School of Health Professions

The School of Health Professions is a dynamic center of learning, service, research, and practice for future allied health professionals who will serve the people of Texas and the nation. Allied health represents the largest group of health care providers in the United States.  There are over 100 allied health disciplines representing more than 7 million workers and constituting approximately 60% of the health care workforce.

All educational programs in the School of Health Professions are accredited by their respective specialized accrediting bodies. Information about accreditation status and the accrediting body are presented in each department’s section of this Catalog.

History

When the Board of Regents reorganized all existing biomedical units within The University of Texas System in 1972, the Health Science Center became one of four such institutions of The University of Texas System, each having a medical school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences and a school of allied health sciences, in addition to at least one of the following health professional schools: a school of nursing, a school of public health or a dental school.

Before the reorganization, San Antonio had been the site of the Medical School, the Dental School, and the School of Nursing. When the Health Science Center was established by the Board of Regents, the Medical and Dental schools and the newly established Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and School of Allied Health Sciences (SAHS) became the original components. With the integration of the School of Nursing in 1976, the institution consisted of five schools.

In 1975, The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) independently developed three allied health programs: medical technology (now medical laboratory sciences), occupational therapy and physical therapy. As these programs began to develop at UTSA, it became apparent that a linkage with the Health Science Center was needed to satisfy accreditation standards for the three new programs. The Health Science Center and UTSA subsequently developed a jointly awarded baccalaureate degree. Administrative responsibility for these three programs was transferred to the Health Science Center School of Allied Health in 1980.

In 1991, the SAHS programs earned departmental status and program directors officially became "Department Chairs" in the spring of 1992. That same year, the School of Allied Health Sciences began awarding its own Bachelor of Science degrees in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy, independent of the UTSA joint degree. The Department of Respiratory Care was established in 1993 to offer a Bachelor's degree in Respiratory Care and the Master of Physical Therapy degree was offered for the first time in fall 1995.  In 1999, the Department of Occupational Therapy began offering a Master of Occupational Therapy. 

The School of Allied Health Sciences began offering a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies in 1996 through a collaborative agreement with the United States Army. The Department of Physician Assistant Studies began offering a stand-alone baccalaureate curriculum in the Fall of 2000.  In 2003, the Department of Physician Assistant Studies began offering a Master's Curriculum.

The Department of Emergency Health Sciences, formerly Department of Emergency Medical Technology, originated in the School of Medicine, Division of Orthopedic Surgery and began offering EMS certification programs in 1974. The Department was one of the first nationally accredited programs in 1983 and transferred to the School of Allied Health in 1989 and was granted approval to offer the state’s first Bachelor of Science in EHS in 2000.

In 2008, the School of Allied Health Sciences became known as the School of Health Professions; that same year, the Department of Physical Therapy revised the Master of Science degree program and began offering a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. In 2015, the Department of Respiratory Care began offering the Master of  Science in Respiratory Care.

Today the School of Health Professions includes five departments: Health Sciences, Emergency Health Sciences, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies and Physical Therapy. Together, these departments offer two doctoral degrees, five master’s degrees, three bachelor’s degrees, and two certificates.

Mission Statement

The mission of the School of Health Professions is to make lives better through excellence in education, research, health care and community engagement.

Strategic Objectives

1. Excellence in education

  • Educating a diverse student body to become excellent health care providers, scientists and leaders.
  • Advancing health science education through research, scholarship and practice.

2. Excellence in research and scholarship

  • Engaging in research to understand health and disease, and to commercialize discoveries, as appropriate, to benefit the public.
  • Discovering and disseminating new knowledge to advance health, health care, education and training.

3. Excellence in health care

  • Providing compassionate and culturally proficient health care, and influencing thoughtful advances in health policy.
  • Providing leadership in health and health care delivery.

4. Excellence in service and community engagement

  • Engaging our community to improve health.
  • Providing leadership for our professions.

5. Operational effectiveness

  • Ensuring faculty engagement and support.
  • Developing outstanding faculty and leaders.
  • Advancing fiscally responsible and strategic growth.
  • Ensuring sound stewardship of resources.

