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VCU now has a total of 22 top-50 graduate program rankings from U.S. News & World Report. (Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

VCU receives 10 updated top-50 rankings from U.S. News & World Report, including two in the top 10

The latest graduate program rankings from the publication place the School of Pharmacy and the School of Education among the top 25 schools in their categories in the country.

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Virginia Commonwealth University received 10 top-50 rankings in the newly updated U.S. News & World Report graduate program rankings released today, bringing VCU’s current total number of top 50 graduate program rankings by the publication, including online graduate programs, to 22.

VCU’s newest rankings included six in the top 25 of their categories, and two – Nurse Anesthesia (No. 6) and Homeland Security (No. 6) – that are in the top 10. Two schools – Pharmacy (tied for No. 19) and Education (tied for No. 25) – received overall top 25 rankings. Not all program areas receive updated rankings each year.

“These updated rankings are yet another affirmation of VCU’s emergence among the nation’s most influential and impactful universities,” said Fotis Sotiropoulos, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “The incredible work of VCU’s unstoppable faculty members, and our unrelenting focus on excellence, impact and access are driving VCU’s ascent. Congratulations to everyone involved in the dozen graduate programs that are moving onto and up the top 50 national rankings; you’re an inspiration across our campuses!”

The School of Education had two top 25 rankings, including in the overall Education category (tied for No. 25) and the Special Education category (tied for No. 19). Kathleen Rudasill, Ph.D., interim dean of the VCU School of Education, noted that the overall ranking places the school in the top 5.5% of the 456 schools surveyed for that category.

"Our research achievements are particularly impressive,” Rudasill said. “We have achieved and maintained the No. 1 ranking in Virginia and No. 9 in the nation in terms of our funded research expenditure per faculty member. We reported $975,000 per faculty member in research funding. In FY23, we generated $40.1 million in external funding, an all-time high for the school. This incredible level of grant funding means that our students have more opportunities to do meaningful research work with our communities, giving them real-world experiences to prepare them for the future.”

The College of Health Professions received updated top 50 rankings in three categories. In addition to Nurse Anesthesia (No. 6), Occupational Therapy was tied for No. 14 and Physical Therapy was tied for No. 29.

“At the VCU College of Health Professions, we deliver an exceptional experience for students preparing to become future leaders and skilled professionals in health care’s most in-demand roles,” said Paula Song, Ph.D., interim dean and Richard M. Bracken Chair, College of Health Professions. “Our departments and programs promote academic excellence through teaching, research, diversity and innovation – all under one roof. With five programs consistently ranked among the top in the nation – three of which are ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News & World Report – the VCU College of Health Professions is unparalleled in excellence.”

The School of Pharmacy moved from No. 20 into a tie for No. 19 in the latest rankings.

“Our school has long been a leader in pharmacy education, as demonstrated through our consistently high graduation, job placement and board pass rates for students,” said K.C. Ogbonna, Pharm.D., Arthur O. McCalley Chair and dean of the School of Pharmacy. “As we continue to innovate and prioritize student success, this serves as yet another recognition of the ongoing commitment of our faculty and staff to supporting our students in achieving their goals and developing their skills as the next generation of clinicians and scientists capable of transforming health care delivery.”

The L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs had three top-50 updated rankings, including Homeland Security (No. 6), Public Management and Leadership (tied for No. 33) and Public Affairs (tied for No. 39).

“I am immensely proud to share that the Wilder School has once again demonstrated its commitment to academic excellence and innovation in the field of public affairs. For the first time in our history, we have been recognized as the sixth-leading institution in the nation for Homeland Security,” said Susan T. Gooden, Ph.D., dean of the Wilder School. “This landmark achievement highlights our school’s significant contributions to this critical area of study and practice. Additionally, our consistent presence in the top 40 national rankings for schools of public affairs over the past six years showcases our role as a vanguard institution. As the premier school in Virginia for these disciplines, our dedication to shaping the future of public service and leadership remains steadfast.”

In addition, the School of Social Work placed in a tie for No. 28 in the Social Work programs category.

“The School of Social Work’s continued high ranking among our national peers speaks to our longstanding reputation and the ongoing quality of our teaching, research and service excellence," said Gary S. Cuddeback, Ph.D., interim dean of the school. "Our graduate program continues to excel at preparing future social workers to address society’s most pressing challenges as practitioners, policymakers, advocates, educators and leaders."

The new rankings are just the latest recognitions of VCU by U.S. News & World Report. In 2022, it ranked VCU among the best global universities. And in September 2023, it ranked VCU as one of the 20 most innovative public universities in the U.S. For more on VCU’s rankings, visit www.vcu.edu/about-vcu/facts-and-rankings/.

Each issue of the VCU News newsletter includes a roundup of top headlines from the university’s central news source and a listing of highlighted upcoming events. The newsletter is distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. To subscribe, visit newsletter.vcu.edu/. All VCU and VCU Health email account holders are automatically subscribed to the newsletter.