Gerontology Undergraduate Certificate

Degree Requirements

Students who wish to earn an Undergraduate Certificate in Gerontology must complete four courses (12 semester hours), including an approved internship that will expose the student directly to older people and their families. The internship must be approved by the program director during the semester prior to placement. The internship may be waived for students who are currently employed in the field of aging or those who can provide documentation of substantial work experience in the field. Waiver of the internship requirement must be approved by the Gerontology Program Director and the student’s academic advisor. Students in professional programs may be able to substitute clinical or field placements for the internship with permission of the Gerontology Program Director and the student’s academic advisor. Substitutions will be approved only if the placement provides opportunities to interact with and provide services for older individuals and their families.

Approved courses are offered in various departments as well as in Gerontology (GRN). Students are encouraged to pursue the Gerontology Certificate in conjunction with degree programs. Some approved courses may not carry the GRN designation. It is essential for students to work with their academic advisors and the Gerontology program director or associate director to develop a plan of study for the Gerontology Certificate.

Core Courses for the Undergraduate Certificate
SY 372Social Gerontology - W3
Select one of the following:3
Biology of Aging
Health Disparities Life Span
Health Disparities Life Span
Select one of the following:3
Seasons of Life
Adults in Society
Adult Development and Aging-
Life Span Development
Internship (3 hrs Required)
GRN 496Internship - Gerontology (or equivalent see footnote table below) 13
Elective Courses
Select courses to bring total hours to 12
Any required course option that is not chosen from the list above to fulfill a requirement may be used as an elective, other elective choices include:
Gender and Aging
Special Topics - (see footnote table below) 2
Special Topics (see footnote table below) 2
Directed Studies
Personal Health
Intro to Nutrition
Public Policy and Aging
Comparative Evolutionary Psy
Sociology of Aging and Family
Special Topics
Total Hours12



With permission of the program director and the student's academic advisor, an internship in the student's primary discipline may be substituted if the internship provides significant contact with older people, their families, or appropriate service agencies. Three (3) semester hours required; up to six (6) semester hours may be accepted. Approval of the internship placement must be obtained at least 6 weeks prior to registration. The 3 hour internship requires 100 contact hours; the 6 hour internship requires 200 contact hours. If you plan to substitute an internship from another discipline, you must obtain written approval from the Gerontology Program Director prior to registration.


GRN 290 and GRN 490 are variable topics courses. Check the class schedule each term to determine which topic is being offered. Sample topics include: Gender and Aging; and Aging and Public Policy. Additional courses may be used as electives, if approved by the Gerontology program director or associate director. Students should meet with the program director to discuss specific questions about elective courses. 

Directed studies courses, special topics, and seminars in gerontology or other disciplines may be accepted only when the course topic is appropriate for gerontology. Students should meet with the program director to discuss specific questions about elective courses.

Program Enhancement

Research opportunities, service learning, and scholarships may be available for students in Gerontology. Contact the Program Director for details. Membership in Sigma Phi Omega Gerontology Honor Society and the Gerontology Club are also available to qualified students.

Application for the Certificate

Printed certificates are not sent automatically to students. The certificate application is available at the Gerontology website:

An exit interview may be required. Contact the program director at least 6 weeks prior to completion of requirements for the certificate. Recipients of the Gerontology Certificates are listed in the Commencement Program closest to the date the certificate completion documentation was approved.