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Message from the Chair


Welcome to all potential, current and former students in WSU’s Department of Health Policy and Administration (HPA). We recently celebrated our 20 anniversary as one of very few CAHME-accredited (Commission on Accreditation Healthcare Management Education) graduate programs in the Western U.S. Our graduate program is growing, coinciding with sweeping changes to the U.S. healthcare system. This fall, we admitted our largest cohort of new students to date. There are now 40 students enrolled in the graduate program, including a Fulbright Scholar from Yemen and students from India, Turkey and Taiwan.

The MHPA is a useful degree: nearly 90 percent of our graduates begin jobs in their field within three months of graduation (average rate since 2012). Most HPA graduates work in administrative positions in private or public healthcare facilities (including physician practices, hospital systems and community clinics), insurance companies, armed forces or in governmental agencies. Some graduates opt for doctoral or medical education. We have an active network of more than 160 HPA alumni worldwide.

WSU’s residential HPA program is highly personalized and exceptionally rigorous, requiring an internship and an individual graduate project. Class sizes are small (12-20 students) and require active engagement in course discussions, guest lectures, site visits and group projects. The curriculum is designed to facilitate both full-time and part-time participation for working professionals, with courses scheduled on weekday evenings (typically 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.)

HPA graduates develop strong writing and public presentation skills and the capacity to discern and apply important research in providing and planning for health care. Further, HPA graduates understand how to read and work within the political environment dictating how health care services are provided in their communities. An ethic of public service guides our program, with graduates committed to offering healthcare that is timely, accessible, and of high quality.

Our HPA instructors serve in leadership positions throughout the region’s healthcare system, bringing real-world experience and practical guidance to HPA students, and serving as a key resource for internships and post-graduation job placements.

Tenure-track faculty in the Department maintain an active research program, and have received funding from The World Bank, The National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Washington’s Life Sciences Discovery Fund, the Empire Health Foundation, and the Washington Attorney General’s Office. They routinely publish research in top-tier academic journals like the American Journal of Managed Care, American Journal of Public Health, Medical Care, New England Journal of Medicine, and Psychiatric Services.

As healthcare evolves nationally and globally, we’re proud to train and prepare individuals to plan, advocate and act on behalf of tomorrow’s patients and providers. We invite you to join us, and we welcome inquiries and campus visits.

Jae Kennedy, PhD, Chair and Professor
Department of Health Policy and Administration

Washington State University