Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences - University of Houston
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Student teacher with a student behind a Third Ward mural

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

  • Department Overview

    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 sciences.

    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.

  • Mission Statement

    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.
  • Program Values

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

    STUDENT SUCCESS
    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.

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

    DIVERSITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
    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.

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

PHLS NEWS & FEATURES

Short Takes

Allison Master, an assistant professor in the measurement, quantitative methods and learning sciences program, won a Teaching Excellence Award from the College for 2021-22.  

Blake Allan, an associate professor and director of the counseling psychology doctoral program, received the 2022 Award for Emerging Leadership in Psychology from the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Socioeconomic Status.

Sahar Eshtehardi, a doctoral candidate in the counseling psychology program, received the American Psychological Association’s 2022 Committee on Socioeconomic Status Student Award for Student Leadership. She earned a B.S. in psychology from UH in 2013 and an M.Ed. in counseling from the College in 2020.

Emily Jellinek, a student in the school psychology doctoral program, won a 2022 Student Research Award from the American Psychological Association’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities/Autism Spectrum Disorder Division. Jellinek earned an M.Ed. in counseling from the College in 2022.

Kerry Chavez, a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program, earned an honorable mention for the 2022 Researching Injustice and Social Equality (RISE) Award from the Association for Psychological Science.

Krysti Turnquest has been hired as a principal user experience researcher at Optum (a business of UnitedHealth Group). Turnquest earned a Ph.D. in measurement, quantitative methods and learning sciences in 2022.

Research

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


Innovative Measurement & Research Methods


Development of Risk & Resilience


Behavioral Health & Health Disparities


Multiculturalism & Social Justice


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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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: coeug@uh.edu or 713-743-5000
Graduate: coegrad@central.uh.edu or 713-743-7676
General: coecomm@uh.edu or 713-743-5010

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