Vision

By 2020 the School of Health Professions at the Health Science Center will be recognized as a world class school whose programs are among the best in the United States.

School of Health Professions Application and Admission

Application and admission requirements vary by department and program; please see the respective department section in this Catalog for specific information. Applicants are advised to pay close attention to application deadlines, as they also vary by department and program. An application packet is not considered complete until all required documents have been received.

Admission to all programs within the School of Health Professions is on a competitive basis. A limited number of students are admitted each year. Applicants should be aware that the selection process usually involves choosing among highly qualified applicants rather than between qualified and unqualified applicants.

Applicants may submit transcripts for an unofficial evaluation of prerequisite coursework to the School of Health Professions Office of Admissions and Special Programs. Additional information about application and admission is available by calling (866) 802-6288 (toll-free) or (210) 567-6220.

Upon admission to any program within the School of Health Professions, these additional items are required:

Background Check

Prior to Matriculation

Acceptance is contingent upon completing and passing a background check. An offer of admission will not be final until the criminal background check is completed with results deemed satisfactory.  Students must pay costs for the criminal background check.  Directions for the background check process will be included in the offer of admission letter.  Students should be advised that persons with certain types of criminal convictions may not be eligible for state licensure and/or national registry or certification. In addition, many employers perform criminal background checks and may not hire individuals with certain types of criminal convictions.  Concerned students should check with the respective department for further clarification.

Clinical Rotations

Programs offered in the School of Health Professions often require that clinical rotations, practicums, internships or other learning experiences be successfully completed in hospitals and other health care facilities in order to meet program requirements. Because use of these facilities is required, students must be able to successfully complete their assigned rotations in order to fulfill the academic requirements of their program.

Hospitals and other health care facilities often have policies requiring criminal background checks for employees, students, and volunteers. These facilities may refuse to accept individuals for clinical, practicum or other experiential rotations based on past criminal convictions.

Students should be prepared to comply with the policies and procedures at any facility where they are assigned as part of their educational program and may not request facility assignments in an effort to avoid specific requirements. Students who have certain types of information in their criminal background checks may be ineligible to complete rotations in specific facilities. Students who are not allowed to participate at assigned facilities, or who are terminated from rotations based on the results of a criminal background check will be unable to complete the program requirements for graduation and will be subject to dismissal on academic grounds.

Health Insurance Coverage

Accepted students must show evidence of current health insurance, including dates of coverage. Unless proof of proper insurance coverage is provided before the first day of classes, students will be charged for a policy provided by the University. The health insurance fee is non-removable once the payment due date passes, and non-refundable once paid.

Immunizations

All required immunizations (e.g. TB skin test, tetanus, MMR, Varicella, Hepatitis B) must be completed prior to registration to protect the student's health, the health of patients, and to minimize any adverse reactions during the early part of the student's training. Be aware that it may take some time to obtain the immunizations and the information/signature from the student's health care provider. Specific immunization information can be obtained through the Student Health Clinic.

Immunization Records must be returned to the Student Health Center at least 30 days prior to registration. Students accepted less than 30 days before registration, should hand-deliver their Immunization Record to the Student Health Center as soon as possible. If accepted more than 30 days before registration, students drop off or mail completed form to:

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Student Health Center - MSC 7934
 7703 Floyd Curl Drive
 San Antonio, Texas 78229-3900

Tuition Deposit Fee

Payment of the $250 tuition deposit fee is required to reserve a place in each program. The entire deposit fee will be credited to tuition when officially matriculated. Failure to enroll will result in forfeiture of the entire fee.

Texas Core Curriculum

Students who will be receiving their first baccalaureate degree from the Health Science Center must successfully complete the Texas Core Curriculum requirements. See the General Education Core Curriculum Policy for more information, including changes to the Health Science Center's Core Curriculum based on legislation passed in 2013 and applicable to students matriculating in the fall of 2014.

