Credits and costs
Online Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Administration (HPA)
The field of health care continues to expand in response to ever-evolving regulations, dynamic technology, rising costs, and an increase in the number of patients. Health care professionals with the educational background to meet these challenges are in high demand. A bachelor’s degree in HPA can help you acquire the skills and knowledge you need to understand the issues involved in providing access to quality health care at a reasonable cost.
Advantages of Penn State's Online Health Policy and Administration Degree Program
In our online program, you can learn from faculty in Penn State's highly respected Department of Health Policy and Administration, who have more than 30 years of experience in teaching undergraduates about health care. The HPA department is a full member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA).
In addition, Penn State's nearly 4,000 HPA alumni are proof of our steadfast commitment to undergraduate education in health policy and administration.
As a complement to the high-caliber curriculum and access to the expansive professional alumni network, the online courses in our program provide you with the flexibility and convenience to study around your schedule. You can skip the lengthy commute without sacrificing the quality of your education — and prepare yourself for more challenging career opportunities without leaving the comfort of your home.
Your Online HPA Courses
The curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Administration is a blend of courses in liberal arts, business administration, and the health sciences that can help you develop the expertise you will need to contribute to improvements in the health care system.
You will also participate in a program internship that will give you the necessary practical experiences to help you stand out in the job market.
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.
Prescribed Courses (36 credits)
Additional Courses (7 credits)
Additional HPA Courses (select 9 credits)
Supporting Courses and Related Areas (30 credits)
At least 9 credits must be at the 400 level.
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. Students can choose electives in consultation with their adviser.
General Education (45 credits)
12 credits are included in the requirements for the major.
General Education Requirements
Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.
- 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
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GWS courses.
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GQ courses.
- Integrative Studies: 6 credits
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. Integrative Studies credits may be completed within the thirty Knowledge Domain credits and must be completed with either Inter-domain or Linked courses, not a combination of both.
Electives (select 4–6 credits)
Students can choose electives in consultation with their adviser.
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.
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.
Costs and Financial Aid
Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.
|How many credits do you plan to take per semester?||If you have 59 or fewer credits||If you have 60 or more credits|
|11 or fewer||$620 per credit||$664 per credit|
|12 or more||$7,527 per semester||$8,125 per semester|
Financial Aid and Military Benefits
Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.
How to Apply
Deadlines and Important Dates
Your degree application, including receipt of all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.
- Fall Deadline: Apply by June 30 to start August 21
- Spring Deadline: Apply by October 31 to start January 8
- Summer Deadline: Apply by March 15, 2024, to start May 13, 2024
New students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by March 1. Please visit the Office of Student Aid website for more information about applying for financial aid and recommended deadlines.
Thank you for your interest in applying to this program. Contact an admissions counselor to discuss your educational goals, financial aid options, and application deadlines.
To apply for this program, you must be a high school graduate or have completed your GED.
What You Need
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need the following items to complete your application:
High school transcripts or GED transcript — First-year applicants are required to submit Self-Reported Academic Records (SRAR). Official high school transcripts will only be required at the time a student accepts an offer of admission to Penn State.
Official college or university transcripts, if you attended another institution, and/or official military transcripts (if applicable) — All college or university transcripts are required regardless of the length of time that has passed, the grades earned, or the accreditation of the institutions attended. Acceptance of transfer credit toward your degree is subject to final approval by the academic department. For detailed information, see the Transfer Students page.
Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Please send your transcripts by mail or electronically through Parchment, eScrip-Safe, or the National Student Clearinghouse directly to Penn State from the college/university where course work was attempted.
Submit official documents by mail to:
Undergraduate Admissions Office
The Pennsylvania State University
201 Shields Building
University Park, PA 16802
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Language Proficiency section on the Undergraduate Admissions International Requirements page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
Start Your Application
Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.
If this is your first time applying to Penn State, you'll need to complete the following steps:
- Review the application instructions before beginning.
- Complete the online application and submit all official documents.
- Pay the application fee.
Checking Your Status
You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form and choosing "MyPennState — Check Application Status." Your decision letter (confirming your acceptance or denial) will be mailed four to six weeks after receipt of all application materials. An admissions counselor will contact you if additional information is required.
Review the technical requirements for this degree program.
Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.
Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State bachelor's degree?
Start or Advance Your Career
Start or Advance Your Career
The breadth of the course work in this bachelor’s degree program can prepare you for almost any type of health care work environment. As an HPA graduate, you can join the vast network of HPA alumni who work in a wide range of health services organizations from major teaching hospitals to rural solo-practices.
A two-course internship, which will provide practical experience and can be completed in your community, is required for this degree.
Professional Licensure / Certification
Many U.S. states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map for more information.
To learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Administration, offered in partnership with the Penn State College of Health and Human Development, please contact:
World Campus Admissions Counselors
Email: [email protected]
DegreePh.D., Nonprofit Administration and Leadership Studies, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
DegreeMaster of Library Science, Clarion University
DegreeMaster of Management in Healthcare Administration, Penn State
Dr. Christina Daley is an associate teaching professor. Her research interests include aging, long-term supports and services, long-term care administration, strategic planning, and marketing.
Maria L. Dawson
DegreeM.H.A., Penn State
DegreeB.S., Health Planning and Administration, Penn State
Maria L. Dawson is an assistant teaching professor. Her teaching interests include health care management, health care ethics, health care quality, and electronic medical records.
Jennifer L. Deutsch
DegreeM.S., Health Care Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University
DegreeB.S., Health Policy and Administration, Penn State
Jennifer L. Deutsch serves as program director and assistant teaching professor of the World Campus Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Administration. Her teaching interests include United States health policy, current health care policy issues, consumer choices in health care, and health services organization and delivery.
Francis J. KingDegreeMaster of Public Management, Carnegie Mellon University
Francis J. King teaches undergraduate courses in health administration, including acute care and post-acute care. His interests also include the reality of the intersection of health policy with health care systems and operations, and he is developing a course in nursing home administration.
DegreePh.D., Social Policy, Brandeis University
DegreeM.P.H., Health Management, Emory University
Dr. Mark Sciegaj is a professor of health policy and administration. His research focuses on the area of health services research and aging, with extensive experience in policy implementation and evaluation studies. His recent publications include "Three Emerging Themes from Implementing Self-Directed Long-Term Service and Support Programs Under Managed Care"; "Theories that Guide Consumer-Directed/Person-Centered Initiatives in Policy and Practice"; and "An Inventory of Publicly Funded Participant-Directed Long-Term Services and Supports Programs in the United States."
DegreePh.D., Workforce Education Training and Development, Penn State
DegreeM.Ed., Lifelong Learning and Adult Education, Penn State
DegreeB.S., Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State
DegreeMinor, Gerontology, Penn State
DegreeMCHES, Health Educator
Dr. Diane Spokus is teaching professor and associate director of HPA Undergraduate Professional Development and Outreach. She teaches courses in health policy, human resource management in health care, and health services organization. She has also served as faculty adviser and health educator, as well as a hospital board chair for the PA Rural Health Board of Directors. She was an internship coordinator for nine years. Dr. Spokus holds a Personal Care Home Certificate, and her research interests include aging, health care workforce shortages, job satisfaction and design, retention, recruitment, and quality of work-life.
DegreeD.Ed., Adult Education, Penn State
DegreeM.Ed., Counselor Education, Bloomsburg University
DegreeB.A., Writing, Susquehanna University
Dr. Amy Thul is an associate teaching professor and associate director of professional development of health policy and administration, teaching in both the residential and online instruction programs. She develops and maintains the internship website, supports students with their career trajectory, and develops relationships with employers and organizations.