Jul 24, 2021  
2015-2016 University Catalog 
2015-2016 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Gerontology Program

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Program Coordinator

Laura Zettel-Watson

Program Office/Website

Ruby Gerontology Center, Room 8

Program Council

Susan Cadwallader (Marketing), Barbara Cherry (Psychology), Barbra Erikson (Anthropology), Koren Fisher (Kinesiology), Jessie Jones (HHD Interim Dean), Kristin Kleinjans (Economics), Edythe Krampe (Sociology), Melanie Horn Mallers (Human Services), Debra Rose (Director, Institute of Gerontology), Stephanie Vaughn (Nursing), Kathleen Wilson (Kinesiology), Karen Wong (Sociology and Gerontology)

Gerontology-Affiliated Faculty

David Cherin (Social Work), Dana Collins (Sociology), Kathryn Dickson (Biology), John Doyle (Human Services), Karen Fazio (Health Sciences and Gerontology), Barbara Haddad (Nursing), Sara Johnson (Anthropology), Dennis Kao (Social Work), Shari McMahan (Deputy Provost), Sang June Oh (Mechanical Engineering), Urvi Patel (Gerontology), Michael Perez (Sociology), Jennifer Piazza (Health Sciences), Carter Rakovski (Sociology), Mary Read (Counseling), Carl Renold (Human Services), James Santucci (Comparative Religion), Eriko Self (Psychology), Chandra Srinivasan (Biochemistry), Dominick Sturz (Health Sciences), Eileen Walsh (Sociology)


Gerontology, the study of aging, is a multidisciplinary field that examines the biological, psychological, social and health/fitness aspects of the aging process. The unprecedented growth of the older population has created a growing demand for professionals in a variety of fields who understand issues related to the aging process.

Programs in Gerontology provide students with knowledge and critical understanding of the processes of adult development and aging. They prepare students for a variety of career opportunities in business, government, industry, public and private agencies, health and human services, research and education, and entrepreneurial endeavors. Many career options involve working with healthy and independent older adults, while other positions involve working with older adults who have health problems and other age-related limitations.

Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

The following goals and learning outcomes have been established for students pursuing a Master’s Degree in Gerontology (MSG):

Understand relevant gerontology theories, concepts and research findings

  • Describe and explain relevant theories, concepts and related research findings in physiological, psychological and social aspects of aging
  • Be sensitive to the political, economic and cultural context and aging outcomes
  • A life course perspective related to older adult development

Information literacy and research analysis skills

  • Identify, access, analyze and synthesize relevant sources
  • Critically analyze research studies
  • Build a good foundation for doctoral study in gerontology

Communication skills

  • Write in APA style and effectively take purpose and audience into account
  • Make effective oral presentations, taking purpose and audience into account

Field-based practice and skills

  • Develop competence in the involvement of service, implementation and administration of programs in a variety of settings that involve older people and their caregivers
  • Exhibit knowledge of the purpose, structure and processes of community organizations and government agencies serving older adults, and demonstrate an ability to use that knowledge effectively to enhance the welfare of older populations
  • Understand that needs in old age are multifaceted and may best be addressed from a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach
  • Identify relevant ethical and legal issues and the impact of possible actions in real-world situations

Ruby Gerontology Center

The Charles L. and Rachael E. Ruby Gerontology Center serves as a forum for intellectual activity and creative scholarship in the area of gerontology. The center houses the activities of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, the Institute of Gerontology, and the Gerontology Academic Program.

The center’s goals include: promoting educational programs concerning adult development and aging; developing productive intergenerational activities in education and research; fostering cross-disciplinary research on topics related to aging and late life; providing opportunities for lifelong learning; and expanding opportunities for professional growth and development for those interested in gerontology.

Students are encouraged to become involved in research, conferences and community service activities of the Center.

Programs and Courses Offered


    Master of ScienceNon-Degree



      Courses are designated as GERO in the class schedule.

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