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Faculty Resources

Appointment to the Faculty

The College of Graduate Health Sciences bylaws state, "Any paid, affiliated, or adjunct faculty member at UTHSC who holds an earned doctorate or the highest degree appropriate to the field and has demonstrated an interest in research may be nominated by a Chair for appointment to the CGHS faculty."

Appointment to the College is required before a faculty member may (1) direct a graduate course and serve on thesis or dissertation committees, or (2) supervise the research of students working toward degrees awarded through the CGHS. Applications for appointment to the faculty (pdf) are reviewed by the Credentials Committee at least twice each year and as needed. Recommendation for appointment to the faculty are made by the Committee to the Graduate Studies Council.

To be certified to direct student research, faculty must have served on a thesis or dissertation committee or supervised postdoctoral students for a year. Approval to direct PhD research also requires that the mentor have an independent research program.

Thesis and Dissertation Committee Guidelines

The College of Graduate Health Sciences has developed a road map to help research advisors and student faculty committee members understand what the College expects from them while they serve as members of a graduate student committee. The College relies upon faculty committees to oversee all aspects of a student's dissertation/thesis project. They are responsible for seeing that the student complies with all the policies and regulations of both the program and the College. Most importantly, they are the advisors to both the student and the research advisor. We hope the document will be of benefit to you as you serve on graduate student committees.

Preparing Course Listings

Twice each academic year, Program Directors specify the courses that will be offered in the upcoming semester from the list of previously approved courses (note that all courses must be approved by the Curriculum Committee prior to being offered). Program directors can specify the course offerings by logging into the Curriculum Management Program and selecting the courses to be offered each term.

The window for selecting course offerings for the Summer and Fall term is midnight March 31 through midnight April 30; the window for selecting course offerings for the Spring term is midnight September 30 through midnight October 31. The deadlines for submitting new course proposals for these two terms are March 31 and August 31, respectively. Information requested by the CMP includes Course Director and, if available, the time, day, and place of course meetings.

Instructions for Submitting a New Course Proposal

All new course proposals must be submitted through the online Curriculum Management Program .

The following is the information required for new graduate courses. You may include additional information in the online submission that may aid the Curriculum Committee in reaching an informed decision. All proposals must entered into the CMP by the deadline shown on the Academic Calendars.

Course Credit

In general, 1 hour of credit is assigned for 1 hour of classroom experience and two hours of out-of-class work per week in a 15-week term or for 2 hours of lab experience over the same period. An equivalent amount of work in an online course receives equivalent credit.

Catalog Description

A description of sufficient detail to convey the primary objectives of the course. The description should be general enough that, should course content change and evolve as new methods or interpretations of data become available, the description still applies.


State the knowledge/skills students will have acquired upon successful completion of the course.

Definition of a learning objective: A learning objective is a precise statement that answers the question, “What should the learner have learnt or be able to do, relative to the subject content, upon completing this topic or unit?” J.E. Kemp, The Instructional Design Process .

Specifically, the statement of the objective should contain an action verb (to evaluate, to select, to design, to integrate, to test) followed by a reference to the subject content.

Possible levels of cognition are (from lowest to highest) knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. The action verb should reflect the level of cognition.

In addition to reference to subject content, optional items in the objective statement may define the expected level of achievement and conditions under which the performance will be evaluated (time limits, etc.).


A detailed course outline sufficiently detailed to permit judgment of topics covered, their depth, and rigor of the course. It is understood that the course content may change from year to year depending on the state of the science. Include recommended textbooks.

Method of Evaluation

If examinations are used, include type and frequency of examination. Other methods of evaluation such as term papers, student presentation, or alternative methods of evaluation should be specified.

Placement in Curriculum

An overview of the curriculum to evaluate the fit of the course into the program’s curriculum and curricula of other programs to avoid duplication of course content.

Evaluate the need for the course and the target student groups. State whether the course is required or elective and anticipated frequency.


Course director and all faculty involved in the course. A curriculum vitae of the instructors is not required.


Additional material necessary to evaluate the proposal. 

New course proposal review

The course director of the proposed course is required to attend the Curriculum Committee's meeting at which the course will be evaluated to address queries and to expedite the review process.

Upon completion of the first offering, the new-course evaluation process must be completed and a report sent to the Curriculum Committee for review.

