Degree Programs

Degree Programs - Degree Programs

The Path to a Graduate Degree

UTHealth School of Public Health offers four degree programs leading to the skills necessary for public health careers. Professional degrees can be used for practicing public health outside of higher education the Master of Public Health (MPH) and the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH). Academic degrees are primarily used for teaching and research the Master of Science in Public Health (MS) and the Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health (PhD).

Students learn to conduct research on important public health concerns at the UTHealth School of Public Health while working with teams of faculty uncovering answers to urgent public health issues.

Professional Degrees

Academic Degrees

Choosing a Minor or Breadth Area

MS, DrPH and PhD students must choose a minor in a public health discipline outside of their major. The following minor requirements are listed for each public health discipline. Doctoral students are required to complete one minor area of study and one breadth area of study OR two minor areas of study. For further discussion about how your minor or breadth area can help you meet your career goals, please contact your faculty advisor.

For 2012-2014 Entering Students
For 2014-2016 Entering Students
For 2016-2018 Entering Students
For 2017-2018 Entering Students
For 2018-2019 Entering Students

MINOR AREAS OF STUDY

Department of Biostatistics and Data Science
Minor in Biostatistics
The department offers a minor course of study (nine (9) semester credit hours) for MS, DrPH, and PhD students who are majoring in other public health disciplines. Courses required for the minor include:

  • Masters students: PHM 1690 Introduction to Biostatistics in Public Health, PH 1700 Intermediate Biostatistics and at least two Biostatistics electives above PH 1700
  • Doctoral students: PHM 1690 Introduction to Biostatistics in Public Health, PH 1700 Intermediate Biostatistics and at least three Biostatistics electives above PH 1700

PH 1820 Regression Techniques is strongly recommended as an elective for all students.

Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences
Minor in Epidemiology
The department offers a minor course of study (nine (9) semester credit hours) for MS and PhD students majoring in other public health disciplines. Courses required for the minor include:

  • Masters students: PHM 2612 Epidemiology I & two Epidemiology electives
  • Doctoral students: PH 2615 Epidemiology II, PH 2710 Epidemiology III & one Epidemiology elective

Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences
Minor in Environmental Sciences
EOHS also offers a minor course of study (minimum nine (9) semester credit hours) for MS, DrPH, and PhD students majoring in other public health disciplines. The prerequisite science background for these courses is required to take the minor course of study in EOHS.

  • Masters students: PHWM 2100 Foundations of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences & two EOHS electives (PHM 2130 & PH 2175 are recommended)
  • Doctoral students: PHD 2135 Risk Analysis: Principles and Practice & PHWD 2106 Introduction to Doctoral Research Methods in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, OR PHWD 2108 Applied Epidemiological Analyses in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, OR PHWD 2760 Occupational Epidemiology; & an EOHS elective

Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences
Minor in Behavioral Sciences
The department offers a minor course of study (nine (9) semester credit hours) for MS, DrPH, and PhD students majoring in other public health disciplines. The requirements for a minor in Behavioral Sciences include three courses; at least one course from the Theory category and one course from the Methods category are required:

  • Theory Courses: PHD 1113 Advanced Methods for Planning and Implementing Health Promotion Programs OR PHD 1122 Health Promotion Theories for Individuals and Groups: Part I OR PHD 1123 Community Health Promotion Theory and Practice OR PHD 1227 Health Promotion Theories for Individuals and Groups: Part II
  • Methods Courses: PHD 1118 Qualitative Methods OR PH 1324 Applied Discrete Data Analysis using Stata OR PHD 1130 Applied Measurement Theory OR PHD 1132 Latent Variable Models and Factor Analysis OR PHD 1420 Quantitative Research Design for Behavioral Sciences AND PHD 1421 Quantitative Analysis for Behavioral Sciences OR PHD 1430 Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis, and Evidence-Based Public Health OR PHD 1431 Tools and Methods for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis

Department of Management, Policy and Community Health
Minor in Health Economics
The department offers a minor course of study (nine (9) semester credit hours) for MPH, MS, DrPH, and PhD students majoring in other public health disciplines. Student select three courses for a minor in Health Economics from the approved list:

