Number one rankingThe UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is number one in the latest rankings of the nation’s Doctor of Pharmacy programs by U.S. News & World Report in the 2017 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools.

The School placed second in the 2013 and 2009 U.S. News rankings, the last two times these ratings were compiled. For its rankings, U.S. News surveyed deans and faculty at more than 130 accredited pharmacy schools in the U.S. and asked them to rank the nation’s top schools and their Pharm.D. programs.

“We are extremely gratified to receive this acknowledgment from our peers,” said Dean Bob Blouin, Pharm.D. “It is important to know that this ranking is not an end unto itself but rather a validation of who we are, what we do and what we believe in as a School. Our continued purpose is to accelerate needed changes in health care, education and research.”

Since the last U.S. News ranking of Doctor of Pharmacy programs, the School has rolled out a number of initiatives that have contributed to increased opportunities for students and to the quality of its degree programs:

  • In 2015 the School launched a re-engineered Pharm.D. curriculum that includes more active learning in the classroom, more direct patient-care experiences and greater opportunities for students to participate in research activities.
  • The School founded a satellite campus for Pharm.D. students in Asheville, North Carolina. The new campus offers a Rural Health Scholars program that prepares students to work in collaborative, interprofessional practices that serve the health care needs of North Carolinians living in rural and small communities.
  • Powerful collaborations drive the School’s efforts to develop, implement and test new approaches to health care delivery with the goal of improving care and lowering costs through better use of medicines. Key partnerships include a $15 million medication-management project with Community Care of North Carolina, Inc. and a study funded by a $2.4 million grant from the American College of Clinical Pharmacy to examine comprehensive medication management in primary-care medical practices.
  • The Academy was created within the School to create and nurture a community of faculty educators dedicated to enriching professional, graduate and postgraduate learning and advancing education in pharmacy and the pharmaceutical sciences.
  • The School formed the PharmAlliance partnership with University College London and Monash University and also established the Global Pharmacy Scholars Program to provide students the chance to explore and influence pharmacy practice around the world.
  • Nanomedicine and pharmacoengineering are two frontiers of research in which the School has taken a leading position by establishing a prestigious T32 training program in cancer nanotechnology, overseeing $11.3 million grant to fund the Carolina Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence and receiving a U01 grant to develop nanoformulated treatments for cancer.
  • The School is leading preclinical and clinical pharmacology efforts to flush out hidden reservoirs of the virus as part of the $20 million HIV Cure partnership between UNC and GSK.
  • In December 2014, alumnus Fred Eshelman, Pharm.D., made a historic $100 million gift to the School to establish the Eshelman Institute for Innovation, which funds and supports high-risk, high-reward proposals developed by School students, faculty and staff.

“This latest ranking reflects the quality of our program and is a testament to the talent, hard work and dedication of our students, alumni, faculty and staff.” Blouin said. “It is also a direct result of the tremendous support we have received from our alumni, the University and the state of North Carolina over the last decade.”

The U.S. News rankings of Doctor of Pharmacy programs are based solely on the ratings of peer academic experts, including deans, program directors and faculty. The data for the U.S. News rankings of graduate programs come from statistical surveys sent to administrators at more than 1,900 graduate programs and from reputation surveys sent to more than 18,400 academics and professionals in the disciplines. Surveys for the 2017 rankings were conducted during the fall of 2015 and in early 2016.

For more details on methodology go to: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/health-schools-methodology.

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