Academic Affairs

Academic Affairs

The Office of Academic Affairs supports the school’s mission of promoting and maintaining an academic environment conducive to excellence in teaching and learning.

Academic Affairs encourages the development of learning experiences designed to prepare graduates skilled in the diverse disciplines of public health. In addition, the office augments the curriculum offered to students by identifying and developing new educational collaborations and dual degree programs with other schools.

The Sr. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs works in concert with the Academic Council to address academic problems and issues, create new academic policy when necessary, and provide oversight for the school s degree programs and curriculum.

Other responsibilities of Academic Affairs includes the general oversight of the academic process, such as:

  • Processing of core course waivers, leave of absence requests and degree progress letters and extensions
  • Preparation and publication of the UTHealth SPH Catalog
  • Publication of a variety of reports to UTHealth SPH faculty and students as well as The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)
  • Management of the process for adjunct and cross-appointed faculty
  • Active involvement in the accreditation process
  • Management and implementation of the academic discipline policies and procedures
  • Assessment and evaluation of the school’ s curriculum, programs and teaching
  • Management of educational collaborations with internal and external institutions.

In addition, the Sr. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs represents the interests of the school by serving on a variety of committees and working groups at UTHealth and other schools and institutions.

External Agencies


Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health (ASPPH)

Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) – The UTHealth School of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) – The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award certificates, and baccalaureate, master and doctoral degrees.

Texas Education Code

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)

UT System Regents’ Rules



Policy 100, Student Academic Grievance Process and Flowchart
Policy 101, Customized MPH Program for Regional Campus, Dual Degree Students and Dietetic Interns
Policy 102, Doctoral Committees Structure
Policy 103, Drop Date Deadline for Courses
Policy 104, MPH and MS Committee Structures
Policy 105, Registration Maximum Credits in One Term
Policy 106, Thesis Dissertation Data and Publication Authorship
Policy 107, Academic Remediation Plan and Probation Steps
Policy 108, Test Security Policy 
Policy 109, Student Research Thesis/Dissertation Proposal Approval


Policy 200, Student Evaluation Process
Policy 201, Course Grading
Policy 202, Maximum Students in a Course
Policy 203, Minimum Credit Hours Required for MPH Graduation

Degree Requirements

Policy 300, Breadth and Minor Requirements for Doctoral Students
Policy 301, Conditional Admission to Doctoral Programs
Policy 302, Direct Admission from a Bachelors Degree to the PhD Program
Policy 303, Epidemiology Course Requirement
Policy 304, Ethics Course Requirement
Policy 305, MPH Students and the Core Requirement
Policy 306, Practicum Waiver
Policy 307, Preliminary Exam (formerly Qualifying Exam); Admission to Candidacy and Dissertation Defense
Policy 308, Transfer of Credit Hours


Policy 400, Auditing Courses
Policy 401, Continuous Enrollment
Policy 402, Enrollment Requirements, Degree Time Limits, and Leaves of Absence
Policy 403, Readmission to a Degree Program
Policy 404, Transfer of Students Between the UTHealth SPH Campuses
Policy 405, Verification of Degrees for International Applicants
UTHealth Health Insurance Requirement for all Students

UTHealth Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOOP)

HOOP Policy 129, Academic / Educational Records
HOOP Policy 160, Criminal Background Check
HOOP Policy 186, Student Conduct and Discipline

Office of Academic Affairs and Student Services

SylviaSalasSylvia Salas, MPH

Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and Student Services

MaryAnnSmithMary Ann Smith, PhD

Assistant Dean of Students

JohnAdamsJohn Adams

Coordinator, Student Records

NeshAqrawiNesh Aqrawi

Assistant Director, Academic and Faculty Affairs

BrookeBurnsBrooke Burns

Administrative Coordinator, Student Research

Holly CieslikowskiHolly Cieslikowski

Project Specialist

SharonCummingsSharon Cummings

Program Manager, Academic Affairs

SarahDauchezSarah Dauchez

Assistant Director, Career and Alumni Services

SarahDonahueSarah Donahue

Business Intelligence Analyst 

KoriGouldKori Gould

Strategic Communications and External Affairs Specialist

RobertHammarbergRobert Hammarberg

Academic Advisor

DeeKirkseyDee Kirksey

Coordinator, Student Services

Kathryn McAdamsKathryn McAdams

Coordinator, Student Services

SamuelNeherSamuel E. Neher

Assistant Director, Student Services

ElvisParadaElvis Parada

Senior Coordinator, Student Services (Admissions)

PeggyPowellPeggy Powell

Manager, Educational Technology

LauraRademacherLaura Rademacher

Educational Programs Coordinator

JanelleRiosJanelle Rios, PhD

Director of Public Health Practice and Career Services

MannySotoManny Soto

Coordinator, Educational Programs