  • PHD 3910 Health Economics
  • PH 3915 Methods for Economic Evaluation of Health Programs
  • PHD 3930 Econometrics in Public Health
  • PHD 3931 Advanced Econometrics
  • PHD 3935 Advanced Health Economics
  • PH 3998 Decision Analysis

Minor in Health Services Research
The department offers a minor course of study (nine (9) semester credit hours) for MPH, MS, DrPH, and PhD students majoring in other public health disciplines. Student select three courses for a minor in Health Services Research from the approved list:

  • PH 3920 Health Services Delivery and Performance
  • PHD 3926 Health Survey Research Design
  • PH 3940 Healthcare Outcomes and Quality Research
  • PHD 3945 Advanced Health Services Research Methods
  • PH 3998 Decision Analysis

Minor in Health Policy
The department offers a minor course of study (nine (9) semester credit hours) for MPH, MS, DrPH, and PhD students majoring in other public health disciplines. Student select three courses for a minor in Health Policy from the approved list:

  • PHD 3810 Health Policy in the United States
  • PHD 3812 Comparative Healthcare Systems: Policy Challenges and Economic Perspectives
  • PH 3815 Health Policy Analysis
  • PH 3738 Legal Issues in Healthcare
  • PHD 3830 Ethics and Policy
  • PH 3736 U.S. Healthcare Payment Systems and Policy

Minor in Healthcare Management
The department offers a minor course of study (nine (9) semester credit hours) for MPH, MS, DrPH, and PhD students majoring in other public health disciplines. Students complete a Healthcare Management related PH 9997 Practicum course & select three courses for a minor in Healthcare Management from the approved list:
  - Masters and DrPH students: PHM 3744 Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management in Health Services Organizations; PHM 3746 Evaluation and Improvement of Healthcare Quality; PHM 3720 Healthcare Finance; PH 3747 Healthcare Operations Management; PH 3735 Healthcare Strategic Management
  - PhD students: PHD 3846 Quality Management and Improvement in Healthcare; PHD 3721 Healthcare Finance; PHD 3998 Operations, Technology & Decision Management; PHD 3946 Strategy, Governance, and Leadership; PHD 3743 Organizational and Management Theory

Minor in Community Health Practice
The department offers a minor course of study (nine (9) semester credit hours) for MPH, MS, DrPH, and PhD students majoring in other public health disciplines. Student select three courses for a minor in Health Policy from the approved list:
  - Masters students: PHM 3630 Health Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation; PH 3998 Community Assessment Principles, Methods, and Technologies; PHM 3922 Economic and Social Determinants of Health; PHM 3620 Principles and Practice of Public Health
  - Doctoral students: PHD 3998 Working with Diverse Communities OR PHM 3800 Working with Diverse Communities & PHD 3998 Community Engagement and Community-Based Participatory Research & PHD 3998 Practice-Based Methods and Design

  

BREADTH AREAS OF STUDY

Doctoral students are required to complete one major area of study and two additional areas of study. The additional focus areas can be one minor area of study and one breadth area of study OR two minor areas of study. The following are some examples of Breadth topic areas, however a breadth area is not limited to the following. Specific courses can be changed to meet the individual needs of the student with the approval of the committee members.

Department of Biostatistics and Data Science
Bioinformatics Breadth
Courses required for the bioinformatics breadth includes 9 credit hours selected from:

  • PH 1980 Introduction to Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • PH 1982 Evolution of DNA and Protein Sequences
  • PH 1984 Population Genetics
  • PH 1985 Data Mining and Statistical Learning
  • PH 1986 Introduction to Statistical Genetics
  • PH 1998 ST: Advanced Multivariate Analysis with Applications to Genomic Science
  • PH 2782 Practical Computational Genetics and Bioinformatics
  • PH 2998 ST: Computational Genomics and NGS Data Analysis

Department of Management, Policy and Community Health
Leadership Breadth
DrPH students are highly recommended to select a breadth in Leadership. Courses required include 9 credit hours from the following:

  • PH 5200 Foundations of Leadership
  • PH 3815 Health Policy Analysis
  • PH 3825 Public Health Law
  • PH 3830 Ethics and Policy
  • PHD 3946 Strategy, Governance, and Leadership
  • PHD 3950 Advanced Leadership Studies in Public Health
  • PHD 5210 Selected Readings in Leadership Studies
  • PH 5220 Gender and Leadership

Quantitative Methods Breadth
DrPH students in Community Health Practice are recommended to select a breadth area in Leadership or Methods. Substitutions in either recommended breadth may be made with approval of the student’s committee.

