School of Health Professions

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Through the Department of Physician Assistant Studies and the Department of Physical Therapy, the School of Health Professions delivers the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to serve in the health care professions. SHP also offers current health care professionals the opportunity to further their career development.

Careers as either a physician assistant or a physical therapist are among the most rewarding and in-demand of all the health care professions. Individuals serving in these positions have challenging and satisfying careers while enjoying considerable flexibility in their choice of practice and working conditions. Classes in both the PT and PA programs include experiences designed to prepare students to be contributing members of an interprofessional health care team.

The Department of Lifestyle Health Sciences offers a Master of Science in Lifestyle Health Sciences and Coaching. This innovative online program is designed to provide the knowledge, skills and tools needed to effectively address health behaviors and become a credentialed health and wellness coach with a specialization in lifestyle medicine. The foundational competencies covered will complement other HSC health professions programs as well as help those pursuing careers in the rewarding and growing field of health and wellness coaching.

J. Glenn Forister, PhD, PA-C, and Dean of the School of Health Professions

Heads Up

has been with HSC as Dean of the School of Health Professions since 2019. Prior to coming to HSC, he served as Division Head of Physician Assistant Education in the School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. He has a Master of Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska, a Master of Science in clinical investigation from the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, and a PhD in Education and Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University. Dr. Forister has practiced in orthopedic surgery, family medicine and urgent care. He also served from 2000 to 2008 as a PA in the Medical Specialty Corps of the U.S. Army/Army Reserve.

SHP Programs

This program provides students with an environment that is both conducive to learning the art and science of medical practice and helping achieve individual growth as health care professionals. SHP is continually improving as it creates experiential learning opportunities that prepare graduates to begin an exciting medical career in one of the top professions in the country.

More than 1,000 alumni provide health care services in Texas and throughout the country. Our graduate performance on the national certifying exam is exceptional and underscores our commitment to developing outstanding health care providers.

Students receive a well-rounded education in all aspects of contemporary physical therapy. Learning in the environment of a health science center is an added benefit that provides many interprofessional education opportunities.

The program offers a low student-faculty ratio that ensures close contact with and continuous mentoring by physical therapy faculty, many of whom hold clinical specialties.

This innovative online graduate program provides students with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to become a credentialed health and wellness coach with a specialization in evidence-based lifestyle medicine.

SHP offers the first graduate degree in Texas that combines lifestyle medicine with wellness coaching.

The Graduate Certificate in Genetics and Genomics is designed for individuals who either work in health care or who have a desire to work in health care and possess a strong interest in how genetics and genomics are changing health care delivery.

Studying both genetics and genomics helps health care professionals understand individual genetic profiles, which allows for more personalized patient care.