Writing Learning Objectives

Course objectives guide all educational activities and are critical to the success of a course. The most frequent reasons a course proposal is returned for revision are that the course objectives are:

  • Teaching rather than learning objectives (i.e., they are written from the perspective of the instructor rather than of the learner)
  • Written at too low a level of cognitive domain for graduate education

A brief guide, Writing Learning Objectives, can assist you in writing appropriate objectives.

In addition, some course objectives are presented and critiqued below in an effort to improve their usefulness to students:

A common issue with many of the following objectives is that they often combine two or more lower level objectives that are precursors to doing the higher level objective. This format can obscure the higher level objective:

  • Identify, summarize, and interpret data and information relevant to a health policy issue.
  • Identify, interpret, and evaluate policies related to specific health care programs. Comment: These objectives combine three different verbs at three different levels. The lower level verbs are subsumed under the higher level verb. For example, in order to interpret data relevant to health policy, the student must do the lower level activities of identifying and summarizing health policies. Hence, those activities are subsumed in the activity of interpreting the policies, and only the interpreting activity needs to be presented. The objectives should begin "Interpret . . ." and “Evaluate . . .” In this manner, it will be more obvious to the reader that these are higher level objectives.
  • Evaluate research tools for soundness and applicability in specified research projects. Comment: This objective might be improved by writing “Evaluate psychometric properties of research instruments.” 
  • Integrate health behavior theories to design a public health intervention in the form of a research proposal. Comment: Two verbs again, both at a higher level, with one verb (integrate) subsumed under the other verb (design). The objective might be rewritten as “Design a research proposal for a public health intervention based on health behavior theories.
  • Comprehend and analyze the current molecular biology literature.
  • Apply appropriate experimental techniques to problem-solving. Comment: In the first objective, there are two verbs again, at two different levels, with comprehension necessary before the analyzing can be done. Rewrite as “Critique molecular biology literature.” The second objective is not at a very high level. There may be a couple of objectives here. For example, “Critique experimental techniques” and “Design experimental techniques for selected problems.”
  • In the current literature, evaluate not just the outcome of the experimental design, but also the appropriateness of specific techniques used, the validity of the data produced, and the accuracy of conclusions reached by the authors.
  • Design and describe alternative experimental approaches that might be used to address the questions more effectively. Comment: The first objective could be summarized as “Critique molecular biomedical research literature.” Course documents would include guidelines for how to critique the literature. Simplify the second objective (and remove the lower level verb) to “Design alternative experimental approaches to those used in the molecular biomedical research literature.” 
  • Analyze and critically evaluate the technical details within a paper describing a macromolecular structure or property of the structure. Comment: Again, two verbs, both at a higher level, and redundant. Use “analyze” or “critique” or “evaluate” — select one. “Technical details” could be confusing here. Is the focus on critiquing the research methods described in a paper on a macromolecular structure, critiquing the macromolecular structure itself, or critiquing the property of the structure? It might be rewritten to “Evaluate the research methods of macromolecular research literature." 

Verbs applicable to the six levels in the cognitive domain (according to Bloom’s taxonomy) are from J. E. Kemp, The Instructional Design Process, Harper and Row, NY, 1985.

Knowledge: Recall of information Comprehension: Interpret information in one's own words Application: Apply knowledge or generalization to new situation
Arrange Name Classify Recognize Apply Operate
Define Order Describe Report Choose Prepare
Duplicate Recognize Discuss Restate Demonstrate Practice
Label Relate Explain Review Dramatize Schedule
List Recall Express Select Employ Sketch
Match Repeat Identify Sort Illustrate Solve
Memorize Reproduce Indicate Locate Tell Translate Interpret Use
Analysis: Break down knowledge into parts and show relationship among parts Synthesis: Bring together parts of knowledge to form a whole and build relationships for new situations Evaluation: Make judgments on basis of given criteria
Analyze Differentiate Arrange Manage Appraise Evaluate
Appraise Discriminate Assemble Organize Argue Judge
Calculate Distinguish Collect Plan Assess Predict
Categorize Examine Compose Prepare Attack Rate
Compare Experiment Construct Propose Choose Score
Contrast Inventory Create Set up Compare Select
Criticize Question Design Synthesize Define Support
Diagram Test Formulate Write Estimate Value

In conclusion, our goal is to ensure that our graduate curricula are rigorous and focused on student learning.

May 26, 2022