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The Schreyer Honors College acts as a virtual college working in concert with all other academic colleges at Penn State. Honors study in HPA is designed for outstanding students who are committed to the pursuit of unique intellectual challenges and who wish to maximize their strengths and personal development.

Students partner with a research mentor, complete a research thesis, participate in honors coursework, have opportunities to present their research in department, college, and university events, and attend an annual honors social event.

HPA students interested in learning more about honors study should contact the HPA honors adviser, Selena Ortiz, PhD at

Here are just a few things that our HPA Honors students are doing!

Matthew Roda - Class of 2019:

"I am junior focusing my undergraduate career extensively on concussions. After suffering one in high school, I have designed and build a concussion screening tool that will hopefully help better athletes' safety. HPA's tremendous faculty have been able to provide mentorship in both my studies and out-of-class work. Particularly, the staff's real world experience has been able for me to easily see applications of the material and keep class interesting. After finishing undergrad, I hope to attend medical school and use policy background to advance the healthcare world."

Hannah Ross - Class of 2019:

"Coming from a small town, I was concerned I wouldn't be able to make close connections with professors and staff like I had with teachers back home. From my first semester onward, the HPA Honors Program has continually provided me with a multitude of opportunities to work with professors on a more personal level. I grew from being a freshman who had no idea what she wanted to research for her thesis, to a junior who has a million exciting ideas - all because of one-on-one conversations with professors who shared their passion for HPA with me. My honors courses have challenged me both academically and internally, giving me the chance to study the material as well as myself, my strengths, and my weaknesses. It has been an invaluable experience for someone who aspires to be a healthcare administrator, and I am looking forward to how my education through the HPA Honors Program will serve me in further degrees and my career."

Katie Smith—Class of 2018:

"I was admitted into the Schreyer Honors College as a freshman. Now, as a senior I can confidently say that pursuing honors study in HPA was the best decision I have made thus far at Penn State. Honors HPA enriched my academic experience greatly by enabling me to study abroad in Costa Rica and participate in research alongside my professors. I have taken advantage of several networking opportunities that have expanded my professional reach and introduced several job opportunities. In 2017 I interned at Cigna in Bloomfield, CT in the Operations Leadership Development Program. After graduation, I plan to pursue a M.H.A. focusing on health policy and gain work experience doing federal healthcare consulting."

Amelia Browning -- Class of 2017:

“I joined the honors college as a sophomore in HPA because I had an interest in research. I am currently working on writing a quality improvement paper on pediatric patient-centered medical homes. Although I have not committed to a thesis topic, I am hoping my thesis will be a continuation of my current work with medical homes.”

Sarah Wilkie -- Class of 2016:

“After my freshman year, I applied to the HPA Honors Program through the Gateway because I was interested in the career development opportunities offered through Schreyer. Through my honors coursework, I developed relationships with HPA faculty members and was given the opportunity to take graduate level courses as an undergraduate student. These experiences were both challenging and rewarding and provided new perspectives on potential career opportunities. I am interested in researching susceptibility to developing chronic diseases and corresponding preventive efforts. Specifically, my current research explores the congruence between perceived risk and clinical risk in type 2 diabetes mellitus.”

Timothy Chiang -- Class of 2015:

“I am a senior who joined the HPA Honors Program as a Gateway scholar. My honors thesis examines the relationship between childhood obesity and hospitalization charges, as well as hospital length of stay. I am going to medical school after college, and pediatrics is the specialty in which I am interested. So examining childhood obesity, which is a serious issue in the United States, made a lot sense to me. Being a part of the honors program and working on my thesis has allowed me to become a critical thinker and to learn skills I will need in the future.”

Chen Zhuang -- Class of 2015:

“My thesis is focused on determining organizational factors that affect home health aide retention and turnover intent. I am also part of the Future of Healthcare Think Tank, which is conducting research on elder care in collaboration with graduate students from Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. As a freshman, I was admitted into the Schreyer Honors College, and I have learned so much from being a part of the HPA Honors Program. The program has allowed me to challenge myself with graduate classes as an undergraduate student, participate in interesting research opportunities, and enhance my studies in healthcare as an HPA student. For the future, I look forward to applying the skills and knowledge that I have gained as an HPA honors student in the workplace and in a MHA program.”

The academic experience at Schreyer Honors College is comprised of the finest faculty from every department and college at Penn State. Because of the strong commitment to honors education throughout the University, Schreyer Scholars can thrive and prosper in the rich academic tradition that lives throughout the University.

The academic life of a Schreyer Scholar includes academic excellence with integrity alongside:

  • Challenging academic courses
  • Small honors classes taught by exceptional honors faculty
  • Research opportunities with leading academic scholars
  • Production of an original scholarly contribution in the form of the honors thesis
  • Broadening horizons beyond the borders of the United States
  • Teamwork and collaboration with peers