Penn State's Department of Health Policy and Administration helps students prepare for positions in health care organizations, the nation's second-largest and fastest-growing industry. Master of Health Administration (MHA) graduates become executives in hospitals, health systems, skilled nursing facilities, insurance companies, consulting firms, home health agencies, federal regulating agencies, medical group practices, health maintenance organizations, public health agencies, mental health agencies, and clinics. The curriculum emphasizes strategic thinking, management, communication, and a broad understanding of the U.S. health care system. Areas of study include health law, epidemiology management, payment mechanisms, ethics, managed care, long-term care, health care technology, marketing, and strategic planning.
Satisfactory scores on either the Graduate Management Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are required for admission. In addition, a junior/senior grade-point average of 3.00 or better, a relevant personal statement, and two letters of recommendation are necessary. Some work experience in health care is preferred, but not required.
The MHA program is designed to be completed in twenty-one months of full-time study, although it may be completed on a part-time basis. A minimum of 49 credits is required for completion of the degree. Students take 46 preselected Health Policy and Administration credits and 3 credits of electives selected in consultation with an adviser. Students are required to complete a ten-week residency in a health care practice setting. For full-time students, this is completed during the summer between the first and second years of academic study.
Penn State Harrisburg--Based on eight prescribed core courses defined as the foundation of administration in health care, the degree program is designed for part-time professional students already engaged in, or interested in, health administration careers. Three years of relevant experience is an admission requirement. If the applicant's GPA is less than 3.0, GRE or GMAT scores are required.