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CU School of Medicine Again Ranked Among Best Medical Schools in the Country

College of Nursing is also top 10% among Master's in Nursing programs

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Written by Staff on March 24, 2020

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus made several appearances on the 2021 U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of higher education programs.

School of Medicine

The University of Colorado School of Medicine is listed No. 9 on the primary care rankings of medical schools and No. 31 on the research rankings released today by U.S. News and World Report.

Each year, U.S. News compiles listings of medical schools in these two general categories based on surveys and data reviews of accredited medical schools in the United States. The magazine then assigns rankings to schools using its own criteria to assess the information, which includes peer assessments provided by professionals at other medical schools.

This year, the magazine considered 154 medical schools and 35 schools of osteopathic medicine. Of those 189 institutions, 122 responded and provided the data that U.S. News needed to calculate its rankings. Several factors are considered in the rankings, including quality assessments by leaders at peer institutions, surveys of residency directors, total NIH research activity, median MCAT scores, and percentage of students who enter primary care residencies.

On last year’s U.S. News listing, the CU School of Medicine was No. 12 for primary care and No. 30 for research.

“We are focused on building high-quality programs to teach, research, and provide patient care for our diverse community,” said CU School of Medicine Dean John J. Reilly, Jr., MD. “Our faculty and staff deserve the credit for their hard work and dedication to excellence, which in turn inspires a new generation of health care leaders.”

The magazine also provides rankings of specific specialties based on ratings provided by medical school deans and senior faculty from surveyed schools. University of Colorado School of Medicine programs that were ranked among the best in the country were:

  • Family Medicine No. 7
  • Internal Medicine No. 27
  • Pediatrics No. 8

In addition to medical schools, U.S. News also provides separate rankings other health care training programs. The School of Medicine’s Physical Therapy program is ranked No. 13.

In separate rankings, Anschutz Medical Campus hospitals have also been highly rated.

In August 2019, University of Colorado Hospital, out of nearly 5,000 hospitals surveyed, ranked in seven adult specialties including: kidney disorders, cancer, orthopedics, neurology & neurosurgery, diabetes & endocrinology, cardiology & heart surgery, and pulmonology & lung surgery (shared with National Jewish Health in Denver).

Children's Hospit​al Colorado ranked in the top 20 of all 10 pediatric specialty areas in June 2019 rankings. Those categories include cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and lung surgery, and urology


College of Nursing

The University of Colorado College of Nursing has received a #8 placement for its Nurse-Midwifery program, and a top 10% ranking for its Master’s in Nursing program, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Master’s program was ranked against 578 programs, while the Nurse-Midwifery program was compared  36 programs throughout the country. In addition, the Doctor of Nurse Practitioner program ranked #48 out of 319 programs, placing it in the top 15% of DNP programs. The 2021 rankings were released on March 18.

“We are very proud of our College, faculty and students -- continuing the trailblazing tradition that this College is known for. After all, we did invent the nurse practitioner, so to be recognized nationally by our peers for what we do is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Dean Elias Provencio-Vasquez, PhD.

According to U.S. News, all the health rankings are based solely on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to deans, other administrators and/or faculty at accredited degree programs or schools in each discipline.  All schools surveyed in a discipline were sent the same number of surveys. Only full accredited programs in good standing during the survey period were ranked. Those schools with the highest average scores appear in the rankings sorted in descending order based on their average peer assessment score.


School of Public Health

Last year, the Colorado School of Public Health at CU Anschutz was ranked 23rd in the nation. Graduate schools of public health are ranked every five years.


Full list of University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus rankings:

School of Medicine:

#31 in Best Medical Schools: Research (tie)

#7 in Family Medicine

#8 in Pediatrics

#9 in Best Medical Schools: Primary Care

#7 in Physician Assistant (tie)

#13 in Physical Therapy

#27 in Internal Medicine



#8 in Midwifery Programs

#51 in Best Nursing Schools: Master's (tie)

#48 in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice (tie)


Public Health:

#23 in Public Health (tie)



#20 in Pharmacy

Guest contributors: Mark Couch, CU School of Medicine; and Dana Brandorff, College of Nursing

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