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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

Penn State University Park

Health Policy and Administration

Capital College (HPACA)
University Park, College of Health and Human Development (H P A)
University College: Penn State Lehigh Valley, Penn State Mont Alto (HPACC)
Penn State World Campus


This major helps prepare students for management and policy positions or graduate study in the field of health care. Students in the major develop the skills and knowledge needed to understand the complex societal problem of providing access to quality health care at reasonable cost. All Health Policy and Administration students complete an internship in a health-care-related setting, giving them valuable experience and contacts in the industry. HPA students study a multidisciplinary curriculum that prepares them to work as health services managers or health analysts. Health services managers, also called health care executives or health care administrators, plan, direct, and coordinate medical, health, and/or long-term care services. They might manage an entire facility or specialize in managing a specific clinical area or department, administrate a program or manage a practice for a group of providers. Health analysts are employed throughout the health care industry gathering, compiling, modeling, validating, and analyzing data needed by different organizations of providers, payers, and policy makers. Analysts help these organizations understand the current trends in the health care system and to make well-informed decisions. Both health services managers and analysts must be able to adapt to changes in health care laws, regulations, and technology.  HPA students have also used the degree to prepare for graduate study in business, law, medicine or allied health fields, health administration, health services research or policy, and public health.

The requirements for the major are outlined below. Students may select courses in the Supporting Courses and Related Areas category to fulfill requirements for a minor, to develop a specialization, or to complete courses required for admission to medical, dental, law, or other graduate schools.

For the B.S. degree in Health Policy and Administration, a minimum of 120 credits is required.

The integrated B.S. in Health Policy and Administration/Master of Health Administration (MHA) program allows qualified undergraduate students to earn both degrees in five calendar years of full time academic study.

Per Senate Policy 83.80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. H P A requires students to complete 24 credits for the major through courses taken at University Park. Courses taken at other Penn State campuses may not be counted toward this 24 credit minimum. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for this major.

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem: 1-2)

(12 of these 45 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)
(See description of General Education in this bulletin.)

(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)

(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)


ELECTIVES: 4-6 credits

(This includes 12 credits of General Education courses: 6 credits of GQ courses; 6 credits of GS courses.)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (36 credits)[1]
ECON 102 GS(3), PLSC 1 GS(3), (Sem: 1-4)
HPA 101(3), HPA 210(3), HPA 211(3), HPA 301(3), HPA 310(3), HPA 311(3), HPA 332(3), HPA 390(3), HPA 395(3), HPA 455(3) (Sem: 1-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (15-17 credits)[1]
STAT 200 GQ(4) or STAT 250 GQ(3) (Sem: 1-4)
CMPSC 101 GQ(3) or CMPSC 203 GQ(4) (Sem: 3-4)
Select 9 credits from HPA 401 IL(3), HPA 410(3), HPA 420(3), HPA 430(3), HPA 433(3), HPA 440 US;IL(3), HPA 442(3), HPA 445(3), HPA 447(3), HPA 450(3), HPA 460(3), HPA 470(3), HPA 490(3) or HPA 497 (Sem: 5-8)

(Must include at least 9 credits at the 400 level)
Select 30 credits from University-wide offerings on department list in consultation with adviser (Sem: 5-8)

Integrated B.S. in Health Policy and Administration/Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.) Admission and Degree Requirements

The following credentials will be considered for admission:

  • A demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, an advanced level of maturity, and high motivation to pursue a career in the health care field
  • Academic references
  • Successful completion of 60 credits having maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or better

Students admitted to the B.S. in Health Policy and Administration/MHA integrated program are able to earn both the B.S. and MHA in five calendar years of full time academic study.

A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.

Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2015 (H P A); Summer Session 2005 (Integrated B.S./H P A-M.H.A.)

Blue Sheet Item #: 44-02-032 (H P A); 38-06-114A (Integrated B.S./H P A-M.H.A.)

Review Date: 10/13/2015



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