Program Contact

Contact: Griselda Avila

Phone Number: (713) 486-4431


Program Information

Location: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) McGovern Medical School, School of Dentistry, School of Public Health and School of Nursing


Start/End Dates: TBD

Academic Credit: No


UTHealth is an academic health center that educates more than 5,000 professionals each year, and that delivers health care to patients with diverse cultures, beliefs and nationalities. UTHealth is committed to creating an environment that values inclusion, collaboration, partnerships and teamwork to accomplish its mission.

The UTHealth SHPEP is grounded in collaborative relationships between the UTHealth McGovern Medical School, School of Dentistry, School of Nursing and School of Public Health, which are the four health professions of interest for our program.  The curriculum focuses on Basic Sciences, Academic Enrichment and Professional Development.

The Basic Sciences core curriculum is structured around courses relevant to health professionals, including Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Physics, Statistics, Organic Chemistry as well as an additional appropriate entry level course for students interested in nursing and public health.

The UTHealth SHPEP leaders recognize that the skills of well-rounded health professions students and health care providers go beyond competency in basic sciences.  Changes in US demographics and issues of access to care create the need for individuals able to work across cultures. New models of health care delivery, such as accountable care organizations, create the need for individuals with the leadership skills to make these new models a successful part of our health care culture. As we create a culture of health, those within the professions must understand the broad definitions of individual and collective community wellness and engage in practices that promote both. And finally, as we move towards patient centered, team-based care, having individuals who understand, value and work towards the goal of interprofessional education and practice is essential for these models to be effective. Our Academic Enrichment and Professional Development curricula will help prepare students in these areas and serve to augment the Basic Sciences curriculum.

Interwoven throughout the curriculum and student experiences is the central theme of wellness and nutrition. This topic spans basic and clinical sciences in nursing, medicine, dentistry and public health and highlights how the lack of wellness and poor nutrition contributes to obesity, the leading health problem in the US. This theme also allows the program to highlight the interprofessional collaboration between healthcare providers needed to address this multi-faceted healthcare challenge.

Clinical Experience: All scholars will experience limited clinical exposure through a diverse range of settings including shadowing individual healthcare providers, small-group clinical rotations, simulation experiences in clinical skills labs and seminars with expert clinicians.


Meals: Meal tickets (maximum of $15.00/day) for use in a medical center cafeteria (for example Memorial Hermann Hospital) and/or catered meals will be provided during the program. 

Travel Assistance: Variable and based on distance and/or state of residence up to $500. 

Stipend: Student stipends of $600 will be distributed in three installments.


Housing: Students will reside in Rice University dormitories, which are on the campus of Rice University and approximately three blocks from the McGovern Medical School.

Health Insurance: Scholars must provide their own insurance, however, assistance will be offered by UTHealth SHPEP for those who cannot provide it.

Social Activities: SHPEP sponsored events include a welcome dinner at check-in, scholar talent show/dance party, and graduation ceremony with a reception. Scholar-organized events have included movie night in the dorms and cookouts on the Rice University campus.  As a large, metropolitan city, Houston also offers multiple venues for activities accessible by walking or using the metro rail system, such as The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (free on Thursday evening), the Miller Outdoor Theatre (free), and the Houston Museum of Natural Science.  Also accessible by walking is Rice Village which has numerous shops and restaurants.