University of South Florida

USF Health Morsani College of Medicine moves up in latest U.S. News rankings

Push for excellence in research and education leads to 16 position rise since last year

The USF Health Morsani College of Medicine has upped its game in the latest U.S. News & World Report Best Medical Schools rankings released March 16.  Medicine was among six professional school programs included in the U.S. News 2017 Best Graduate Schools rankings.

Fueled in part by increases in National Institutes of Health funding and average Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores, the University of South Florida’s medical school ranked #63 among the best medical schools for research – a significant rise from last year’s #79 ranking.  In the best medical schools for primary care ranking, USF jumped to #67 — up from #85 last year.

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Over the last two years, under the leadership of Charles J. Lockwood, MD, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, USF Health has intently focused on driving for excellence in its academic missions – including aggressively pursuing more National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants and raising the bar on scholarly achievements for students and faculty.

The factors U.S. News weighs in ranking best medical schools for research include the amount of funding that faculty receive from NIH and a school’s selectivity in admitting students.  The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research annual tabulations, considered a gold standard in research metrics for medical schools, recently ranked Morsani College of Medicine #48 among 139 medical schools with NIH funding in 2015, up from #88 in 2013 and #63 in 2014.  Applications have increased 40 percent in the last two years to more than 6,200, and entering student MCAT scores were the highest in the state.

“Our climb in the national rankings shows that the relentless pursuit of academic excellence has begun to yield solid successes in enhancing the quality of our research and in attracting the best and brightest students,” Dr. Lockwood said. “We still have much to do to maintain and advance these gains, but I’m confident that the momentum will be sustained as we work toward opening our new Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute in a thriving downtown waterfront district, close to our primary teaching hospital, Tampa General, and the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation.”

U.S. News surveyed 170 fully accredited medical schools and osteopathic schools of medicine for its 2017 Best Graduate Schools edition; 114 of these schools provided the data needed to calculate the rankings.

As part of the 2017 rankings, for the first time, U.S. News ranked Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs, which are rapidly growing to prepare nurses for the highest level of clinical practice.  The USF College of Nursing DNP program (#54) was in the 50th percentile of 149 nursing schools ranked.  This newest ranking was based upon surveys of nursing school deans and deans of graduate studies asked to rate the quality of accredited DNP programs, student selectivity and program size, faculty resources, and research activity.


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