The Graduate Certificate in Health Sector Management

This four graduate course sequence is designed for professionals who want to build a distinctive competence in health care management.

  • Current Penn State graduate students in all programs may enroll in the certificate, which can be earned concurrently with the degree program.  For Great Valley MBA students, the certificate can be earned without the need to take courses beyond those required for the MBA through careful selection of courses.
  • Courses are appropriate for professionals who hold an MBA and want to update or expand their knowledge and expertise
  • Courses can also be taken as a first step toward an MBA at Penn State Great Valley
  • Courses are graduate-credit based and are taught by graduate faculty in the MBA program. Typically these courses are offered 50% online.

If you are ready to proceed to the application but have NOT read the Graduate School requirements, please visit that website at

If you have read the Graduate School and program requirements and are ready to apply, you may proceed to the application at

To apply:

  • Complete application at Choose Certificate Admission. Select your certificate choice in the pull-down menu.
  • Upload to the online application:
  • Submit non-refundable application fee, payable by credit card online or by check or money order payable to The Pennsylvania State University (more information)
  • Submit two official transcripts from undergraduate institution (more information).  Transcripts should be sent directly from each college or university you have attended to the Penn State Great Valley Admissions Office, Attention: JoAnn Kelly, 30 E. Swedesford Rd, Malvern, PA 19355. Your admission will be reviewed after your application portfolio is complete. For admissions questions, contact Millie Ingersoll at or 610-648-3282.

Biotechnology & Health Industry Overview (BUSAD 530)
(typically offered in fall)
This graduate course provides students with an overview of the significant challenges facing the health industry in the 21st century.   Topics include, financing, organization, policy and regulation. A systems perspective encourages students to consider the cascading consequences of change on cost, quality, and access. Health care reform is viewed from the perspective of multiple stakeholders including biopharmaceutical companies, health care provider organizations, regulators, insurers, and the public. Alternative financing and delivery systems in other countries are explored.  Students propose and critically evaluate solutions to a myriad of contemporary issues such as the rising cost of health insurance, medical errors that result in harm to patients, government mandates and regulation, the electronic medical record and physician decision support systems, and the discovery pipeline in biopharmaceuticals. Critical thinking is developed and encouraged through assignments that require consideration of alternative perspectives on significant issues that will determine the future direction of health care in the United States.


Ethical Dimensions of Management in the Biotechnology and Health Industries (BUSAD 534) 
(typically offered in the spring)
This graduate course focuses on bioethical issues in the era of unprecedented advances in the biological, medical and health sciences studying ethical dilemmas in the field of patient treatment, clinical research, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and the health care industry.  Ethical controversies in health care concern some of the most difficult and intimate treatment decisions, research protocols, the boundaries of privacy regulations, clinical trial management and testing and personalized medicine.  Topics include allocation of health resources, patient autonomy, confidentiality, medical errors, withholding/ withdrawal of medical treatment, genetic testing, stem cell research and protection of research subjects.  Students advocate on each side of crucial health care issues, the expression of health policy and societal concerns and the bioethical challenges of the health care environment.  Different approaches to ethical managerial decision making are reviewed. Effective ethics and compliance programs are examined to address ethical challenges in the biotechnology and health industry.

Managing Business Processes (BUSAD 578)
(typically offered in fall)
This graduate course focuses on Business Process Improvement (BPI), a high-demand high-growth area in the current job market. Today, every manager is engaged in some form of business process change/improvement initiative. Managers need to make their organizations more agile, engage in effective cross-functional collaboration, and implement effective performance management systems by choosing the right KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). BUSAD 578: Managing Business Processes enables students to look at the full range of business process change opportunities, options and solutions before making decisions through process modeling and simulation. Techniques and tools to achieve process improvement (e.g. Lean and Six Sigma Methodologies, Value-Stream Mapping, SIPOC diagrams) are discussed in this course, as well as methodologies for creating effective performance measurement systems such as Balanced Scorecard and KPIs.

Commercialization of Biopharmaceutical (BUSAD 835)
(typically offered in spring)
This graduate course focuses on contemporary issues in biopharmaceutical innovation. A comprehensive overview of the discovery and business development process in the United States and globally is provided. Pipeline challenges, regulatory issues, market dynamics and marketing strategies, as well as financial management and forecasting for biopharmaceutical products are emphasized. Through guided inquiry, independent research, and team collaboration, students identify and critically evaluate strategies for the biopharmaceutical industry to prosper in today’s changing business environment.

Health Law (HPA 836)
(typically offered in fall)
This graduate course focuses on the dramatic and far-reaching legislation, foundational pharmaceutical laws and biotech and health law cases which have created significant transformational changes for consumers, health care providers, employers, benefit providers, insurance companies, and manufacturers of pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics, biologics and medical supplies.  The basic doctrines of informed consent, the patient- physician relationship, treatment decisions, organ transplantation and professional liability are discussed.  Legal issues arise with healthcare transactions across the entire pipeline spectrum encompassing discovery, development, clinical trials, sourcing, licensing, data and research collaboration, and promotional activities.  Understanding the evolving regulatory environment is crucial for the success and performance of the organization.  The course focuses on compliance and regulatory conformance to create effective standard operating procedures.  Students examine the trends in enforcement, corporate integrity provisions, anti-corruption programs and other compliance safeguards. 

Questions? Contact us at or 610-648-3248.