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Master of Public Health and Doctor of Philosophy in Health Informatics Dual Degree Program
2007-2009 Student Handbook

Program Description and Goals Dual Degree Application Process Sample Curriculum

Program Description and Goals

The MPH/PhD dual degree programs combine the M.P.H. from The University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston with the Ph.D. degree from The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at Houston. The training and curriculum in the dual degree program will provide students and future leaders in public health the necessary skills to be leaders in the field of Public Health Informatics. The dual degree program provides an integrated curriculum that includes a number of shared courses as well as a practicum experience and/or the thesis topic in the area of public health informatics. The selection of specific academic programs, and scheduling of specific courses, fieldwork, and practica for individual students is guided by an Advising Committee, which includes faculty from both institutions.

Students in the dual degree program must satisfy admission requirements of and be admitted separately to each program. Students must meet the requirements of each program for its respective degree. Admission to one program does not assure admission to the other. Students in the dual degree program will receive a diploma from each degree program after meeting the individual requirements of each program.

Keith Burau, Ph.D.
1200 Herman Pressler Dr.,
Houston, TX 77030
(713) 500-9472
Ed Hsu, Ph.D.
7000 Fannin, Ste 840
Ste 600
Houston, TX 77030
(713) 500-3969

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Dual Degree Application Process

Persons wishing to enter a degree program in the School of Health Information Sciences are requested to submit the following to the Office of the Registrar:

  1. A completed application form
  2. A $30 non-refundable application fee
  3. Official transcripts covering all periods of enrollment in accredited institutions of higher education. Applicants should request the institution to mail or deliver electronically official (original) transcripts directly to the Registrar’s Office. A grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4. 0-point scale is preferred. All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an independent service. Educators Credential Evaluators is recommended. See
  4. Letters of recommendation from at least three persons who are qualified to evaluate the applicant’s health informatics work related experience, academic or professional performance, ability, motivation, and character.
  5. Satisfactory scores obtained on the general test of the Miller’s Analogy Test (MAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are required for applicants to all programs. Generally, a combined minimum score of 1140 is expected on the combined two sections of the GRE exam or a score of 432 on the MAT exam.
  6. Copies of any published papers, reports, or other material that may provide information about the ability and performance of the applicant. These cannot be returned.
  7. A letter describing the applicant’s motivation and health informatics-related goals. These goals and interests may be expressed in terms of career path, research or community service areas of interest, and personal aspirations. The applicant may include a description of work or other significant life experiences that relate to his or her motivation, qualifications or academic record.
  8. Applicants who are nationals of countries where English is not the primary language are requested to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 550 on the paper test, a minimum score of 213 on the computer test, or a score on the internet based test of writing 26, speaking 23, reading 21, listening 17, and total of 87 is required for admission.
  9. A student criminal background check is required for all that are offered admission to the school. This report must be received by the Director of Admissions before registration is allowed. Foreign nationals are not required to meet this student background check unless they have been in the United States for more than two years.
  10. Interview with the students’ admissions committee as appropriate with the review of the documents and test scores submitted to the Registrar’s Office.
  11. Applicants to the School of Health Information Sciences are to designate the area of interest of study on the application.

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Sample Curriculum: Full-Time MPH/MS Student

Basic courses

  • Foundations of Health Information Science I
  • Principles of Public Health Informatics
  • Social and Behavioral Aspects of Community Health

Research courses

  • Introduction to Biostatistics
  • Grant Writing
  • Cognitive Engineering I
  • 6 hours from the list of approved courses

Advanced courses

  • Health Data Display
  • Outcomes, Evaluation and Quality in Healthcare
  • Technology Assessment in Healthcare
  • Knowledge Acquisition
  • Clinical Datamining
  • Health Services Delivery and Performance
  • 6 hours from the list of approved courses

Support courses

  • Introduction to Epidemiology
  • Introduction to Population and Environment Assessment
  • Practicum in Public Health
  • Preceptorship in HI
  • Research in HI
  • Research Seminar
  • Dissertation

Requirements for MPH/PhD in Informatics

  • 6 hours must be in basic HI courses
  • 6 hours must be in research HI courses
  • 12 hours must be in advanced HI courses
  • 15 hours must satisfy the core courses in the MPH Discipline requirement. MPH Core courses must be a letter grade.
  • Specified HI courses may be substituted with other HI courses with the approval of their advising committee.
For Public Health Information, contact:
Keith Burau, Ph.D.
1200 Herman Pressler Dr.,
Houston, TX 77030
(713) 500-9472
Ed Hsu, Ph.D.
7000 Fannin, Ste 840
UCT 600
Houston, TX 77030
(713) 500-3969

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