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Explore Our Vision and Mission at O'Donnell School of Public Health

The UT Southwestern Peter O'Donnell Jr. School of Public Health is dedicated to advancing the nation's health through groundbreaking research and by training a new generation of leaders who can respond to emerging public health needs.

We improve the well-being of communities by:

  • Translating scientific discoveries into public health solutions
  • Assuring that we have an expert public health workforce, skilled in data sciences, epidemiology, health policy, health care delivery research, implementation science, and other disciplines impacting public health practice

Rising to the Challenge

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Our programs address some of society's most challenging problems, which affect communities in North Texas and worldwide

We focus on:

  • Disease prevention
  • Burden of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity
  • Cancer epidemiology and prevention
  • Disparities in health outcomes and health equity
  • Social determinants of health
  • Health care delivery research
  • Implementation science

A better understanding of these aspects of public health helps create more equitable and accessible care for all in North Texas, one of the most populous, diverse, and fastest-growing regions of the United States.

North Texas faces many long-standing public health challenges, including high rates of common chronic illnesses, disparities in access to care, and the impact of social determinants of health in our communities. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the urgent need for public health resources in our communities, including professionals who are trained in evidence-based preventive interventions, epidemiologic crisis response, disease surveillance, and public health outreach.

Growing an Exceptional Network

The Peter O'Donnell Jr. School of Public Health connects the foundational research strengths and experience of UT Southwestern's Medical School, School of Health Professions, and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

We also benefit from collaboration with the growing UT Southwestern Health System and an extensive network of affiliated health systems, as well as community organizations and university partners.

Our partners include:

As one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, UT Southwestern integrates pioneering research with exceptional health promotion, clinical care, and education. We are home to nearly 3,000 faculty members, many of whom are leaders in their respective fields, including six Nobel Laureates, 26 members of the National Academy of Sciences, and 20 members of the National Academy of Medicine. Annual research funding at the university exceeds $500 million per year.

The Peter O'Donnell Jr. School of Public Health upholds the wider UT Southwestern institutional mission of promoting health and a healthy society that enables achievement of full human potential, with a deep commitment to the core values of excellence, innovation, teamwork, and compassion.

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Training for Our Future

The UT Southwestern Peter O'Donnell Jr. School of Public Health is the fourth school to be created in the UT Southwestern Medical Center, and the first in the past half-century. Funded by a $100 million gift from the O'Donnell Foundation, UT Southwestern is the recipient of the largest gift to a School of Public Health at a public university in the United States.

The school welcomed its first class of Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) students in the fall of 2023 and will welcome classes for Ph.D. students in the fall of 2024.