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UNC School of Education rises to No. 23 in U.S. News & World Report rankings

Five graduate programs listed among the best in their fields
Peabody Hall entryway, with No. 23

The UNC School of Education rose to No. 23 in newly released U.S. News & World Report rankings of graduate programs across the country, its highest rank since 2009.

The ranking marks the third consecutive year the School has been included in the top 25 among the nation’s schools and colleges of education surveyed by the publication. The School has risen 12 places in the last six years.

Among public universities, the UNC School of Education is now ranked No. 14. It ranked No. 1 among North Carolina schools of education.

“Our investments during the past few years in faculty, our students, and our academic programs are beginning to be reflected in these rankings,” said Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, dean of the UNC School of Education. “We have attracted to our faculty high-achieving scholars, and equally exceptional students, who are doing important research on pressing questions in education. I am delighted their work and impact are recognized in these rankings.”

The rankings appear in the 2023 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools, released on March 29.

Five of the School’s graduate programs were ranked among the best in the nation:

    • Secondary Teacher Education — No. 16 (No. 13 among publics)
    • Education Policy — No. 17 (No. 11 among publics)
    • Special Education — No. 19 (No. 18 among publics)
    • Educational Administration/Supervision — tied at No. 20 (tied at No. 16 among publics)
    • Curriculum and Instruction — tied at No. 22 (tied at No. 18 among publics)

The rankings reflect the School’s standing among superintendents and educational professionals who hire the School’s graduates. On a one-to-five scale, school superintendents and other school district professionals rated the School at 4.1, the sixth-highest rank among all schools and colleges of education nationwide. Deans at other schools and colleges of education rated UNC School of Education at 3.9 — the seventh highest rank — on the one-to-five scale.

Increased external funding for research, which results from faculty winning research grant competitions, also contributed to the rise in the ranking. Annual research expenditures rose 16% over the previous year to $17 million.

U.S. News & World Report rankings are intended to reflect the impact schools of education have in teaching and research. The publication ranks schools of education based on quality assessments from deans at peer institutions and school system administrators, faculty research activity, student selectivity, and faculty resources.

For the rankings of schools of education, U.S. News & World Report surveyed 457 schools granting doctoral degrees in education, with 274 schools responding to the survey.

The full U.S. News & World Report rankings are available at

Infographic of various rankings