Undergraduate Programs

The Health Policy and Administration program in Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development is designed to help you understand all aspects of health care.

With courses in the liberal arts, business administration, and health sciences, the undergraduate program in Health Policy and Administration can help you learn how to successfully manage the challenges in the health care industry, one of the fastest-growing fields in the United States.

Professional Possibilities

As a successful student in Health Policy and Administration, your career may help to shape health care delivery and quality in the United States and around the world. Additionally, your role in health care can help organizations and governments understand the current trends so that they make well-informed decisions.

You may work as a health services manager or health analyst who is capable of responding to changes in health care law, regulations, and technology. Or you may gather and analyze data to inform industry providers or policymakers. This can occur in all types of health care organizations from major teaching hospitals to rural solo practice physician offices, in small service-oriented agencies or in large global companies.

Overall, the Health Policy and Administration program offers you a number of opportunities to learn and get experience in the industry, including internships and study abroad opportunities. These experiences can help you become a leader in areas such as health care, business, consulting, and public service.

Department of Health Policy and Administration Office Location

(Google Map)

The Pennsylvania State University
Department of Health Policy and Administration
604 Ford Building
University Park, PA 16802

Health Policy and Administration is a major for students interested in the management, business and policy aspects of health care. The specific mission of the baccalaureate program is to develop graduates with the knowledge, skills, and values appropriate for work in entry-level management or policy-related positions or for graduate education in health policy, health law, health services research, public health, and other health-related fields.

HPA is Using Starfish for its On-Line Student Scheduling System!

Students can easily make an academic advising appointment on their computer any time of the day, any day of the week.

Just follow the “Click here” link below to set up a meeting time with Caroline Condon-Lewis, the HPA academic adviser.

Click here to book your appointment with the HPA academic adviser through Starfish.

Here is what the new system looks like. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4!

  1. Select Appointment Type
  2. Select a Date
  3. Select Appointment Time

International Study Opportunities

Semester Programs

Health Practice & Policy Program (London, UK and Kingston, JA)

The Health Practice & Policy program was created to meet the academic needs of students in health majors and minors. The program allows students to immerse themselves in public health issues in various locations such as London and Oxford in the United Kingdom, and Kingston, Jamaica, through theories and practice. Some of the courses offered for Penn State sutdents include one health studies taught by IES Abroad in London, a lecture series and seminar taught at the Institute of Human Sciences at the University of Oxford, one elective course from the Study Londa Program, and an intensive service learning and practicum in London and Kingston at the University of the West Indies School of Nursing, Mona. In the last two weeks of the semester, students participate in an extended field study trip to Kingston at the University of West Indies School of Nursing, Mona where they learn through lectures, discussions, and a practicum at community health clinics.

Students must take 15 credits per semester including required and optional program components.

To see more about this opportunity click here: http://gpglobalea.gp.psu.edu/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgram&Program_ID=10716

Short-Term Faculty Led Programs

Costa Rica

HPA 401 will again offer an embedded program in Costa Rica. The embedded program is now a stand alone three credit course, HPA 499: Costa Rica. The dates for travel are Sunday, January 17th– Sunday, January 24th, 2016, and it will now run as a stand alone 3 credit course. If you have not fulfilled your elective requirements, it will now meet that criteria. We have extended the deadline to apply for the course to June 1st. We need a few more students to be able to run the trip.

If you would like to apply for the trip please contact Celeste Newcomb at cgn1@psu.edu as soon as possible as you will need to be added to HPA 401, Comparative Health Systems.

On this trip, students will learn how health care is delivered in Costa Rica. Students will have a chance to meet with policy makers, physicians and other providers of care, as well as administrators in an effort to learn how Costa Rica is able to achieve impressive health outcomes. The Learning Objective for this embedded program is for students to analyze the information obtained on the trip and effectively present it back to others upon return to the United States. Applications for the 2016 trip are now being accepted. The deadline has been extended to June 1. Please deposit applications in Celeste Newcomb’s mail box in 118 Keller Building. Once you have been accepted on the trip you will need to enroll in the three credit course HPA 499: HCS Costa Rica. The cost to go on this trip is $2,796. This does not include airfare. Most students obtain some type of support funding. Please visit http://hhd.psu.edu/hpa/Costa-Rica to learn more about the three credit course, HPA 499: Costa Rica.

Jönköping, Sweden

HPA 497D, Human Resource Management and Healthcare in a Social Welfare Context: The Swedish Experience will be offered as an embedded program at Jönköping University in Sweden. The embedded program will be a Maymester course with two credits being offered during the spring and one credit for the study tour. The dates for the course are May 18-27, 2016. However, students will need to make travel arrangements so that they arrive on Monday, May 16 and depart on May 28. The Learning Objectives for this embedded program are for students to: 1) demonstrate knowledge of HRM applied in a range of organizations in a social welfare context; 2) Compare and contrast the institutional and cultural contexts of the U.S. and Sweden; and 3) Demonstrate intercultural competencies that can be applied throughout a later career life.

If you would like to apply for the trip, students should email Dr. Diane Spokus at dms201@psu.edu with a one-page statement on why they are interested in taking this class. GPA should be 3.0 or higher. A maximum of 8 students will be admitted, based on motivation for the class and academic achievement. Once all places are filled, no more applications will be considered.

Sweden is a particularly interesting country for students to study from an HRM perspective as well as a healthcare perspective. The social welfare society stands in contrast to many of the approaches taken to HRM in the USA. It is also an ideal setting in which to study HRM from a healthcare perspective, again because of the interesting systems they have in place that differ from the US approach. Jönköping is a very attractive city of 130,000 people, located approximately midway between the two major cities of Stockholm and Gothenburg in Sweden, allowing easy access for visits. It is a very historical area, famous for its matchstick industry! Jönköping University is based in the city center, and is a highly international private university. It offers a three-year undergraduate human resource management program housed jointly in the School of Education and Communication and the School of Psychology. It also has as strong School of Health Sciences in which is housed the Institute of Gerontology.

On this trip, students will learn about Sweden culture and history as compared with USA and other cultures; Swedish social welfare business contexts; Traditions of HRM in Sweden and across Scandinavia; and preparing for the visit through etiquette, and background of the various sites. In addition, a trip to Stockholm is also planned.

Applications for the trip are now being accepted. Please deposit your one-page statement on why you are interested in taking this class in Dr. Spokus’ mailbox located on the 6th Floor of the Ford Building. Once you have been accepted on the trip, you will need to enroll under HPA 497D: Human Resource Management in a Social Welfare Context: The Swedish Experience to obtain the two and then one credit course credits. The costs of the trip will soon be available. This cost does not include airfare. Most students obtain some type of support funding. Please visit http://hhd.psu.edu/cms/hpa/sweden#.