A Degree That Matters

Master’s in Gerontology

Explore our 100% online gerontology master’s programs from Concordia University Chicago

Advance Your Career Serving Older Adults

Become an expert in your field with our 100% online programs.

Application Deadline: March 6, 2024
Classes Start: March 11, 2024

Tuition Guarantee 

Your tuition is guaranteed not to increase while continuously enrolled

Small Class Size

Individualized attention with fewer than 18 students per class.

100% Online

Anytime, anywhere learning on your schedule

Online Master’s in Gerontology

The Master of Arts in Gerontology at Concordia University Chicago positions graduate students to promote and contribute to the wellness of our aging population. Our degree program in gerontology 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 methods, and practice.

Our gerontology master’s program 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 persons is increasing. This demographic reality suggests that there will be a demand for individuals skilled in addressing the unique opportunities and challenges associated with the aging process.

Wondering how a degree in gerontology is different from geriatrics? Learn more.

Learning Objectives

The Master of Arts in Gerontology 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), this gerontology program 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 critical thinking skills for scholarship and research in assessing and implementing future change for older adults and an aging society.

Curricular Alignment, National Recognition

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 online learning 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 working professionals in a supported environment.

Why a Master’s in Gerontology is Valuable

A Master’s in Gerontology can offer several valuable benefits, given the increasing aging population and the unique challenges and opportunities associated with it. Here are some reasons why pursuing a Master’s in Gerontology can be valuable for career development:

Growing Aging Population

The world’s population is aging rapidly, leading to a greater need for professionals who understand the physiological, psychological, and social aspects of aging. A Master’s in Gerontology equips you with the knowledge and skills to address the needs of older adults effectively.

Interdisciplinary Perspective

Gerontology is an interdisciplinary field that combines elements of biology, psychology, sociology, healthcare, and more. A master’s program exposes you to these diverse perspectives, enabling you to develop a holistic approach to addressing the challenges faced by older adults.

Career Opportunities

This advanced degree opens up a range of career opportunities, including healthcare settings, social services, senior centers, non-profits, research institutions, policy-making bodies, and more.

Specialized Expertise

You can specialize in areas such as long-term care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, palliative care, and elder abuse prevention. This specialization makes you a valuable resource within the field.

Research and Advocacy

Gerontology research is crucial for developing effective interventions, policies, and programs that cater to the needs of older adults. A master’s can equip you with research skills to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the field and advocate for better policies and practices.

Overall Value

A Master’s in Gerontology is valuable due to the increasing need for professionals who can address the unique needs of the aging population, the range of career opportunities it opens up, the chance to make a positive impact, and the potential for personal and professional growth.

Common Career Paths for Master’s in Gerontology

A Master’s in Gerontology can lead to a variety of rewarding career paths, given the increasing importance of addressing the needs of the aging population. Here are some common career paths for individuals with a Master’s in Gerontology:

  • Geriatric Care Manager
  • Aging Program Coordinator
  • Elder Services Administrator
  • Senior Housing Manager
  • Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Aging Policy Analyst
  • Aging and Disability Advocate
  • Long-Term Care Ombudsman
  • Gerontology Educator
  • Healthcare Consultant
  • Non-profit Program Director
  • Research Scientist

Admission Requirements

  • Objective Statement
  • 2 Letters of Recommendations
  • Free online application
  • Transcripts from each institution attended

Curriculum

Required Coursework 33 Credit Hours

Introductory course for the Master of Arts in gerontology program that provides students with a comprehensive overview of the multi-disciplinary field of gerontology. Involves several academic disciplines or professional specializations in an approach to gerontology. Substantive, conceptual and methodological issues central to the study of aging and the life course are explored.

This course promotes integrity as students acquire attitudes and skills that promote the understanding of adult development with special attention paid to the aging process. It further promotes integrity as students learn to suspend judgment and draw various fields together in order to understand and provide quality care services to the aging population with sensitivity to cultural differences. Students obtain the knowledge of techniques and research while attaining competency in the timely use of various person centered interventions. As knowledge and competency develop, a sense of confidence and leadership is cultivated.

This course examines foundation-level principles and processes of social and behavioral research as applied across disciplines. This course is designed to enable students to acquire both a basic understanding and skills in general research methods. Specifically, the course prepares students to be critical consumers of research and to be active participants in the generation and implementation of research knowledge.

Provides an overview of ethics as they relate to aging and older adults. This course examines a variety of ethical and moral issues at the clinical, social, cultural, policy and individual levels. Students explore key value issues that shape societal and individual perceptions about ethics and aging. This course considers the ethical implications of ageism.

The practicum experience encompasses a supervised practice in a community agency that serves older adults and their families. In addition to the coursework, students are required to complete 240 hours of service during this 16-week course.

This course focuses on the differences and diversity of the aging population from a national perspective. Topics include race, ethnicity, gender, social class, spiritual and economic issues.

This course examines the impacts of aging on individuals and societies, including social, cultural and individual reactions to aging in the society and the diversity of reactions to aging. Theoretical frameworks for aging and involvement will be presented, examined and integrated. Field Trip: Required.

The course provides an overview and analysis of the policymaking process and policy initiatives as these affect older adults in society.

Designed to expand students’ knowledge of and skills in effective program management of aging services and organizations serving older adults. Students review the aging network while considering the unique needs of older adults. This course also examines approaches for managing service programs effectively. Implications for program evaluation are considered.

