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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee rose to 44th among the nation’s top public universities in U.S. News and World Report’s latest rankings.

Last year, UT was ranked 45th among public universities by the newsmagazine. A top priority of UT President J. Wade Gilley is moving the university into the top 25 national public institutions.

The pharmacy school at UT’s Health Science Center in Memphis was ranked seventh in the nation.

UT’s undergraduate business program in Knoxville is listed as 41st in the nation. In the category of best business departments, accounting is 23rd nationally.

Engineering was ranked 39th among public universities with engineering programs leading to the Ph.D. degree. The nuclear engineering department recorded a 12th position, the magazine says.

Gilley said the rankings are a sign of the university-s potential.

“Today-s news is a clear signal that we can be a top 25 public university,” Gilley said.

“Improved funding by the state this year was an important step. If the Legislature will fully fund our budget, Tennessee can have a university that produces new jobs, new businesses and new ideas to move the state forward.”

Complete listings are available on the publication’s web site, www.usnews.com. Major categories will appear in next week’s edition of the magazine.