University of Texas at El Paso Academic Catalog

Academic Catalog

PhD in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences

The PhD in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences is designed to respond to the growing national shortage of doctoral-level educated professionals in health-related fields and to address significant health-research needs related to communities in the U.S.-Mexico border region. The program embraces an interdisciplinary model of teaching and learning that seeks holistic perspectives on health-related issues. Thus, this degree encompasses classes taught by faculty from the various disciplines within the College of Health Sciences. Disciplines include, Physical Therapy, Health Promotion, Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology, and Kinesiology, as well as Public Health. Health-related courses from programs outside the College of Health Sciences are included.

Graduates from this program will have research skills, core knowledge in health sciences, and knowledge in their areas of specialization. The areas of core knowledge include theory, concepts, and literature in the health disciplines, methods of scholarly inquiry in applied and clinical health topics; cultural and ethnic diversity and their effects on health care and research; ethical issues in health care and research; and skills to enhance success in academia and other leadership roles. Individuals will be prepared to educate future health professionals, conduct needed research, and fulfill leadership roles.

Admission Requirements 

Admission to the PhD program in Health Sciences requires completion of a master's degree in a health-related profession. The program admissions committee will make recommendations to the Graduate School based on an assessment of each applicant's academic achievement and potential. Applicants must apply through the Graduate School, submitting an application form and the following supporting materials:

  • Transcripts according to the requirements of the Graduate School
  • Applicants from countries where English is not the first language are required to demonstrate English proficiency. Please consult the graduate school website for required scores.
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to assess the applicant's potential for doctoral work
  • Evaluation from students' recommenders for academic and professional abilities using a structured survey.  
  • Personal statement describing career aspirations, potential research interests and faculty mentors, and research experiences, to assess candidate's writing skills. 
  • Other evidence of relevant personal or professional experience

Degree Requirements 

Degree requirements consist of 60 credit hours beyond the master's degree.

All graduate and doctoral level courses at The University of Texas at El Paso, or graduate courses at the UTHSC-Houston School of Public Health El Paso campus, can be used to fulfill elective requirements, as approved by the student’s faculty mentor, the IHS PhD Program, and the respective department offering the course.

Non-CHSC course descriptions can be found under the corresponding departments. Public Health El Paso (PHEP) courses can be found on line. Program course descriptions are listed below.

Degree Plan

Required Credits: 60

PhD in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences
Core Courses (All courses require a grade of B or better)
CHSC 6302Legal & Ethical Issues in HSCI3
CHSC 6303Theories in Health Sciences I3
CHSC 6304Theories in Health Sciences II3
CHSC 6305Quantitative Meth-Hlth Sci I3
CHSC 6307Interdisciplinary Research3
Electives (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Select one from the following 3
Quantitative Meth-Hlth Sci II
Scientific and Grant Writing
Advanced Research Methods
Select fifteen hours from the following: repeated for credit15
Special Topics in Health
Independent Study
Research Applications
Directed Study
Select 18 hours of interdisciplinary electives with advisor approval18
Dissertation (Complete CHSC 6398 and two semesters of CHSC 6399; CHSC 6399 may be taken multiple times but only twice for credit)9
Dissertation (Two semesters required. May be taken multiple times but only twice towards the degree requirement)
Total Hours60

 CHSC 6380CHSC 6385CHSC 6388, and CHSC 6390 may be repeated one time as long as the topic varies.

All other courses offered at the graduate or doctoral level at UTEP, or graduate courses at the UTHSC-Houston School of Public Health El Paso campus, may be used to meet degree requirements.

18 of 33 elective credits must be interdisciplinary, as determined by the student’s mentor, with the remaining 15 being within the student’s area of study.