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UTHealth and UT Brownsville partner for dual degree

HOUSTON - (Jan. 9, 2012)  Officials from The University of Texas at Brownsville and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health signed an agreement on Friday, Jan. 6 to partner on the 4+1 Joint Degree Program in Public Health.

The morning ceremony was held in UTB’s Biomedical Research Building Courtyard.

The program enables UTB students to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology, psychology, kinesiology or exercise science and a Master of Public Health in five years. Students can apply for the program in the second semester of their junior year, according to agreement information. All classes will be taken at UTB and the UT Health Science Center at Houston’s Brownsville Regional Campus.

“People with public health training are also especially concerned with a healthy environment and a wholesome diet and prevention of tobacco, alcohol and drug addiction and now food addiction, all of which take a disproportionate toll on health and raise its cost, “ said Dr. Joseph McCormick, Regional Dean of the Brownsville Regional Campus.

“The program enables students to pursue a range of fields in public health in clinics, hospitals, the federal government and private industry.

It will be an enormous saving of time and money for our students, launching them directly into careers that will greatly benefit our community,” said Dr. Alan F.J. Artibise, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at UTB.  

Dr. Rose Gowen, a Brownsville City Commissioner and Doctor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Su Clinica Familiar in Brownsville, said the program was innovative and a way for students to help their communities in a meaningful way.   

“I have learned the value of public health,” said Gowen. “It makes me a more complete physician. I can understand the biggest problems in the community. It gives me more reach regarding disease and wellness.”

UTB juniors are currently being recruited for the program said Dr. Eldon Nelson, Interim Dean of UTB’s College of Biomedical Sciences and Health Professions. Program registration will be in March with classes starting this summer.

Nelson said the joint program is spurring the development of a bachelor’s degree in public health that could be added to the curriculum in the next few years.

For more information on the program, call the university’s College of Biomedical Sciences and Health Professions at 956-882-5000 or UT Health’s Brownsville Regional Campus at 956-882-5165.

To reach UTB's News & Information Office contact, Director Letty Fernandez at 956-882-6535 or

Jade Waddy
Media Contact: 713-500-3030