Health Policy and Administration, B.S. (Capital)

Program Code: HPACA_BS

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:

  1. attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
  2. have third-semester classification.


Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Health Policy and Administration, a minimum of 120 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 1-6
Requirements for the Major 81-83

9-12 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 3-6 credits of GQ courses; 6 credits of GS courses.

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.

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.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

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. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ECON 102Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course3
HPA 101Introduction to Health Services Organization3
HPA 210Health Care Payment3
HPA 211Financial Decisions in Health Care Organizations3
HPA 301WHealth Services Policy Issues3
HPA 310Health Care and Medical Needs3
HPA 311Population Health and Healthcare3
HPA 332Health Systems Management3
HPA 390WProfessional Development in Health Policy & Administration3
HPA 395Field Experience in Health Policy and Administration3
HPA 455Strategic Planning and Marketing for Health Services3
PLSC 1American Politics: Principles, Processes and Powers Keystone/General Education Course3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CMPSC 101Introduction to Programming Keystone/General Education Course3-4
or CMPSC 203 Introduction to Spreadsheets and Databases Keystone/General Education Course
or MIS 204 Introduction to Management Information Systems
STAT 200Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course3-4
or STAT 250 Introduction to Biostatistics Keystone/General Education Course
Select 9 credits of the following:9
Comparative Health Systems
Principles of Public Health Administration
Principles of Managed Care
Health Care Leadership
Administration of Hospital and Health Service Systems
Safety Net Health Care
Principles of Epidemiology
Long-Term Care Management
Nursing Home Administration
Aging Policy in the United States
Health Economics
Financing Health Care
Healthcare Policies and Politics
Health Care Professional Communication
Human Resource Management in Health Care Organizations
Health Care Information Management
Health Care Quality
Physician Practice Management
Special Topics
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 30 credits from University-wide offerings on department list in consultation with adviser 130

Program Learning Objectives

  1. Know Health Orgs: HPA graduates will possess in depth understanding of health and health care, including the structures, policies, processes and institutions that make up the U.S. health care system. 
  2. Organize and Direct Resources: HPA graduates will possess the knowledge and skills necessary for organizing and directing resources towards the achievement of organizational objectives. 
  3. Policy Analysis: HPA graduates will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate public policy.
  4. Emotional Intelligence: HPA graduates will possess an awareness of and the ability to manage ones own emotions in a way that enables positive interpersonal interactions and the building of productive relationships.
  5. Diversity Adeptness: HPA graduates will recognize the value of diversity and possess sensitivity to underrepresented and underserved groups in health care.
  6. Critical Thinking: HPA graduates will be able to interpret, analyze, and evaluate information to identify, examine, and solve problems that occur in the health care system.
  7. Communication: HPA graduates will be able to effectively receive, process, and relay information through speaking, writing, and listening.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.



Glenn L. Silverstein, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator
Olmsted Building, W159
Middletown, PA 17057


Karen Sofranko
Academic Advising Manager
Pasco L. Schiavo Hall, 10
Hazleton, PA 18202

Lehigh Valley

Anita Yuskauskas
Health Policy and Administration Program Coordinator   
2809 Saucon Valley Road
Center Valley, PA 18034

Mont Alto

Karen Buhr
Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of HPA
112 General Studies
1 Campus Drive
Mont Alto, PA 17237


Louise Meret-Hanke, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator
200 University Drive
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972

University Park

Caroline Condon-Lewis
Academic Adviser
604 Ford Building
University Park, PA 16802

World Campus

Undergraduate Academic Advising
301 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Health Policy and Administration, B.S. at Harrisburg Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
HPA 101* 3HPA 210*3
BISC 004 or BIOL 141 or BBH 1013General Education Course3
General Education Course3ECON 102*†3
PL SC 001 * †3CAS 1003
ENGL 15 or 30H3Supporting Course3
 15 15
Second Year
HPA 301W*3HPA 332*3
General Education Course3HPA 311*3
STAT 200 or 250*†3-4General Education Course3
HPA 211*3ENGL 202A3
Supporting Course3Supporting Course3
 15-16 15
Third Year
HPA 310*3HPA 400-level course*3
HPA 390W*3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
General Education Course3HPA 395*3
CMPSC 101 or 203*†3-4Supporting Course3
Supporting Course3Elective4
 15-16 14.5
Fourth Year
HPA 400-level Course*3HPA 400-level Course*3
400-level Supporting Course3400-level Supporting Course3
Supporting Course (Select ECON or PLSC)3400-level Supporting Course 3
Supporting Course3Supporting Course3
Supporting Course3HPA 455*3
 15 15
Total Credits 119.5-121.5

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Career Paths

The mission of the Bachelor of Science Program (B.S.) in HPA is to develop graduates with the knowledge, skills, and values appropriate to work in entry-level management or policy-related positions or for the pursuit of graduate education in health administration, health policy, health law, health services research, public health, and other health related needs. HPA students develop the skills and knowledge needed to understand the complex societal problem of providing access to quality health care at reasonable cost.


The HPA curriculum prepares students to work as health services managers/administrators or health analysts. Health services managers/administrators plan, direct, and coordinate medical, behavioral, and/or long-term care services. These individuals might oversee matters of personnel, budgeting, billing, equipment outlays, information systems, planning and more. Health analysts are responsible for analyzing, compiling, and validating information 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. Employment in the health care sector is projected to grow 18 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than all other occupations.


Opportunities for Graduate Studies

HPA’s blend of courses in liberal arts, business administration, and the health sciences, is designed to prepare students for careers or further study in health care. HPA students have 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.


Professional Resources


HPA is a fully certified member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA). As such it has been recognized for having withstood the rigors of peer review wherein curricula, faculty, and educational outcomes have been critically examined by external peer review. In a process comparable to other specialty program accreditations, programs seeking AUPHA certification must submit an extensive self-study detailing the program's structure, educational processes, and assessment mechanisms in response to national criteria established by AUPHA.


Professional Licensure/Certification

Many U.S. states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.



Olmsted Building W160
Middletown, PA 17057


Pasco L. Schiavo Hall, 10
Hazleton, PA 18202

Lehigh Valley

2809 Saucon Valley Road
Center Valley, PA 18034

Mont Alto

112 General Studies
1 Campus Drive
Mont Alto, PA 17237


200 University Drive
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972

University Park

604 Ford Building
University Park, PA 16802

World Campus

604 Ford Building
University Park, PA 16802