Frequently Asked Questions

We recognize that you'll have some questions about the Healthcare Leadership & Administration Program.

These FAQs have been designed to address the most common questions we hear.

If your question isn't addressed, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The HLA major is a bachelor of applied science (BAS) degree specifically targeted to students who have associate’s degrees (AAS, AS, AA) and wish to earn their bachelor’s.

Because this degree is fully online, it is best suited for students who are self-directed, comfortable in the use of computers and able to be successful in an online learning environment. If you prefer a program that is delivered in a traditional classroom setting, this program may not be a good fit.  

A BAS degree is a bachelor’s program that is designed to meet local workforce needs. Often, BAS degrees are designed as completion programs that accept a greater number of college technical credits toward the degree and provide an academic pathway for graduates of two-year programs (AAS, AS, AA). For these reasons, the BAS model typically allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree more quickly and cost effectively.

Yes. Individuals interested in the HLA major will need to be admitted to Winona State and will first declare a Pre-HLA (PHLA) major. Before admission to the HLA program, students will need to demonstrate that they have earned an associate’s degree, hold a minimum of junior standing (60+ credits), have completed the Communication requirement (Goal 1) of Winona State's General Education Program (GEP), and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above. 

Those pursuing the Leadership option will also need to demonstrate current or previous experience in a healthcare-related field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook anticipates employment growth of 20% for medical and health services managers and a 16% growth for health educators and community health workers between 2016 and 2026. Both of these outlooks are faster growing than average.

Employers seeking medical and health services managers include hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, sleep centers, dental, optical, and veterinary clinics and government organizations focused on public health and policy. 

Health educators and community health workers work in a variety of settings including: hospitals, nonprofit organizations, government, doctors' offices, private businesses and colleges.

Nursing professionals seeking leadership roles typically follow an academic pathway that includes a two-year RN degree followed by a Bachelor of Science Nursing and possibly a Master of Science Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice. Winona State offers nursing programs at all of these levels. If you are a nurse seeking a bachelor’s degree, we recommend that you first speak with the nursing department to discuss your educational options. If after consulting with nursing you believe that HLA is an appropriate degree program for you*, please contact us at or 507.457.2315.

*Important note: Nursing scope of practice dictates that LPNs are not permitted to supervise RNs. Therefore, LPNs are encouraged to first earn a RN degree before pursuing any bachelor’s degree program.  

Completion of the HLA program depends on the associate-level coursework that is accepted in transfer and the amount of courses a student is able to complete per semester. Winona State will accept up to 30 credits of college technical credits toward the HLA major through articulation or formal approval. General education courses approved through the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum will also be accepted. Additional coursework may also be accepted after review by WSU transfer specialists. The HLA program offers two course scheduling options, including a two-year plan and three-year plan, which allow you to complete your degree in a time frame that meets your individual needs.  

Success in online programs requires that a student has adequate technology skills, a good deal of self-discipline, and ready access to a computer and software that meet or exceed minimum program requirements. In addition, access to high-speed Internet and multimedia player software for audio and video content will enhance success in an online learning environment. For more information and tips about online learning, visit Distance Learning.

Winona State University is committed to offering only the highest quality online coursework and programs. HLA courses are developed and peer reviewed to meet rigorous Quality Matters Rubric standards.

HLA students are required to take the online HLA sections of all required program courses unless special permission is granted from the program director.

The HLA program was specifically designed for working adults who wish to complete a bachelor’s degree to advance their careers and differentiate themselves in a competitive job market. We anticipate that many students admitted to the HLA program will have been out of school for some time—5, 10, even 15 years or more! We’ve developed the HLA program using a cohort model that will allow you to share ideas with fellow students, learn from their experiences and expand your professional network.  

The HLA Department offers an online Master of Science in Health/Healthcare Leadership (HHL). Undergraduate students enrolled in the Healthcare Leadership (HLL) major can complete credits that count toward both their bachelor’s degree and the HHL master’s degree, saving them time and money. There have been several HLA alumni who have followed this pathway.

Otherwise, graduate programs vary widely in their entry requirements. If you’re planning to attend graduate school, then we recommend you research the admission requirements of each program of interest very carefully. This will allow you to determine if you’re the HLA degree at WSU is the best choice for you.