UC Davis named nation's top veterinary program

UC Davis named nation's top veterinary program

U.S. News & World Report scores the school 4.5 out of 5.
Mar 11, 2015
By dvm360.com staff

The School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis, claimed the top spot in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools list.

A UC Davis veterinary oral surgeon removes a mountain lion's damaged tooth at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.The program’s 4.5 out of 5 score edged out 25 other schools based on a survey of peer institutions, according to the U.S. News & World Report website.

“Our ultimate measures of success are the quality of the students we graduate and the lives improved by our research, but it is always encouraging to see a broad range of our graduate programs recognized as among the best in the nation,” Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi says in a university press release.

UC Davis placed second in the previous U.S. News ranking of veterinary schools in 2011. The program, which cares for more than 48,000 patients every year, is educating more than 500 students and residents. It operates a teaching hospital and satellite clinics in San Diego and Tulare in San Joaquin Valley. The school’s recent $100 million grant for its One Health initiatives will help monitor microbes that cause disease, identify new viruses and improve global health capacity across the world, according to the university release.

Here’s the list of top 10 veterinary schools, according to the report:
1. University of California, Davis | Davis, California

2. Cornell University | Ithaca, New York

3. (Tie) Colorado State University | Fort Collins, Colorado 
            North Carolina State University | Raleigh, North Carolina

5. (Tie) Ohio State University | Columbus, Ohio
            University of Wisconsin – Madison  | Madison, Wisconsin

7. (Tie) Texas A&M-College Station | College Station, Texas
             University of Pennsylvania | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

9. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities | St. Paul, Minnesota

10. (Tie) Tufts University  | North Grafton, Massachusetts
              University of Georgia | Athens, Georgia

Re: US News Vet School Rankings

What is left out of the breathless rankings reporting every year is that they are literally based on nothing more than the opinions of deans and administrators at all of the schools! Unlike rankings for other programs (like law and medical schools), there is no quantitative metric contribution at all. This amounts to little more than a popularity contest where those at the top remain at the top because of historical prestige.

Compare the actual complete methodology of the veterinary rankings quoted here to the methodology for the medical and law schools below:

Veterinary rankings methodology:

"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. All schools surveyed in a discipline were sent the same number of surveys.

Respondents rated the academic quality of programs on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding). They were instructed to select "don't know" if they did not have enough knowledge to rate a program. Only fully accredited programs in good standing during the survey period are ranked. Those schools with the highest average scores appear in the rankings."

Medical school rankings methology: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/medical-s...

Law school rankings methodology: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/law-schoo...

Now tell me, do you think sending random surveys to the vet schools and asking their deans and administrators to rate their competition from 1-5 is remotely scientific or valid? How could those at the highest levels of a vet school even be aware of annual changes to other veterinary programs, or the quality of their graduates (say as opposed to intern/residency directors that would likely have direct knowledge of the quality of house officers who graduated from other institutions)???