Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology?

A degree in gerontology opens up a wide array of exciting opportunities working with our growing older population. Please visit our Careers in Aging page for further information.

Do I need to be enrolled in a graduate degree program in order to apply for the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology? 

No, you do not need to be enrolled in a regular master's or doctoral program to pursue a 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. Some of our students choose to do this. For example, students obtaining the Master’s of Urban Studies or the PhD 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 other doctoral and master’s programs (e.g., the Master of Social Work (MSW) program) also are able to simultaneously obtain the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology. (NOTE: Certificate program requirements for MSW students differ somewhat from those for other students. Students in the MSW program should consult with their advisor in the Graduate School of Social Work and/or with Institute on Aging staff.)

What is the application deadline for the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology?

There is no particular application deadline for this program. If your application is approved before registration for a particular term closes, you may register for courses for that term.

Do I have to be admitted to the program before taking classes?

Not necessarily, but you must be admitted during your first year of courses in order for credits taken before admission to be counted retroactively toward your certificate; should you not be admitted to the university, it will not be possible for you to receive your Certificate. Note that for classes that fill up quickly, priority will be given to students who are officially enrolled at PSU. Please contact the Institute on Aging for further information.

How long does it take to complete the program?

Course offerings are arranged so that students can fulfill the requirements within two academic years of part-time study. We cannot guarantee that our course schedule will allow students to complete the program in a single year, although it is sometimes possible.

What does it cost to complete the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology as a stand-alone program?

The exact cost for the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology depends on various factors. These include PSU’s current tuition rates, whether you pay resident or non-resident tuition, which courses (i.e., how many credits are associated with each course) you take, and how many terms you need to complete your required coursework. In addition, there are some fees related to the application process (such as the university’s application fee, fees for documents required from incoming international students, etc.).

For more specific information, including current tuition and fee tables and an overview of estimated costs for an academic year, please visit PSU’s Tuition and Fees web page.

My first language is not English, and my previous degree was completed outside of the United States. Can I still enroll in a graduate program like the certificate?

All graduate applicants to PSU whose previous academic degree(s) have not been completed in an English-speaking country must demonstrate English language proficiency before they can be admitted; this can be done by submitting TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE-Academic exam scores (minimum score requirements must be met). 

This rule applies to international students and U.S. residents/citizens alike. If you are an international student who is planning to study at PSU, you will need to apply for an international student visa and submit additional material to PSU. Please consult with the immigration advisors at PSU’s Office of International Affairs and read the information for graduate students on PSU’s International Admissions page.