Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Objective/Program Outcomes

Ph.D. in Health Sciences

The educational objectives of the program are designed to prepare outstanding allied health professionals to assume major educational, leadership, and research positions within their professions, as well as to provide career advancement opportunities.  The program will prepare individuals for careers as faculty in colleges and universities, as educators in multiple settings, as outcome and health services researchers and as leaders within allied health, and more broadly, within health care and higher education. The program is unique in Texas, providing an interdisciplinary/ interprofessional health science core and the opportunity to take additional, discipline specific course work and engage in research relevant to allied health.  The outcome of the program will be a graduate who can address the larger issues of health and wellness across the health care continuum. 

Each course is evaluated by students anonymously using a standardized course and instructor evaluation system (IDEA). The IDEA system provides each faculty, program director and department chair with a personalized on-line dashboard and a wealth of resources to improve instruction. Summary data is reviewed each semester by personnel in the School of Health Professions Dean’s office and distributed for review to each of the school’s departments. Course evaluations are reviewed by each faculty member and the program director. Suggestions for change and additions are incorporated as appropriate.

Program Outcomes Assessment includes administration and review of annual Graduate Exit Surveys, Graduate Six-Month Follow-Up Surveys, graduate job placement, and monitoring graduate career success in achieving leadership positions.

Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

The goals of the program are to: (1) prepare competent health science professionals at the doctorate level to assume leadership roles as educators, researchers and leaders; (2) provide leadership training in specific clinical-related allied health specialty areas; 3) develop individuals who can formulate appropriate questions, organize and test hypotheses, and apply research results to improve health care.

Student Learning Outcomes for the PhD in Health Sciences have been developed for each major core area and are mapped to individual courses. The four major core areas which all students must complete are: Education (12 SCH), Research and Statistics (16 SCH), Leadership (10 SCH) and Professional Track (9 SCH).  The nine hours of professional track credit provides advanced cognate courses in specific allied health sciences.  In addition students will take up to 12 hours of elective courses, which will be individualized based on the student’s interests and career goals. The 12 hours of electives may include advanced science courses, leadership, measurement and statistics, and research courses that are available at UT Health Science Center.  Elective courses will require approval by the student’s major advisor.  

Students must complete a minimum of 9 semester credit hours of dissertation, generally over a one-year period (at least two semesters).  Because this is a PhD in Health Sciences (vs. a doctoral program in a specific allied health professional area), outcomes for the major core areas are the same for all students for the education, research and statistics and leadership core areas. 

Prior to graduation, all students in the program will demonstrate achievement of the competencies described below in each of the core competency areas of education, research, and leadership.  Students will also demonstrate achievement of the required competencies in their individual professional track cognate areas.

Education Core (12 SCH)

Upon completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate enhanced critical thinking and analytical skills related to educational program design, development, implementation, administration and evaluation.
  2. Exhibit the capacity for educational leadership within the setting of higher education.
  3. Understand learning theory as applied to professional and adult education.
  4. Apply learning theory to development and application of teaching methods and specific learning platforms.
  5. Integrate learning theory and methods into the curriculum to include program and course design, delivery, administration and evaluation.
  6. Integrate the historical, philosophical, social and cultural foundations of curriculum as a field of study with the development and administration of allied health professional training programs.
  7. Perform a needs analysis for health science course and program development.
  8. Design and implement competency-based health science program curricula.
  9. Develop course descriptions, course outlines, syllabi, goals, objectives, content, learning activities and evaluation methods for specific programs and learning audiences.
  10. Evaluate health science program curricula using both process and outcomes assessment.
  11. Develop and implement specific teaching and learning methods for course content delivery in the classroom, teaching laboratory and clinical or practicum settings.
  12. Select and apply appropriate learning platforms for course and program delivery to include traditional lecture-discussion, small group work, projects, and the use of educational technology and web-based instruction.
  13. Develop criterion related testing for courses and programs to include the use of both objective and subjective testing methods and evaluation of the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains.
  14. Develop and apply program evaluation to include measurement tools and program revision based on evaluation results.
  15. Develop assessment-driven, standards-based instruction for education and training.
  16. Work as scholar-practitioners by applying current educational research and theory to lead the development of the health science/allied health sciences.
  17. Demonstrate effective teaching and evaluation methods that assure that learning occurs through:
    • The development and/or improvement of course syllabi that facilitate assurance of learning.
    • Preparation of effective lectures, discussions and presentations using the appropriate venue to support learning.
    • Delivery of course topics under the guidance of faculty mentors.
    • Evaluation of learning outcomes and feedback to students
    • Maintenance of a Teaching Portfolio.

Research and Statistics (16 SCH)

The overall aim of the research core is to enhance the student’s knowledge of scientific methods to include how to define the scientific problem, the rationale behind the review of literature, selection of the research design, data analysis, results and discussions. These courses will deepen the student’s knowledge and understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods with a focus on interdisciplinary, collaborative and outcomes research in the health sciences. 

