Health Policy and Administration

The demand for health care business leaders is on the rise

Master the art of balancing business savvy, industry knowledge, and policy expertise in a major that will prepare you to make a difference in the health care field.

Health services managers are reporting an impressive median salary of $104,280 in the rapidly growing field that’s expanding at a rate of 32%.

You will develop the skills and knowledge needed to understand the complex societal problem of providing access to quality health care at reasonable cost throughout your studies.

You’ll love the Health Policy and Administration major if…

  • You are interested in business administration or management but want to focus primarily in the health care industry
  • You want to influence health policy by working in government at the state or federal level
  • You are excited to join a fast growing industry and earn a lucrative income
  • You are driven to improve access to health care for underserved populations and communities
  • You are interested in reducing health care costs or improving health care quality through policy reform

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Health Policy and Administration career opportunities

The Health Policy and Administration major prepares you to join the rapidly expanding health business field, contributing from day one to improve the health care system. Graduates typically work in hospitals, physician practices, health insurers, pharmaceutical companies, research groups, or government health agencies like the Department of Health.

Health services managers

Health services managers might oversee an entire medical facility, a practice for a group of providers, a specific clinical department, or administrate a health-related program. In this role you can expect to plan, direct, and coordinate medical, health, and long-term care services.

Health care analyst

Employed throughout the health care industry, these business professionals help organizations understand the current trends in the health care system and to make well-informed decisions. You can expect to regularly gather, model, validate, and analyze data from providers, payers, and policy makers to inform decision-making.

Continuing your education

Earning your Health Policy and Administration degree at Penn State can lead to a master's or doctoral degree in the areas of business, law, medicine, allied health fields, health administration, health services research, health policy, and public health.

Health administration student works on laptop on campus

What to expect in the Health Policy and Administration major

Penn State’s Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Administration prioritizes a multidisciplinary curriculum that prepares you to be a flexible and adaptive leader in the growing medical industry.

As a Health Policy and Administration student, you will complete an internship in a health care-related setting that will provide you with valuable experience and contacts to launch your career upon graduation.

Campus roots in community health care

Embedding ourselves among the region’s health care experts, our faculty have decades of experience working in hospitals, skilled facilities, and clinics, providing you real-world learnings. Whether your instructor is a medical practitioner, counseling professional, or a business administrator, our degree options ensure that you’re prepared with the technical and soft skills needed to succeed in your career.

We are Penn State

At the end of your program, be prepared to hit the ground running with a diploma identical to one earned by a student at the Penn State University Park campus. With one of the most recognized names across the globe, Penn State Shenango gives you the opportunity to earn a respected degree close to home.

Start your Penn State story

We're excited you're ready to become a Penn Stater! Now's the perfect time to get started on your application. If you need help getting started, check out our guides to apply for first-year, transfer, or adult students. 

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Health Policy and Administration major courses

Review the full Health Policy and Administration course listing for additional requirements and a sample of the program’s structure.

Financial Decisions in Health Care Organizations

Finance is at the core of issues surrounding quality health care delivery. Proper management involves wisely balancing the need to control costs while simultaneously investing in strategic opportunities. This course will help you examine the major issues involved in budgeting and strategic planning in health businesses.

Health Services Policy Issues

Analyze major issues in health services in hospitals, medical practice, public health, mental health, and health professional education in America.

Health Systems Management

Explore how health care institutions are organized and governed, the role of the management staff, and the management systems designed for their efficient and effective operation.

Professional Development in Health Policy and Administration

Assess your talents and abilities and how they can be applied in a career setting. You will research a variety of organizations, required professional skills, and opportunities in the health care field in preparation for your required internship and future career.

Strategic Planning and Marketing for Health Services

Learn how to plan for new or changed health services, programs, or facilities. You will examine the various stakeholders and explore community and healthcare program specific needs assessments, planning and marketing design.

Health administrator talks with doctor in hallway

Gain Health Policy and Administration experience before you graduate

Our Health Policy and Administration program is designed for you to complete an internship that facilitates the application of your classroom learning in a field setting.

This opportunity is designed to provide students with firsthand experience with both challenges and rewards of the business professional in our local communities, a design that sets the major apart from other health administration programs in the region.

Health Policy and Administration majors are qualified for internships in a variety of businesses and organizations related to:

  • Health care providers
  • Health insurers
  • Health care consulting firms
  • Health care supply companies
  • Health services research and policy organizations
  • Local, state, and federal health agencies


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