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Learn About the Brownsville Regional Campus

Since January of 2000, the faculty at the Brownsville Regional Campus (BRC) has been committed to providing high quality, public health graduate education to the local residents of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, as well as to national and international students. Its strategic location in South Texas provides the opportunity for research in a Hispanic population (Mexican Americans) with marked socioeconomic disparities. Accordingly, the BRC is part of a broader initiative from the Texas State Legislature aimed at bringing high quality health education and research to this medically-underserved region of South Texas- the Regional Academic Health Center. Therefore, students have the opportunity to participate in health research with emphasis on prevention of chronic and infectious disease (i.e. diabetes, tuberculosis, streptococcal pneumonia and sexually transmitted diseases). Our campus offers multidisciplinary research programs involving genetics, immunology, bioinformatics, behavioral science, epidemiology, social science and environmental health research

Academic Programs

Brownsville Campus The UT School of Public Health BRC offers certificate programs, a general Master of Public Health degree, a Masters of Public Health degree in Epidemiology and a Masters of Public Health degree in Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences. The campus also offers two doctoral degrees: a Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology (PhD) and a Doctor of Public Health in Health Promotion (DrPH). Students in Brownsville are offered a dual degree MBA/MPH program in conjunction with UTB. Students applying to the BRC may also qualify for competitive scholarships offered by  UTSPH (school-wide) or BRC-specific scholarships.

Research Focus

The Hispanic Health Research Center (HHRC) is housed at the BRC. The center’s main focus is to reduce or eliminate health disparities that exist in Hispanics living in the South Texas Border Region and nationally. The diverse faculty interest provides a multidisciplinary, global approach to the center’s mission. Faculty represent the EHGES and Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences divisions which enables an integrated translational approach to public health in underserved areas through scientific discovery and community-based programs to improve health and prevent disease.

A Graduate Education in Public Health

Students of the Brownsville Regional Campus may enter into one of 8 degree seeking programs or into the Certificate of Public Health.

  • Certificate of Public Health
    • A five course, 16 credit survey of public health practice and theory. Designed to be completed in one year, this program is available online, in-class or as a hybrid.
  • Master of Public Health - General

    • A 45 credit hour professional level degree that prepares students for a variety of career tracks in the broader fields of health services, health and population based research, community based practice, disease and numerous other public health careers.
  • Master of Public Health - Epidemiology

    • A 45 credit hour professional level degree that is designed for students specifically seeking careers in epidemiology and disease control, or as preparation for advanced doctoral level studies in population based health and disease.
  • Master of Science - Epidemiology (MS)

    • The Master of Science  degree signifies scholarly accomplishment in a public health discipline and is offered to those who plan careers in teaching and research. 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
  • Master of Public Health - Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences

    • A 45 credit hour professional level degree that is designed to prepare students for careers of advanced studies in community based health services, health promotion and health related behavioral sciences.
  • Doctor of Philosophy - Epidemiology

    • A terminal research degree that is focused on epidemiology, disease control, surveillance and the greater practices health and disease. The PhD program is designed to be completed in 3-4 years with a minimum of 60 credit hours
  • Doctor of Public Health - Health Promotion

    • A terminal professional degree that is focused on the practice and application of population based health promotion, health services, accessibility and the greater practices of community based health. The DrPH program requires a minimum of 60 credit hours and combines classroom on field based learning.
  • Master of Public Health and Master of Business Administration with the University of Texas at Brownsville

    • The dual MPH/MBA program provides and accelerated platform for students to complete 2 professional degree in about 3 -3 1/2 years of fulltime study. Through a series of dual-credit courses, students will complete a 66 - 72 credit hour program, as opposed to the 85 - 96 hours required if taken individually
  • BS/MPH  with the University of Texas at Brownsville

    • Students enrolled at UTB have the opportunity to complete the Graduate Certificate in Public Health during their fourth year of undergraduate study. The BS/MPH allows for UTSPH graduate courses to satisfy advanced program electives in the majors of Biology, Psychology, Exercise Science, Mathematics and Kinesiology. Upon graduation from UTB, students will have the opportunity to complete the remaining MPH program requirements at UTSPH in one year. More Info

Applicant and Admissions Requirements


  • Certificate and Non Degree:
    • An earned Bachelor’s Degree with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above
    • One letter of reference highlighting your interest, potential or ability in public health
    • Complete the online application for certificate or non degree admission available through the UTHealth office of the registrar web page.
    • Application deadlines are March 1, July 1 and Oct 1 annually
  • Master’s of Public Health (General, Epidemiology or Health Promotion):

    • An earned Bachelor’s Degree with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above
    • Submission of official GRE general exam scores.
    • Two letters of reference highlighting your interest, potential or ability in public health.
    • Submit an original personal essay identifying your interest in our program and university, all submissions are Safe Assign verified.
    • Complete the online SOPHAS general application for admission
    • Complete the online supplemental application for master’s of public health admissions, available through the UTHSC Houston office of the registrar web page
    • Application deadlines are February 1 and August 1 annually
  • Doctoral Programs (PhD and DrPH):

    • An earned Bachelor’s Degree with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above
    • An earned Master’s degree in a discipline related to your program of application
    • Submission of official GRE general exam scores.
    • Two letters of reference highlighting your interest, potential or ability in public health.
    • Submit an original personal essay identifying your interest in our program and university, all submissions are Safe Assign verified
    • Complete the online SOPHAS general application for admission
    • Application deadlines are February 1 and August 1 annually
  • International Applicants:

    • Most applicants educated outside of the United States are also required to submit an official transcript evaluation from either ECE or WES and satisfactory scores of the TOEFL exam with their application; this also applies to certificate and non degree candidates.

