Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I find out who my adviser is?
In Starfish, look under My Success Network. Your advisers name and contact information will be found there.
In general, advisees are assigned to one of two advisers in HPA.
Caroline Condon-Lewis is the full-time professional adviser for the HPA department. She does general advising and works with these specific groups:
- Change of Campus students
- Change of Majors who have already declared another major in a college outside of HHD (For example: LA major switching to HPA and the like)
- Transfer students
- Schreyer Honors students
- Integrated Undergraduate Graduate students (All exploratory students interested in any of the Health Policy and Administration IUG programs.
- Concurrent major students
- Sequential major students
Melissa Wetzel is a professional adviser who works in the Department of Health Policy and Administration, the Department of Biobehavioral Health, and in Health and Human Development Center for Student Advising and Engagement. In HPA she does general advising and works with these specific groups:
- Pre-major HHD students, tracking HPA
- Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) students who change to HHD as pre-majors and are tracking HPA
- DUS students who select the HPA major during the Entrance To Major period
- And, although not assigned on a roster, all HPA minor students and IST/HPA minor students.
- Can the HPA 400 level classes double count in the 400 level Supporting Courses and Related Area?
Students are required to take 9 credits at the 400 level in HPA classes AND an additional 9 credits in the Supporting Course and Related Area that are chosen from the department approved list of courses for Supporting Courses and Related Areas. If a student chooses to take more than 9 credits in HPA 400-level classes then the additional courses can be used for Supporting Courses.
- What minors are best for HPA students?
Approximately one-third of HPA students complete a minor. The best minor depends on your career goals, but the ones we find to be most highly recommended include Bioethics and Medical Humanities Minor (BMH), Biology Minor (BIOL), Business/Liberal Arts Minor (BUSLA), Communication Arts and Sciences Minor (CAS), Civic and Community Engagement Minor (CIVCM), Economics Minor (ECON), Entrepreneurship and Innovation Minor (ENTI), Gerontology Minor (GERON), Human Development and Family Studies Minor (HDFS), Information Systems and Statistical Analysis Minor (ISSA), Information Sciences and Technology Minor (IST), Information Sciences and Technology in Health Policy and Administration Minor (ISHPA), Labor Studies and Employment Relations Minor (LER), Leadership Development (LDEV), Organizational Leadership Minor (OLEAD), Political Science Minor (PLSC), Psychology Minor (PSY), Rehabilitation and Human Services Minor (RHS), Sociology Minor (SOC), and Spanish Minor (SPAN), Statistics Minor (STAT)
Information on these minors and more can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
- How do I declare a minor?
Students can declare a minor or certificate through LionPath under "update academics." Students must be accepted into their major before they can declare a minor. The deadline to declare is prior to the end of the late drop period of the student's final semester.
- How do my minor credits count?
Credits for minor courses that are listed on the HPA approved list of courses may be used to fulfill the 30 credits needed in Supporting Courses and Related Areas. Courses taken for a minor that are not listed on the department approved list may be petitioned as course substitutions for Supporting Courses and Related Areas (petitions are not always approved), may count as credits for electives, or, in some cases, may meet General Education credit requirements.
- Which writing and speaking courses are best for HPA students?
HPA students must take CAS 100 and ENGL 015 or ENGL 030. ENGL 202 is also required. ENGL 202D is recommended since it is the most business oriented of the Effective Writing courses, although ENGL 202A and ENGL 202C are also appropriate.
- Which computer course is best for HPA students?
CMPSC 203 (GQ, 4 cr) or MIS 204 (3 cr) are usually the best courses for HPA students since they cover business applications.
CMPSC 101 (GQ, 3 cr) is a programming course that might be more appropriate for a student interested in health care information systems. There are two minors listed below that focus on work with computers: Information Sciences and Technology Minor (IST), Information Sciences and Technology in Health Policy and Administration Minor (ISHPA)
Information on these minors and more can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
- Please note that if you are enrolling in a 3-credit class for one of these options, you will have to take an additional credit in your electives.
- If you are enrolling in MIS 204, you will need to take an additional GQ for your General Education requirements.
