Concentrations - Concentrations

Focusing Your Education

Any UTHealth School of Public Health student in a degree program can choose to focus their studies in one of several available interdisciplinary concentrations. A concentration is defined as a problem-based area that spans disciplinary fields and therefore draws upon faculty expertise in from two or more departments. Concentrations are supported by a specific curriculum and consist of 9-14 credit hours of coursework. In some cases, electing a concentration will lead to earning more credit hours than the degree program minimum requirement. The concentration will be noted on transcripts but not on a final diploma.

Each concentration is described by specific competencies, learning objectives, courses and other requirements within the concentration area. Students should select a culminating experience topic and a practicum consistent with both their degree program and concentration.

For questions about the concentrations, please contact Sharon Cummings in the Office of Academic Affairs and Student Services at or 713-500-9076.

Global Health

The Global Health Concentration curriculum is intended for any public health student interested in exploring how globalization affects health determinants, the health status of populations, and the capacity of nation states to deal with health and disease. The concentration gives students an insider’s perspective of public health on an international scale where international collaboration and negotiation through local non-governmental organizations and grassroots action are required. Students who choose a global health concentration have over 18 classes to choose from and over 40 faculty teaching in the concentration.

Faculty Coordinators:
Bebe Selwyn, ScD -
Nuria Homedes, MD, DrPH - 

Office of Academic Affairs and Student Services:
For questions about the Global Health Concentration you may also contact Sharon Cummings at or 713-500-9076.

Global Health Concentration Teaching Associate:
Aleisha Elliott -   


Health Disparities

A concentration in Health Disparities will enable students to focus practice and research activities on the recognition, description and elimination of disparities among people and populations. Health disparities have been defined as differences in the overall rate of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality or survival. Health disparities exist across race/ethnic groups, geographic residence, gender, age, and disability status. The disparities are often determined by cultural factors, socioeconomic factors, racism/discrimination, and political factors.

Faculty Coordinators:
Maria Fernandez, PhD -
J. Michael Wilkerson, PhD, MPH, MCHES -

Office of Academic Affairs and Student Services:
For questions about the Health Disparities Concentration you may also contact Sharon Cummings at or 713-500-9076.

Leadership Studies

The concentration in Leadership Studies is intended for students interested in exploring how leadership theories and concepts apply to public health challenges. In the concentration major public health challenges will be analyzed and leadership approaches to address these complex problems will be identified. Students will learn about their own leadership characteristics and styles; how different cultures, organizations and governments understand and tackle major public health issues; how to increase their ability to work with people from diverse cultural and disciplinary backgrounds in complex systems; and how to create health policy in diverse situations. Students will be introduced to ethical perspectives and critical thinking to enhance the quality of their leadership strategies as they operate in complex systems.

Faculty Coordinators:
Cathy Troisi, PhD-
Bebe Selwyn, ScD -   

Office of Academic Affairs and Student Services:
For questions about the Leadership Studies Concentration you may also contact Sharon Cummings at or 713-500-9076.

Maternal and Child Health

The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Concentration is designed to meet the diverse needs of MCH populations in terms of the development and delivery of programs and services for women, infants, children and adolescents. There is a strong need for public health professionals on the local, state and federal level who are trained in assessing the needs of MCH populations and addressing a range of MCH policy and program issues. An integrated curriculum in MCH will prepare graduates to work in areas of public health practice related to women and children and to interface more effectively with community and governmental agencies and programs.

Concentration Coordinators:
Margaret Caughy, ScD -
Latawnya Peachy -

Office of Academic Affairs and Student Services:
For questions about the Maternal and Child Health Concentration you may also contact Sharon Cummings at or 713-500-9076.

Nutrition and Public Health

The Nutrition and Public Health Concentration provides opportunities and training for students to focus practice and/or research activities on dietary assessment methodology, nutritional epidemiology, food policy and systems, behavioral nutrition interventions, and medical nutrition therapy.

Faculty Coordinator:
Shreela V. Sharma, PhD, RD, LD

Office of Academic Affairs and Student Services:
For questions about the Nutrition and Public Health Concentration you may also contact Sharon Cummings at or 713-500-9076.


Physical Activity and Health

The Physical Activity and Health Concentration curriculum prepares students interested in physical activity and its impact on health and disease among individuals and the population.  In the concentration, students will learn about the different ways in which physical activity relates to disease prevention, health promotion intervention and behavioral change, public health practice, and public health policy. Students will be able to apply concepts in the curriculum to their research and practice.

Faculty Coordinators:
Harold W. (Bill) Kohl, III, PhD, MSPH –
Kelley P. Gabriel, PhD -

Office of Academic Affairs and Student Services:
For questions about the Physical Activity and Health Concentration you may also contact Sharon Cummings at or 713-500-9076.