UK’s Physician Assistant Studies ranked among US News’ Top 20 programs

By Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 10, 2023) — U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Kentucky’s Physician Assistant Studies among the best programs in the nation.

The Physician Assistant Studies program is ranked No. 20.

Physician assistants are licensed clinicians who practice medicine in every specialty and setting. For years the PA profession has been regarded as one of the top healthcare jobs due in part to the projected employment by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

US News surveyed 211 physician assistant peer programs, accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, who responded on a 1-5 scale (1, or marginal; to 5, outstanding) of academic quality. Rankings were determined by the average of the ratings each program received.

The annual rankings judge colleges on 17 measures, including graduation and retention rates, selectivity and students’ financial resources. 

The U.S. News and World Report has released rankings of the world’s top colleges and universities for 40 years.

“This is a testament to the quality of our faculty and staff,” said Virginia Valentin, DrPh, PA-C, and Chair of the Physician Assistant Studies program. “Together, we continue to help serve the mission of our College and University. But this is truly a team effort, and it reinforces what we have known for a long while — that we are one of the top programs in the country. Now, our peers across the nation are learning the same thing.”

“Congratulations to all those in Physician Assistant Studies for being honored in the latest rankings,” said Scott Lephart, PhD and Dean of the College of Health Sciences. “While we continue to help serve our University, Commonwealth and region, we are developing a national reputation for excellence, one that will only help continue our efforts to transform our patients’ fortunes here in Kentucky.

“Again, congratulations to all on this well-deserved honor.”

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $501 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.