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Charleston Business

U.S. News & World Report Ranks MUSC Programs Among Best Graduate Schools

Mar 13, 2019 10:31AM ● By Kathleen Maris

Several programs at the Medical University of South Carolina are included in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 rankings of the Best Graduate Schools.

Lisa Saladin, PT, Ph.D., executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, said it shows 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 academic education through innovative curriculum and quality clinical training via award-winning faculty dedicated to excellence.”

MUSC’s ranked programs include Doctor of Nursing Practice, Physician Assistant, Medical School-Research, and Medical School-Primary Care.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The College of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program ranks No. 14. To put that in perspective, there are more than 300 DNP programs in the U.S.

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.

Dean Linda Weglicki, RN, Ph.D., said she’s proud of the nursing faculty’s commitment to providing curriculum that’s outstanding and relevant. “Our continued improvement in national rankings among DNP programs is a testament to the college’s remarkable leadership in innovative nursing education as well as our ongoing devotion to quality and excellence.”

Weglicki took on the role of dean last year. 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. 46. There are almost 240 accredited PA programs across the country, so that puts it in the top 20 percent.

People who earn a Master’s degree in physician assistant studies work under the direction of medical doctors. They can do everything from being part of a health care team to specializing in certain areas, making diagnoses, and prescribing medications. At MUSC, the program lasts about seven semesters.

The PA program is part of the College of Health Professions. Dean Zoher Kapasi, Ph.D., said his team is honored by the ranking. “These rankings are a testament to the stellar work of our faculty, staff, and students.”

Medical School–Research and Medical School–Primary Care 

MUSC’s College of Medicine ranks No. 60 for research and No. 78 for primary care on the U.S. News & World Report list. The college is considered among the best in the country when it comes to preparing doctors to care for patients of different backgrounds, according to a separate ranking by the American Association of Medical Colleges. 

Dean Raymond DuBois said about a third of MUSC medical school graduates go into primary care, which includes internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics. “Our increasing focus on primary care is reflective of our efforts to adjust to the changing health care landscape and meet the needs of all of the citizens of South Carolina.”

The College of Medicine also teaches every student the basics of research and gives them a chance to find mentors and studies they can take part in through the MUSC Medical Student Research Portal. “Our research funding has consistently risen in recent years, a strong indicator of the quality and importance of the research being conducted at MUSC,” DuBois said.