U.S. News & World Report has released its list of Best Graduate Schools for 2016, and Shenandoah University’s Physician Assistant Studies Program is again ranked among the best in the nation in the health disciplines category, rising from 22nd to 16th out of 141 ranked programs. Rankings for this program were last updated in 2011.
“Being ranked in the top 20 is quite an honor,” said Timothy Ford, Ph.D., dean of the School of Health Professions. “To be recognized in this way, especially by peers in the PA field, is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the faculty, staff and students of our PA program.”
Shenandoah’s Physician Assistant Studies Program is an accredited, eight-semester, 30-month graduate-level program leading to a Master of Science in physician assistant studies. The Shenandoah PA program is housed in the university’s Health Professions Building, on the campus of Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Virginia. Multi-modal learning that quickly develops clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills, small class sizes and faculty-student mentoring are hallmarks of the program.
Of those schools ranked in the top 20, Shenandoah’s PA program is the youngest one, first accredited in 2001. The program celebrated the 10th anniversary of its first graduating class at the American Academy of Physician Assistants’ 41st Annual Physician Assistant Conference in Washington, D.C. in 2013. The most recent class of graduates in December 2014 was the program’s largest at 40 graduates, bringing the total number of Shenandoah PA alumni to 347.
The 2016 Best Graduate Schools rankings include detailed statistical information on more than 1,800 programs nationwide. According to U.S. News, the organization ranks professional school programs in business, education, engineering, law and medicine each year.
This year, new peer assessment surveys were conducted and new rankings published in five areas in health last updated in 2011: health care management, physician assistant, public health, rehabilitation counseling and veterinary medicine. The 2016 rankings also introduce the first expanded ranking of master’s programs in nursing.
Three additional Shenandoah University graduate programs are ranked in the top 100 — pharmacy, #71; physical therapy, #85; and occupational therapy, #100. Updates for these rankings are scheduled to be released in 2016.
For information about Best Colleges, visit www.usnews.com/grad.