May 25, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Gerontology [Graduate Certificate]

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 [MPA] , Occupational Therapy [M.O.T.] , Leadership and Counseling Programs , Sociology [M.A.] , and other Master’s programs.

Program Admission

Graduate School Application

After reviewing the admission requirements below, please select the appropriate application. The University is transitioning application platforms; pay close attention when selecting the application below.

The program you are applying to may not accept applicants every semester.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

Admission Requirements

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

A four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution. In addition, a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program, is required for full admission. Applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements may be considered for conditional admission. See International Admissions for international applicant requirements.

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements:

  • Submit a 1-2 page personal statement describing their professional history and interest in the field of aging (guidelines listed below).
  • Have an interview with the Gerontology program director (schedule a Graduate Certificate Admission Appointment).  For more information, please contact Cassandra Barragan at

Students must be admitted to the Graduate Certificate program before enrolling in required coursework.

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? 

The personal statement is submitted with the graduate school application. 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, includes four required courses (9 hrs), restricted 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.

Restricted Elective Courses: 3-4 hours

Choose three to four credit hours from the following. With prior approval from the program director, a student may use other applicable courses to satisfy this requirement.