Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences - University of Houston
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The University of Houston’s Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences department is an interdisciplinary collection of scientists, scholars and educators committed to innovative research and academic excellence. We are dedicated to breaking down the traditional silos that place restrictions on how and what students learn. We are a forward-thinking institution committed to developing forward-thinking leaders who will face down the challenges of our modern world. And we do all this in a multicultural, multilingual campus (and city) that provides students and faculty members numerous opportunities to learn and grow in the classroom and out in the field.

Our Programs

About PHLS

We welcome you to the Department of Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences. We train the next generation of counseling, school, quantitative and learning science professionals. We prepare undergraduate students for work in the fields of health and human development & family studies.

Our students and faculty are a vibrant group. We may practice different disciplines, but we're drawn together by a desire to right society's wrongs. We work to ensure people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to live healthy and productive lives. Our diversity -- of thought, discipline, and background -- unites us. This diversity will solidify our place among the top departments of our kind in the nation. It will also nurture what makes us unique amongst our peers.


The mission of our department is to advance scientific knowledge, effect real-world change, maximize student potential for global competitiveness, and enhance the quality and length of life in all segments of society.

This mission has three critical goals:

  1. Leverage both innovative research and academic excellence to offer nationally competitive and internationally recognized degree programs - related to psychological, health, and learning sciences - that prepare a diverse student body to serve an increasingly diverse society.
  2. Build an interdisciplinary enterprise that advances innovative scientific inquiry and services that have a measurable impact on the elimination of global disparities in health and education.
  3. Lead in the advancement of Houston’s future by establishing and maintaining collaborative relationships with local school districts; medical and mental health service agencies; and community-based organizations, coalitions, and stakeholders.


Engaging in innovative research and providing rigorous and pioneering programs of study that have significant social/educational impact and public health relevance.

Fostering robust mentoring relationships and providing exceptional undergraduate and graduate programs that prepare future professionals to solve real-world challenges and improve the lives of those they serve.

Sustaining strong long-term relationships that enable and enhance our collective impact on local, national, and international communities through our research, teaching, and service.

Valuing diversity and promoting social and academic inclusion to enrich learning, inform scientific inquiry, and facilitate the development and delivery of culturally-informed services within a uniquely diverse metropolitan context. Furthermore, this involves challenging structural inequities to reduce disparities and promote social justice locally and globally.

Fostering an educational culture that promotes collegiality, honesty, fairness, empowerment, transparency, and collective responsibility.


Our faculty members’ research programs have received funding from federal and state organizations such as the Institute of Education Sciences, National Institute on Drug Abuse and Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas. It is our mission to advance scientific knowledge, effect real-world change and enhance the quality and length of life in all segments of society. Our department is uniquely positioned to have a measurable impact on the elimination of global disparities in health and education.

Learning, Instruction, & Student Success

The Learning, Instruction, and Student Success Cluster comprises faculty whose research examines (a) the ways in which individuals learn in authentic (formal or informal) contexts; (b) the impact of instructional methods and/or interventions that target learning needs; and/or (c) strategies that bolster student goals, achievement, and outcomes.

Innovative Measurement & Research Methods

The mission of this Cluster is twofold: First, to develop innovative measurement, statistical analysis, and quantitative research methods and evaluate their utility (e.g., causal inference, computerized adaptive testing, longitudinal data analysis, curriculum-based measurement). Second, to apply state-of-the-art quantitative and mixed research methods to significant educational, psychological, and societal issues (e.g., STEM learning outcomes, diverse learners, juvenile justice and crime, youth violence exposure).

Development of Risk & Resilience

The PHLS Development of Risk and Resilience Research Cluster focuses on understanding what promotes well-being, prevents problems, or reduces harm from problems. Members of this research Cluster are especially interested in understanding the biopsychosocial contributions to risk and resilience, and the social ecology of malleable factors related to health and educational disparities including socioculturally-sensitive intervention and social justice policies.

Behavioral Health & Health Disparities

The PHLS Behavioral Health and Health Disparities Cluster focuses on generating knowledge and practices that positively impact the overall physical and mental well-being of diverse populations. Members of this Cluster are particularly interested in (a) promoting well-being through prevention of and intervention with mental illness, as well as substance abuse or other health-compromising behaviors; and (b) addressing differences in health outcomes and health care associated with social, environmental, or economic disadvantages.

Multiculturalism & Social Justice

Faculty in this Cluster develop knowledge, perspectives, and understandings of other cultures that vary by race, ethnicity, language, social class, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, and identity (among others) through the lifespan. This focus includes training on developing specific skills, competencies, and points of view needed by professionals in a multicultural society; examining equity, including the distribution of resources in all its forms; and advocating through scholarship.

Program and Research Videos

The following is a collection of brief video overviews of some of our most recent research findings. If you would like to learn more about our research, please visit our degree program pages.





Learn more about the College of Education’s programs, research, community engagement and more in our new magazine. Prospective students won’t want to miss this useful guide! Read on.

Farish Hall

Contact Us

Department of Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences at the University of Houston

Department Chair: Dr. Nathan Grant Smith

UH College of Education
Stephen Power Farish Hall
3657 Cullen Blvd., Room 491
Houston, TX 77204-5023

Department: 713-743-7397

Undergraduate: or 713-743-5000
Graduate: or 713-743-7676
General: or 713-743-5010

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