- Should I take STAT 200 or STAT 250?
Either course is acceptable. STAT 250 is probably better suited for those students who might be interested in epidemiology and public health.
Please note that if you are enrolling in a 3 credit class for one of these options, you will have to take an additional credit in your electives.
- Is BISC 4, BIOL 161, or BIOL 141 required for graduation?
No, but HPA 310 has 3 credits in biology as a prerequisite. BISC 4 or BIOL 161 or BIOL 141 or BBH 101 are choices for prerequisites to HPA 310.
BISC 4, BIOL 161, BIOL 141 are all GN credits and can count in your General Education requirements. BBH 101 can be used as a Supporting Course for HPA or can be used as a GHW in your General Education requirements.
- May courses taken at other colleges count for General Education or Major Requirements?
It depends. Courses taken at any Penn State location that are relevant to the HPA degree may count for your degree requirements. Courses taken at other colleges and universities must meet several requirements that are outlined through the Undergraduate Admissions website.
- Does HPA have a study abroad opportunity?
Health Practice & Policy Program (London, UK and Kingston, JA) (Spring or Fall) - 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 in the United Kingdom and Kingston, Jamaica, through theories and practice. Some of the courses offered for Penn State students include health studies taught by IES Abroad in London, one elective course from the Study London 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. Some courses in this program will be used as direct equivalent classes to HPA 400 levels. Students are encouraged to explore other Education Abroad opportunities by visiting the study abroad website in addition to speaking with the HPA adviser.
- Where can I get help if I am having academic difficulties?
In addition to talking to your faculty adviser and the HPA adviser, the HPA department encourages students to seek help through Penn State Learning located in 220 Boucke Building. Penn State Learning is a multi-disciplinary academic assistance program that is staffed by peer tutors who are themselves undergraduates, by scholars in residence who are content experts in their respective fields, and by professional and administrative staff members. Tutoring is available for Public Speaking, Writing, Accounting, Economics, Statistics, and the Sciences. Students are also encouraged to meet with instructors or class teaching assistants (TAs) during their office hours.
- How do I find out information about the required internship (HPA 395)?
Students complete a field experience as a part of their graduation requirements. For residential students who are enrolled in the HPA major, HPA 395 is typically taken the summer between junior and senior years for 3 credits. Students may also complete their internship in their senior year. The administrative internship is a 320 hour, 10-to 12-week, full-time or part-time work experience. There are four prerequisite classes that are taken ahead of time and that require a C grade or higher. These classes are HPA 301W, HPA 310, HPA 332, and HPA 390W. Specific questions can be answered by referencing the HPA Internship Portal. Students can also refer to the HPA Academic Adviser or the HPA Internship Coordinators for further information.
- What do I do if I’m blocked from enrolling in a course that I need for HPA?
Beginning with course registration in Fall 2019, the College of Health and Human Development and the Department of Health Policy and Administration will implement automatic enforcement of prerequisite courses.
Requests for exceptions to prerequisite requirements are to be submitted in writing using the form found on the website. Student requests should also include all supporting documentation. Any questions or problems regarding prerequisite requirements or exceptions can be discussed with the Academic Adviser in the Department of Health Policy and Administration (Ms. Caroline Condon-Lewis, firstname.lastname@example.org), or the Professor-in-Charge of the Undergraduate Program (Dr. Mark Sciegaj, email@example.com). Decisions on prerequisites for Health Policy and Administration courses can be found within the University Bulletin.
- What is the Supporting Course List and how do I find them?
The Supporting Course or Related Area requirement is available to help you:
- Explore various interests to help narrow down career choices;
- Integrate knowledge from a variety of sources and fields as it applies to HPA; and
- Focus on a specific type of knowledge that could lead to a targeted career path or that might supplement a targeted career path.
Focus areas might include but are not limited to: Public/Population Health, Acute/Primary Care, Long-Term Care, Policy and Planning, and Administration. Your academic adviser or faculty mentor can help when deciding what courses to choose in this area.
For a complete list of courses that count in this area go to: HPA Supporting Course List