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Student Life in Houston

Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest city in the United States. More than 5 million people live in Houston and the surrounding metropolitan area.

Houston's internationally diverse population, strong economy, culture and low cost of living have propelled it to the top of many national lists, including the "Coolest City in America" list in Forbes Magazine.

The overall cost of living in Houston is 5.6% below the national average and housing costs are 20% below the national average. There is no city or state income tax, which adds to the affordability of living in Houston.

Living and Getting Around

Additional student information

  • Student Disability Accommodations ADA504

    The MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is committed to providing equal opportunities for qualified students with disabilities in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations. See the UTHealth Handbook of Operating Procedures, Policy 101, for the complete policy and links to the required forms.. The intent of the law is to ensure equal access to individuals with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to meet the essential demands of the program.

    A student seeking accommodations must self-identify and is responsible for initiating a request in writing to the school’s Section 504 Coordinator as soon as practical. This typically occurs during the first semester of enrollment or following a new diagnosis. The 504 Coordinator will meet with the student to acknowledge the request, gather information, and explain the process. The student will complete the Request for Accommodations, and also submit the Medical Inquiry Form completed by his/her doctor or other medical professional, where appropriate. The 504 Coordinator reviews these documents with the UTHealth EEO Coordinator resulting in the Reasonable Accommodations Response Form. Once received by the student, it is up to him/her to share this information with faculty and instructors well in advance of requesting accommodations in any classes. This information remains confidential, and not part of a student’s academic record.

    A student should not request accommodations directly from a faculty member. If that occurs, the faculty member should refer the student to the school’s Section 504 Coordinator and/or this policy. Faculty should not be routinely granting extra time or other accommodations to students that may claim they have a disability, rather documentation is required.

    The GSBS has two Section 504 Coordinators:
    Dr. Natalie Sirisaengtaksin, academic accommodations ([email protected]713-500-9870);
    Cheryl Spitzenberger, facilities-related accommodations ([email protected]; 713-500-9875).

    It is recommended that the following statement be added to all syllabi: 
    If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Section 504 Coordinator. 

    Please see the Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOOP) for further information about the policy as well as links to the application and certification forms:

    HOOP Policy 101

    Disability Accommodations and Forms

  • Counseling and Worklife

    Graduate school and life can be stressful.  Remember that the UTHealth Student Counseling Center is here to help you:

    • Confidential counseling and mental health care
    • Covered by student services fee
    • For an appointment, call 713.500.5171
    • For help after hours, call 713.500.5173
    • UTHealth 24/7 Crisis Hotline: 713.500.I-M-U-T or 713.500.4688
    • Urgent appointments available upon request
    • 6410 Fannin, Suite 130, UT Professional Building

    If you’re paid as a Graduate Research Assistant, you may also take advantage of Employee Assistance Programs at UTHealth and MD Anderson

    Questions?  Contact Dr. Natalie Sirisaengtaksin at 713.500.9870 or [email protected]