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 002 and PL SC 001 count twice -- for both the six credit PL SC and/or ECON requirement and in the Prescribed Courses requirement?

No, ECON 002 and PL SC 001 do not count toward the major requirement of 6 credits in PL SC and/or ECON, although they can count toward your General Education requirements and your HPA major requirements. In addition to ECON 002 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.

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 Management Information Systems, Information Systems and Statistical Analysis, Legal Environment of Business, Business Logistics, Gerontology, Human Development and Family Studies, Economics, Political Science, and Labor and Industrial Relations.

How do I declare a minor?

The application for the minor you choose is available at the department that supervises that minor, not at the HPA department.

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 should take SPCOM 100 and ENG 015 or ENG 030. ENG 202D is recommended, too, since it is the most business oriented of the Effective Writing courses, although 202A and 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 three minors listed below that deal with computers: the Management Information Systems minor, the Information Systems and Statistical Analysis minor, and Technology in HPA minor.

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 in a flyer available at the Undergraduate Admissions Office (201 Shields). Transfer credits to be used for Major Requirements also have to 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?

HPA does not have a formal program for study abroad, but we are willing to work with any student planning to do this while at Penn State. Any student interested in studying abroad should first visit with the University Office of Global Programs (410 Boucke, 814-865-7681) and discuss the opportunities at Penn State. The student should then meet with the HPA staff adviser to discuss how the courses you are interested in taking might fit into your major.

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 at the Learning Assistance Center in 219 Boucke. Representatives there can provide assistance with writing, math, computers, and a wide variety of other areas.