Degree Programs

Degree Programs - Degree Programs

The Path to a Graduate Degree

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (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

2014 - 2016 ENTERING STUDENTS

MINOR AREAS Of STUDY

BIOSTATISTICS MINOR

Course of study - required:

  • At least nine (9) semester credit hours for MS, DrPH and PhD students majoring in other public health disciplines;
  • Courses required for the minor:
    • For MS students, minor requirements are: PH 1700 Intermediate Biostatistics and two biostatistics courses above PH1700.
    • For doctoral students, minor requirements are: PH 1700 Intermediate Biostatistics (or the equivalent) and three biostatistics courses above PH1700.

PH 1820 Regression Techniques (formerly Applied Statistical Analysis I) is strongly recommended for the minor for all degree programs.

EPIDEMIOLOGY MINOR

Course of study - required:

  • Nine semester credit hours (9) for MS, DrPH, and PhD students majoring in other public health disciplines.
    • For MS students, minor requirements are:
      • PHM 2612 - Epidemiology I (3 credits)
      • Two electives in Epidemiology (6 credits). PH 2615 and 2710 are recommended.
    • For doctoral students, minor requirements are:

      • PH 2615 - Epidemiology II (3 credits)
      • PH 2710 - Epidemiology III (3 credits)
      • At least one additional course in Epidemiology (PH 2711 Epidemiology IV, 3 credits, recommended)

ENVIRONMENTAL AND OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SCIENCES MINOR

Course of study - required:

  • Minimum nine semester credit hours (9) for MS, DrPH and PhD students majoring in other public health disciplines.
  • Courses for the MS minor include:
    • PHWM 2100 Foundations of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (required)
    • PHM 2130 Recognition of Environmental and Occupational Hazards (recommended)
    • PH 2175 Toxicology I (recommended)
  • Courses for the DrPH and PhD minor include:

    • One of the following courses:
      • PHD 2135 Risk Analysis – Principles and Practice, OR PHD 2190 Environmental and Occupational Health Policy
    • One of the following courses:

      • 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
    • Any other EOHS course, at master’s or doctoral level, may be used to fulfill the remaining credit hour obligations

The prerequisite science background for these courses is required to take the minor in EOHS.

HEALTH PROMOTION AND BEAHVIORAL SCIENCES MINOR

Course of study - required:

  • Nine semester credit hours (9) for MS, DrPH and PhD students majoring in other public health disciplines.
  • The requirements for a minor in behavioral sciences include three courses from the department of HP/BS. Courses should cover primary theory and methods in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences and/or program evaluation and intervention development (especially for the DrPH student).

The following courses, though not required, are offered as suggestions for the minor:

Theory Courses

  • PHD 1113 Advanced Methods for Planning and Implementing Health Promotion Programs
  • PHD 1122 Health Promotion Theory and Methods: A Teaching and Learning Experience for Doctoral Students
  • PHD 1123 Health Promotion Theory and Methods II
  • PHD 1227 Advanced and Emerging Theories in Health Promotion

Methods Courses

  • PHM 1118 Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
  • PHD 1121 Advanced Methods in Program Evaluation
  • PHD 1130 Applied Measurement Theory
  • PHD 1132 Latent Variable Models and Factor Analysis
  • PHD 1420 and PHD 1421 Research Design and Analysis in Behavioral Sciences I and II
  • PHD 1425 Applied Multivariate Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
  • PHD 1430 Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis, and Evidence-Based Public Health
  • PH 1498 Categorical Data Analysis

MANAGEMENT, POLICY AND COMMUNITY HEALTH MINOR

Course of study - required:

  • Nine semester credit hours (9) for MS, DrPH, and PhD students majoring in other public health disciplines.
  • Students are expected to take courses focusing in one of the following areas:
    •  Health Economics/Health Services Research, Health Policy, Healthcare Management, or Community Health Practice.
  • In general, the courses in each topic area should be chosen from the following sets of courses
  • HE/HSR:

