Contact: Dr. Diane J. Martin
Beginning in January 2011 and continuing through December 2028, a baby-boomer (defined as an individual born between 1946 and 1964) will turn age 65 approximately every 8 seconds. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by the year 2030 and continuing through at least the middle of the 21st century, over 1/5 of the population will be age 65 and older. Additionally, the 85+ age group is the fastest growing sub-set of this demographic.
The need for qualified professionals who can effectively work with and for our aging population is greater than ever. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics has targeted the field of Gerontology as one of the highest occupational growth areas, since meeting the needs/wants of older persons will be a major, if not predominate emphasis in our country for the next several decades. Unprecedented opportunities exist in business, education, recreation and leisure, mental & physical health and wellness, social work, research, public policy, academia, and other areas supporting our aging population. Employment in some of these fields with a specific focus on the aging population is expected to grow by more than 36% over the national average of equivalent positions that don’t involve the 65+ age group. Therefore, coupling an undergraduate degree in any discipline with a graduate degree in Gerontology will provide skills and knowledge necessary to be more competitive in a multitude of employment arenas.
It’s cost effective, too! Undergraduate students meeting eligibility requirements (3.0 GPA- both in chosen major and overall) begin the graduate Gerontology program during the spring semester of junior year by taking just one graduate course during each of the remaining three (3) semesters of their undergraduate program (spring junior year, fall & spring senior year) as part of their regular course schedule (academic load cannot exceed 22 credits during each term) at no additional cost in tuition. After receiving their B.A. degrees, students continuing in the Master’s program full-time complete 3 courses during each of the next three semesters (summer, fall, and spring) and graduate with their M.S. degree in Gerontology in spring of their 5th year.
1. Apply during spring semester of sophomore year or fall semester of your junior to begin graduate coursework as a second semester junior.
2. Take three (3) graduate courses as an undergraduate with NO additional cost in tuition.
3. Graduate courses available online or face-to-face in the evenings.
4. Receive your undergraduate degree at the end of year four.
5. Take three (3) graduate courses each term (summer, fall, spring) following graduation, including an internship linking your undergraduate major and Gerontology.
6. Receive your M.S. degree in Gerontology at the end of the spring semester of your fifth year, prepared to fulfill a leadership role in public or private sectors where Gerontological knowledge and expertise is essential to improve the quality of life for older adults- the fastest growing demographic of American society.
Key features of the program include:
• Expands and integrates your knowledge of aging and elderhood through theory and practice to prepare you to work in one of the many diverse occupations in aging services available in the private and public sectors.
• Provides opportunities for you to increase your awareness about resources available to become informed, involved, and employed in the field of aging.
• Delivers an interdisciplinary approach to studying gerontology by evaluating the interconnectedness of the social, natural, and behavioral science components of aging.
• Prepares you to become an advocate for elders and assume a leadership role to improve quality of later life.
• Internship requirement to provide practical experience in the field of Gerontology Opportunities to develop your research and/or teaching portfolio.
In addition, students develop skills to:
• Complement your undergraduate major field of study.
• Better understand the complex interrelations among aging, health, and social structure.
• Assess, interpret, and apply gerontological research findings.
• Effectively communicate gerontological concepts in oral and written form.
Eligible students (3.0 GPA overall and in their chosen major, recommendation of major advisor, and completion of an interview with the Director of the CSA)online to the Gerontology graduate program during the spring semester of their sophomore year or fall semester of their junior year. Application material is due no later than December 1 of fall semester junior year. Contact the Director of the CSA for more information.