Academic Catalog

Gerontology (Graduate Certificate)

The Graduate Certificate Program in Gerontology is designed to prepare graduate students and professional practitioners with graduate degrees to work in a variety of aging-related settings. The field of gerontology is multi-disciplinary, drawing on the best science and practice applications from a number of areas including biology, psychology, sociology, social work, health, and economics. The field of gerontology applies this knowledge to increase the understanding of aging and older adults and to meet the needs of the rapidly growing aging population. The gerontology field focuses on the needs and challenges of community dwelling older adults as well as on elders living in long-term care settings. Adding the gerontology certificate to existing educational and work experiences is likely to enhance an individual's career opportunities and options.

Applicants must meet the admissions standards of the Graduate School and the School of Social Work. Eligibility for admission to the Graduate Certificate is limited to those holding a graduate degree from an accredited educational institution or actively pursuing a graduate degree at Wayne State University. There is a three-year time limit in which to meet certificate program requirements.

Candidates must successfully complete twelve credits of approved courses for the gerontology graduate certificate. Coursework consists of one core course, the Introduction to Gerontology (SW 7995), and nine additional credits chosen from three other categories. During the personal interview the student and the advisor for the certificate program will develop the Plan of Work for coursework based on the student's background, areas of concentration, and career goals. Most students enroll in one or two courses per term. Courses are offered by departments throughout the University and most are offered once per year. Up to nine of the twelve credits may by applied to both the certificate and a graduate degree, subject to approval of the relevant academic department and the certificate program coordinator. All coursework must be completed in accordance with the academic procedures of the School of Social Work and the Graduate School governing graduate scholarship and degrees, respectively.

If the student has already completed a master's degree, the certificate is awarded when the student has met all the certificate requirements. If the student is earning the certificate concurrently with a master's degree, the certificate is awarded when all the requirements of the certificate and the degree have been met.

Required Courses
All students MUST take SW 7995 (Category I) and choose three additional courses from any of the other three categories.12
Category I: Seminar in Gerontology (Required)
Introduction to Gerontology (ONLINE COURSE)
Category II: The Aging Individual: Psychological Aspects, Human Development and Expression
Palliative Care and Elder Law
Category III: Aging in the Social, Political and Economic Context
Social Services for Older Adults
Health and Life Course
Grief and Loss Issues in Social Work Practice
Category IV: Aging Health, Biology, and Physiology
Biology of Aging
Physical and Psychosocial Issues in Aging
Total Credits12
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