UAB graduate and professional programs again ranked among the nation’s best

U.S. News & World Report ranking features a number of UAB programs ranked in the top 25, including a School of Health Professions’ master’s program at No. 1.

U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings once again showcase the strength of graduate and professional programs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, including one program that has been ranked as the best in America.

UAB programs in the schools of Health Professions, Nursing, Medicine, Engineering, Education, Business and Public Health and the College of Arts and Sciences are highly ranked in the 2020 U.S. News Best Graduate School Rankings. The full rankings are available online at

“The tremendous work of our faculty and staff strengthen and expand innovative academic programs that enhance our national and global reputation, as this year’s rankings reflect,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts, M.D., “We have built tremendous momentum as an institution, and our strategic plan, Forging the Future, will continue to enhance our ability to meet the opportunities and the challenges we will face.”

One UAB program, the Master’s in Health Administration in the School of Health Professions, received the No. 1 ranking as best in the country.

“Attaining the most prominent position from the most-respected ranking publication did not happen overnight and did not happen alone — it is a result of 50-plus years of dedication from our faculty, staff and partners and 50-plus years of success from our students and alumni,” said Harold Jones, Ph.D., dean of the School of Health Professions. “All of us in the school are extremely proud of the MSHA program’s No. 1 ranking. However, its crowning achievement is the impact it has made in providing quality health care for all in this country.”

Here are highlights of how UAB programs fared in this year’s U.S. News & World Report rankings. 

School of Health Professions

1 – Master’s in Health Administration

School of Nursing

6 – Nursing Administration

6 – Clinical Nurse Leader

8 – Nurse Practitioner: Pediatric Primary Care

9 – Nurse Practitioner: Family

10 – Adult Gerontology: Acute Care

12 – Adult Gerontology: Primary Care

16 – Doctorate in Nursing

18 – Master’s in Nursing

School of Medicine

30 – Research

35 – Primary Care

School of Medicine Specialties

20 – Department of Anesthesiology

22 – Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology

22 – Division of General Internal Medicine

23 – Department of Surgery

School of Public Health

19 – Public Health

The UAB School of Nursing boasts five programs ranked in the top 10 in the nation, and three others in the top 20. Two programs hold the No. 6 spot: Nursing Administration and Clinical Nurse Leader, which moved up one place from last year. Nurse Practitioner: Pediatric Primary Care moved up four spots to No. 8, while Nurse Practitioner: Family is No. 9. Adult Gerontology: Acute Care holds the No. 10 position, up from 15 a year ago.

The program in Adult Gerontology: Primary Care is ranked No. 12, Doctor of Nursing comes in at No. 16, and Master’s in Nursing holds the No. 18 spot.

“We are thrilled that, of the eight graduate specialties ranked by U.S. News & World Report, the UAB School of Nursing has five in the top 10 and one in the top 20. The continued impact on nursing and health care of all of our programs and specialties across our education, research and practice missions is a tribute to the commitment to excellence of our exceptional faculty, staff, students and alumni,” said Doreen Harper, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair. “We must remember that excellence in nursing also is measured by the care we provide patients with increasing rates of chronic diseases, especially those in rural and underserved areas; the leadership role we play in the discovery and translation of novel and cost-effective care models; and the education and development of nurse leaders who are helping forge creative change to advance health locally and globally, improving quality of life for all patients and families.”

The School of Medicine moved two spots up in both the research and primary care categories, with a ranking of No. 30 in Medical Schools: Research and No. 35 in Medical Schools: Primary Care. The Department of Anesthesiology is ranked No. 20. Two programs, Internal Medicine and Obstetrics/Gynecology, are ranked No. 22. Surgery is ranked No. 23.

“It is gratifying to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report for our research and clinical expertise, as it affirms that we are succeeding in our mission of providing top-quality health care to the residents of our state and region,” said Selwyn Vickers, M.D., senior vice president and dean of the medical school. “We’ve also seen impressive gains in other metrics, such as NIH funding, all of which helps to cement our place among the nation’s preferred academic health centers.”

Other UAB Graduate School schools and departments featured in the rankings include the School of Public Health, No. 19. The School of Engineering’s Biomedical Engineering program ranked No. 59.

The Collat School of Business Part Time Master’s in Business Administration ranked No. 65, while the School of Education ranked No. 85. The College of Arts and Sciences Public Affairs MPA program in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration ranked No. 68.

Each year, U.S. News ranks professional school programs in business, education, engineering, law, nursing and medicine, including specialties in each area. The rankings in these six areas are based on two types of data: expert opinions about program excellence, and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students. Indicator and opinion data come from statistical surveys of more than 2,012 graduate programs and from reputation surveys sent to more than 20,500 academics and professionals in the ranked disciplines. The surveys were conducted during the fall of 2017 and in early 2018. In each field, rankings of programs in various specialty areas based on reputation data alone are also presented.

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.

U.S. News made a number of key updates to the methodologies this year. For the most detailed explanations of these changes, read each program’s specific methodology.