Graduate Programs Overview

The University of Houston offers master's degrees in 133 fields and six doctoral degrees in 62 fields through twelve colleges:

Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture
C.T. Bauer College of Business
College of Education
Cullen College of Engineering
Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management
Law Center
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
College of Optometry
College of Pharmacy
College Technology
Graduate School of Social Work

Below is a preamble to each graduate and professional degree program offered by our university. Please refer to the specific college's Web site for detailed information on each degree program.


Master of Architecture

The College of Architecture offers a master in architecture (M.Arch.) degree at three entry levels depending upon prior academic experience.

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Master of Business Administration

Meticulously designed, the Bauer College's MBA program meets the needs of working professionals. The master of business administration is offered in both a traditional student setting and as an Executive MBA. The Executive MBA program provides professionals with an opportunity to complete the degree in a condensed period. Students can earn a general M.B.A. degree, or, (with the exception of the Executive MBA Program) can focus on a specific discipline in accounting, finance, decision and information sciences, management, or marketing in order to gain expertise in a targeted business area. A third option is a set of certificate programs, in which students can target their electives in a very specific field, such as energy risk management.

Master of Science in Accountancy

Designed for accounting students and professionals, the master of science in accountancy program enhances technical and professional skills through the completion of an advanced degree in accounting. A fast-track M.S. in Accountancy is available to undergraduate students upon completion of a bachelor's degree within that program.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Ph.D. program fosters development in the primary areas of teaching and research. Students can select from among degrees in: accountancy and taxation, marketing, management, management information systems, and operations management.

Concurrent Degree Program

Concurrent degree programs allow students to earn two degrees in less time than it would take to pursue them separately. The M.B.A. is offered concurrently with degrees in the following areas: doctor of jurisprudence (J.D.), master of arts in Spanish (M.A.), master of industrial engineering (M.I.E.), master of hospitality management (M.H.M), master of social work (M.S.W.), and a master of international management (M.I.M.) in cooperation with the American Graduate School of International Management in Arizona.

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Master of Education

The M.Ed. prepares graduates for a variety of educational settings, including work in social agencies, medical facilities, businesses, and government. The college offers a broad range of innovative teaching and leadership programs through the department of Curriculum & Instruction. The department of Educational Psychology offers programs which are designed to promote the development of professionals who understand the science, theory, and practice of educational and human services systems. 

Doctor of Education

The Ed.D. program prepares individuals for leadership roles in the field of education and prepares teachers and other educators to meet the special demands of educational, health, cultural, and other human service settings. The College offers several teaching programs in addition to an executive program in professional leadership for school administrators.

Doctor of Philosophy

The college offers several Ph.D. programs which focus on the advancement of knowledge relevant to human learning, development and psychological functioning.  Each program provides graduates with the skills necessary to fill a variety of roles in both academic and non-academic settings in which knowledge of human development, learning theory, research and evaluation methods are essential. Degrees offered include Counseling Psychology, School Psychology, and Educational Psychology and Individual Differences.

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Master of Science (Thesis Option)

Advanced engineering fundamentals and research leading to a thesis is the major focus of these programs. Recipients of the master of science (M.S.) are broadly qualified for employment in industry or continued studies towards the doctor of philosophy. M.S. degrees are available in: aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer & systems engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, industrial engineering, materials engineering, mechanical engineering, and petroleum engineering.

Master of Science (Non-Thesis)

The M.S. program is also available through coursework only, for students who elect not to write a thesis. This degree is available in: aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer & systems engineering, environmental engineering, materials engineering, mechanical engineering, and petroleum engineering.

Master of Engineering Programs

Offered as a non-thesis option for working professionals are the master of engineering programs, which typically require only thirty-six credit hours of study. These programs are not intended to be competitive with the master of science, which are specifically research oriented. Rather, the goal is not only to permit earlier productive use of the young engineer's technical skills, but also to introduce the engineer to the broad concepts of systems analysis, advanced process economics, and technical management. Degrees offered include: master of chemical engineering (M.Ch.E.), master of civil engineering (M.C.E.), master of electrical engineering (M.E.E.), master of industrial engineering (M.I.E.), master of industrial engineering-engineering management (M.I.E./M.G.T.), master of mechanical engineering (M.M.E.), and master of petroleum engineering (M.P.E.).

Specializations are also available in telecommunications and industrial power systems through the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. Engineering management is one of many concentrations available through the Department of Industrial Engineering.

Concurrent Degree Program

The Bauer College of Business and the Cullen College of Engineering offer a concurrent degree program that enables students to prepare for careers in which the understanding of both engineering science and business studies is critical. This program provides students with the opportunity to complete the degree requirements for the master of business administration (M.B.A.) and the master of industrial engineering (M.I.E.) with concentration in engineering management in a shorter period of time than if the two degrees were pursued separately.

Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to continued study of a broad range of engineering fundamentals, candidates for the doctoral degree enjoy intensive exposure to a specific field of engineering research. Expected to focus on individual research, students may also expand the frontiers of knowledge in their area of endeavor. Moreover, candidates learn and experience the general philosophy, methods, and concepts of research and scholarly inquiry, so that they may contribute after graduation to substantive issues completely unrelated to their doctoral research. The Doctor of Philosophy program is available in: aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, industrial engineering, materials engineering, and mechanical engineering. A fast-track Ph.D. program, available to undergraduate students upon completion of a bachelor's degree within that program, is also available in chemical engineering and electrical engineering.

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Master of Science in Hospitality Management

The master of science in hospitality management (M.S.) program meets the hospitality industry's need for individuals who have a variety of professional, academic, and advanced specialized abilities necessary to excel in the increasingly demanding arena of hospitality management.

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Master of Social Work

The M.S.W. program offers advanced concentration study following successful completion of foundation coursework. Areas of concentration include: health care, mental health, children and families, gerontological social work, and political social work.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Graduate School of Social Work's Ph.D. program is set in an urban, multicultural environment which allows social work researchers, scholars, teachers and leaders to learn to facilitate change through rigorous and contextualized analysis of social problems and social work interventions in a manner respectful of the experiences of all affected.

Degree Option

A degree option designed for students pursuing a master's in social work while working on their doctorate is available. The dual degree program is available only to full-time students. Applicants interested in the M.S.W./Ph.D. option must apply to each program separately.

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Professional Program
Doctor of Jurisprudence

Students in the J.D. program learn the legal theory and the practical aspects of applying the law to help individuals as well as society. Specialty programs offered ensure that students will have access to the latest developments in the rapidly expanding areas of law, including intellectual property & information law, health law, and international law.

Graduate Degrees
Master of Laws

The graduate legal studies program at the Law Center has two distinct sections. Students with their first law degrees from ABA-accredited schools in the United States pursue their LL.M. in one of five areas of concentration, including health law, energy, environmental and natural resources law, intellectual properties law, international law, and tax law. Students who obtained their legal education outside of the U.S. earn their master of laws degrees in the Foreign Scholars LL.M. Program.

Concurrent Degree Program

A dual degree curriculum give students in the J.D. program the opportunity to earn a second degree in less time than it would take to complete the degrees sequentially. Second-degree options include the master of business administration (M.B.A.), master of history (M.A.), master of social work (M.S.W.), master of public health in cooperation with University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston (M.P.H.), and the doctor of philosophy in medical humanities offered in conjunction with the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston (Ph.D.).

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Master of Arts

The Department of Anthropology offers two tracks in its master of arts program. The thesis or general track is designed for students who plan to pursue the Ph.D. degree or plan to teach in a junior or community college. The non-thesis or applied track is tailored for students who want to work as professional applied anthropologists. Major areas of study within the Department of Anthropology include archaeology, physical, and cultural anthropology.

Master of Fine Arts

The M.F.A. program is available in: graphic communication, interior design, painting, photography (including video and digital media), and sculpture (including ceramics, jewelry and metalsmithing).

Master of Arts

The School of Communication offers the M.A. in speech communication, mass communication and public relations studies with a goal of producing graduates who are well educated in communication, liberal arts and humanities, and the social, natural, and physical sciences. Upon completion of the program, graduates will have the cognitive, research, and professional skills required to succeed in their first jobs and as leaders in a constantly changing, challenging, and exciting new information era.

Communication Disorders
Master of Arts

The depth and variety of the clinical practicum offerings are strengths of this program. The M.A. program is in the areas of audiology, medical speech pathology, and communication science research. Graduates of the program will meet eligibility requirements for licensure by the state of Texas and certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Master of Arts – Applied Economics

This is a terminal master's program designed to prepare students for analytical careers in business or government. The program provides training in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics as well as specialized training in areas such as health and energy economics. This is a full-time program that normally takes one calendar year to complete.

Please note that this degree is not part of the PhD program in Economics and admission into one program does not imply admission into the other. In addition, courses from one program will not be transferable to the other program.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Ph.D. program provides the student rigorous training in economic theory and quantitative skills as well as intensive exposure to several specialized areas of economics while preparing them for positions in academia, government or business.

Master of Arts

The M.A. program is a traditionally academic and scholarly degree offered in the areas of English, American literature, literature, creative writing, and applied English linguistics.

Master of Fine Arts (Creative Writing)

This program offers students the opportunity to concentrate on seminars and workshops as related to their development as poets and writers of fiction.

