Join the growing labor force needed to meet the healthcare challenge of an aging population by pursuing a degree in gerontology and aging services.

The aging baby boomer population is driving some of the fastest growth in healthcare jobs in the country. This group has enormous clout across many industries, including health, finance, marketing, policy, housing, transportation, and education. In fact, by 2030, when the last baby boomers turn 65, one in five Americans will be 65 or older.

In the gerontology and aging services program at University of Maryland Global Campus, you’ll gain a foundation in the physiological, social, and psychological aspects of aging, coupled with an understanding of programs, services, and policies related to aging and older adults, so that you can care for and serve this population.

This program is ideal for individuals who already have some healthcare experience or experience with the aging population. This is also a great degree for those looking to make a career change into a secure field.

These program requirements are for students who enroll in the 2019–2020 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit the catalog archive in the Current Students section.

This program is also available as a minor.

About the Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

In your gerontology and aging services courses, you'll develop the ability to investigate and discuss the psychosocial, health, and political aspects of aging in contemporary society; develop effective strategies for health promotion and service implementation for older adults; and learn to work in an ethically responsible and professional manner with older adults and aging services professionals.

You'll also complete a 3-credit internship during which you'll work in a community-based placement for 15 weeks, applying your knowledge from the classroom to real-world settings.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Access, interpret, and apply research findings related to biological, psychological, and social processes in the context of aging
  • Analyze the impact of factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, and social class on the aging process
  • Analyze the development of policies related to aging and their impact on services and organizations for older adults, both locally and nationally
  • Apply knowledge to work with older adults in a chosen area of practice
  • Practice within the legal and ethical standards of the aging services field

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Design a health promotion campaign to promote wellness among older adults
  • Analyze case studies of aging services to identify key problems and propose reasonable solutions
  • Consider how their own aging process will be affected by issues related to work and retirement, healthcare, public policies, caregiving, and ageism

Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Courses in the Major

This program requires 33 credits of coursework in the major.

  • GERO 100
  • GERO 301
  • GERO 302
  • GERO 306
  • GERO 311
  • GERO 320
  • GERO 338
  • GERO 342
  • GERO 390
  • GERO 427
  • GERO 486A

Related Required Course

The following may be applied to general education or elective requirements:

  • STAT 200

Electives

This program requires 46 credits of minor and/or elective coursework.

General Education Requirements

This program requires 41 credits of general education coursework.

Research and Computing Literacy

  • PACE 111S or other PACE 111 course
    (to be taken in first 6 credits)
  • LIBS 150, CAPL 398A, or other general education elective
  • IFSM 201 or another computing course appropriate to the major

Communication

  • WRTG 111 or other writing course
  • WRTG 112
  • SPCH 100 or other communication, writing, or speech course
  • WRTG 391 or other advanced upper-level writing course

Mathematics

  • STAT 200
    (related requirement for the major)

Arts and Humanities

  • HIST 125 or other arts and humanities course
  • HUMN 100 or other arts and humanities course

Behavioral and Social Sciences

  • ECON 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course
  • BEHS 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course

Biological and Physical Sciences

  • One of the following pairs of lecture and laboratory courses in the same session:
    • BIOL 101 and BIOL 102
    • NSCI 100 and NSCI 101
    • Other paired science lecture and laboratory courses taken in the same session
  • GEOL 100 or other science lecture course

Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. Please also see more information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements.

Overall Bachelor's Degree Requirements

In addition to the general education requirements and the major, minor, and elective requirements, the overall requirements listed below apply to all bachelor's degrees.

  • You must complete a minimum of 120 credits.
  • You must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall and a minimum grade of C for any class applied to the academic major or minor.
  • Within the 120 credits required, the following coursework must be taken through UMGC:
    • 30 credits (normally the final 30)
    • Half of the required number of credits within both the major and the minor
    • 15 credits at the upper level (earned in classes numbered 300 to 499), preferably within the major or minor
  • At least 45 credits must be upper level and include at least half of the credits required for the major. The remaining upper-level credits can be earned in any part of the curriculum.
  • At least half the required number of credits for any academic major or minor must be earned through graded coursework. Credit earned by examination, portfolio assessment, or noncollegiate training does not count as graded coursework.

Double majors: You can earn a dual major upon completion of all requirements for both majors, including the required minimum number of credits for each major and all related requirements for both majors. The same class cannot be used to fulfill requirements for more than one major. Certain restrictions (including use of credit and acceptable combinations of majors) apply for double majors. You cannot major in two programs with excessive overlap of required coursework. Contact an admissions advisor before selecting a double major.

Second bachelor's degree: To earn a second bachelor's degree, you must complete at least 30 credits through UMGC after completing the first degree. The combined credit in both degrees must add up to at least 150 credits. You must complete all requirements for the major. All prerequisites apply. If any of these requirements were satisfied in the previous degree, the remainder necessary to complete the minimum 30 credits of new classes should be satisfied with classes related to your major. You may not earn a second bachelor's degree in general studies and may not obtain a second associate's degree within the second bachelor's degree. Contact an admissions advisor before pursuing a second bachelor's degree.

Electives: Electives can be taken in any academic discipline. No more than 21 credits can consist of vocational or technical credit. Pass/fail credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits, can be applied toward electives only.

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help prepare you for a number of gerontological careers in areas that include program management, program and policy analysis, services development, and housing and facilities management.

Student Clubs and Organizations

    Type: Honor society
    Available To: Undergraduate

    Pi Gamma Mu is the international honor society that recognizes outstanding scholarship in the social sciences at UMGC. Students interested in anthropology, criminal justice, economics, gerontology, history, political science, social psychology, sociology, and women's studies may qualify for membership. The society recently named UMGC's Maryland Theta chapter to its Roll of Distinction, the highest honor that the society grants.

    Type: Honor society
    Available To: Undergraduate

    Sigma Phi Omega is a national academic honor and professional society in gerontology. It was established in 1980 to recognize excellence among students studying gerontology and aging and to acknowledge the outstanding service of professionals who work with or on behalf of older persons. The society provides a much-needed link between educators, practitioners, and administrators in various settings where older persons are served. Sigma Phi Omega seeks to promote scholarship, professionalism, friendship, and services to older persons and to recognize exemplary attainment in gerontology and aging studies and related fields.