Jun 18, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Specialist in Aging Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Contact: Center for the Study of Aging

McDaniel College is an institutional member of the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) - 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 competencies developed by AGHE.

The Graduate Certificate Specialist in Aging Program offered through the Center for the Study of Aging allows students to examine aging from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual perspective.  The program follows a professional orientation, focused on career-oriented knowledge, skills, and attitudes. The target audience is existing professionals in the senior service sector; professionals and others considering a career with older adults; and individuals whose work or personal responsibilities include contact or working with older adults.

This certificate program requires completion of 18 graduate credit hours in Gerontology within one area of specialization (Aging Services, Gero-Psychology, Heath Promotion, Programming for Older Adults or Generalist).

Key features of the program include:

Gain knowledge about aging and improve skills to maximize career opportunities in current employment arena or to enter the rapidly growing field of providing care and service to older adults.

  • Program can be completed in a face-to-face, online, or hybrid format- combining both methods.
  • Requires completion of five courses and an experiential learning component, allowing full-time students to complete the program in just one year.
  • Credits earned in this program with grades of B or better can be transferred to the M.S. in Gerontology program (a grade of B- or lower will not transfer).
  • Ability to tailor the program to fit your interests or career goals through choice of electives.

CEUs available for social workers, psychologists, and counselors in MD and PA.

Admissions Requirements

Candidates required to submit:

  • application for graduate study with non-refundable fee
  • official transcript confirming bachelor’s degree (minimum 2.00 GPA)  from an accredited institution

Choose one specialization (6 credits)

Aging Services


As the older adult population more than doubles over the next decade, there is a growing workforce need for leaders educated in aging issues to serve in management positions in private, public and not for profit organizations that provide services to older adults. Become an informed leader in the aging service industry as you examine aging theory, policy, research, and organizations that impact delivery of health and social services to an aging population.



Similar to the rates of mental illness in the general population, approximately 20 percent of older adults suffer from a mental disorder. The most prevalent in later life are anxiety, cognitive impairment, depression, and addiction. Additionally, older adults have the highest suicide rates in the country. Unfortunately, only about 3% of all practicing counselors focus on this age group. The American Psychological Association (APA) estimates that between 5000 and 7500 psychologists educated to understand the aging process and the unique mental health needs of elders are necessary to meet current and future demands as the older adult demographic doubles to over 80 million people. Designed for practitioners providing or transitioning to begin providing counseling services to older adults, the focus of this specialization is on the psychological effects and mental health concerns of aging.

Health Promotion


By 2030, more than 20% of the American population will be over the age of and most will have at least one chronic health condition. A growing professional specialty in Gerontology relates to reducing the likelihood of disability and improving the health of older adults to reduce health care costs, increase functional ability, and improve overall quality of life. This specialization is designed to equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to focus on wellness and increase the health, function, and overall well-being of older adults.

Programming for Older Adults

Enrichment programs facilitate the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical well-being of older adults, but can be targeted towards any of the six dimensions of wellness. With emphasis on both theory and application, this specialization recognizes the growing interests and diverse needs that must be taken into consideration when developing programs to improve the lives of older adults.


Don’t need a specific focus? Consider aging topics of your choice by selecting any two Gerontology electives. Your academic advisor will work with you to select the most appropriate specialization or electives to fit your career goals.

Total Credit Hours: 18