May 31, 2020  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [Working Draft] 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [Working Draft]

Gerontology [Graduate Certificate]

Revised Program [Fall 2020]

The Gerontology Certificate program is administered by the School of Health Sciences through a coordinating committee of faculty from approximately 12 departments and programs throughout the campus. The 15 credit-hour multidisciplinary Graduate Certificate is designed for students with a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education, wishing to pursue specialized study in aging, short of a Master’s degree. It is targeted to those working in the field of aging seeking formal education in gerontology; persons considering a career change, and students wishing to learn about the aging process to enhance their aging experience.

Although the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology does not require enrollment in a graduate degree program, it may be used as a cognate or concentration in other graduate programs, including Social Work [M.S.W.] , Psychology - Clinical Behavioral [M.S.] , Women’s and Gender Studies [M.A.] , Dietetics [M.S.] , Public Administration [M.P.A.] , Occupational Therapy [M.O.T.] , Leadership and Counseling Programs , Sociology [M.A.] , and other Master’s programs.

Most courses are offered in the evenings or on weekends. The program must be completed within three years. It is possible, however, to complete all requirements within one year.

Program Admission

Applicants must:

  1. Have a Baccalaureate from an accredited institution, with a minimum 2.7 GPA;
  2. Meet the Graduate School admission requirements;
  3. Submit a 1-2 page personal statement describing their professional history and interest in the field of aging (guidelines listed below); and
  4. Have an interview with the Gerontology program director. Students must be admitted to the Graduate Certificate program before enrolling in required course work.

Personal Statement Guidelines

On a separate piece of paper, please thoughtfully reflect on the following points to include in your application to the graduate school: One or two pages in narrative form is recommended. The points below can be incorporated into your discussion and do not need to be answered directly.

  • How did you become interested in gerontology, the study of aging? 
  • What personal experiences have you had with older adults? 
  • What professional experiences have you had with older adults? 
  • Have you taken any college courses on aging? if yes, please describe.
  • What skills and understandings have you developed in working with and communicating with older adults? 
  • What are the subject areas in gerontology that you wish to learn more about? 
  • What are your career plans in the field of gerontology? 

Please send your Personal Statement to Admissions, along with your application to the Graduate School.

Also, send a copy to the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology advisor.

School Information

Health Sciences | Colleen Croxall, Ph.D., Director | 313 Marshall, 734.487.4096,

Advisor Information

Cassandra Barragan, Ph.D., Director, Aging Studies Program, 206H Marshall, 734.487.5823,

Degree Requirements: 15 hours

The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology is awarded upon satisfactory completion of 15 credit hours. This includes four required courses (9 hrs), electives (3-4 hrs), and a 120-hour practicum (2-3 hrs). The minimum acceptable grade in each required course is 3.0 (B). Students scoring less than a B may repeat the course once before being dismissed from the program.

Elective Courses: 3-4 hours

Choose three to four hours from the following. Additional applicable courses may be used in the elective area, with prior approval of the director of the program.