UNC-Chapel Hill graduate programs ranked among best once again in national rankings

Numerous University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate programs received high rankings once again – more than 30 were among the top 10 overall or among public universities in their respective categories – as part of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools” list. 

The Gillings School of Global Public Health ranked second out of 188 schools and programs of public health in the United Statesalso maintaining its position as the top public school of public health. The School of Information and Library Science tied for second in the nation; it also ranked first for health librarianship and in the top nine for all other specialties. The School of Nursing tied for sixth in the nation overall and first among public schools of nursing for master’s nursing programs. 

The UNC School of Law ranked 24th among the nation’s law schools, jumping a notable 21 places since 2019making it to eighth place for public law schools 

“Our graduate and professional schools’ impressive rankings are a testament to the hard work and commitment that Carolina’s students, faculty and staff have to our mission of teaching, research and service to our state, nation and world,” said Carolina Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz. “In the middle of a difficult year, our graduate schools have risen in unprecedented ways to face the grand challenges of our time. Our rankings reflect the excellence that Carolina is known for, and for the impact we have on North Carolina and the world.” 

Each year, U.S. News & World Report ranks business, education, engineering, law, nursing and medical schools and programs around the country based on expert opinions regarding program excellence and statistical indicators measuring the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students.   

Periodically, the publication also ranks other disciplines and specialties in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, health and other areas based on academic experts’ ratings.  

U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 “Best Graduate Schools” list includes academic reputation rankings for public affairs; public health; library and information studies schools; and graduate programs in economics, English, history, sociology, political science, criminology and criminal justice. 

Additional UNC-Chapel Hill rankings and specialty listings for the 2022 edition follow and can be found on the U.S. News & World Report website. U.S. News does not rank every academic discipline every year. A comprehensive list of all UNC-Chapel Hill graduate program rankings can also be found on the U.S. News & Report website.

Gillings School of Global Public Health

  • Health Doctoral Programs, Public Health, 2nd

School of Information and Library Science 

  • Library and Information Studies Programs, tied for 2nd
  • Specialty Areas
  • Health Librarianship, 1st
  • Digital Librarianship, tied for 2nd
  • Archives and Preservation, 3rd
  • Services for Children and Youth, tied for 5th
  • Information Systems, 7th
  • School Library Media, tied for 9th

UNC School of Medicine 

  • Overall
  • Primary Care, 3rd
  • Research, 24th
  • Specialty Areas
  • Family Medicine, 3rd
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology, 13th
  • Pediatrics, tied for 19th
  • Psychiatry, tied for 17th
  • Internal Medicine, 26th 
  • Additional Rankings
  • Percent of 2012-2014 graduates practicing direct patient care in rural areas, 62nd 
  • Percent of 2012-2014 graduates practicing in primary care specialties, tied for 67th
  • Percent of 2012-2014 graduates practicing direct patient care in health professional shortage areas, 70th

UNC School of Nursing 

  • Overall
  • Nursing Schools, Master’s Programs, tied for 6th
  • Nursing Schools- DNP Programs, 11th 
  • Specialty Areas
  • Nursing Master’s, Administration/Management – Master’s, tied for 6th
  • Nursing Master’s, Nurse Practitioner: Adult Gerontology Primary Care – Master’s, tied for 10th
  • Nursing Master’s, Nurse Practitioner: Family – Master’s, 7th
  • Nursing Master’s, Nurse Practitioner: Psychiatric/Mental Health – Master’s, 4th
  • Nursing DNP, Administration/Management- DNP, tied for 8th 
  • Nursing DNP, Nurse Practitioner: Family – DNP, tied for 4th
  • Nursing DNP, Nurse Practitioner: Psychiatric/Mental Health – DNP, tied for 3rd

College of Arts & Sciences 


  • Social Sciences and Humanities Doctoral Programs – Sociology, tied for 7th
  • Specialty Areas
  • Sociology of Population, 6th
  • Social Stratification, 12th


  • Social Sciences and Humanities Doctoral Programs – History, tied for 11th
  • Specialty Areas
  • Modern U.S. History, tied for 7th
  • S. Colonial History, tied for 8th
  • Women’s History, tied for 9th
  • African American History, tied for 10th
  • Latin American History, tied for 10th
  • European History, tied for 12th

Political Science 

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Doctoral Programs – Political Science, tied for 12th
  • Specialty Areas
  • American Politics, tied for 11th
  • Comparative Politics, 15th
  • Political Methodology, tied for 18th
  • International Politics, tied for 24th


  • Social Sciences and Humanities Doctoral Programs – English, tied for 20th
  • Specialty Areas
  • American Literature After 1865, tied for 13th


  • Social Sciences and Humanities Doctoral Programs – Economics, Overall, tied for 36th

Public Affairs

As part of the public affairs category, U.S. News ranked Carolina programs and specialty areas based in the School of Government and the College of Arts & Sciences’ department of public policy.  

College of Arts & Sciences

    • Environmental Policy and Management, tied for 14th
    • Public Policy Analysis, tied for 26th

School of Government

    • Local Government Management, 2nd
    • Public Management and Leadership, tied for 13th
    • Public Finance and Budgeting, tied for 27th

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School 

  • Overall, 20th
  • Specialty Areas
  • Accounting, 9th
  • Real Estate, tied for 10th
  • Marketing, tied for 14th
  • Executive MBA, 14th
  • Entrepreneurship, tied for 21st
  • General Management, 23rd
  • International Business, tied for 26th
  • Finance, tied for 32nd

UNC School of Law 

  • Overall, 24th
  • Specialty Areas
  • Legal Writing, tied for 9th
  • Contracts/Commercial Law, tied for 18th
  • Criminal Law, tied for 18th
  • Constitutional Law, tied for 20th
  • Tax Law, tied for 25th
  • Business/Corporate Law, tied for 28th
  • Environmental Law, tied for 37th
  • Health Care Law, tied for 37th
  • Clinical Training, tied for 50th
  • Intellectual Property Law, tied for 52nd 
  • International Law, tied for 58th
  • Dispute Resolution, tied for 77th
  • Trial Advocacy, tied for 90th

UNC School of Education 

  • Overall, 25th
  • Specialty Areas
  • Special Education, tied for 13th
  • Educational Psychology, tied for 14th
  • Student Counseling, tied for 15th
  • Secondary Teacher Education, tied for 18th
  • Elementary Teacher Education, 19th
  • Education Policy, tied for 22nd
  • Educational Administration, tied for 22nd
  • Curriculum and Instruction, tied for 25th


  • Overall, tied for 75th
  • Specialty Areas
  • Biomedical Engineering/Bioengineering (this is a joint department with N.C. State University), tied for 33rd 
  • Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering, tied for 22nd 

Additional methodology information:  

The rankings data for business, education, engineering, law, medicine and nursing schools and programs is comprised from statistical surveys of more than 2,125 programs and from reputation surveys sent to more than 23,000 academics and professionals conducted in fall 2020 and early 2021.  

For this year’s “Best Graduate Schools” edition, U.S. News worked with the Robert Graham Center, a division of the American Academy of Family Physicians, on four new rankings for medical schools regarding graduate practice and diversity rankings.  

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