Skip Navigation
search: People Opens New Window | Departments Opens New Window | Penn State Opens New Window | Web Opens New Window
Penn State mark
Penn State mark

University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Health Policy and Administration

University Park, College of Health and Human Development (H P A)

PROFESSOR DENNIS G. SHEA, Head of the Department

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 in many health care organizations including: (1) health care providers (hospitals, physician practices, nursing facilities, home health agencies, etc.); (2) health insurers (nonprofit and commercial insurers, health maintenance organizations, etc.); (3) health care consultants; (4) health care supply companies (pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, etc.); (5) health services research and policy organizations (health policy research groups, industry trade groups, etc.); and (6) local, state, and federal health agencies (local health departments, state Department of Health, federal Department of Health and Human Services, etc.). 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.

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: 0-2 credits

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

PRESCRIBED COURSES (31 credits)[1]
ACCTG 211(4), ECON 102 GS(3), PL SC 001 GS(3), SOC 023 GS(3) (Sem: 1-4)
H P A 101(3), H P A 301W(3), H P A 310(3), H P A 332(3), H P A 390(3), H P A 395(3) (Sem: 3-6)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (18-20 credits)[1]
STAT 200 GQ(4) or STAT 250 GQ(3) (Sem: 1-4)
FIN 100(3) or R M 302(3) (Sem: 1-6)
CMPSC 101 GQ(3) or CMPSC 203 GQ(4) (Sem: 3-4)
Select 9 credits from H P A 401(3), H P A 410(3), H P A 420(3), H P A 431(3), H P A 433(3), H P A 440 US;IL(3), H P A 442(3), H P A 445(3), H P A 447(3), H P A 450(3), H P A 455(3), H P A 460(3), H P A 470(3), or H P A 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)
Select 6 credits in economics and/or political science 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 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 2002 (H P A); Summer Session 2005 (Integrated B.S./H P A-M.H.A.)

Blue Sheet Item #: 30-07-092 (H P A); 38-06-114A (Integrated B.S./H P A-M.H.A.)

Review Date: 04/13/2010