U.S. News & World Report ranks MUSC programs among best graduate schools

CHARLESTON, S.C. (March 17, 2020) –Several programs at the Medical University of South Carolina are included in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 rankings of the Best Graduate Schools, among them Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and the College of Pharmacy.

Lisa Saladin, PT, Ph.D., executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, said it shows MUSC is giving students an opportunity to achieve their academic and professional goals in some of the top programs in the nation. “MUSC is honored,” she said, “to be recognized for its outstanding programs and commitment to providing world-class academic education through innovative curriculum and quality clinical training via award-winning faculty dedicated to excellence.”

Best Occupational Therapy Programs

The MUSC College of Health Professions Occupational Therapy program ranks No. 13, moving up four spots from its most recent ranking in 2016. To put that in perspective, with 204 occupational therapy programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education in the U.S., this ranking places MUSC’s program firmly in the top 10% of programs in the country.

On average over the past three years, the program has boasted a 94% first-attempt certification pass rate on the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and a 100% overall pass rate. The program also has an impressive 98% graduation rate.

This innovative three-year Doctor of Occupational Therapy program has been hailed as cutting edge by many colleges and universities throughout the country. OTs are trained to empower their clients to resume old or assume new life roles. An OT skillfully assesses a client's abilities and limitations and then designs an individualized treatment plan to increase skills and improve the client’s quality of life.

Craig Velozo, Ph.D., OT, director of the college’s Division of Occupational Therapy, was pleased to learn of the advancement in rank and said the rankings are a testament to the work and commitment of the faculty. “I am so pleased that the MUSC OT program is being recognized for the outstanding work of faculty in educating future leaders and in contributing to the body of knowledge of the profession.”

Best Physical Therapy Programs

U.S. News & World Report ranks MUSC’s College of Health Professions Physical Therapy program at No. 20, up eight spots from the most recent 2016 rankings. With 250 accredited PT programs across the country, this places MUSC’s program squarely in the top 10%.

Educating physical therapists since 1973, the College of Health Professions has a sustained record of excellence in education, research, leadership and service. Working in a state-of-the-art teaching facility and in concert with MUSC’s world-class teaching hospital, PT students engage in interprofessional groups that mirror the world beyond the classroom.

The three-year Doctor of Physical Therapy program provides foundational learning, and students progress to clinical coursework with community-based service and embedded interprofessional learning. The curriculum culminates in a series of clinical practicums, allowing students to pursue their passions.

Mark Bowden, PT, Ph.D., director of the college’s Division of Physical Therapy, said the program is honored by the ranking. “We are very pleased to continue to improve our ranking and our national presence. This improvement reflects all of the hard work by our faculty and staff, and much of the credit belongs to our outstanding students and graduates who reflect our ideals and objectives on a daily basis.”

College of Health Professions Dean Zoher F. Kapasi, PT, Ph.D., was pleased to learn that both of these programs in his college had moved up the ranks.

“The latest rankings confirm our solid national reputation and are a testament to the stellar work of our faculty, staff and students. We are poised to fulfill our college’s vision of improving the health of populations by training outstanding health professionals to take care of the citizens of South Carolina and beyond.”

Best Colleges of Pharmacy

The MUSC College of Pharmacy ranks 31st out of the 134 schools listed, ranking it in the top 25% of colleges of pharmacy. In total, there are 144 schools in the United States with an accreditation status with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

Founded in 1881, the College of Pharmacy is ranked No. 1 in South Carolina and offers innovative interprofessional learning and research opportunities in a comprehensive academic health system, preparing students for impactful careers. The Class of 2018 had the highest Phase I residency match rating in the country and the Class of 2019 had the nation’s 15th highest pass rate on the pharmacy boards.

Upon learning of the ranking, Philip Hall, Pharm.D., dean of the MUSC College of Pharmacy, was quick to praise faculty, staff and students.

“We have a premier pharmacy program, and it is exciting to have a ranking that reflects the achievements of a very hard-working group of exceptional people. I’m grateful to see recognition of their remarkable and innovative leadership in the classroom, the clinic, the laboratory and the community.”

U.S. News & World Report

Each year, U.S. News ranks professional school programs in business, education, engineering, law, medicine and nursing, including specialties in each area. The Best Graduate Schools rankings in these areas are based on two types of data: expert opinions about program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school's faculty, research and students. The data for the rankings in all six disciplines come from statistical surveys of more than 2,081 programs and from reputation surveys sent to more than 24,603 academics and professionals in fall 2019 and early 2020. As prospective students research course offerings and weigh schools' intangible attributes, the information on the U.S. News website can help applicants compare concrete factors, such as student-faculty ratio and job placement success upon graduation. The rankings are to be used to supplement – not substitute – careful thought and individual inquiries.


About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the oldest medical school in the South as well as the state’s only integrated, academic health sciences center with a unique charge to serve the state through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and nearly 800 residents in six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The state’s leader in obtaining biomedical research funds, MUSC brought in more than $284 million in fiscal year 2019.

As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2019, for the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.

MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of more than $3.2 billion. The more than 17,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care. For information on academic programs, visit musc.edu.