Upon completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of research design and methods.
  2. Understand and have the ability to interpret and apply basic and advanced research statistical models.
  3. Effectively evaluate and critique research reports.
  4. Identify knowledge gaps for selected allied health fields, synthesize relevant information, and formulate focused research questions to address these gaps.
  5. Identify specific problem areas for research and conduct a thorough review of the literature. 
  6. Develop and refine specific aims, research questions, and hypotheses based on the review of the literature.
  7. Select and apply appropriate research methodology to address specific research questions.
  8. Develop appropriate research protocols.
  9. Obtain institution review board approval for conducting research studies.
  10. Initiate approved research protocols and collect data.
  11. Apply appropriate statistical analyses to data collected and interpret the results.
  12. Write research reports and present and publish research findings.
  13. Engage in collaborative, interdisciplinary research, with a focus on outcomes and evidence-based practice.
  14. Conduct research as scholar-practitioners to lead the evolution of practice in professional settings.
  15. Seek funding for a collaborative, interdisciplinary research agenda.
  16. Address issues in research management including:
    • Formation and leadership of multidisciplinary teams.
    • Staffing, budgeting, tracking.
    • Subject recruitment and retention.
    • Data quality control and data safety management.
    • Funding mechanisms and Grantsmanship.
    • Research ethics and regulations.
    • Professional quality peer-review, oral and poster presentation, report, grant, and manuscript writing.
  17. Conduct investigations that support evidence-based problem solving of direct relevance to their work and career development.
  18. Identify appropriate funding agencies and opportunities
  19. Develop and submit proposals to obtain grant funding.

Demonstration of Research Core Competencies is further achieved by passing the Doctoral Qualifying Examination and by successful development, conduct, completion, defense and publication of the dissertation.

Leadership Core (10 SCH)

Upon completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe evidence-based methods for developing and evaluating leadership.
  2. Demonstrate leadership development in an interdisciplinary health care environment.
  3. Achieve interdisciplinary goals in practice, education, scholarship and service.
  4. Practice in an interdisciplinary manner to model collaborative care.
  5. Engage in reflective practice for continuous professional growth and improvement.
  6. Demonstrate professional and ethical leadership.
  7. Demonstrate the capacity for educational leadership within the setting of higher education.
  8. Describe current issues and trends in health care and apply these to professional practice and research.  Examples include:
    • Health care reform
    • Health care costs, access and quality
    • Interdisciplinary and collaborative health care and health care research
    • Evidence-base practice and comparative-effectiveness research
    • Health care disparities
    • Health care finance
    • Workforce issues
    • Health promotion and disease prevention
    • Management of chronic disease
    • Implications of targeted therapy and genetic testing
    • Issues in higher education
  9. Conduct informed thinking and planning for organizational strategies with appropriate data.
  10. Apply standards of ethical leadership and management.
  11. Work as scholar-practitioners by applying current research and theory to lead the development of the health science/allied health sciences.
  12. Describe the principles of management as they apply to health care organizations and institutions to include planning, organizing, controlling, and directing an operational unit.
  13. Apply motivational theory and conflict management to interpersonal relationships within an organization.
  14. Apply principles of management and supervision to the administration of School and university academic programs and departments.
  15. Demonstrate an understanding of the governance, organization, finance, and administration of institutions of higher learning.
  16. Understand the attributes and skills necessary to lead and manage professional organizations as complex and adaptive systems
  17. Engage in critical thinking, analysis, and problem solving that reflects scholarly intellectual standards, incorporation of sound reasoning, and equity and fairness.

Professional Track (9 SCH)

Professional track cognate courses in the various professional areas in which students hold certification or licensure are provided with associated learning outcomes as follows:

Upon completion of the program, the student will demonstrate:

  1. An increased knowledge base in the professional specialty area.
  2. Synthesis of an interdisciplinary perspective related to everyday activities and application of these perspectives as well as knowledge generated in health science to promote evidence-based practice.
  3. Presentation of research related to the professional track at state and national meetings.
  4. Teaching allied health-health science students in undergraduate and/or graduate programs.
  5. Initiation and participation in communities of practice and other collaborations with professionals and community members to mobilize resources to best meet learner needs and enhance professional growth. 
  6. Development of expertise in ways that cross conventional disciplinary lines.
  7. Identification of professional venues including conferences and journals for publication and dissemination of results.
  8. Presentation of research findings to peers during organized extracurricular research seminars.
  9. Preparation of research manuscripts suitable for submission for publication.
  10. Maintenance of a Research Portfolio.
  11. Use of evidence based practice as part of daily clinical decision making.

Electives (up to 12 SCH)

Upon completion of the program, the student will demonstrate:

  1. An enhanced scientific knowledge base for a better understanding of clinical systems  and procedures,  disease pathophysiology and management, care plans and treatment protocols.
  2. Exploration of areas of scientific interest by taking science cognates in the various medical, health care systems and basic science departments of the university.
  3. Exploration of areas related to interdisciplinary health care delivery, quality, health outcomes and service provision.
  4. Advanced course work in the areas of education, management, and health care systems.

Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

The assessment of student learning outcomes consists of homework assignments, tests, quizzes, class participation, attendance, etc. and the weight of the classwork in addition to other direct measures of student assessment (e.g.  comprehensive qualifying examination, research proposal prospectus defense, dissertation defense) and corresponding rubrics to assess and ensure student success.