Aug 18, 2018  
Undergraduate Catalog 2015-2017 
Undergraduate Catalog 2015-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Gerontology Major, BA

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Gerontology Major, BA

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Program Description

The gerontology program is an Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Program of Merit. Gerontology is the multi-disciplinary study of the aging processes (biological, psychological, and sociological), and of individuals as they age from middle adulthood through later adulthood. It includes the study of mental, physical and social changes in older adults as they age, and the impact of social programs and social policies on their well-being. Since older adults, especially those 85 years of age and above, constitute the fastest growing segment of the population; the focus of gerontologists has been on the acquisition of specialized knowledge and skills to meet the needs of this rapidly expanding population.

Program Goals

The gerontology program is a multidisciplinary, four-year curriculum designated as a Program of Merit by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. The program focuses on teaching students to think analytically, use resources, and make informed decisions about aging issues. Human service skills, an integral part of the program, are intended to assist the student in obtaining jobs in a variety of aging-related settings. The purpose of the gerontology program is two-fold. First, it offers educational opportunities to students throughout the university to gain information, knowledge and skills relevant to living and working in an aging society. Second, the program offers a broad-based, multidisciplinary course of study that prepares students for beginning careers in the field of aging and for graduate study in aging-related fields.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the gerontology program, the students should possess the following:

  1. An understanding of the societal issues, concerns, and challenges brought about by an aging society;
  2. Knowledge of the social and cultural contexts in which aging occurs;
  3. An understanding of the physical, psychological, and social process of aging;
  4. An understanding of the characteristics of older persons and the issues and concerns associated with differing experiences of aging;
  5. The ability to identify and utilize community resources and support systems for older persons and their families; and
  6. Skills in planning and implementing aging programs and services.

Major Requirements

The major requires 61 semester hours (SH) of courses and 13 SH in pre-requisite courses. Of these, 61 SHs  in upper division (3000/4000 level) courses; 30 SHs in gerontology courses which include note of practicum and a nine-hour internship; 18 SHs in aging related or supportive courses from other disciplines; and 12 SHs of electives in an area of interest and selected in consultation with student’s faculty advisor. Electives must be approved by the major faculty advisor.  

Gerontology majors are strongly encouraged to take electives, which will enhance their knowledge of gerontology and prepare them for employment and graduate study. Students must have at least 60 documented contact hours of volunteer experiences with older persons prior to the junior year; a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall for admission to the program; and a grade of C or better in all required upper division courses.



Pre-Requisite Courses (15 semester hours)



GER 2301 General Gerontology: The Ups and Downs of Aging

GER 2326 or SOC 2326 Statistics for Social and Behavioral Sciences (Develop as GE with Quantitative Literacy Theme)

POS 2311 – American Government (GE)

SOC 2301 - General Sociology (GE

PSY 2301 - General Psychology (GE)


Major Courses

Gerontology (30)  semester hours)

GER  2101 – General Gerontology Practicum

GER 3301 - Aspects of Aging in Diverse Groups

GER 3302 - Principles and Practices of Gerontology

GER 3303 - Health-Related Functional Aspects of Gerontology

GER 3304 - Public Policy of Aging

GER 4301 - Research Methods and Evaluation in Gerontology

GER 4302 - Dying, Death, and Bereavement

GER 4303 - Senior Capstone Seminar

GER 4901 - Internship in Gerontology




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