  • PH 2710 Epidemiology III
  • PHD 2711 Epidemiology IV
  • PH 2998 Applied Epidemiology
  • PH 1820 Regression Techniques
  • PH 1119 Qualitative Analysis
  • PHD 3918 Geographic Information Systems Science
  • PH 3998 Demography for Public Health

Healthcare Information Technology Management (HITM) Breadth
Selection of courses for the HITM breadth could depend on whether the student is pursuing a major or minor within the MPACH department. Students are expected to seek guidance from the HITM coordinator in selection of courses. Courses required include 9 credit hours from the following:

  • PHD 3750 Policy Issues of Health IT or HI 6324 Health Information Technology Policy*
  • PHD 3998 Health Care Delivery in EHR Enabled Environment or HI 6328 Health Care Delivery in EHR Enabled Environment*
  • PHD 3998 Operations, Technology, and Decision Management
  • HI 5327 Standards in Health Informatics*
  • HI 5381 Methods of Public Health Informatics*

 *These courses are offered by UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics

How Will Your Work Count?

A student is classified full-time if enrolled in at least nine semester credit hours during the Fall or Spring semesters, at least six semester credit hours during a 12-week Summer session, or at least three semester credit hours during each six-week Summer session. Full-time students generally enroll in 12-16 credit hours per semester. A minimum of three credit hours must be taken in each semester a student is enrolled. Students are expected to enroll in culminating experience, thesis, or dissertation hours during the time that resources are being used in this endeavor. All courses taken by students accumulate semester credit hours, but no more than a combined total of six credit hours earned for culminating/thesis/dissertation research plus the practicum experience may be counted toward the total credit hour minimum of the degree.

What Classes Will You Take?

A course generally consists of a combination of lectures, discussion periods, directed reading, and individual study and inquiry. Courses may be taken in a classroom, online or via Interactive Television when offered. Courses are letter-graded or pass/fail. All courses satisfying the MPH core requirements are letter-graded. Elective courses may be letter-graded or pass/fail at the discretion of the instructor. Credits earned at other institutions prior to enrollment at the UTHealth School of Public Health shall not be applied to SPH transcripts or counted toward graduation requirements. Through reciprocal agreements, however, students enrolled at the UTHealth School of Public Health may take courses for credit at affiliated institutions.

Becoming a Student

Enrollment is required in the semester in which the research proposal is submitted and continuously through the semester in which all requirements for graduation are completed. Enrollment is also required in the semester in which the qualifying examination (doctoral programs) is taken and in the semester in which the student is involved in a practicum/internship (MPH and DrPH programs). Students must maintain enrollment in the School so that any absence from the program does not exceed one calendar year (three consecutive semesters) unless a formal leave of absence is obtained. General and specific requirements for degrees may be altered in successive catalogs. A student is bound by the requirements of the catalog in force at the time of his/her admission or readmission; however, a student must complete all degree requirements within seven years or be subject to the degree requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of graduation.

A student is classified “full-time” if enrolled in at least nine semester credit hours during the Fall or Spring semesters, at least six semester credit hours during a 12-week Summer session, or at least three semester credit hours during each six-week Summer session. Full-time students generally enroll in 12-16 credit hours per semester. A minimum of three credit hours must be taken in each semester a student is enrolled. Students are expected to enroll in culminating experience, thesis, or dissertation hours during the time that resources are being used in this endeavor. All courses taken by students accumulate semester credit hours, but no more than a combined total of six credit hours earned for culminating experience plus the practicum may be counted toward the total credit hour minimum of the masters degree. Nine combined dissertation and practicum hours may be counted for the doctoral degree.

The Clock is Ticking…

Students are expected to complete master’s degree programs (MPH and MS) within five years and doctoral degree programs (DrPH and PhD) within seven years. In case of extenuating circumstances, a student may request a one-year extension provided there is adequate justification. The possibility of a second year of extension exists for extraordinary circumstances. Students who do not graduate within the approved time limit must be readmitted to the school in order to complete the degree program in effect at the time of readmission.