administration.”

Rodger Brown, vice president of human resources for the North Mississippi Health Services, believes in the program. His company has sent nearly 20 employees over the years to receive their master’s degree in health administration at UAB.

“The key to any successful healthcare organization is having great employees and leaders,” said Brown. “The successful healthcare leader today needs a firm foundation in all aspects of healthcare. Our organization has found that the MSHA program at UAB provides that foundation and at great value.”

The program helped start allied health programs in other countries including Finland, Jamaica, Peru and helped set up a four-year health administration program in China and Armenia.

Other programs in the school maintained their ranking from last year include occupational therapy, No. 17, physician assistant, No. 25 and physical therapy, No. 29.

Each year, U.S. News & World Report ranks professional-school programs in business, education, engineering, law and medicine. The rankings are based on expert opinion about program quality and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students. For the rankings in all five areas, indicator and opinion data come from surveys of more than 1,200 programs and some 9,600 academics and professionals.

The magazine also ranks programs in the sciences, social sciences and humanities on a rotating basis, usually every three years. These rankings are based solely on the ratings of academic experts, as are the health specialties