Gerontology Graduate Programs Philosophy
The Graduate Programs in Gerontology combine scholarly and professional perspectives to foster a deeper understanding of the aging process, issues relevant to older adults and an aging society, and the impact of aging on a variety of disciplines.
The Master of Science program in Gerontology provides students with state-of-the-art instruction and many hands-on and application-oriented activities to maximize understanding of the interconnectedness of the bio-psycho-social-spiritual aspects of aging. The program delivers challenging, rigorous coursework to ensure that our graduates have attained professional excellence, particularly in the application of theory to practice, so as to enable them to fulfill leadership roles in the public and private sectors when gerontology knowledge and expertise is essential to improve the quality of life for older adults. Courses are offered at our main campus in Westminster, Maryland, online, or in a hybrid format that allows students to take course both ways.
Key features of the program include:
• Expands and integrates your knowledge of aging and elderhood through theory and practice so as 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.
• Opportunities to develop your research and/or teaching portfolio.
• Internship requirement for candidates with no documented work history with elders.
• CEUs available for social workers, psychologists, and counselors in MD and PA.
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.
The Master of Science degree in Gerontology requires completion of 36* credit hours (12 credit hours in core courses, a 3-credit independent learning component** 12 credit hours in electives, and a 6-credit hour thesis or extended Capstone Project). The curriculum to complete the program is found in the graduate catalog.
*Applicants completing a Gerontology program at the undergraduate level (major or minor) will have the pre-requisite course for the M.S. program waived upon successful completion of a 1-credit graduate level "equalizing" special studies course, making the total credits hours to complete the program for these candidates 34-credit hours.
** Internship option must be chosen to fulfill the independent learning requirement if the student does not have experience working with an older population. However, students with significant documented and verifiable experience working with an older population can request that this experience be reviewed and credit earned for life experience. See Appendix A for details.
Application filing deadlines for each semester are:
Fall: August 1 Spring: December 15 Summer: May 1