Public Health


Americans die sooner, are unhealthier, and have poorer quality of life than those in other high-income countries. The profession of public health continually strives to improve the health of communities and populations by preventing infectious and chronic disease, promoting and encouraging healthy behaviors, protecting against environmental hazards, preventing injuries, responding to disasters and assisting communities in recovery, and assuring the quality and accessibility of health services. In fact, the Bureau of Labor statistics projects that the workforce will add 15.6 million public health jobs by 2022.

Public health researchers investigate the interplay of individual biological and behavioral factors with aspects of the physical, social, and policy environments in both clinical and community settings.

The Graduate Program in Public Health has been fully accredited since 2002 by the national accrediting body, the Council for Education on Public Health (CEPH). The program also offers opportunities for students interested in pursuing dual degrees (MD/MPH and PhD/MPH) and a non-degree certificate. 

The mission of the Public Health Program at the UTMB 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.

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, and diversity.

As of September 2018, UTMB's MPH program is admitting students year round! If you're interested in applying, please submit your applications by:

  • May 1st for Fall entry
  • October 1st for Spring entry
  • February 1st for Summer entry

For more information on the application process, please click here.


  • A minimum of 42 credit hours
  • Core courses in public health
    • Public Health Practice (PHS 6070)
    • Foundations in Public Health (PHS 6335)
    • Public Health Applications (PHS 6324)
    • Introduction to Epidemiology (PHS 6330)
    • Applied Statistical Methods (PHS 6347)
    • Health Policy and Management (PHS 6384)
  • Curricular track and elective courses
  • An Ethics of Scientific Research course
  • Completion of Integrative Learning Experience

Accreditation & Affiliations

The Public Health Program at UTMB is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and is a proud member of the Association for Schools & Programs of Public Health (ASPPH).                                         




Council of Graduate Programs in Public Health logo


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.

In addition to working with data from clinical records and the correctional health care system, 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. 


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

p. (409) 772-6635

Cara Pennel, DrPH, MPH

Cara Pennel, DrPH, MPH
Director, Public Health Graduate Program

(409) 772-2288

Leslie Stalnaker

Leslie Stalnaker, MPH
Coordinator II, Public Health Graduate Program

(409) 772-5271