Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Health Policy and Administration

The mission of the Bachelor of Science Program (B.S.) in Health Policy and Administration 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 policy, health law, health services research, public health, and other health related needs.

Penn State's HPA department, with 50 years of experience teaching undergraduates about health care, is one of the top undergraduate programs in the nation. Our alumni, nearly 4,000 strong, are a testament to our dedication to undergraduate education in HPA.

What is HPA?

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

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.

Recommended Academic Plans

Semester-by-semester academic plans recommend in table form the courses students might schedule each semester as they pursue a particular degree. These tables serve several University purposes and assist multiple constituencies: students, advisers, departments, deans, registrars, admissions officers, and family members. The plans: