Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

Required Courses

The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology is an interdisciplinary program centered in the Institute on Aging (IOA), within the College of Urban and Public Affairs. Courses focused on aging are offered by many departments around campus (e.g., Social Work, Sociology, Psychology, Urban Studies). 

To see which of these courses are currently offered, please visit IOA’s schedule of gerontology classes or search PSU’s official class schedule.

Our department has developed a Gerontology Student Guide with program requirements and resources for prospective and current students.

(1) Three required core courses

  • AGE 556 Health Aspects of Aging (4 credits)
  • AGE 558/658 Perspectives on Aging (3 credits); doctoral students register for 658; all other students register for 558


  • PSY 562 Psychology of Adult Development and Aging (4credits) or
  • SOC 569 Sociology of Aging (4 credits)

MSW students have slightly different requirements; please consult with your program advisor.

(2) Two elective courses

Elective courses can be chosen from the list below. There may be other aging-specific courses offered at PSU that are not listed here. A good rule of thumb in determining if a course is "aging specific" is if "aging" is in the title; please contact the Institute on Aging for more information and approval.

  • AGE 516 Families and Aging (4 credits)
  • AGE 523 Business and Aging (4 credits)
  • AGE 557/657 National Long Term Care Policy (3 credits)
  • AGE 559/659 Economics of Aging (3 credits)
  • AGE 560/660 Mental Health and Aging (3 credits)
  • AGE 562 Global Aging (3 credits)
  • SOC 566 Sociology of Dying and Death (4 credits)                                                                                             
  • SW 544/644 Midlife and Beyond (3 credits)
  • SW 574 Social Work with Frail Older Adults (3 credits)
  • SW 569 Social Work in End of Life & Palliative Care (3 credits)
  • USP 585 Housing and Environments for Elderly (3 credits)

(3) Internship or Independent Research Project

To complete the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, students are required to gain practical experience through an internship at an aging services organization or an independent project. This experiential learning requirement is considered a culminating experience and is expected to be the last requirement fulfilled. Students must complete an application form for the internship or project and submit it to the IOA during the term prior to when the internship is to be completed. All internships and projects must be approved by the IOA director. Further details and instructions can be found on our Internship information page.

  • AGE 504 Internship or
  • AGE 501 Independent Research Project (thesis or dissertation)