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Healthcare employees
Bachelor of Science in
Health Policy and Administration


The Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Administration (HPA) is a 120-credit program that offers a solid foundation in the management, business, and policy aspects of health care. To earn this degree, you must successfully complete:

  • 81–83 credits in requirements for the major
    • 36 credits prescribed courses
    • 15–17 credits additional courses
    • 30 credits supporting and related areas
  • 45 credits General Education (12 of these 45 credits are included in the requirements for the major)
  • 4–6 credits electives

Course List — Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Administration 

Prescribed Courses (36 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy ECON 102 (GS) Methods of economic analysis and their use; price determination; theory of the firm; distribution.  3 credits
Introduction to Health Services Organization HPA 101 Examination of the social, political, historic, and scientific factors in the development and organization of health services.    3 credits
Health Care Payment HPA 210 This course covers basic concepts and issues related to health insurance and payment for health care providers.

Prerequisite: ECON 102, H P A 101
3 credits
Financial Decisions in Health Care Organizations HPA 211 An introduction to financial and economic information to make decisions in health care organizations.

Prerequisite: H P A 210
3 credits
Health Services Policy Issues HPA 301 Analysis of major issues in health services delivery in hospitals, medical practice, public health, mental health, and health professional education.

Prerequisite: ECON 102, H P A 101, PL SC 001
3 credits
Health Care and Medical Needs HPA 310 Health care from an individual, family, and community standpoint illustrated with specific diseases and health problems.

Prerequisite: BB H 101, BI SC 004 or BIOL 141, H P A 101
3 credits
Population Health and Health Care HPA 311 This course covers fundamental theories, concepts, issues, and strategies related to a population health approach to health and health services.

Prerequisite: H P A 101
3 credits
Health Systems Management HPA 332 Introduction to and analysis of managerial roles and practices in health service organizations.

Prerequisite: H P A 101, H P A 211
3 credits
Professional Development in Health Policy and Administration HPA 390W Development of personal understanding and professional skills to prepare students for future employment or study in health policy and administration.

Prerequisite: H P A 101
3 credits
Field Experience in Health Policy and Administration HPA 395 Professional field experience providing opportunities to apply skills and knowledge in health care setting.

Prerequisite: H P A 301, H P A 310, H P A 332, H P A 390W
3 credits
Strategic Planning and Marketing for Health Services HPA 455 Introduction to principles and methods of strategic planning and marketing.

Prerequisite: H P A 395
3 credits
Introduction to American National Government PL SC 001 (GS) Introduction to development and nature of American political culture, constitutional/structural arrangements, electoral/policy processes; sources of conflict and consensus.  3 credits
Additional Courses (7 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Introduction to Programming CMPSC 101 (GQ) Fundamentals of computational thinking including reasoning about problems at multiple levels of abstraction and analyzing code for its behavior, efficiency, and correctness. 3 credits
Elementary Statistics STAT 200 (GQ) Descriptive statistics, frequency distributions, probability, binomial and normal distributions, statistical inference, linear regression, and correlation.

Prerequisite: Placement into MATH 021 or higher
4 credits
Additional H P A Courses (Select 9 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Health Care Leadership HPA 430 This course provides an opportunity to students to learn about the challenges of leadership in health care.

Prerequisite: H P A 301, H P A 311, H P A 332
3 credits
Administration of Hospital and Health Service Systems HPA 433 Analysis of administrative structures and interorganizational arrangements among hospitals and other health care organizations.

Prerequisite: H P A 332
3 credits
Principles of Epidemiology HPA 440 Theory of epidemiology and significant case studies. Potential application to health care.

Prerequisite: BB H 101 or BIOL 110 or H P A 310; STAT 200 or STAT 250
3 credits
Long-Term Care Management HPA 442 Management and policy issues for institutional, community, and home settings for chronic care services.

Prerequisite: H P A 332
3 credits
Financing Health Care HPA 447 Analysis of financial flows, third-party payment programs, and reimbursement practices in the health services sector.

Prerequisite: H P A 211; H P A 332
3 credits
Human Resource Management in Health Care Organizations HPA 460 Foundations of human resource management applied to health care organizations, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, and community health organizations.

Prerequisite: H P A 332
3 credits
Health Care Information Management HPA 470 This course introduces information systems terminology, data structures, software applications, and their management functions in health services organizations.

Prerequisites: CMPSC 203, H P A 332, IST 210, IST 220
3 credits
Health Care Quality HPA 475 This course covers the basic principles and techniques of quality management in health care, including the definition, measurement, and uses of data for improving the quality of health and health services.

Prerequisite: H P A 332
3 credits
Physician Practice Management HPA 490 Development of skills needed to effectively manage physician practices.

Prerequisites: H P A 210, H P A 332
3 credits
Supporting Courses and Related Areas (30 credits — Must include at least 9 credits at the 400 level)
Description Credits

Select from University-wide offerings in consultation with adviser. View the full department list

 Please note that not all supporting courses on the department's list are available to online learners. Check the World Campus Course Catalog to see which courses are offered online.

30 credits
General Education (45 credits**)
Description Credits
Arts – GA 6 credits
Humanities – GH 6 credits
Health and Wellness – GHW 3 credits
Natural Sciences – GN 9 credits
Social and Behavioral Sciences – GS 6 credits
Writing and Speaking – GWS* 9 credits
Quantification – GQ* 6 credits
Integrative Studies (6 credits)***

*A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

**12 credits are included in the requirements for the major.

***This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. 

Electives (4–6 credits)
Description Credits
Choose electives from the World Campus Course Catalog. 4–6 credits

Please note: Among the above degree requirements, you must incorporate at least 3 credits in U.S. cultures, 3 credits in international (IL) cultures, and 3 credits in Writing Across the Curriculum courses. The above course list includes only courses offered by World Campus. An official degree audit or the recommended academic plan for this program may include additional course options and detailed requirements. All students are expected to complete at least 36 Penn State credits to earn this degree. Please consult an academic adviser for details.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Penn State World Campus Students

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