Population Health Sciences Program

Reductions in morbidity and mortality during the 20th century resulted in large part from effective health promotion and disease prevention programs. In the 21st century, these activities will continue to be central to improving population health and reducing health disparities. The Population Health Sciences (PHS) Graduate Program prepares students to conduct, communicate, and apply research aimed at the protection, promotion, and restoration of health in human populations. 

Curricula within the Program share a population health perspective that explores the interplay of individual biological and behavioral factors with aspects of the physical, social, and policy environments. Research focuses on health risks, determinants, outcomes, and interventions in clinical and community settings and in unique occupational or patient groups.

Training emphasizes the development and mastery of high-level quantitative skills in data collection and analysis.

Mission & Goals 

Mission Statement

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;
  • Providing interdisciplinary expertise in the service of academic, professional, and community-based public health organizations.
Goals Statement

Our established values, goals and objectives guide us in our efforts to accomplish our stated mission. We have developed broad goals and measurable objectives for the program and for each of its major functions; instruction, research, and service, as well as workforce development, resources and administration.

Degree Requirements

The M.S. and Ph.D. curriculum plans include core program requirements as well as curriculum specific courses. Research projects and elective courses can be tailored to meet individual student’s interests and career goals. All applications for Population Health Sciences must be complete by April 1st to be considered for admission for the fall semester.


PhD Students

  • Complete your final draft of your dissertation
  • Set up a date for your oral defense. You must complete a Request for Final Oral Exam form. (You can find this on the GSBS website, http://gsbs.utmb.edu/, by clicking Current Students, Ready for Graduation, Request for Final Oral Exam). This form must be completed and turned in to the Graduate School 2 weeks prior to the defense date.

  • On the day of your defense you will have to have the members of your committee sign the signature page (in black ink) for your dissertation, as well as sign a Report of Final Oral Exam Form (this form can be found following the instructions above.)
  • After your defense, you will make any changes to your dissertation required by your committee and then submit it to Dr. Peek as a word document so that she can run it through the ithenticate software.
  • Once approved, you will submit the dissertation to Dr. Joan Nichols in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Nichols will review the document and let you know if there are changes, or if you can go ahead and upload it to the Electronic Thesis Dissertation (ETD) website.
  • Complete the Graduation Packet. This can be found on the GSBS website - http://gsbs.utmb.edu/, by clicking Current Students, Ready for Graduation, Graduation Packet. You should make sure that all items on the checklist are complete and then turn them in to the Program Coordinator. They, in turn, will keep a copy for your file and turn it in to the GSBS for you.
PhD General Curricular Plan
General Curricular Plan


For Discussion


The PHS Graduate Program includes faculty from several clinical and basic science departments providing students access to facilities across the campus. Facilities associated with the individual curricular tracks can be made available to all PHS students with related research interests. PHS 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 United Health enrollees. 

PHS courses and curricula provide a unique interdisciplinary and interprofessional experience. M.D. and Ph.D. teaching faculty members come from a range of clinical and population health science disciplines and have varied areas of research expertise. Students enrolled in PHS and its affiliated degree programs (Clinical Science and Public Health) include medical students, residents and fellows, nurses, physical therapists and other health professionals, and traditional graduate students. 


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

p. (409) 772-6635

M. Kristen Peek, PhD

M. Kristen Peek, PhD
Director, Population Health Sciences Graduate Program

Briley, Richard

  Richard Briley, M.Ed.
  Admin Education Coordinator
  PHS  Graduate Program
  p. (409) 772-6635

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