Pre-enrollment Requirements

Upon acceptance to the University of Texas School of Public Health, Brownsville Regional Campus, all newly admitted students must complete a series of pre-enrollment requirements prior to being eligible to register for courses, these include;

A complete list of all services and requirements are available through the Office of Student Affairs webpage under, Newly Admitted Students.


Scholarship and Financial Assistance

Scholarship and Financial Assistance

  • Every applicant to the a degree program at the UTSPH is eligible for nomination for the New Student Scholarship, Recipients of the scholarship will have up to $1,000 per semester available to cover costs associated with tuition and fees for their first calendar year of study at the UTSPH (total of 3 semesters).
  • All students applying to the Brownsville Regional Campus will also be considered of .
  • Returning students have the opportunity to apply to the Serafy Foundation Scholarship, an award dedicated only to continuing Brownsville Regional Campus students and is based on academic merit.
  • Research is an integral part of the comprehensive learning experience in any graduate program. At the Brownsville Regional Campus, students are encouraged to apply to competitive Graduate Research and Graduate Teaching assistant positions. These positions are primarily available to returning students and are contingent on available funding and student qualifications.

Practicum Opportunities in Brownsville

Each MPH and DrPH student must complete a practicum experience prior to graduation. A practicum is a planned, supervised and evaluated “real-world” experience that allows you to use the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom and apply them in a community-based setting. The practicum should be directly relevant to the student’s educational and career goals.

PLEASE NOTE - It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that their practicum is properly documented in their academic record by:

Picking a practicum site by consulting with their advisor. Some examples of previous practicum experiences are:

  • Cameron County Department of Health San Benito, TX
  • Cameron County WIC (women infant and children), San Benito, TX
  • City of Brownsville Health Department Brownsville, TX
  • Department of State Health Services, Office of Border Health Regional 11 Harlingen, TX
  • Department of State Health Service, Infectious Disease Control Unit - Austin, TX
  • National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA
  • Indus Hospital - Karachi, Pakistan
  • La Fe Policy Research and Education Center San Antonio, TX
  • University of Texas at Brownsville, Department of Health and Human Services Brownsville, TX

Completing the online orientation and quiz.

Ensuring that a copy of the completed Learning Contract is placed in their file prior to the practicum’s start.

Registering for PHS 9997

And consulting with your advisor or contacting the Office of Public Health Practice for assistance as needed.

We would like this to be a combined effort, so if you find a great practicum/volunteer opportunity, please ask your preceptor/supervisor to fill out the Practicum Description Form and submit it via email to Brownsville Regional Campus and/or fax it to 956-882-5152 so that we may investigate the possibility of offering a similar opportunity with the same organization, to future students.

Info about Brownsville and the BRC

Campus FountainUT-SPH Brownsville regional campus also offers opportunities of collaborations with regional colleges such as UT-Brownsville and Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) at Edinburg. Both institutions have senior, qualified and highly enthusiastic faculty that are ready to collaborate on wide variety of projects such as infectious disease, health disparities, border health to name a few. Additionally the universities and institutes off a wide range of sophisticated core facilities to further research in the valley.


Missed Opportunities for Diagnosis and Treatment of Diabetes, Hypertension, and Hypercholesterolemia in a Mexican American Population
Socioeconomic Status and Prevalence of obesity and diabetes in a MA Community Cameron County Texas
Ancestral Effect on HOMA-IR Levels quantitated in a Mexican American population

Hispanic Health in Action

The faculty at the Brownsville Regional Campus integrate their expertise and research experience to improve Hispanic health in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. UTSPH at Brownsville houses the Hispanic Health Research Center and is located on the University of Texas Brownsville campus, adjacent to the UTB/TSC Life and Health Sciences Building. Facilities include the Clinical Research Unit, on-site laboratory facilities (BSL-2, BSL-3), Tu Salud Si Cuenta and the Blanca Ortiz Community Outreach Annex.

Faculty members are internationally recognized for their work in:

  • Obesity and diabetes prevention
  • Behavioral and environmental determinants of health
  • Infectious diseases, particularly those affecting diabetes and obese individuals

Faculty at the Brownsville Regional Campus draw on their extensive experiences to provide interactive teaching and research mentoring to our students. Students are encouraged to engage in the research process and to work with one or more faculty throughout their degree program. Many opportunities are available for our students to participate actively in funded research.

Areas of Research Concentration


Belinda Reininger: Designs and examines the effectiveness of interventions based on behavioral theory and the Ecological Model to improve health outcomes associated with obesity and related chronic diseases among Mexican Americans.

Infectious Disease

Blanca Restrepo: Studies the biological basis (immune dysfunction) for the higher susceptibility of diabetes patients to tuberculosis and explores the epidemiology of the association between both diseases in the Texas-Mexico border.

Social and Environmental

Ken Sexton: Current research focuses on evaluation of human exposure to environmental agents, assessment of cumulative health effects from chemical and non-chemical stressors, and analysis of environmental health policies.

Genetics, Obesity, Diabetes and Health Disparities

Susan Fisher-Hoch: Clinical, metabolic, immunological, proteomic and genetic studies, including gene expression, focused on understanding and preventing the complications of diabetes obesity and their complications. Translation of these studies to Global Health sites.

Joseph McCormick: Impact of obesity and diabetes on the mental, social and physical health, on the immune system and response to infectious diseases, as well as, intervention studies that could improve the health of the community. Long-term research includes viral hemorrhagic fevers and HIV.


Please contact our student coordinator for more information.

Jeanette L. Broshears


SPH - RAHC Building

One West University Blvd.

Brownsville, Texas 78520