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Gerontology and Aging

Gerontology programs explore the science of aging. The scope of study includes the medical, mental and social aspects of individual, family and community aging. The typical gerontology program addresses public and private healthcare issues, gerontological specialization, nursing as it pertains to an aging populace, and other fields associated with the health and welfare of individuals and societies. Individuals holding a masters in gerontology or any of the various associated degrees typically find opportunities to apply the knowledge in both government and local community policies and programs.

University Degree Offerings

  • University of Southern California Master of Aging Services Management

    The USC Master of Aging Services Management program offers students an advanced degree in the growing field of aging services. This includes long-term care, service-supported housing, community-based services, marketing to an aging population, and health services for those requiring chronic care. The program educates professionals the opportunity to broaden perspectives and develop skills in policy development and analysis, program management, administration, and finance with a focus on the aging population.

  • University of Southern California Master of Arts in Gerontology

    The University of Southern California Master of Arts in Gerontology program seeks to teach the theoretical knowledge of the various aspects of gerontology beginning with the principles of free examination, to promote critical reflection on present day gerontological problems. Our goal is to produce graduates who are able to perform research in one of the domains of the gerontological sciences.

Gerontology and Aging

Learning why and how individuals adapt to change can be a complex biological, social and psychological process. Gerontology deals with the administration of human services as they relate to economic, legal and political settings. The programs associated with a master’s degree in gerontology and aging include:

  • Long-term Care, Senior Housing and Aging Services (LSHA)
  • General Studies in Aging (GSAG)
  • Master of Science in Gerontology
  • Master of Aging Services Management (MASM)

Why a Gerontology and Aging Degree

The primary focus of an MA in gerontology includes career-minded goals that prepare students to pursue positions of interest in:

  • Assisted living facilities
  • Local and regional medical facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Continued care retirement communities
  • Senior centers
  • Home healthcare agencies
  • Other areas specific to aging research and aging services.

Gerontology and Aging Courses & Areas of Study

The study of gerontology touches on the fields of biology, economics, psychology and more. Required areas of training include:

  • Overviews of current aging issues
  • Reviews of current public policies on aging and healthcare
  • Matters pertaining to health and mobility
  • A study of Social Service effectiveness and delivery issues
  • Research methods, including current hypotheses, methods of data collection, study design and research management.

Specialized areas of education include:

  • Working to establish public policy on aging
  • Addressing the critical healthcare concerns that pertain to aging
  • Developing better methods for communicating with the elderly
  • Enhancing the delivery of Social Services for the elderly.

Gerontology and Aging Career Opportunities

Career opportunities related to gerontology and aging fall into the category of social and human service assistants. According to reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities in this group as a whole for the period between 2010 and 2020 will increase by 28 percent. Common careers and the pay-per-year associated with an MS in gerontology include:

  • Social Workers: $43.550
  • Counselors: $57,000
  • Sociologist: $67,000
  • Registered Nurses: $69,550
  • Occupational Therapists: $72,000

Online Gerontology and Aging

Circumstances and time-availability can limit your educational options, but gaining an MA in gerontology does not necessitate full-time, on-campus devotion. The Internet provides ready access to advanced training for both practicing healthcare professionals and interested individuals. Here are two such opportunities:

  • Online Master of Arts in Gerontology: An online M.A. in Gerontology opens the path toward career growth, practical enhancement of current skills, and a greater understanding of how to best serve older adult clients.
  • Online Master of Long-term Care Administration: Degree programs include training in administrative, psychological, physical, social, business and management aspects of the problem. Online studies help individuals and professionals acquire new skills without the burden of on-campus requirements.

Gerontology and Aging Education & Admissions Requirements

To work with elderly people, gerontology students must be comfortable and confident in their ability to provide the necessary services. Before application, students are typically required to hold a bachelor’s degree in one or more of the following areas of study:

  • Gerontology
  • Science, Applied Gerontology Studies
  • Science, Gerontology Nursing
  • Nursing
  • Science, Gerontology
  • Science, Public Policy

Gerontology and Aging Accreditation

Reputation defines quality and acceptance. Holding an accredited Master’s in Gerontology and Aging assures graduate recognition within the local and global job marketplace. For example: The Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC) fosters academic excellence throughout the United States. Working in conjunction with 16 associations dedicated to the accreditation process, WASC establishes research-based criteria that helps regulate an acceptable level of educational quality.

Top Ranked Gerontology and Aging Degrees

Name recognition lends credibility to your Master’s in Gerontology and Aging degree. For example: When a student graduates from a college that ranks high in the ratings as released by U.S. News & World Report, he or she can be assured that prospective employers will take note of the college’s reputation.

Gerontology and Aging Professional Organizations

“Knowledge,” it is said, “is power.” Part of your knowledge is gained through education. Another part is gained by fellowship with industry-focused peer organizations. The following professional associations can help you prepare for a career in gerontology and aging:

  • National Association of Professional Gerontologists (NAPG): A not-for-profit organization designed to promote discipline credibility, sources of consultation and a professional networking framework.
  • The American Geriatrics Society (AGS): Not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for older people. Currently involves over 6,000 healthcare professionals.
  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW): Membership organization designed to enhance and support professional standards and reliable social policies.