About Us

Our Mission

IOA's faculty, staff, and students are dedicated to enhancing understanding of aging and facilitating opportunities for elders, families, and communities to thrive. 



IOA specializes in research on a variety of topics, including:

  • Best practices in housing and long-term care
  • Planning for age- and dementia-friendly communities
  • Aging services organizational decision making
  • Work-life issues and family caregiving
  • Social relationships in late life
  • Global aging
  • Research methods

Our work has been funded by a variety of local, state, and national public agencies and private foundations, such as the National Institutes of Health, Grantmakers in Aging, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Oregon Health & Science University, the Social Security Administration, the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Northwest Health Foundation, the Oregon Community Foundation, Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services, and Metro (the elected regional government for the Portland metropolitan area).



Academic courses and programs

Aging-related classes are offered in different departments across campus. Classes offered through IOA have the prefix “AGE” (e.g., AGE 558/658 Perspectives on Aging). These and most other aging-related classes can be taken toward the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology and/or in fulfillment of the requirements of a field specialization in aging in the Master’s of Public Health, the PhD in Urban Studies, and the PhD in Community Health programs. Undergraduate-level courses are also available.

Training for Professionals

IOA is a partner in the Oregon Geriatric Education Consortium (OGEC), a collaboration among the Oregon Health & Science University, Portland State University, and Oregon State University dedicated to providing training in gerontology and geriatrics to health professionals. The OGEC Resource Center provides reference and training materials for geriatric health care, long-term care, and higher education professionals in gerontology and geriatrics across Oregon.

Lifelong Learning

The Senior Adult Learning Center (SALC) provides opportunities for continuous intellectual enrichment and personal growth of older adults. Oregon residents ages 65 and older can register through the SALC to audit Portland State University courses on most topics with no tuition costs on a space-available basis.

The Retired Associates of Portland State University (RAPSU) is an affiliated membership organization open to anyone aged 50 and older and sponsored by the Institute on Aging. It provides fellowship for those interested in lifelong learning and leadership opportunities.


Community Service and Partnerships

Through partnerships with a wide variety of organizations that serve older adults locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, faculty and students at the Institute on Aging seek to build capacity for organizations and communities to address the needs of older people living near and far. For more than 10 years, IOA has been the backbone organization and co-coordinator for the Age-Friendly Portland and Multnomah County initiatives.