College of Public Health students graduating


The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology is awarded to individuals who complete 15 graduate credit hours in an approved multi- and inter-disciplinary curriculum in gerontology.

Twelve hours of coursework must include at least one course (3 hours) in each of the following areas:

  • Biomedical Sciences and Health Services
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Policy, Planning and Ethics

Students may choose courses according to their preference and course availability. To ensure an interdisciplinary experience, no more than 2 courses may be taken from each department. Special requests for a waiver of this policy must be submitted to the program director or coordinator and approved in advance. There are specific curriculum requirements for PharmD and Physician Assistant Studies students.

Students must receive an A or B in all Certificate coursework.

Elective Courses

Biomedical Sciences and Health Sciences

GRN 612 - Biology of Aging (3 hrs)

GRN 618 - Epidemiology of Aging (3 hrs)

GRN 704 - Mental Health and Aging (3 hrs)

GRN 706 - Health Promotion and Aging (3 hrs)

GRN 710 - Aging of the Nervous System (3 hrs)

GRN 775 - Clinical Geriatrics (3 hrs)

GRN 778 - Current Topics in Brain Aging (3 hrs)

GRN 786 - Independent Readings in Gerontology (3 hrs)

NUR 510 - Older Women and Their Health (3 hrs)

PAS 640 - Survey of Geriatric Medicine (3 hrs)

PPS 813 - Geriatric Pharmacy (3 hrs)

Social and Behavioral Sciences

BSC 760 - Aging, Health and Decision Making (3 hrs)

BSC 770 - Psychosocial Issues in Health and Aging (3 hrs)

BSC 779 - Behavioral Factors in Death and Dying (3 hrs)

GRN 585 - Aging and Environment (3 hrs)

GRN 610 - Psychology of Aging (3 hrs)

GRN 644 - Demography and Aging (3 hrs)

GRN 651 - Qualitative Gerontology (3 hrs)

GRN 660 - Aging and Family Values (3 hrs)

GRN 705 - Cognitive Aging (3 hrs)

GRN 720 - Gerontology/Geriatric Dentistry (1 hr)

GRN 770 - Special Topics in Gerontology (1-3 hrs)

GRN 771 - Aging in Rural Environments (3 hrs)

GRN 772 - Aging and The Life Course (3 hrs)

GRN 782 - Women's Health and Aging (3 hrs)

GRN 783 - Public Health and Aging (3 hrs)

GRN 786 - Independent Readings in Gerontology (3 hrs)

SW 642 - Psychological Aspects of Human Aging (3 hrs)

SW 580 - Topical Seminar in Social Work: Working with Older Adults (3 hrs)

Policy, Planning and Ethics

FAM 661 - Health and Financial Issues of Aging Families (3 hrs)

GRN 715 - Health Policy and Aging (3 hrs)

GRN 731 - Elder Mistreatment (3 hrs)

GRN 773 - Ethics and Aging (3 hrs)

GRN 774 - Public Policy and Aging (3 hrs)

HSM 510 - Organization of the Long-Term Care Sector (3 hrs)

NUR 511 - End of Life Care in the Acute Care Setting (3 hrs)

SW 613 - Urban Ecology and Aging (3 hrs)


Course work must be complemented by a 3 hour applied experience. This may be either a field placement practicum or a research project conducted under the supervision of a faculty member.

Option 1: Field Experience - GRN 780 - Applied Gerontology Practicum

A practicum focused on aging of a minimum of 210 hours will satisfy the field experience option. This practicum can be completed in conjunction with a practicum requirement from a degree program, or can be arranged independently for the Certificate.

Students will work with a faculty advisor during the proposal stage and as they develop a prospectus for their practicum. Proposals must be submitted to the Certificate Director prior to beginning work.

Once the proposal has been approved, work may begin. For a practicum, it is usual practice for the on-site supervisor to meet with the student weekly to offer feedback and discuss his/her progress toward the goals and objectives of the experience.

At the midpoint of the field experience (completion of 105 hours) a mid-practicum assessment is to be provided by the student and on-site supervisor to formally evaluate progress in meeting the goals of the practicum. Upon completion of the field experience, the on-site supervisor is asked to complete an overall evaluation. Students are required to submit a final report/evaluation with a copy of any materials developed during the practicum to the Certificate Director for final approval.

Option 2: Research Project - GRN 785 - Independent Research in Gerontology

An independent research project may be completed to fulfill the three (3) hour applied component of the graduate certificate. Students will work with a member of the Graduate Center for Gerontology core or affiliate faculty (for list of Graduate Center Core and Affiliate Faculty members click here) in developing a research proposal and conducting an applied research project in gerontology or geriatrics. Students may petition the Graduate Certificate Committee (through the Program Director or Program Coordinator) for approval of another appropriate faculty member to serve as the preceptor of their research.

Proposals for research projects (to be approved by the Graduate Certificate Committee) must utilize the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology Research Project Proposal form and should include a statement on the purpose of the research and how it fits into the student’s certificate or overall educational goals, a list of objectives, a description of the research design and methodology to be employed, study population, procedures of analysis, timetable, and a statement of proposed outcomes/products anticipated to result from the research; e.g. a final report or article of publishable quality.

Once the proposal has been approved, and appropriate signed Institutional Review Board approval has been received, work may begin. It is expected that each student will meet with their preceptor on a regular basis (normally at least monthly) during the conduct of the research project.

Upon completion of the research experience students are required to submit a final report/evaluation with a copy of materials developed during the research project to the Director or Program Coordinator. In addition, the faculty preceptor will submit a final report/evaluation. These reports will be submitted to the Graduate Certificate Committee for final approval.

Students have up to five (5) years to complete the Certificate. Extensions beyond this time require formal approval of the Graduate Certificate Committee.