Institute on Aging

Dedicated to enhancing understanding of aging and facilitating opportunities for elders, families, and communities to thrive.

Welcome to the Institute on Aging. The Institute is a global leader in aging and gerontology education, dedicated to enhancing understanding of aging issues through research and education. The Institute's faculty, who are prominent leaders in the field of aging and gerontology, prepare students for leadership and success through interdisciplinary learning and applied experience.

The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology program at PSU aims to prepare students for new opportunities in the field of gerontology and enhance the skill set of those already working in the field.

As part of the program, students will learn about how we age and why. Led by nationally and internationally recognized scholars, the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology program engages students in critical thinking, interdisciplinary learning, and collaboration with community organizations and businesses who are adapting their services and products to meet the need of people as they age. Through this approach, post-baccalaureate and graduate students have the opportunity to translate research and classroom experience into action.

The program is offered through the Institute on Aging (IOA) located within the College of Urban and Public Affairs. Faculty at the IOA are leaders on the cutting edge of social science research on aging, including best practices in housing and long-term care, planning for age-friendly communities, aging services, organizational decision making, workforce development and work-life issues and family caregiving. The Certificate program is unique in its inclusion of courses in urban studies and planning, community health, government policy, social work, psychology and sociology, all addressing aging-related issues.

The Certificate in Aging can be started at any term. For further details, see the application guideline and the current class schedule.


Aging Concentration Within Existing Degree Programs


  • Concentration in gerontology within the PhD in Urban Studies and the PhD in Public Administration programs
  • Concentration in aging and health within the PhD in Community Health Program


  • Concentration in Aging Services within the Health Studies major
  • Minor in Aging Services

Careers in Aging

Around the world countries' populations are aging. This rapid change is creating exciting opportunities for a range of professionals who have the expertise and passion to create new ways to understand and embrace aging in the twenty-first century. We are thrilled to unveil the opportunity of a lifetime - the opportunity to do well while doing good. Watch this YouTube video to learn more.

Employment possibilities are vast. They include positions in aging services at international, federal, state, and local levels of government; positions in non-profit and for-profit organizations in health care, social services, technology, economics, business and finance, and myriad opportunities for entrepreneurship. Find out about career paths our alumni have chosen.