Any student concurrently enrolled at more than one institution of higher education must follow the core curriculum of the institution in which they are classified as a degree-seeking student.  Accordingly all degree-seeking students at the Health Science Center must meet the core curriculum requirement set forth by the Health Science Center to be considered core complete.  Students who complete core curriculum of another institution while enrolled at the Health Science Center as a degree-seeking student are, regardless of their status with the other institution, only considered core complete if their coursework satisfies all core curriculum requirements at the Health Science Center. 

If a student’s transcript from another Texas public college or university indicates that the student has completed the institution’s core curriculum, no additional core curriculum requirements will be imposed. An Associate in Applied Science degree does not deem a student core complete. If a student has not completed the core requirements at another Texas institution prior to entering the Health Science Center, the Health Science Center will accept academic credits from another Texas public college or university the core curriculum courses successfully completed, with grades of “C” or better only. The same requirements also apply to out of state students and students who attended a private college or university. 

International Applicants

International applicants who have completed all or part of their college-level education at schools outside the United States must:

Non-Degree Student Status

An individual who wishes to enroll in courses offered by the School of Health Professions without entering a certificate or degree program must apply for admission as a non-degree seeking student. In general, a non-degree seeking student will have an academic background similar to those ordinarily admitted to Health Professions programs; course prerequisites and minimum grade point averages (GPA) are generally consistent with the published admissions criteria for each program. Permission to enroll as a non-degree seeking student may be granted by the Dean, Associate Dean, or Department Chair.  Students will be enrolled only if space is available.

Students seeking non-degree status must:

  • receive approval for registration each semester by the Dean, Associate Dean, or Department Chair and the instructor of each course
  • maintain a minimum grade point average consistent with the department’s established policies for regular students; and
  • enroll for no more than 9 semester credit hours during fall or spring semesters or 6 hours during the summer session.

Course grading policies and standards for non-degree seeking students are the same as those for regular students. All grades received as a non-degree seeking student will be included on the student’s transcript and used for computing the cumulative GPA if the student is subsequently admitted to a certificate or degree program. Under special circumstances, such as the computation of the GPA to determine academic probation, the Dean or Associate Dean may grant exceptions to this policy.

Transfer by Advanced Standing

Students who wish to transfer from another health professions program to an equivalent program at the School of Health Professions (example: DPT to DPT, MPAS to MPAS) may be considered on a space-available basis; placement is for highly qualified students from other institutions.  Students must be in good standing and eligible for readmission at their current/former school of health professions and have well-founded personal reasons for wishing to transfer.  Not all departments accept advanced standing transfer students, so please check with the department prior to applying. Note that space must be available in the program for the transfer.

Students desiring to transfer must also:

  • have completed the same prerequisites required by the program;
  • meet the program GPA requirements;
  • have a letter of reference from the former program director stating the student is in good standing and eligible to continue or return to the program;
  • have a satisfactory criminal background check;
  • have required immunizations; and
  • meet all university requirements for entering and continuing students.

     Students who are ineligible for Transfer by Advanced Standing:

  • have been dismissed from their health professions program;
  • are not meeting normal curriculum progress at their current institution

Due to the varying requirements of each program and limited space, interested students should contact the specific department Chair for additional requirements, application requirements, deadlines and approval. The Chair may admit a student on a non-degree basis.  If admitted, the student must adhere to all program and institutional policies and procedures.

Additional information about application and admission is available from the School of Health Professions Office of Admissions and Special Programs or by calling (866) 802-6288 (toll-free) or (210) 567-6220.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Course credit for specified general education and elective prerequisites may be accepted without a letter grade in the School of Health Professions certificate and degree programs if a student earns a satisfactory score on College Level Examination Program (CLEP) examinations.

Conditions and Limitations

  • Applicants and students are responsible for requesting that official CLEP scores be sent by The College Board to the Office of the University Registrar.
  • CLEP credit awarded by another institution is acceptable if scores are consistent with the minimum scores. Notation of CLEP credit (CR) on an official transcript from the institution is sufficient documentation.
  • CLEP credit cannot be used to establish credit for prerequisite courses for which a grade of F had been recorded.
  • CLEP credit will not be recognized for prerequisite courses in which the student received college credit for the same course or its equivalent.
  • Credit for CLEP exams used to satisfy requirements for entry into a program will not be listed on the transcript.

