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University Bulletin

Graduate Degree Programs

Health Administration (H ADM)

Program Home Page (Opens New Window)

HENGAMEH HOSSEINI, Graduate Program Coordinator
School of Public Affairs, Penn State Harrisburg
W-153 Olmsted Building; 717-948-6042

 

Degree Conferred:

M.H.A.

Graduate Faculty

The Program

Recognizing that the national health care system is in a period of reform and redesign, the program emphasis involves design/redesign in a 36-credit curriculum. Based on eight core courses defined as the foundation of administration in health care, the degree is designed for part-time professional students already engaged in health administration careers. The mission of the program is to further student knowledge and skills in a continuous learning cycle. Students are expected not only to know the existing health system, but are to develop a capability for design consistent with demands of access to care, management, and control of costs and quality of care delivery.

Part-time students may start the program at the beginning of any semester. They usually take one or two 3-credit courses each semester. Students may also take one or two courses during the summer session to maintain steady progress toward the degree. All Health Administration courses are available during the evening for the convenience of part-time students. A student may complete the M.H.A. on a part-time basis in about two to four years.

Admission Requirements

Undergraduate degrees in any major are acceptable for admission. Applicants must have either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.. Applicants who are still completing their baccalaureate requirements at the time of the application may be admitted to the Graduate School conditional on the awarding of the baccalaureate degree.

Admission to the MHA program is based on clear suitability for the MHA program as demonstrated by the application as a whole, to include:

  • a completed online Graduate School application and payment of the application fee,
  • evidence of a bachelor's degree from an regionally accredited college as outlined above;
  • a statement of career and educational goals;
  • a successful undergraduate record with a minimum grade-point average of 3.00 (with particular attention given to the last two years of undergraduate work);
    • satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) are required if the GPA is less than 3.00 (typically, applicants who have scores of 1,000 or higher on the GRE and are admitted to the program tend to be successful in the program);
  • three years of work experience; and
  • names of three references willing to provide recommendations.

The GPA requirement may be relaxed if the student has professional experience or other strong evidence suggesting likely success in the MHA program. Some applicants may be admitted on a provisional basis; the condition for removal of provisional status is obtaining a grade-point average of 3.00 in 15 credits of approved courses within two semesters.

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. All international applicants must take and submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), with the exceptions noted below. The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 for the paper-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the Internet-based test (iBT). Applicants with iBT speaking scores between 15 and 18 may be considered for provisional admission, which requires completion of specified remedial English courses ESL 114G (American Oral English for Academic Purposes) and/or ESL 116G (ESL/Composition for Academic Disciplines) and attainment of a grade of B or higher. The minimum acceptable composite score for the IELTS is 6.5.

International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement who have received a baccalaureate or a graduate degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United States, and Wales.

Program Requirements

The degree requires a total of 36 credits, with a minimum of 33 credits at the 500-level, including a 3-credit capstone course (faculty-supervised paper); up to 3 credits of 400-level work may be included in the electives. An overall 3.00 (B) grade-point average must be earned in all coursework.

REQUIRED COURSES: 24 credits
H ADM 539, H ADM 540, H ADM 541, H ADM 542, H ADM 545, P ADM 503, P ADM 506, P ADM 510

ELECTIVES: 9 credits
H ADM 543, H ADM 546, H ADM 548, H ADM 551, H ADM 552, H ADM 597, P ADM 505, P ADM 511, P ADM 512, P ADM 514, P ADM 515, P ADM 516

CAPSTONE COURSE (FACULTY-SUPERVISED PAPER: 3 credits
H ADM 594

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

HEALTH ADMINISTRATION (H ADM) course list

Joint Degree Offering with Penn State Law

Penn State Harrisburg
Penn State Law

Degrees Conferred:
J.D. (Penn State Law)
M.H.A. (Health Policy and Administration)

Joint Degree Programs

Penn State Law (University Park) and Health Policy and Administration (HPA) will offer coordinated programs of studies leading to the degrees of Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Master of Health Administration (M.H.A).

Admission Requirements

Students applying to the joint degree program must be admitted separately into both Penn State Law and HPA. Students must first be admitted to the law school and must complete the required first-year curriculum in the J.D. program before commencing the M.H.A. component. Application to the MHA program must take place through the Graduate School Application. Formal admission to the M.H.A. program would normally take place during the student’s first year of law, but HHD may extend provisional admission to the M.H.A. program at the time an applicant applies to Penn State Law particularly where an applicant’s law school choice depends upon admission to the J.D./M.H.A. joint degree program.

