The certificate in gerontology offers foundational and specialized training in the field of adult development and aging. Certificate program courses engage multiple disciplinary and practical domains including psychology, human development, social policy, sociology and health care in order to provide robust learning experiences relevant to professional practice.
The gerontology certificate provides a highly relevant and useful enhancement to a variety of educational and professional endeavors, including in senior health, policy and advocacy. The program’s curriculum is relevant to those seeking new career opportunities, those already practicing gerontology or related fields, and those in other careers serving aging populations.
Gerontology certificate students take four foundation courses that cover key concepts and orient students to scholarship and practice in gerontology. Students complete eight elective credits, choosing from specialized topics relevant to professional practice in gerontology, an independent research project, or practicum (internship).
Students may complete a certificate in gerontology alone or in combination with another degree program, such as a B.A. in Liberal Studies or Psychology. Please note that all gerontology courses are offered at the 400 (advanced undergraduate) and graduate (500) level; students do best in these courses when they have previous college-level learning in a related subject and solid academic writing and research skills.
Career opportunities in gerontology are growing. New professional roles are emerging and traditional roles are expanding to adapt to the challenges of global aging and the needs of an aging population. Gerontological specialists can be found in the fields of health care, human services, counseling, education, business, housing, government and law.
Program Learning Outcomes
Students seeking a certificate in gerontology will be able to:
- Understand gerontology as a multidisciplinary field of scholarship and practice and in relation to career, learning and service opportunities.
- Understand the social, psychological and biophysical changes that occur as part of the aging process.
- Identify social and policy issues that affect the aging, the aging experience and professional practice.
- Recognize the importance of social, cultural and historical contexts in the aging process and in working with the aging.
- Appreciate the diversity of individual aging experiences due to gender, race/ethnicity, class and other factors that influence aging experiences and outcomes.