More information can be found in this Catalog under the Policy on Awarding Academic Credit, Transfers and Substitutions.

Credit By Examination

Students in some Health Professions certificate or degree programs may earn credit by examination for designated courses. Credit by examination will not be given for credit-bearing courses that the student previously failed at the Health Science Center or any other college or university.

Academic credit is awarded only to officially enrolled students or former students. With the approval of the Dean, additional eligibility requirements may be established by each department. Information about additional requirements is available from the department office or the Office of the University Registrar.

Credit by examination satisfies degree requirements in the same way as credit earned by passing a course. Credit earned by examination does not jeopardize eligibility for scholarships that require a certain class standing (e.g. junior class).

A student may be eligible for credit by examination by passing the requisite examination according to criteria set by the department. Credit by examination is reported to the Office of the University Registrar by the department upon the student’s successful completion of the specified examination. At the department’s request, the Office of the University Registrar will post the credit earned by examination on the student’s official transcript. Credits earned by examination are not included in the calculation of the student’s grade point average.

More information can be found in this Catalog under the Policy on Awarding Academic Credit, Transfers and Substitutions.

Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES)

Course credit for specified core curriculum requirements and program prerequisites may be accepted without a letter grade in the School of Health Professions professional certificate and degree programs if a student earns a satisfactory score on Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) examinations.

Conditions and Limitations

  • Applicants and students are responsible for requesting that official DANTES scores be sent by DANTES to the Office of the University Registrar.
  • DANTES credit awarded by another institution is acceptable if scores are consistent with the minimum scores. Notation of DANTES credit on an official transcript from the institution is sufficient documentation.
  • DANTES credit cannot be used to establish credit for core curriculum or program prerequisite courses for which a grade of F had been recorded.
  • DANTES credit will not be recognized for core curriculum or program prerequisite courses in which the student received college credit for the same course or its equivalent.

More information can be found in this Catalog under the Policy on Awarding Academic Credit, Transfers and Substitutions.

Essential Functions

Many departments in the School of Health Professions have adopted statements of “essential functions” or “core performance standards” that stipulate the function level of capability required to perform competently in the education program and/or as a professional after graduation.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply to the School of Health Professions programs. It is the responsibility of the student to submit a Request for Accommodation under the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA), to the ADA Compliance Office. Reasonable accommodations will be decided by the department in concurrence with the ADA Compliance Office. For further information, see the University Handbook of Operating Procedures 4.2.3 Request for Accommodations under the ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 or contact the School of Health Professions Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs.

Scholarships

A variety of scholarships are available to students in the School of Health Professions. Some are available to all students in the school and others are available only to students in a specific department. A scholarship application and supporting documentation are required on an annual basis. Information is usually sent out in the spring for scholarships to be awarded for the upcoming academic year. For more information, consult with the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees in the School of Health Professions vary by department and program; please see the department web site for specific program costs. In addition to tuition, there are required fees for all students. There are also additional program-specific fees that vary by department and course. There is no on-campus housing at the Health Science Center and program expenses do not reflect day-to-day living expenses. Travel and living expenses for local and out-of-town clinical experiences are not included in program costs. For more information on tuition and fees, contact the Office of the Bursar.

School of Health Professions Departments

For the School of Health Professions, allied health professionals are defined as those who are involved in the identification, evaluation, treatment, and prevention of diseases, injuries, and other health-related conditions, while educating the public on prevention, wellness, and self-management for healthful lifestyles.

At the School of Health Professions, educational programs are provided in the following disciplines:

Health Sciences

  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences
  • Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care Degree Completion Program
  • Master of Science in Respiratory Care
  • Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology - Proposed Start Spring 2018

Emergency Health Sciences 

  • EMT- Basic certificate
  • Advanced Practice/Community Paramedic Certificate
  • Bachelor of Science in Emergency Health Sciences

Occupational Therapy 

  • Doctor of Occupational Therapy - Proposed Start Summer 2018
  • Master of Occupational Therapy

Physical Therapy 

  • Doctor in Physical Therapy

Physician Assistant Studies 

  • Master of Physician Assistant Studies