Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
Download the Certificate in Gerontology information sheet and application packet.
The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology program provides multidisciplinary training for post-baccalaureate students interested in working with the aged in a variety of settings. The field of gerontology addresses the social issues, problems, policies, and programs that affect the quality of life for our rapidly aging population.
As our population ages, more programs are developing that provide services to seniors. Thus, a workforce that has expertise in adult development and aging is increasingly valuable.
Employment possibilities include aging services at the federal, state, and county levels of government as well as positions in the non-profit world of health and social services. There is also a need in the supportive housing arena, e.g., assisted living, nursing homes.
Download AGHE's Careers in Aging brochure (.pdf) to learn more.
Visit Salary.com to research career opportunities and salaries by geographical regions.
The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology is an interdisciplinary program centered in the Institute on Aging, within the College of Urban and Public Affairs. Courses in gerontology are available from many departments around campus.
Relationship to PSU Graduate Programs
Courses completed for this Graduate Certificate may be applied toward graduate degrees at PSU provided they meet the appropriate standards for use in the degree.
Students in the MSW program can pursue a combined MSW and Graduate Certificate in Gerontology. Application to the Certificate program through IOA is still required. To fulfill the certificate internship requirement, students must register for one credit in PHE504. Internships must be approved by the IOA Director. Students must contact IOA during the term prior to the internship or research project to obtain specific directions and process approval. Registration with approved By-Arrangement form only. Students can find course requirements here.
All students must complete the IOA departmental graduate certificate application, which consists of application form, personal essay, two evaluation letters, and official transcripts for all college credit previously earned by the student. The application packet can be downloaded from the link at the top of this page.
If not already enrolled at PSU, students must apply for admission to the University as a graduate student. Complete the University application for graduate admission.
Students who are enrolled in a graduate program at PSU and would like to add the certificate need to fill out a GO-19M form. This form must be signed by a member of your degree program department, and then by the director of IOA.
All PSU Graduate Certificate programs require that an applicant have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 in all undergraduate courses. Applicants with cumulative undergraduate GPAs between 2.50 and 2.74 may be considered for conditional admission only.
The Graduate Certificate consists of a six-course program, including three multidisciplinary core courses, two elective courses, and an internship or an independent research project, all of which comprise a minimum of 19 credits.
Students need not be enrolled in a regular master’s or doctoral program to pursue the Graduate Certificate, although students in such programs are eligible to enroll in the Graduate Certificate Program in Gerontology in addition to their other graduate work. Course offerings are arranged to let most students fulfill requirements within two academic years of part-time study.
Students obtaining the Master of Urban Studies or the Ph.D. in Urban Studies can elect Gerontology as their major or minor field area instead of, or in addition to, obtaining the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology. Students in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program also are able to simultaneously obtain the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology. Program requirements for MSW students differ, however. Students in the MSW program should consult with their adviser in the Graduate School of Social Work or with Institute on Aging staff.
Course requirements for the Graduate Certificate program:
1. Three required classes:
PHE 556, Health Aspects of Aging,
PHE 558/658, Perspectives on Aging (for ALL students, including MSW students),
PSY 562, Psychology of Adult Development and Aging OR SOC 569, Sociology of Aging
2. Two electives from the following or other aging-specific courses, as available (a good rule of thumb in determining if a course is ‘aging-specific’ is if ‘aging’ or ‘elderly’ is in the title)
PHE 557/657: National Long Term Care Policy
PHE 559/659: Economics of Aging
PHE 560/660: Mental Health and Aging
PHE 561/661: Cultural Variations in Aging
SW 545/645: Advanced Theories of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
SW 574: Social Work with Frail Older Adults
SW 510: End-of-Life Decision Making
USP 585: Housing and Environments for the Elderly
USP 564: Political and Administrative Issues in Aging
There may be other approved classes – they will be listed on the web each quarter at www.pdx.edu/IOA/class-schedule.
**As of Summer 2011, OUS is now permitting classes at the 510 level to be counted toward a graduate certificate program under the following conditions. Students may only select one 510 course per certificate program, and 510 courses may not be substituted for core requirements but only used as electives. The following 510 courses are offered from PHE in the field of aging:
PHE 410/510: Business and Aging
PHE 410/510: Demographics and Aging
PHE 410/510: Families and Aging
PHE 410/510: Health and Housing Across the Lifecourse
PHE 410/510: Images of Aging
3. An internship in an aging-services program or an independent research project, normally during the last term of certificate work. Internships and projects must be approved by the IOA Director. Students must contact IOA during the term prior to the internship or research project to obtain specific directions and process approval. Registration with approved By-Arrangement form only.
PHE501, Independent Research Project
U.S. Department of Education Gainful Employment program information
Length of Program
Intended time to complete: one academic year
Cost of Program
Tuition & Fees: $6256.00
Books & supplies: $500.00
Estimated room & board: $13,420
Other required fees: $0.00
Total estimated cost: $6756.00 + $13,420 estimated room and board
|Jobs related to this program||Stand Occupational Classification System Code|
|Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists||19-1042|
|Social Scientists and Related Workers, All Other||19-3099|