U.S. News & World Report released its annual “Best Graduate Schools Guidebook 2015” today showing the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) ranks 31st in research among 153 medical schools nationwide. The new rankings appear online and will be published in the guidebook available in April.

Founded in 1885, the Keck School is the oldest medical school in Southern California, and is part of Keck Medicine of USC, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. This year’s ranking remains steady at 31, the same ranking the Keck School of Medicine held in the 2014 rankings and an increase from 34th in the 2013 rankings.

Dean Carmen A. Puliafito

Dean Carmen A. Puliafito

“The Keck School is proud to be in the top 20 percent of nationally ranked medical schools thanks to the focus and contributions of our faculty, staff and students,” said Carmen A. Puliafito, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “I attribute this recognition to our recruitment of transformative clinician researchers and innovative administrators and staff. This ranking underscores our position as one of the best American medical schools in research.”

The Keck School of Medicine of USC is a national leader in medical education with an integrated hands-on curriculum. The school is among the first medical schools to adopt “Introduction to Clinical Medicine” courses for first-year students to give them real-world experience in patient care from the start of medical school. The school is also home to Health, Technology and Education (HTE@USC), an innovative educational program developed in 2010 that facilitates cross-disciplinary education for medical and engineering students to work jointly on solutions to health care problems. In 1970, the Keck School of Medicine led the movement toward the use of the “standardized patient” for medical training, an idea that has taken root at schools across America.

USC’s Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy were ranked No. 1 in the last ranking for those disciplines, which took place in 2012. Both divisions are housed within the USC School of Dentistry.  The USC School of Pharmacy was ranked 10th.

The health rankings in physical therapy, occupational therapy and pharmacy 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.

About the U.S. News & World Report rankings

U.S. News & World Report surveyed 153 accredited medical and osteopathic schools for the 2015 ranking. Medical schools are ranked based on student selectivity admission statistics (Medical College Admission Test or MCAT, GPA, and acceptance rate), faculty to student ratio and total enrollment numbers, as well as National Institute of Health (NIH) research grants.

In 2013, when many academic medical centers around the nation experienced significant declines in research funding, Keck School faculty and affiliates brought in a total of $238.1 million in sponsored research in fiscal year 2013, increasing funding from the previous year.

This year, U.S. News & World Report instituted methodology changes for some disciplines, including medicine. In the medical school ranking model for admissions data, U.S. News & World Report is now using the MCAT median total score and median undergraduate GPA instead of the average of those two factors.

Also, all ranked schools in the fields of medicine, law and education were asked to supply the publication with names of working professionals or company contacts in their disciplines who hire their new graduates. U.S. News & World Report used a sampling of those names to create a pool of non-academics surveyed in those fields who were asked to rate the schools.

By Sherri Snelling