Doctor of Philosophy

Two programs of study leading to a doctoral degree are the Ph.D. in English and American Literature and the Ph.D. in literature and creative writing, which combines creative writing seminars and workshops with traditional scholarly work.

Master of Arts

The master's program offers a range of degree plans, which allow students to pursue their interest in history while acquiring specific skills useful for professional employment or further academic work. The program offers the M.A. in American history, European history, Latin American history, and public history.

Doctor of Philosophy

Intended to provide necessary training, the Ph.D. program helps students who are pursuing careers in college teaching and historical research. The department offers this degree in the fields of U.S. history, European history, and Latin American history. The program also offers both breadth of study and specificity of content that helps place graduates in teaching jobs in a variety of colleges and universities across the country.

Modern and Classical Languages
Master of Arts in Spanish

The M.A. program provides knowledge and develops critical thinking using traditional and modern approaches in the fields of Latin American and Peninsular literature and in Spanish linguistics. The main goal of the master's program in Spanish is to prepare future professionals who want to develop successful careers in education, administration, interpretation, and translation in diverse public and private institutions. Also available is the Hispano-North American Inter-University, a program organized jointly by the University of Houston and the University of Salamanca. It targets elementary and secondary schoolteachers who teach Spanish to students of Hispanic heritage. The M.A. program in Spanish provides solid preparation for those who wish to pursue advanced studies at the Ph.D. level.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Spanish curriculum has a burgeoning Ph.D. program that is at the forefront of research and teaching of Hispanic literature and Spanish language. It encompasses literature written throughout the Americas and Spain. The Ph.D. program offers an optimal environment for the study of Spanish language and literature through the presence of Arte Publico Press, the country's largest publisher of Hispanic literature; and the Recovery Project at the University of Houston, a comprehensive program to reconstitute the literary legacy of Hispanics in the United States from colonial times to 1960.

Concurrent Degree Program

The Bauer College of Business and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences offer a concurrent M.B.A./M.A. in Spanish that enables students to prepare for careers requiring both business and Spanish language skills in a shorter time period than if the degrees were pursued separately.

Master of Music

The M.M. program is offered in: applied music, composition, music education (including choral conducting), music literature, music theory, performance pedagogy in piano, strings and voice, accompanying, and chamber music (piano).

Doctor of Musical Arts

Areas of study for the D.M.A. include music education, performance, composition, and conducting.

Master of Arts

Designed to prepare students to enter and flourish in Ph.D. programs across the country, the M.A. in philosophy asks students to take, among their other courses, two graduate seminars in each of the four semesters in which they are in residence. Exposure to a wide range of important philosophical work is a benefit for students who are in residence for a two-year period.

Political Science
Master of Arts in Public Administration

The master of arts in public administration (M.A.) is a professional degree program for pre-service students with no prior professional experience and for in-service community and government professionals. The public administration program operates as a unit within the Department of Political Science. The faculty and resources of the political science department support the M.A. program's teaching and ancillary activities. The program also has a collaborative arrangement with the University of Texas School of Public Health and Rice University, which enables M.A. students to take specialization classes at those institutions.

Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy

The primary curriculum of the department is threefold. It offers each student grounding in political science, a development of research skills, and an acquisition of professional stature.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Department of Psychology offers Ph.D. programs in four areas: clinical, developmental, industrial/organizational, and social psychology. The department does not have a terminal master's program although Ph.D. students earn a master's degree in the process of fulfilling doctoral requirements. The location in Houston, with its large and rapidly expanding population of governmental, medical, business, and corporate entities, as well as its diverse population, creates needs and opportunities for psychology here that are unequaled elsewhere.

Master of Arts

The Department of Sociology offers an M.A. in Sociology that can be obtained either through the preparation of a thesis or completion of an internship practicum. The focus of faculty projects, with Houston's magnificent, and international laboratory, are on such events and processes as the survival and adjustments of new immigrants, gangs, and the responses of felons to violent conditions.

Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts

The School of Theatre offers two degree programs: the master of arts and the master of fine arts. The School of Theatre produces a main stage season of four plays during the school year and two professional festivals during the summer.

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Biology and Biochemistry
Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy

Graduate degrees offered are the M.S. and Ph.D. in biochemistry and M.S. and Ph.D. in biology. First-year students enroll in a rigorous selection of lecture and seminar courses and perform laboratory rotations, which offer a working knowledge of individual research areas before making a formal commitment. The second year of study includes completing course requirements and beginning thesis or dissertation research. Ph.D. students must pass a qualifying exam by the end of their second year of study that probes the depth and breadth of knowledge in their respective areas as required at the Ph.D. level. The remaining time is devoted to completing dissertation research, preparing manuscripts for meetings or publication in leading professional journals, and attending national meetings of professional interest.

Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy

The Department of Chemistry offers graduate programs to students pursuing a master of science (M.S.) or doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in chemistry. Strong emphasis is placed on developing the student's ability to initiate and carry out original research projects. The department's teaching and research programs encompass the areas of: analytical, biochemical, inorganic, materials, organic, physical, and theoretical chemistry. In addition to these classical areas, active programs in chemical physics, solid-state materials, and bioinorganic chemistry are offered along with energy research and development. Interdisciplinary study programs in other fields are also available.

Computer Science
Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy

The Department of Computer Science offers graduate programs to students pursuing a master of science (M.S.) or doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in computer science. The M.S. program offers two options: thesis and non-thesis. The department's teaching and research fields of specialization include: artificial intelligence (AI), computer networks, computer vision, computer graphics, databases, video-on-demand, high performance computing, Internet, operating systems, parallel and distributed computing, physics-based modeling, real-time systems, scientific computing and visualization, software engineering, virtual reality, and theory.

Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy

The Department of Geosciences offers graduate programs to students pursuing a master of science (M.S.) or a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in either geology or geophysics. The geosciences department also offers an accelerated master's program for working professionals and on-site, for-credit courses for professional development. Emphasis is placed on developing the ability to initiate and carry out original research projects. The department's teaching and research programs encompass the areas of: fundamental and applied geophysics (including seismic interpretation, seismic processing and modeling, potential fields, and palaeomagnetism), petrology, isotope geochemistry, organic geochemistry, structural geology, plate tectonics, marine geology and geophysics, sedimentology, stratigraphy, micropalaeontology, atmospheric modeling, and planetary geology.

Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy

The Department of Mathematics offers programs leading to the master of science (M.S.) and doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in mathematics and the master of science in applied mathematics. Candidates for the master of science may elect either the thesis or the non-thesis option.

Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy

The Department of Physics offers a graduate program to students pursuing a master of science (M.S.) or doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in physics. First-year students enroll in a rigorous selection of lecture courses, which provides a thorough grounding is the fundamentals of physics at the graduate level. By the end of the second year, students generally have completed course requirements and are beginning thesis or dissertation research. In lieu of a Ph.D. qualifying exam, students must pass a specified regimen of seven of the required courses by the middle of their third year. The remaining time is devoted to completing dissertation research, preparing manuscripts for publication in leading professional journals, and attending national meetings of professional interest.

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Professional Degree
Doctor of Optometry

The O.D. program is a four-year post-baccalaureate professional degree program. The College of Optometry is one of seventeen schools and colleges in the United States and is the only one in the Southwest. And, the college has education and training affiliations with more than 100 community health centers; outpatient surgical centers; Veterans Administration hospitals; Air Force, Army, and Navy hospitals; and Public Health/Indian Health hospitals.

Graduate Programs
Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Physiological Optics/Vision Science

The graduate program in physiological optics/vision science prepares the student to embark on a career in teaching and/or research in the basic science of vision.

Concurrent Program

The combined O.D./Ph.D. program gives students the opportunity to complete both degrees in a shorter period than would be required if the degrees were earned separately.

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Professional Program
Doctor of Pharmacy

The college of pharmacy prepares students to enter into the practice of pharmacy. In addition to the college's facilities on the University of Houston and the Texas Medical Center campuses, students have access to the Computer Technology Center providing advanced hardware and specialized software for class work and research needs.

Graduate Degrees
Master of Science in Pharmacy Administration

The master of science in pharmacy administration is a program designed to prepare students with technical knowledge and problem-solving skills to assume positions of responsibility and leadership.

Doctor of Philosophy

The College of Pharmacy offers the Ph.D. program in pharmacology and in pharmaceutics. The program in pharmacology emphasizes molecular and cellular aspects of pharmacological research to understand function at the organ and whole body level. The program in pharmaceutics emphasizes development of delivery methods of novel drugs and drug formulations. Many graduates can achieve international recognition for their research and hold distinguished positions in academics, industry, and government.

Concurrent Degrees
Concurrent Program

The PharmD/Ph.D. program is for highly motivated and qualified individuals who are seeking an integrated program in the clinical and basic sciences while preparing them for a career in academics or research.

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Technology Project Management
Master of Science

Provides students with a leadership foundation and the opportunity to focus on an area of directed study.

Technology Project Management/Information Security 
Master of Science

Designed to equip technology professionals to assess security needs of information and network systems and then to manage the implementation and maintenance of the recommended security solutions. NSA 4011 and 4014 certified. 

Technology Project Management/Logistics
Master of Science

This program is designed for the professional who seeks advanced preparation in logistics, inventory management, transportation, sales, and procurement.

Human Resources Development
Master of Science

This program is designed for the professional who seeks advanced preparation utilizing powerful tools to facilitate sustainable change in diverse organizations.


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