Medical Schools in Houston, TX with Degree Program Overviews

Houston Medical Schools

For those interested in establishing a career in medicine, a few schools with medical programs are within about an hour's drive of downtown Houston. Read about the classroom and clinical training available at 3 institutions, and then look over a table of statistics to find out more about the schools.

  • One of the largest and highest ranked institutions in the area is Baylor College of Medicine, found about 6 miles south of downtown Houston. The only private medical school within the state of Texas, Baylor offers not only a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree but also dual-degree options that combine the MD with programs in law, business and public health. There's also a program that awards an MD and PhD, which is designed to train medical scientists.
  • Another option is Houston's University of Texas Health Science Center, which is situated roughly 7 miles from the city's center. This medical school is 1 of 6 within the University of Texas system and features a number of options, including the MD program and dual options that pair the MD with a PhD or degrees in oral surgery and public health. A master's degree in clinical research is also available.
  • Finally, there is the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). While located in Galveston about 53 miles to the southwest of central Houston, UTMB has a variety of programs, including 3 MD/PhD combination degree options.

Comparison of Schools

Medical school is quite the investment, as evidenced by the tuition figures in the table below. To help you figure out which institution is right for your goals, explore not only the costs but other factors like enrollment numbers and campus environments.

Baylor College of Medicine University of Texas Health Science Center University of Texas Medical Branch
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; public 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 1,585* 5,242* 3,302*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Fringe town
Medical School Tuition & Fees $26,099* $8,518 in-state; $29,814 out-of-state* $9,230 in-state; $19,467 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Baylor College of Medicine

Baylor College of Medicine was among the highest-ranked medical schools in the U.S. in 2019, according to U.S. News and World Report. Students train at the Texas Medical Center with access to 8 instructional hospitals. These include a world-renowned pediatric hospital, one of the largest Veterans Affairs hospitals in the country and various private and public hospitals.

Doctor of Medicine

Baylor's MD program will explore core competency goals in areas like professionalism, medical knowledge and patient care. Clinical experience at medical facilities will also be required. In their first year, students will take a variety of courses in areas like ethics, infectious diseases, pharmacology, cardiology, genetics and human anatomy.

Doctor of Medicine/Master of Business Administration

This 5-year program in health sciences management is a joint effort by the Baylor College of Medicine and the Jones School of Management at Rice University, also in Houston. The first 2 years are conducted at BCM, then 18 months are completed at Rice, with the final 18 months back at BCM for the completion of medical school. The MBA curriculum includes courses on developing successful managerial skills, specifically for healthcare operations and systems.

Doctor of Medicine/Master of Public Health

This 5-year program is offered through both Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas School of Public Health (UTSPH). The first 3 years of the program are focused on the medical school curriculum in combination with 5 required public health courses offered online. During the program's fourth year, students take classes only at UTSPH. Available focus areas include the study of community health, biostatistics, disease control, occupational health sciences and the behavioral sciences. The fifth and final year is spent completing medical school requirements.

Doctor of Medicine/Juris Doctor

This 6-year program allows students to earn an MD through Baylor College of Medicine and a law degree through the University of Houston Law Center (UHLC). The first 2 years of this program will be dedicated to the study of medicine and completing the foundational courses in the basic sciences. Next, students study law full-time for 2 years at UHLC. After successfully earning their JD degrees, students return to Baylor for 2 years to complete the medical school curriculum with clinical rotations and electives.

Doctor of Medicine/PhD

The MD/PhD degree program prepares students for careers as medical scientists. Students can earn a medical education in approximately 3 years and then move into the PhD program. They take basic science classes during the first 18 months, exactly like the medical school curriculum, and then complete clinical course requirements before entering graduate school to pursue their doctoral degree in the field of their choice. Some options include the study of biochemistry, molecular biology, neuroscience, immunology and molecular medicine. After earning the doctoral degrees, students return to medical school to complete the remaining clinical and elective requirements over the course of 17 months.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Located in the same vicinity as the Texas Medical Center, the University of Texas Medical School Houston admitted its first students in 1970. More than 5,000 physicians have been trained at UT Medical School Houston since then. The medical school offers 5 degrees and has 24 departments, including anesthesiology, dermatology, emergency medicine, neurosurgery, visual science, pediatrics and psychiatry.

