Gerontology (Certificate)

Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

Department of Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences

Amy Dellinger Page, Chair and Associate Professor

Edwin Rosenberg, Graduate Program Director and Professor

The Department of Sociology offers the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology (110A/30.1101)

The Department also offers a Graduate Certificate in Sociology.

The Gerontology program prepares students for careers requiring graduate-level knowledge and skills in the field of aging. The program emphasizes knowledge about the psychological, sociological, and biological processes of normal aging as they affect the diverse and rapidly growing population of older adults in the state and the nation. Theory, research and professional career preparation are emphasized, as is knowledge and understanding of public policies implemented through federal and state programs.

Students are encouraged to develop their own unique aging-related area of specialization. (Recent creative examples include the aging of the inmate population and the growth of eating disorders among middle-aged women.) Faculty assist students with their research, which can lead to conference presentations and/or publications.

The Graduate Certificate can be completed in either one or two years. It is designed to develop or supplement aging-related knowledge and skills for (1) students in other master's degree programs; (2) students "testing the waters", that is, who are considering but do not yet want to commit to a master's degree program; (3) employees who desire a Gerontology credential, but who do not want or need a master's degree; (4) others with a personal or professional interest in aging and elders.

Graduates of the Graduate Certificate program have found jobs in both the public and private sectors, ranging from direct work with older persons to managerial/administrative positions. The program is approved by the NC Division of Health Service Regulation to offer the Administrator-in-Training Program for students who want to obtain assisted living facility administrator licensure.

The Graduate Certificate program can be completed 100% online so students can schedule coursework and assignments around their job, family and other obligations. There is no requirement to be logged on at a particular day or time, nor is there any online course requirement to come to the main campus. Other elective courses are offered only on campus.


Admission Requirements: Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university; complete application to the Graduate School; writing sample describing the applicant's relevant academic, work or volunteer experience, and the applicant's reasons for applying to the program. Some requirements may be waived for applicants already accepted into an Appalachian State University master's degree program.

Location: Online

 Course Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology (Code: 110A)
Semester Hours Required (minimum): 12
Required Courses
  • SOC 5400: Sociology of Adult Development and Aging (3)
  • and at least two of the following:
    • SOC 5420: Health Care and Aging (3)
    • SOC 5550: Housing for Older Adults (3)
    • SOC 5630: Programs and Services for Older Adults (3)
  • one elective course
    • Pre-Approved Elective Courses
      • BIO 5563: Biology of Aging (3)
      • CSD 5850: Adult Language Disorders (3)
      • PA 5270: Not-for-profit Organizations (3)
      • PA 5271: Grants Strategies and Preparation (3)
      • FCS 5551: Families in Later Life (3)
      • GHY/PLN 5400: Planning Theory and Processes (3)
      • HPC 5680: Counseling the Aging (3)
      • HPC 5110: Multicultural Counseling (3)
      • NUR 5150: Advanced Health Assessment for Adults (3)
      • NUR 5250: Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice (3)
      • NUT 5210: Nutrition for the Elderly (3)
      • PSY 5562: Psychology of Adulthood and Aging (3)
      • RM 5560: Leisure and Aging (3)
      • SW 5840: Nonprofit and Public Human Services Administration (3)
      • SOC 5900: Internship (3)
NOTE: Many pre-approved elective courses have prerequisites. Students should ensure they either meet the prerequisites or receive Permission of Instructor to take the course.


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