College Specific Admission Requirements

Penn State Law: The Penn State Law admissions process considers academic transcripts, leadership activities, community activities, work experience, personal background, letters of recommendation, the personal statement, LSAT scores and the LSAT writing sample. An admissions committee identifies candidates who are academically prepared for law study and who will contribute to the promotion of diversity and excellence in the student body and the legal profession. There is no standard prescribed undergraduate curriculum. The following are required of J.D. degree applicants: a completed application form, an LSAT score, an LSDAS report, a one-page personal statement and two letters of recommendation.

Health Policy and Administration: The HPA M.H.A. admissions process is guided by a selection committee, which seeks students with the greatest potential for success, based on academic performance (a bachelor’s degree is required), GRE or GMAT scores, motivation and leadership potential. All applicants must submit a completed graduate school application, including three letters of reference, a statement of purpose, current resume, standardized test scores (GRE or GMAT), and a transcript from each institution attended. Official transcripts showing degree conferral will be required when the applicant is recommended for admission and accepts the program offer. At the student’s request, the LSAT may replace the GRE for joint degree admissions purposes.

International applicants for the joint degree who do not qualify for the English exemption will also need to provide a satisfactory TOEFL or IELTS score. All joint degree applicants will be required to achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 575 on the paper test, 230 on the computer-based test or 88 on the internet-based test (with a minimum speaking score of 20); a minimum of 6.5 on the IELTS will also be acceptable.

Residency: Students in the program will spend six semesters in Penn State Law and two to three semesters in HPA.

Liaisons: The director of the HPA M.H.A. program and the Penn State Law Associate Dean for Academic Affairs are designated program advisors and liaisons between the programs. Students will need to work with these designated program advisors and their individual faculty advisors from both programs to build an individual program.

Inter Program Transfer of Credits

Courses cannot be transferred or shared until the applicant is officially admitted to the joint program.  Retroactive transfers of courses taken prior to admission to the joint program are not permitted.

Penn State Law: Penn State Law will accept the transfer of twelve (12) credits from the M.H.A. program's required core curriculum as elective credit towards the J.D. Students must obtain a grade satisfactory to the program in order for the credits to be transferable.

Health Policy and Administration: HPA will accept the transfer of twelve (12) credits from the Penn State Law curriculum towards the M.H.A. in lieu of (i) two M.H.A. electives, (ii) a required M.H.A. course in health law, and (iii) one other required M.H.A. course as determined by the student and their advisors. Specific law course selection for transfer to the M.H.A. will be dependent on course offerings available at Penn State Law. Students must obtain a grade satisfactory to the program in order for the credits to be transferable.

Course Sequencing: Studentsenrolling in the joint degree may choose to conduct their study in either of two sequence options below. Each "Year" refers to the traditional academic year beginning in late August and concluding in May. In compliance with ABA Standards and Rules law students may not enroll for more than 17 credits per semester at Penn State.

Joint J.D./ M.H.A. Degree Program OPTION 1

Year 1

J.D. Required First-Year Curriculum (32 crs)
Summer Semester: H P A 595-M.H.A. Residency Requirement. This requirement may be satisfied with a J.D. externship, as coordinated between Penn State Law and the M.H.A. program. (1-3 crs)*

Year 1 total credits is 32-35*

Year 2

Fall Semester: H P A 503 (3), H P A 447 (3), H P A 520 (3), H P A 523 (3) (12 crs)
Spring Semester: H P A 524 (3), H P A 835 (3), H P A 551 (3), H P A 855 (3) (12 crs)
Summer Semester: H P A 595 -M.H.A. Residency Requirement, if not fulfilled between year one and two of program. This requirement may be satisfied with a J.D. externship, as coordinated between Penn State Law and the M.H.A. program. (1-3 crs)*

Year 2 total credits is 24-27*

Penn State Law does not have a required number of credits for the second and third year of the J.D. degree program. Students are required to complete 88 credits to earn the J.D. Twelve (12) credits is full-time. J.D. students may enroll in a maximum of 17 credits per semester. J.D. students will complete a minimum of 56 credits their second and third year.

Year 3

Fall Semester: H P A 850 (3), H P A 805 (3), H P A 556 (3), elective credits from J.D. Program (minimum 3), substitution credits for H P A 836 or H P A 556 (12 crs)
Spring Semester: Capstone (3),
H P A 545 (3), elective credits from J.D. Program (minimum 3), substitution credits for H P A 836 or H P A 556 (12 crs)

Year 3 total credits is 24.

Penn State Law does not have a required number of credits for the second and third year of the J.D. degree program. Students are required to complete 88 credits to earn the J.D. Twelve (12) credits is full-time. J.D. students may enroll in a maximum of 17 credits per semester. J.D. students will complete a minimum of 56 credits their second and third year.

