PhD in Translational Science Degree and Course Requirements

Successful completion of the TS PhD program requires the satisfactory completion of:

  • Required and elective coursework
  • A qualifying examination for admission to candidacy
  • An approved research project and doctoral dissertation; and
  • Final oral examination (defense of dissertation)

Individualized Degree Plan

Prior to the start of the first semester, each student admitted into the TS PhD program will meet with a TS PhD Academic/Graduate Advisor at the home institution to discuss research and career goals and establish an individual curriculum to meet those goals.  The individualized curriculum may be modified as the student’s goals mature, subject to review and approval by the Academic/Graduate Advisor and/or Supervising Professor, as long as all course requirements are met or exceeded.

Course Requirements

A minimum of 72 hours of graduate coursework is required for the translational science doctoral degree candidate.  An overall grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained for program continuation and completion.  The TS PhD program and track structure is summarized in the following figure:

chart-- TS PhD branches out into first TS1 Track, Basic Discovery to Clinical Trial, - Specific Tracks Courses, and second, TS2 Track Clinical Trial to Community and Policy, - Specific Track Courses, with arrows going back and forth between TS1 and TS2 Tracks

The plans of study and specific courses to be taken by students will vary, depending on the choice of the TS1 or TS2 translational science track, individual student interest, student background/discipline, and program goals.
All translational science doctoral students will be required to take a minimum of:

  1. 24 hours of Core Curriculum:  Core courses will provide essential knowledge, skills, and training in the competencies necessary to conduct translational science research.  Where courses are offered with similar content within multiple UT components, students may choose the one course that meets their individualized needs and/or is more convenient for them.
  2. 12 hours of Prescribed Track Electives:   Prescribed track electives will provide additional depth and breadth specific to each student’s track.  If more than one course meets the requirements, as with the core courses, students will select the course that most effectively meets their educational needs from a list of recommended courses.
  3. 6 hours of free electives:  Additional elective courses are offered to meet the unique educational needs of individual students to successfully conduct their dissertation research and progress in their career development.
  4. 30 hours of research/dissertationEnrollment in Dissertation hours will begin after the student has selected a Supervising Professor and Dissertation Committee, developed a research proposal, passed the Qualifying Exam, and is admitted into candidacy (upon reommendation by the Dissertation Commitee and TS PhD Program Director, and approval by the Graduate Dean). A minumum of 30 hours combined of research and dissertation hours are required for completion of the TS PhD degree, along with other requirements.
Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science, UT Health Science Center San AntonioUTSA The University of Texas at Austin, What Starts Here Changes the World UTHealth, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health