The 2004 U.S. News & World Report Annual Guide to Best Graduate Schools has given top honors to two USC programs this year: long-standing leader occupational therapy and, new to the top of its list this year, physical therapy.
The USC Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy ranked first in the nation among graduate education programs in occupational therapy. It has held this spot since 1998. USC’s master and doctor of physical therapy had previously ranked second among the nation’s leading programs, but now moves into the No. 1 spot ahead of previous leader Washington University in St. Louis.
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. Respondents rated the academic quality of programs on a 5-point scale, ranging from outstanding (5 points) to marginal (1), based on their assessment of the curriculum, faculty and graduates.
In another plus for USC, the Keck School of Medicine improved its ranking, moving from 35th in 2003 to 32nd in 2004, out of more than 125 accredited medical schools. The Keck School has moved up an impressive 11 places in just three years, having ranked No. 43 in 2001.
“I want to congratulate the faculty physicians and scientists who led the school to this remarkable improvement,” said Keck School Dean Stephen J. Ryan. “I remain very positive about the future of the Keck School.”
This year, USC ranked ahead of Dartmouth School of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University and University of Minnesota, which tied at No. 34, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, which moved to No. 37, down from No. 32 in 2003.
Medical school rankings are based on a weighted average of several indicators: peer assessment surveys; research activity; student selectivity (comprising mean composite Medical College Admission Test score, mean undergraduate grade-point average, and proportion of applicants accepted); faculty-to-student ratio; and an overall rank, a standardized score out of a possible 100 points based on other indicators.
The Keck School’s overall score of 71 was a 2-point improvement over its previous overall score of 69. Reputation rankings improved as well. The Keck School ranked 24th out of all medical schools in student selectivity.
Student selectivity is a measure comparing the number of applicants to the number who actually matriculate.
“Just three years ago, the Keck School ranked 66th in student selectivity,” said Clive Taylor, senior associate dean for education. “Credit for this remarkable improvement to 24th goes to our admissions and student affairs teams, who have successfully boosted our recruitment efforts.”