Friday, April 23, 2021
  Around Campus, Announcements

By Amanda Alaniz

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved Thursday the degree proposal for a doctorate in human genetics for the UTRGV School of Medicine.

The new human genetics Ph.D. program — a full-time, four-year, 72-credit-hour degree plan — will focus on applications of human genetics to medicine. It is designed to address the growing need for researchers in human genetics and genomics in South Texas.

The program still must receive final approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) before it can be offered. In addition, federal financial aid is not available until the program is approved by the U.S. Department of Education.

The program is scheduled to begin Fall 2022.

“Human genetics plays such a vital role in how our School of Medicine looks at disease, especially those prevalent in South Texas,” said UTRGV President Guy Bailey. “We are ecstatic the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board supports this program and sees the potential impact it can have in helping our area. Our university thrives in expanding our research and bringing new opportunities to our students.” 

The program is slated to admit seven students per year until it reaches a steady state of about 25 students working toward their doctoral degrees.

UTRGV School of Medicine’s Department of Human Genetics is focused on common diseases with high prevalence in South Texas, including diabetes, obesity and fatty liver disease. The South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute (STDOI) conducts a large portion of the department’s research.

STDOI’s resources include the Genomics Computing Center, one of the world’s largest computing clusters dedicated to human genetics analysis.

The Department of Human Genetics research team is dedicated to enhancing the health and quality of life for the Valley community and beyond.

To learn more about the human genetics department, visit UTRGV School of Medicine Department of Human Genetics.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.