Master of Public Health and Doctor of Philosophy in
Biomedical Informatics Dual Degree Program
2018-2020 Student Handbook

Program Description and Goals Dual Degree Application Process Transfer Credit Financial Assistance
Degree Requirements for the Master of Science in Health Informatics      

Program Description and Goals

The MPH/PhD dual degree program combines the MPH from The University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston with the PhD degree from The University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics 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 academic advisor from SBMI and an advising committee, which can include faculty from both UTHealth schools.

The PhD part of the program in Biomedical Informatics is conceptualized and designed to be inherently multi-disciplinary and integrative. This means that the fundamental informatics concepts that transcend and apply to all traditional healthcare disciplines will be emphasized in the PhD program. This program will identify and teach the major informatics concepts that integrate and link diverse health disciplines.

The PhD program in Biomedical Informatics is constructed as a post-baccalaureate degree that not only addresses the knowledge and skills that the student brings at admission, but allows the student to build on previous knowledge and skills in order to attain the research focus needed for the completion of the PhD program in Biomedical Informatics.

Formal study of informatics at the PhD level at UTHealth is designed to accomplish these major goals:

  • Expand the scope of the discipline of Biomedical Informatics
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the Biomedical Informatics research literature, including in-depth knowledge of a selected Biomedical Informatics research area.
  • Research and evaluate new regions or domains in Biomedical Informatics
  • Lead interdisciplinary teams in the search for solutions to Biomedical Informatics problems
  • Effectively communicate research findings to peers and to practitioners who can use the research findings

Students in the dual degree program must be admitted separately to each UTHealth school. Students must meet the requirements of each UTHealth school for its respective degree. Admission to one program does not ensure 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 UTHealth school. Admission does not have to be done at the same semester for each school, but must be done before reaching the maximum hours set by each school.

Program Required Semester Credit Hours
PhD in Biomedical Informatics (PhD) 93
Master’s in Public Health (MPH) 45
Total Semester Credits 138
Shared Courses -24
GRAND TOTAL FOR COMBINED DEGREES 114

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Dual Degree Application Process

Students in the dual degree program must be admitted separately to each UTHealth school. The application process for the Master of Public Health is determined by the School of Public Health, so students must contact the School of Public Health Student Affairs office for details. The application process for the Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Informatics is determined by the School of Biomedical Informatics. Refer to the standard PhD program application process.

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Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is not accepted for students enrolled in the dual degree program due to the amount of shared credit hours between SBMI and SPH.

Shared Credit Hours

Courses that are accepted at SBMI through a dual or joint degree program can only be transferred into the SBMI degree plan if the grade earned in the course is a “B” or higher. Courses for which grades of less than “B” were earned will not be accepted for transfer.

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Financial Assistance

Financial assistance packages and research assistantships will be available to all students on a competitive basis to facilitate full-time doctoral education.

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Degree Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Informatics

Refer to page 58 of this catalog for the Degree Requirements, Course of Study, Prerequisites, Additional Required Courses, Core Competencies, Progression, Qualifying Exam.

Advanced Preceptorship, Advancement to Candidacy, Dissertation, Petitioning for Extension policies for the PhD in Biomedical Informatics.

For Dual Degree Program Information, contact:

UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics Office of Academic Affairs
7000 Fannin Street Suite 650
Houston, Texas 77030
Telephone: (713) 500-3591
Email: SBMIAcademics@uth.tmc.edu

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