    • PHD 3910 Health Economics
    • PH 3915 Methods for Economic Evaluation of Health Programs
    • PHD 3930 Econometrics in Public Health
    • PH 3931 Advanced Econometrics
    • PH 3940 Healthcare Outcomes and Quality Research
    • PHD 3920 Health Services Delivery and Performance
    • PHD 3935 Advanced Health Economics
    • PHD 3926 Health Survey Research Design
    • PH 3998 Decision Analysis
  • Health Policy

    • 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 3850 Translating Research into Policy
    • PH 3736 Healthcare Payment Systems and Policy
  • Healthcare Management

    • PH 3744 Understanding Organizational Behavior in Healthcare Organizations
    • PHD 3846 Quality Management and Improvement in Healthcare
    • PHM 3746 Quality Management and Improvement in Healthcare
    • PHD 3721 Healthcare Finance
    • PHM 3720 Healthcare Finance
    • PH 3738 Legal Issues in Healthcare
    • PHD 3998 Introduction to Healthcare Management Research
    • PHD 3998 Ops/Tech/Decision Management
    • PH 3747 Healthcare Operations Management
    • PH 3749 Information Technology in Healthcare Management
    • PH 3736 Healthcare Payment Systems and Policy
    • PHD 3946 Doctoral Seminar in Governance, Management & Leadership
    • PH 3735 Healthcare Strategic Management
  • Community Health Practice

    • MS Minor requirements (select 3)
      • PHM 3630 Health Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation
      • PH 3998 Community Assessment Concepts, Methods, and Technologies
      • PHM 3922 Economic and Social Determinants of Health
      • PH 3620 Principles and Practice of Public Health
    • DrPH Minor requirements

      • PHD 1118 Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
      • PHD 3998 Diversity
      • PHD 3998 CHP Core I: Principles and Methods

Specific courses can be changed to meet the individual needs of the student with the approval of the MPACH member of the student committee.  If the committee does not have a MPACH member, the student is expected to seek guidance from a MPACH faculty member in their desired Minor area in choosing Minor courses as described above.

BREADTH AREAS OF STUDY

Each doctoral student requires 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 listed below, 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.

LEADERSHIP BREADTH

DrPH students are highly recommended to select a breadth in Leadership.

Courses (Choose any of the courses listed or others as defined by your committee for a total of 9 credits)

PH 5200 Foundations of Leadership (3 credits)
PH3815 Health Policy Analysis (3 credits)
PH3825 Public Health Law (3 credits)
PH 3830 Ethics and Policy (3 credits)
PHD 3946 Doctoral Seminar in Governance, Management & Leadership (3 credits)
PHD 3950 Advanced Leadership Studies in Public Health (3 credits)
PH 5210 Selected Readings in Leadership Studies (1-2 credits)
PH 5220 Women and Leadership (2 credits)

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.

Courses (Choose any of the courses listed or others as defined by your committee for a total of 9 credits)

PH 2710 Epidemiology III (3 credits)
PHD 2711 Epidemiology IV (3 credits)
PH 3998 Demography for Public Health (3 credits)
PH 2998 Applied Epidemiology (3 credits)
PH 1820 Regression Techniques (3 credits)
PH 1119 Qualitative Analysis (3 credits)
PH 3998 Geographic Information Systems Science (3 credits)

HEALTHCARE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT (HITM)

Courses (Choose at least 1 or 2 of the HI courses listed below AND 1 or 2 of the UTSPH Courses or others as defined by your committee for a total of 9 credits)

HI 5381 Methods of Public Health Informatics, School of Biomedical Informatics (3 credits)
HI 5327 Standards in Health Informatics, School of Biomedical Informatics (3 credits)
PHD 3998 Operations, Technology, and Decision Management (3 credits)
PHD 3998 Policy Issues of Health IT - co taught by UTSPH and SBMI (3 credits)
PHD 3998 Health Care Delivery in EHR Enabled Environment - co taught by UTSPH and SBMI (3 credits)

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.