Gerontology vs Geriatrcs

As baby boomers move into retirement and our senior population continues to grow, we are experiencing an increasing for services of our aging population.  Accordingly, the demand for gerontologists continues to grow, but what exactly is gerontology?  And how is gerontology different than geriatrics?

While Geriatrics focuses on the physical aspects of aging, primarily concentrating on providing medical treatment, Gerontology takes a more wholistic approach.  Gerontologists study the changing mental, emotional, social, and the spiritual needs of aging adults as well as physical needs.  In Gerontology, we aim to improve overall well-being and quality of life through understanding these changes, and developing strategies to help aging populations adjust to this stage of their lives.

As you might imagine, the opportunities that a degree or certification in geriatrics differs from a gerontology degree.  Geriatrics education will prepare students primarily to work as a specialist in medical roles that generally require formal healthcare education and certification such as nursing.  A Gerontology degree, on the other hand, is more broad in scope and often prepares students for management and leadership roles within organizations that serve aging adults and their families ranging from occupations in social work and healthcare to business professions such as legal, financial, or senior living centers.


Why pursue an MA in Gerontology from Concordia University Chicago?

The MA in gerontology program at Concordia University Chicago positions graduates to promote and contribute to the wellness of our aging population. It prepares graduates to work in a variety of aging-related careers. Additionally, this course of study allows for a tailor-made curriculum combining an integrated perspective on aging and older adults. Students are trained in the best practices of gerontological education, research, and practice.

The master of arts in gerontology from Concordia University Chicago is designed to provide an interdisciplinary course of study for individuals interested in meeting the needs of an aging world and improving the lives of older adults.

The world’s population is aging and the number of older adults is increasing. This demographic reality suggests that there will be a demand for individuals skilled in addressing the unique opportunities and challenges associated with aging.

Additionally, Concordia University Chicago’s master of arts in gerontology is nationally recognized by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE). Gerontology programs at Concordia-Chicago are aligned with AGHE’s national competencies and best practices.

Therefore, our engaging classroom activities and discussions are supplemented with ample opportunities to engage in gerontological education, research, and practice. Interactive group and individual projects encourage candidates to hone their skills as future gerontologists in a supported environment.


What do students in this program study?

The master of arts in gerontology program is designed to prepare traditional and nontraditional students for a career in gerontology. Based on the conceptual learning guidelines proposed by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), the master of arts degree in gerontology is designed to enable the student to:

  • Appreciate the uniqueness, abilities and potentials of all older adults and their contributions to their families, their community and to society
  • Acquire educational, research and practice skills for an informed gerontological professional identity and practice.
  • Develop increased competency in service to older adults and their families.
  • Develop skills for scholarship and research in assessing and implementing future change for older adults and an aging society.

The master’s in gerontology at Concordia University Chicago has unique advantages and is built to meet the demands of professionals in the field as our graduate’s work to improve the lives of the aging.


How can I learn more?

Please download our program guide, submit a free application, or call 708-888-2031 to learn more.

What Our Students Are Saying

  • I selected Concordia University Chicago specifically for their online gerontology program. It has allowed me flexibility in my professional work with elders and my family obligations, while pursuing this degree. This program and the support I have received in this program, has truly challenged me and prepared me to be a leader in the field of aging and as a social scientist. While I am not on a traditional academia track, I strongly believe that the skills and knowledge I have gained in this program will set me apart within long-term services and supports organizations.

    Michelle Olson PhD Gerontology
  • When I started the gerontology program, I thought I had an idea of what gerontology was about. After taking classes and interacting with my instructors and and classmates, I learned that there was a great deal more to know about the field. I have been working and interacting with various colleagues at other universities with regards to gerontology and I am confident when I speak to them and have been able to inform them with regards to theories practices and policies thanks to the gerontology department at Concordia University Chicago

    Marcus Wolfe, Sr PhD Gerontology