Covers a variety of special topics in gerontology. This course is developed and offered based on interest from students and instructors. The topics broaden and complement the gerontological content offered in the required courses taken in the M.A. in gerontology program. Examples of topics include: Families in Later Life; Death and Dying; Aging and Health; Resilience over the Life Course; Global Aging; Gender and Aging; Aging in Literature and Film; Sexuality and Aging; and Grant Writing.

Focuses on current issues and problems in gerontology utilizing literature reviews, research and primary data collection. Students complete a thesis, applied or analytical project and are expected to define, complete and defend their project and complete their capstones during this 16-week course. This course includes the capstone experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Master’s in Gerontology is a sound investment due to the growing aging population and the increasing demand for professionals equipped with specialized knowledge and skills to address the unique needs of older adults. This advanced degree offers diverse career opportunities in fields such as healthcare, social services, research, policy development, and advocacy. Therefore, job security and growth is an advantage to pursuing this field.

Graduates are well-positioned to make a positive impact on the lives of older adults, contribute to improving their quality of care, and address societal challenges associated with aging. As the field of gerontology continues to expand and evolve, a Master’s in Gerontology provides a pathway to fulfilling and meaningful careers while addressing the pressing needs of an aging society.

Here are some of the key roles and responsibilities of gerontologists on both a day-to-day and long-term basis:

  • Research: Gerontologists conduct research to better understand the aging process, including the biological, cognitive, and emotional changes that occur as people grow older. They may investigate topics such as age-related diseases, longevity, and the effects of lifestyle choices on aging.
  • Healthcare and Medicine: Some gerontologists work in healthcare settings, providing specialized care to older adults. They may develop treatment plans, manage chronic conditions, and improve the quality of life for older patients.
  • Social Services: Gerontologists often work in social services agencies, assisting older adults with accessing resources such as housing, transportation, and social support. They may also help develop and implement programs to meet the needs of aging populations.
  • Policy and Advocacy: Gerontologists may be involved in advocacy and policy work related to aging issues. They can help shape government policies and programs that address the needs of older adults and advocate for the rights and well-being of seniors.
  • Education: Many gerontologists work in academia, teaching courses on aging and conducting research. They train future professionals in fields like geriatric medicine, social work, psychology, and sociology.
  • Counseling and Therapy: Gerontological counselors and therapists provide mental health support to older adults dealing with issues such as depression, anxiety, grief, and life transitions.
  • Long-Term Care: Some gerontologists work in long-term care facilities, helping to manage the care of older adults in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other residential settings.
  • Community Outreach: Gerontologists often engage in community outreach and education to raise awareness about aging-related topics and promote healthy aging practices.
  • End-of-Life Care: Gerontologists may specialize in end-of-life care, assisting individuals and their families with decisions related to advanced care planning and hospice care.
  • Research in Aging Policy and Planning: Some gerontologists focus on research related to aging policy and planning, helping governments and organizations develop strategies to address the needs of aging populations.

These are just a few of the qualities and characteristics that can make someone a good candidate for a career in gerontology:

  • Compassion and Empathy: A genuine concern for the well-being and quality of life of older adults is crucial. Gerontologists often work with individuals facing health challenges, loss, and other age-related issues, so empathy and compassion are essential traits.
  • Strong Communication Skills: Effective communication is essential when working with older adults, their families, and other professionals in the field. Gerontologists should be able to listen attentively, explain complex concepts in an understandable manner, and collaborate with diverse teams.
  • Interdisciplinary Interest: Gerontology involves various disciplines, including medicine, psychology, sociology, social work, and policy. Individuals interested in integrating knowledge and approaches from multiple fields can excel in this interdisciplinary environment.
  • Patience and Adaptability: Working with older adults may require patience as they may have unique needs and challenges. Gerontologists should be adaptable and able to tailor their approach to meet the specific needs of each individual.
  • Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving: Gerontologists often encounter complex and multifaceted issues related to aging. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are valuable for identifying solutions and implementing effective interventions.
  • Research and Analytical Skills: For those pursuing research-oriented careers in gerontology, strong research and data analysis skills are essential for conducting studies and contributing to the field’s knowledge base.
  • Cultural Competence: Gerontologists should be culturally sensitive and able to work with diverse populations, as aging experiences can vary significantly across different cultures and communities.
  • Commitment to Lifelong Learning: The field of gerontology is dynamic, with ongoing developments in research and healthcare practices. A commitment to staying updated with the latest knowledge and practices is important.
  • Ethical Conduct: Gerontologists may deal with sensitive issues such as end-of-life decisions, ethical dilemmas, and patient confidentiality. Ethical integrity and the ability to navigate these issues with professionalism are crucial.
  • Personal Experience: Personal experiences with aging family members or a strong interest in aging-related issues can also be motivating factors for pursuing a career in gerontology.

Yes, when you enroll, you will also be eligible to apply for financial aid. Visit our financial aid page for more information.

Judy Smith

MA in Gerontology

“While the Gerontology coursework was online, the professors made an effort to be accessible and to make the experience very personal. I appreciated the assistance that my professors provided to me in developing a career path that fits my interests and skill set.”

Deadline to Apply

March 6, 2024

Start Date

March 11, 2024

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