Master of Science in Clinical Research

This degree is primarily for MDs and other clinicians and is aimed at training clinical researchers over a minimum of 3 years. Being that this program is designed for working professionals, courses are held once a week. The 2 tracks available focus on patient-based clinical research and translational research. The curriculum for each track is individualized based on the student's background and goals. A total of 36 credit hours are required, as is a master's thesis.

Doctor of Medicine

The University of Texas offers a 4-year graduate program leading to an MD degree. The curriculum begins with required courses in areas like biochemistry, anatomy, microbiology and immunology. Students begin clinical applications in their first year, moving on to more thorough clinical experiences in their second year. The third year deals with various medical topics, such as family medicine, pediatrics and neurology. Students take mostly electives in their fourth year in preparation for their residency.

Doctor of Medicine/Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

The MD/OMS program can be completed in either 4 or 6 years. Both master's and doctoral degree tracks are available. Candidates for this program must be graduates of an ADA-accredited dental school and are required to take a special exam designed for admission to this program. The 4-year program requires a year performing oral and maxillofacial surgery, various clinical rotations and a year serving as a chief oral and maxillofacial surgical resident. For the 6-year program, students must complete years 2-4 of the MD curriculum in addition to all requirements of the 4-year program.

Doctor of Medicine/Master of Public Health

This MD/MPH degree program allows students to pursue careers in administrative divisions of healthcare facilities or in academic positions at universities. The MPH requirements take 1 year to complete, and many students do some of that work while enrolled in medical school. Areas of focus include community medicine, epidemiology, occupational medicine, clinical research, preventive medicine, public health policy and public health administration.

Doctor of Medicine/PhD

Students interested in furthering their education as physician scientists can earn a dual MD/PhD degree in approximately 6-8 years. It's a combined program offered by the UT Health Science Center at Houston and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, which is among the largest institutions in the world for cancer research and treatment. The MD/PhD program is a 4-year medical school program with additional required research and courses for the PhD degree. The PhD program includes biomedical research ethics courses, 3 lab tutorials, a molecular medicine seminar, written and oral candidacy exams and a dissertation. Before beginning dissertation research, students must have completed the first 3 years of medical school. In the last year of the program, students will complete fourth-year medical school clerkships and electives.

The University of Texas Medical Branch

Located in Galveston, UTMB is the oldest medical school in the state of Texas. Its mission is to provide quality in patient care, research, service and education. It features 20 departments and 3 institutes for advanced study that encourage an integrated medical education, along with a focus on basic and clinical research. The 84-acre campus is home to 4 separate schools, a major medical library and several hospitals providing clinical training and experience.

Doctor of Medicine

The MD program at UTMB requires 4 years of study. Students may choose a focus area such as aerospace medicine, geriatrics, rural healthcare, translational research and global health. The first half of the program includes courses in gross anatomy, pathology, neuroscience, cardiovascular health, nutrition and the great syndromes, while the second half is composed of required and elective clinical experiences. Clinical practice covers such areas as family and internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, emergency medicine, advanced cardiac life support, autopsy exercises and neurology. An integrated clinical evaluation exercise is necessary during the final year of the program.

Doctor of Medicine/PhD

The MD/PhD combined degree program prepares students for careers as physician scientists who can bridge the gap between medical knowledge and its practical benefits for patients. Concentrations are available in the biomedical sciences, medical humanities and biomedical engineering, with each requiring 7 years of scientific training and clinical experience. There are 8 areas of focus within the biomedical science concentration, including the study of cell and cancer cell biology, infection and immunity, clinical science and epidemiology, structural biology and neuroscience.

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