UAMS Ranks 17th Nationally for Primary Care in Annual U.S. News Best Graduate School Rankings

By Linda Satter

The UAMS College of Medicine continued to climb the rankings, earning 17th place overall in primary care, up from 36th last year.

In a reflection of UAMS’ ongoing push to improve primary care in rural and medically needy areas of Arkansas, the medical school also placed 18th in serving rural areas, fourth in serving medically needy areas and 24th in producing the most primary care graduates. Last year, UAMS ranked 20th nationally in serving rural areas, wasn’t ranked in the category of serving medically needy areas and ranked 36th in producing the most primary care graduates.

“These rankings show that UAMS’ dedication to improving the lives of Arkansans, in line with our motto of creating ‘A Better State of Health,’ is being noticed on a national scale,” said G. Richard Smith, M.D., interim dean of the UAMS College of Medicine and executive vice chancellor of UAMS. “That is good news for patients and traditionally underserved communities across the state, as well as the College of Medicine’s ability to attract even more of the country’s best and brightest new students.”

The annual list of top graduate schools also ranked the UAMS College of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program 66th.

 “We are delighted that our programs continue to be recognized for the quality education our faculty provide,” said Patricia Cowan, Ph.D., RN, dean of the College of Nursing. She noted that in late June, the college was ranked in the top 3% of institutions examined by the Nursing Schools Almanac.

UAMS’ Physician Assistant Studies program, part of the College of Health Professions, was ranked 65th nationally, also moving up from previous years.

“The UAMS physician assistant program is a relatively new program, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year,” said Susan Long, dean of the College of Health Professions. “In 10 short years, it has established itself among its peers as a top-rated program. We are honored to be recognized for this.”

The UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health was also listed among the nation’s top graduate schools, placing 92nd this year.

Dean Mark Williams, Ph.D., said that because the college isn’t as large as many other public health colleges, the ranking is “particularly meaningful in its recognition of the quality of both the program and the faculty.”

Designed for prospective students looking to further their education beyond college, the Best Graduate School rankings evaluate programs in six academic disciplines based on academic data collected from schools via surveys and third-party sources. Aside from medicine and nursing, those disciplines are business, education, engineering and law.

The physician assistant and public health rankings stem from an evaluation of schools in seven disciplines that is based solely on peer surveys. The other disciplines evaluated are public affairs, health care management, rehabilitation counseling, veterinary medicine and computer science.

U.S. News arrived at the medical school rankings following an evaluation of 192 medical and osteopathic schools that were fully accredited in 2023 by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the American Osteopathic Association.

Of 123 schools that were evaluated specifically for primary care, the University of Washington ranked first, and UAMS tied with Brown University for 17th place.


UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.