Year 4

J.D. Upper Level Coursework: If not already satisfied, student must successfully complete Professional Responsibility (CORE 934) and the seminar requirement, both J.D. degree requirements at Penn State Law.

Penn State Law does not have a required number of credits for the second and third year of the J.D. degree program. Students are required to complete 88 credits to earn the J.D. Twelve (12) credits is full-time. J.D. students may enroll in a maximum of 17 credits per semester. J.D. students will complete a minimum of 56 credits their second and third year.

Total credits required for the J.D. degree is 88.

Total credits required for the M.H.A. degree is 49-51.*

*Variable credit totals depend on which year M.H.A. Summer Residency requirement is met and whether it is met with H P A 595 (1 cr) or J.D. externship (3 crs).

Joint J.D./ M.H.A. Degree Program OPTION 2

Year 1

J.D. Required First-Year Curriculum (32 crs)

Year 2

J.D. Upper Level Coursework: Student should consider taking Professional Responsibility (CORE 934) and a seminar course, both J.D. degree requirements at Penn State Law.

Penn State Law does not have a required number of credits for the second and third year of the J.D. degree program. Students are required to complete 88 credits to earn the J.D. Twelve (12) credits is full-time. J.D. students may enroll in a maximum of 17 credits per semester. J.D. students will complete a minimum of 56 credits their second and third year.

Year 3

Fall Semester: H P A 503 (3), H P A 447 (3), H P A 520 (3), H P A 523 (3) (12 crs)
Spring Semester: H P A 524 (3), H P A 835 (3), H P A 551 (3), H P A 855 (3) (12 crs)
Summer Semester: H P A 595-M.H.A. Residency Requirement. This requirement may be satisfied with a J.D. externship, as coordinated between Penn State Law and the M.H.A. program. (1-3 crs)

Penn State Law does not have a required number of credits for the second and third year of the J.D. degree program. Students are required to complete 88 credits to earn the J.D. Twelve (12) credits is full-time. J.D. students may enroll in a maximum of 17 credits per semester. J.D. students will complete a minimum of 56 credits their second and third year.

Year 3 total credits is 25-27*

Penn State Law does not have a required number of credits for the second and third year of the J.D. degree program. Students are required to complete 88 credits to earn the J.D. Twelve (12) credits is full-time. J.D. students may enroll in a maximum of 17 credits per semester. J.D. students will complete a minimum of 56 credits their second and third year.

Year 4

Fall Semester: H P A 850 (3), H P A 805 (3), elective credits from J.D. Program (minimum 3), substitution credits for H P A 836 or H P A 556 (12 crs)
Spring Semester: Capstone(3),
H P A 545 (3), elective credits from J.D. Program (minimum 3), substitution credits for H P A 836 or H P A 556 (12 crs)

J.D. Upper Level Coursework: If not already satisfied, student must successfully complete Professional Responsibility (CORE 934) and the seminar requirement, both J.D. degree requirements at Penn State Law. Total credits required for the J.D. degree is 88

Total credits required for the M.H.A. degree is 49-51.*

*Variable credit totals depend on which year M.H.A. Summer Residency requirement is met and whether it is met with H P A 595 (1 cr) or J.D. externship (3 crs)

Recommended Program of Study and Advising

The director of the HPA M.H.A. program and the Penn State Law Associate Dean for Academic Affairs are designated program advisors. In addition, students will have individual faculty advisors in both programs. Periodic interaction between the two advisors will be encouraged. A program of study will be developed for each student.

Tuition

Students will be charged the applicable Penn State Law tuition to cover the J.D. program and the applicable graduate tuition to cover the M.H.A. degree program. Penn State Law tuition will be paid for the semesters in which the student is registered for Penn State Law courses, and graduate tuition will be paid for the semesters in which the student is registered for graduate courses in the M.H.A. program. A student may take up to one course (3 credit hours) per semester in the program where the student is not primarily registered without any change in tuition, but must pay additional tuition to the program that the student is not primarily registered if he or she wishes to take additional course work pursuant to that program during the semester.

Financial Aid and Assistantships

Decisions on financial aid and assistantships will be made by each school according to that school’s procedures. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load policy listed in the Bulletin.

Information on Graduate Assistantships

Fulfillment of Degree Requirements and Graduation

A student in the program may complete the requirements for one of the degrees and be awarded that degree prior to completing all the requirements for the other degree; provided, however, that the student shall have successfully completed at least two semesters of work towards the other degree. All courses in one program that will count towards meeting the requirements of the other must be completed before the awarding of either degree. Students will be required to fulfill all requirements for each degree in order to be awarded that degree, subject to the inter-program transfer of credits.

Last Revised by the Department: Spring 2015

Review Date: 8/25/2015

Faculty linked: 8/14/14