The Public Health Program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) to offer the MPH degree.


The Public Health Program is an institutional member of the Council of Graduate Programs in Public Health of the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR).



Public Health - Epidemiology

The Public Health Program at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) is administered by the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health (PMCH).  The program was pre-accredited in 1999 and has been fully accredited since 2002 by the national accrediting body, the Council for Education on Public Health (CEPH). 

We provide students with the knowledge, skills, and values needed to succeed in careers that bridge medicine and public health. Graduates earn the Master of Public Health (MPH) Degree.. Medical students complete the public health degree as part of a five-year MD-MPH dual degree program. Graduate students may integrate public health training into their doctoral studies to complete the PhD-MPH dual degree program.

We offer a 1-year accelerated MPH degree for students who qualify. This includes students with at least two years of full-time, post-baccalaureate, health-related work experience or dual-degree students (e.g., MD-MPH, PhD-MPH). 

The Public Health Program at UTMB offers a professional MPH degree with an Epidemiology track, a Biostatistics track, and an Aerospace Medicine track.  The Epidemiology and Biostatistics tracks are open to all applicants.  The Aerospace Medicine track is open only to Preventive Medicine residents.  The Public Health Program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and values they will need to work in fields that combine preventive medicine, community health, and public health.  

As of Summer 2017, 144 graduates have earned the MPH degree.  Degrees from the PMCH graduate programs, including the MPH, are awarded by the UTMB Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS).  The instructional and related educational activities of the Public Health Program are supervised by the Graduate Program Director for the Public Health Program (Cara Pennel, DrPH, MPH).  The coordination of the Public Health Program with other PMCH graduate programs and curricular tracks is directed by the Vice Chair for Education (Kristen Peek, PhD).  The leadership of PMCH and oversight of education, research and service activities is guided by the PMCH-SOM Department Chair (Laura Rudkin, PhD).  

The PMCH-GSBS Program administers five graduate degree programs: Public Health
(Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Aerospace Medicine Tracks), Population Health Sciences, Clinical Science, Rehabilitation Sciences and Medical Humanities.  

Mission & Values

The MISSION of the Public Health Program at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston is to contribute to the protection and promotion of health in human populations by:

  • Preparing students to practice skillful and evidence-based preventive medicine and public health;
  • Conducting and communicating research that informs the diverse fields within public health; and
  • Providing interdisciplinary expertise in the service of academic, professional, and community-based public health organizations.

We work toward this mission through the development, integration, and continual improvement of activities from our rigorous instructional program, collaborative and productive research agendas, and wide-ranging service commitments.

The Public Health Program core VALUES are informed by UTMB values. These are:

  • Education.We are committed to life-long learning for our students, staff, faculty and community.
  • Innovation.We always think of new ways to do things better.
  • Diversity.We are committed to employ and educate a health care work force whose diversity mirrors the populations they serve.
  • Service.We have a burning commitment to serve the health care needs of all Texans, regardless of their ability to pay.
  • Community.We are committed to making our community a better place to live and work

The institution’s core values were reaffirmed and expanded upon by PMCH faculty members during a strategic planning process in 2005.  The faculty and staff charged with developing a departmental strategic plan began the process by identifying shared values.  The PMCH consensus value statement included:

  • Integrity.We fulfill our duties and responsibilities in an open, honest, and ethical manner.
  • Collegiality.We value cooperation and collaboration.We are respectful of our colleagues, co-workers, and community members.
  • Effectiveness.We are committed to being effective, efficient and productive in our teaching, research, and service activities.
  • Responsiveness.We are flexible and adaptable. Within our areas of expertise, we are prepared to respond to institutional and community needs as they arise.



Steps for Graduation





The MPH Program involves faculty from several clinical and basic science departments providing students access to research facilities across the campus.  Adjunct faculty members in the MPH Program are primarily public health professionals who provide students research and practice opportunities in community and occupational settings. Key community partners include: Galveston County Health District, St. Vincent’s Clinic, The Jesse Tree, and Frontera de Salud. MPH faculty members have access to and experience with a wide range of population health data sets including: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), the Hispanic Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly (H-EPESE), cancer data from the SEER Program, the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS), Medicare data, the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), mortality data for the Department of Energy nuclear workers, and health insurance claims data on approximately 36 Million private health insurance and enrollees.  MPH faculty members also have expertise working with data from clinical records, emergency room visits, and the correctional health care system.


Each year we host a public health symposium during National Public Health Week. The symposium features a keynote speaker and research poster session, in which many of our students and faculty display and discuss their work.


Preventive Medicine Graduate Programs
University of Texas Medical Branch
301 University Boulevard
Galveston, Texas 77555-1110

p. (409) 772-6635

Cara Pennel, DrPh, MPH
Director, Public Health Graduate Program
(409) 772-2288


UTMB ~ The University of Texas Medical Branch
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© 2013 The University of Texas Medical Branch. Please review our site policies and required links.The Department of Preventive Medicine & Community Health, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, Texas 77555-1150. Phone 409.772.1128. Fax 409.772.5272
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