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UMES ranked the nation’s 18th best HBCU

  • University holds steady in latest U.S. News & World Report survey

    Monday, September 14, 2020
    First-year physician assistant students

    The University of Maryland Eastern Shore heads into the 2020-21 academic year rated the nation's 18th best historically Black institution by U.S. News & World Report.

    The publication's annual rankings released today show UMES moved up one spot from a year ago in a complex analysis that relies on a combination of data and opinions of higher education leaders about the quality and reputation of colleges and universities. 

    UMES' improvement marks an incremental step toward President Heidi M. Anderson's goal of leading the university to the Top 10 among institutions. 

    “It's wonderful to be recognized for the hard work our team has done this past year,” Anderson said. “With the current twin pandemics of COVID and racial injustice, our campus is a haven for our students.” 

    UMES broke into the top 20 of U.S. News' niche category for Historically Black Colleges and Universities in 2017.  Anderson became UMES' president in September 2018 and challenged the university's community to work on burnishing the institution's reputation through scholarship, research as well as engaging alumni as partners and diplomats. 

    UMES has since celebrated the aviation science program's 30th anniversary, drawing attention to those in-demand career opportunities, hired Maryland's 2018-19 state Teacher of the Year Richard Warren to head up recruiting the next generation of K-12 educators and added a master's degree in medical science (physician assistant). 

    New online offerings include certificate programs in special education and health disparities / social inequities.

    U.S> News & World Report Sept. 2020 HBCU rankings

    UMES is ranked the eighth-best public HBCU in the latest survey and fourth among land-grant schools, also known as “1890 institutions.” Eight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference institutions made the top 20; UMES was seventh in that group. 

    The top six HBCUs in the survey are private institutions; two are in Atlanta, Spelman (number one) and Morehouse (number six). Howard University was number two. 

    Among UMES' superlatives: 

    • The university is designated by the widely respected Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a Doctoral University (high research activity). It awards at least 20 doctorate degrees annually; 
    • UMES' student-faculty ratio during the survey year was 11:1, and 68 percent of classes average fewer than 20 students; 
    • UMES is one of six HBCUs that offers a doctorate in pharmacy practice and the lone land-grant school that offers graduate degrees in the physician assistant and pharmacy fields; 
    • Six current UMES faculty members hold a combined 13 U.S. Patents; 
    • Graduates who earn Doctorates in Physical Therapy consistently qualify for their national license on the first attempt taking the mandatory post-graduate exam to qualify for a credential to practice; 
    • There are 18 PGA-certified golf management degree programs in the country and UMES is the only HBCU with an accredited program; 
    • UMES is one of 15 HBCUs with Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology credentials; 
    • The university is Maryland's 1890 land-grant university and a member of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. 


    Seventy-seven HBCUs were ranked in the latest survey. 

    U.S. News asks senior administrators - presidents, academic policymakers and admissions directors - to rate the academic quality of peer institutions. Graduation and retention rates, and faculty resources also carry a lot of weight in the ranking equation. 

    The publication noted that it took into account students who received Pell grants and those who did not as well as graduates' indebtedness. It also factored into its ranking equation the percentage of students who used federal loans to pay for college. 

    Other factors taken into consideration include the number of full-time faculty, student selectivity based on test scores and high school class standing, the institution's financial resources and classes sizes.