Master of Arts in Gerontology
The curriculum is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary for careers related to gerontology. Within this framework, students are provided with a broad educational base concerning the impact of aging on individuals and cultures. The courses in the program draw upon a variety of disciplines such as management, the behavioral and social sciences, economics, political science, and the natural sciences. The gerontology core courses as well as the program electives are concerned with maximizing the application of gerontological knowledge particularly in areas of direct service, consulting, program development, management, and administration.
As the population of the United States and other parts of the world ages, the need for individuals in all aspects of society and business with knowledge of aging will only increase. Those who prepare for this change in demographics by developing an expertise relative to gerontological issues and concerns will be quite marketable as professionals. The gerontology curriculum is designed to provide students with the requisite core knowledge regarding aging individuals and the impact of this "age wave" on social, economic, and political structures.
Gerontology courses may be taken as electives in conjunction with other graduate programs.
Learning OutcomesUpon completion of the program, students should be able to:
- Be able to demonstrate their knowledge of concepts related to healthy aging in terms of physical, psychological, economic and social science domains.
- Be able to demonstrate their understanding of theoretical approaches to healthy aging in the physical, psychological, economic and social science domains.
- Be able to apply scientific research to real world issues including program development.
The 36 credit hours required for the MA in Gerontology must include the following core courses (24 credit hours).
- GERN 5000 Gerontology
- GERN 5600 Economic Issues for Older Adults
- GERN 5620 Physiology of Aging
- GERN 5630 Psychology of Aging
- GERN 5640 Management of Programs for Older Adults
- GERN 5660 Research and Assessment in Gerontology
- GERN 5670 Social Science Perspectives in Gerontology
- GERN 6000 Integrated Studies in Gerontology
In addition, students will choose at least 12 credit hours of graduate elective courses from the GERN or other Webster degree programs. Any course taken for an elective should have a clear focus on Gerontology, Geriatrics, Aging, or Applied Elder Issues (e.g., Policy, Healthcare, Program Administration, etc.). Thus, any course selected from the GERN curriculum would be appropriate. Examples of such courses include:
- GERN 5550: Professional Seminars
- GERN 5680 Practicum in Gerontology
- GERN 5690: Issues in Gerontology
Alternatively, courses that offer conceptual knowledge or skills relevant to the student's stated career goals with respect to his or her work with aging populations are also appropriate for elective credit. Examples of such courses include (but are not necessarily limited to):
- Research Methods; Statistics
- Business; Business Administration
- Management; Human Resource Management; Human Resource Development
- Human Physiology
- Grant Writing/Grant Seeking
- Behavioral and Social Sciences (e.g., Psychology; Sociology; Counseling; Social Work)