Frequently Asked Questions

May HPA/ECON 445 (Health Economics) count twice -- for both the HPA 400 level requirement and the 6 credit PL SC and/or ECON requirement?

No. It can only count for one of these two requirements.

May ECON 102 and PL SC 001 count twice -- for both the supporting course ECON and/or PL SC requirement and in the Prescribed Courses requirement?

The prescribed ECON 102 and PL SC 001 do not count toward the supporting course requirement of 6 credits in Econ and/or PL SC. In addition to ECON 102 and PL SC 001, you must take 6 credits in either ECON, PL SC, or 3 credits in each as Supporting Courses and Related Areas. The courses you can choose from to meet this requirement are listed in the department approved list of courses for Supporting Courses and Related Areas, but make sure you have the appropriate prerequisites.

ECON 102 and PL SC 001 can count toward your General Education requirements and your HPA major (prescribed) requirements.

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 Biology Minor (BIOL), Business/Liberal Arts Minor (BUSLA), Communication Arts and Sciences Minor (CAS), Economics Minor (ECON), Gerontology Minor (GERON), Global Health Minor (GLBHL), Human Development and Family Studies Minor (HD FS), Information Sciences and Technology Minor (IST), Information Sciences and Technology in Health Policy and Administration Minor (ISHPA), Labor Studies and Employment Relations Minor (LER), Political Science Minor (PL SC), Psychology Minor , Rehabilitation and Human Services Minor (RHS), Sociology Minor (SOC), and Spanish Minor (SPAN).

How do I declare a minor?

Students can declare a minor on eLion after they have earned 60 or more credits.

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 is usually the best course for HPA students since it covers business applications and meets the General Education quantification (GQ) requirement. CMPSC 101 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 deal with computers:

Information Sciences and Technology Minor (IST), Information Sciences and Technology in Health Policy and Administration Minor (ISHPA)

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.

Is BIO 141 or BI SC 004 required for graduation?

No, but HPA 310 has 3 credits in biology as a prerequisite. BIO 141, BI SC 004 and BBH 101 are the courses recommended to meet this prerequisite and may count toward your General Education requirements.

May any courses be used for the electives category?

Yes, courses that complement your major or meet minor requirements, as well as courses taken for your own interests, can be used.

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 . Transfer credits to be used for Major Requirements also must be approved by the HPA department. You are strongly advised to see the HPA department staff adviser before taking courses at another institution.

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 and Oxford in the United Kingdom, and Kingston, Jamaica, through theories and practice. Some of the courses offered for Penn State students include one health studies taught by IES Abroad in London, a lecture series and seminar taught at the Institute of Human Sciences at the University of Oxford, 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.

To see more about this opportunity click here:


Santiago, Health Studies (Santiago, Chili) (Summer)

The IES Abroad Santiago Summer Health Studies program allows you to fully immerse yourself in the daily life and culture of Chile while studying the Spanish for Health Practicioners and taking a clinical observation course. Due to Chile's community-centered health system, you will have the unique experience to gain culturally-based health practices and an understanding of navigating the health care system of a developing nation.

Courses are conducted in Spanish, and this program is appropriate for students with at least four semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent). There are two prescribed courses for the program, with students having the option of one of two Spanish courses.

To see more about this opportunity click here:

Students are encouraged to explore other Education Abroad opportunities by visiting in addition to speaking with the HPA staff adviser.

Where can I get help if I am having academic difficulties?

In addition to talking to your faculty adviser and the HPA staff 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.