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Eshelman School of Pharmacy ranked No. 1, other UNC graduate programs in top 10

Beard Hall of the Eshelman School of Pharmacy in 2016.

Beard Hall of the Eshelman School of Pharmacy in 2016.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly paraphrased Eshelman School of Pharmacy Dean Angela Kashuba. The story has been changed to more accurately reflect Kashuba's statement. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for this error.

U.S. News & World Report named UNC's Eshelman School of Pharmacy the top pharmacy school in the nation in its recently released 2024 rankings. It's the third consecutive time the school has been honored with the top spot.

Beyond the pharmacy school's success, multiple UNC graduate programs were also named in the national top 10 for their respective categories this week in the "Best Graduate Schools" report.

Other highly-ranked University programs include the Gillings School of Global Public Health — ranking No. 2 out of 213 programs — and the UNC School of Social Work, which moved up to tie for fourth overall. The UNC School of Law reached a record-high of No. 20 out of 196 law schools.  

"Carolina's graduate programs are exceptional and it’s no surprise that our schools are ranked so highly among peer institutions by U.S. News & World Report, as well as other measures,” interim Chancellor Lee Roberts said in a press release. “Carolina is always proud to be recognized for our dedication to a world-class education. Every one of our graduate programs contributes to making us the leading public research university.”

U.S. News ranks professional schools programs like business, education, law and nursing, annually based on expert opinion and statistical indicators of the quality of research, faculty and students. Its rankings of graduate programs in public affairs, computer science and public health are based on qualitative ratings of academic quality.

For pharmacy schools, the rankings, based on a survey of peers from pharmacy schools across the United States, are published every four years. The last three times the rankings have been published — 2016, 2020 and 2024 — UNC’s pharmacy school was named the best in the nation.

Pharmacy school Dean Angela Kashuba said in an email that she was proud of and honored by the school's No. 1 ranking. She pointed to the people who make the school successful: the students, staff, faculty, alumni and partners.

“Our program is unique in that one-half of our curriculum is experiential education: in a given semester, our students flow in and out of the classroom,” Kashuba said. “They move out of the classroom into clinical environments to apply what they have learned to patient care, and then move back into the classroom with the context of what they learned from patients.”

At any given time, around 225 pharmacy students are supporting patient care across North Carolina, she said.

Ryan Clark, a graduate student in the pharmacy school, said he wants to stay in North Carolina after graduating in 2026 and further contribute to the school’s mission to serve health care throughout the state — especially in rural communities. He said the pharmacy school’s mission and ranking contributed to his reasons for applying after attending UNC as an undergraduate.

Now almost halfway through his program at the school, Clark said he feels as though the ranking remains accurate.

“Everyone associated with our program, whether it's faculty, students or alumni, is extremely driven to hold pharmacy to a high standard and continue to advance the field for the better,” Clark said

In addition to this year being the first time the law school reached No. 20, the UNC School of Law is also the seventh law school among public universities.

First-year UNC law student Audrey Cooke graduated from UNC with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering in 2021 and then worked for two years before attending the School of Law. Cooke said she didn’t always know she wanted to pursue law, but because of her undergraduate experience at UNC, it wasn’t a hard sell for her to come back.

UNC is phenomenal in terms of BAR passage rates, job placement and alumni network, Cooke said, all of which she values as a student.

“I think UNC sits at a very good place and that we’re very well-respected as an institution,” Cooke said. “And so we pull both from the merit of our institution and the merit of the individual, and I think you can really leverage that in a lot of interviews.”

Cooke said the law school has an opportunity to increase diversity of backgrounds by encouraging more interaction with other graduate programs at UNC, such as STEM programs.

She said she hopes the law school continues moving up in the rankings because law firms may consider school ranking when hiring — in addition to individual merit and academic performance. 

@jesswaalk

@dailytarheel | university@dailytarheel.com

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