May 21, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Five-Year B.A./M.S. - Gerontology

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Contact: Center for the Study of Aging

McDaniel College is an institutional member of the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education - the international leader in advancing education on aging and is the only institutional membership organization devoted primarily to gerontology and geriatrics education since 1974. AGHE defines a gerontologist as someone who “improves the quality of life and promotes the well-being of persons as they age within their families, communities and societies through research, education and application of interdisciplinary knowledge of the aging process and aging populations.” As an institutional member, our curriculum is designed to meet or exceed the core competencies developed by AGHE.

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by the year 2030 and continuing through at least the middle of the 21st century, over 1/20 percent 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; health and wellness; social work; human services management; research; public policy; academia; and other areas supporting our aging population. 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 and 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.

Program highlights:
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.

Key features of the program include:

  • Expands and integrates your knowledge of aging through theory and practice to prepare you to work in one of the many diverse occupations in aging services.
  • 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 older adults and assume a leadership role to improve quality of later life.
  • Provides opportunities to develop your research and/or teaching portfolio.
  • Provides opportunities for interdisciplinary learning through courses that are offered in other departments, including Kinesiology, Counselor Education, and Human Services Management.
  • Provides internship opportunities for students with minimal documented employment history working with or on the behalf of older adults.
  • Provides students with two tracks to culminate their training. Students can pursue either the thesis track or the capstone track. Students select the best option with the guidance of their academic advisor, based on their career goals.

 In addition, students develop skills to:

  • Complement undergraduate major field of study or current occupation.
  • 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.

Application requirements:

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 or a CSA-appointed gerontology instructor) apply 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 by emailing for more information.


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