LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)’ colleges of medicine, nursing, public health and health professions were recently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as among the best graduate schools in the country.

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.

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

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

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.