Master of Science (MS)


Master of Science (MS)

The Master of Science (MS) degree signifies scholarly accomplishment in a public health discipline and is offered to those who plan careers in teaching and research.

These research fields each have a theory, a body of knowledge and a set of methods that define it. They interrelate substantially, however, and constitute much of the broad field of public health. Since in depth preparation in such a multiplicity of fields is manifestly impossible, the student is expected to focus in one or a few areas and gain an understanding of the interrelations within the array.

Each MS student selects one field as a major and another public health discipline as a minor area of study. To a large extent, the program will be arranged by each student in consultation with the faculty advisor to meet the student’s specific educational goals. A student elects one of these fields as a major and selects another public health discipline as a minor area of study. MS students are required to complete a minimum of 36 semester credit hours of required coursework. The majority of full-time MS students take at least two years to complete all degree requirements. For more information regarding a minor, please see the catalog.

Each degree program has a set of competencies explaining the content students will have learned upon completing the degree.

MS Degree Programs and Degree Plans


The MS degree program is ordinarily a two-year, full-time program. Training is offered in research design, basic statistical theory, data analysis, computer applications, and statistical consultation. Graduates of the program are expected to have prepared themselves to assume intermediate statistical posts in government, private health agencies, or in health research programs. The program emphasizes fundamental statistical theory and methods and provides the basis for doctoral level biostatistical studies. For more information on a MS degree in Biostatistics, please visit the Biostatistics division web page.

Campus: Houston

Fall 2013 to Summer 2014 MS Biostatistics Degree Planner
Fall 2012 to Summer 2013 MS Biostatistics Degree Planner
Fall 2011 to Summer 2012 MS Biostatistics Degree Planner
Fall 2010 to Summer 2011 MS Biostatistics Degree Planner


The MS in Epidemiology is a research degree designed to provide an understanding of epidemiologic concepts, theories and methodology. Adequate understanding of human diseases, including their natural history, etiology, pathogenesis, and prevention or control, may require moderate or advanced preparation in related laboratory or environmental sciences. Students are encouraged to draw upon outside resources (academic, governmental, clinical, etc.) in order to acquire knowledge and skills requisite to their specific educational goals. The MS program offers students the opportunity to prepare themselves for intermediate or higher positions in government, or private health agencies, or in research projects with an epidemiologic orientation. For more information on a MS degree in Epidemiology, please visit the Epidemiology division web page.

Campuses: Houston, Austin, Brownsville, Dallas, San Antonio

Fall 2013 to Summer 2014 MS Epidemiology Degree Planner
Fall 2012 to Summer 2013 MS Epidemiology Degree Planner
Fall 2011 to Summer 2012 MS Epidemiology Degree Planner
Fall 2010 to Summer 2011 MS Epidemiology Degree Planner

For Degree Planners prior to Fall 2010, please contact Nesh Aqrawi

Please note: The full range of courses to support a minor or breadth area may not be available at all regional campuses.


Degree Requirements

Satisfactory completion of a prescribed course of study, including one major and one minor, of at least one academic year and at least 36 semester credit hours (a maximum of six combined credit hours of practicum or thesis count toward the minimum of 36 credit hours, therefore at least 30 credit hours of courses must be taken other than practicum or thesis); Satisfactory completion of one Epidemiology course, if not already covered in the major, minor or breadth area; Satisfactory completion of PHM 5010 Ethics in Public Health and Health Care; and Satisfactory completion of a research thesis, written in English, deemed by the faculty to be of excellent quality and to demonstrate an appropriate depth of knowledge in the field of study.

For more information on the written research thesis, please see the Student Research webpage.

If approved by the student’s Advisory Committee, a student may elect to include an article of publishable quality consistent with the standards of a peer-reviewed journal. The article is a part of the final submission to the Office of Research and contains all supporting elements of an acceptable research thesis. All completed theses will be made available to the public. All courses taken by students count toward their degree, but no more than six (6) semester credit hours of the 36 credit hour minimum may be earned for thesis research.


Mentorship and Advising

An academic advisor is assigned to each student at the time of admission. One additional member to represent the minor discipline from the UTSPH is required for MS students. The member representing the minor discipline will be chosen by the student. Committee membership is approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

MS – All

* Advisor (same division/discipline)
* 2nd member (minor discipline – internal)
3rd member (optional)

*UTSPH Faculty
Academic Advisor = Chair of committee
Any Committee Member may serve as the supervisor for the project
Concentration(s) – if applicable, must be represented on committee
Minor = 9 credit hours and at least 3 courses beyond the core


Practicing Your Skills

MS students are encouraged to include a practice experience in their education plan as well, but it is not required. A practicum consists of an organized internship at an agency or organization located outside the UTSPH engaged in work related to public health, or located in a UTSPH Center or project that interacts with practice agencies.