Online EdD, Leadership: Gerontology

Program Information

Course Length: 8 Weeks
Delivery Format: 100% Online


Cost Per Credit Hour: $726
Technology Fee: $17 (per credit hour)
Books & Materials: $1775 (approx.)
Estimated Tuition & Fees: click here to learn about costs

The EdD program in leadership with a  specialization in gerontology provides a multidisciplinary framework from which to respond to existing age-related questions, and intensive, in-depth training for those who want unique preparation for leadership roles for addressing issues related to aging. The doctoral candidate’s knowledge base of research methods and theoretical perspectives encompasses various social and basic science disciplines rather than relying on a single disciplinary approach to aging and leadership.

The EdD program in leadership and gerontology produces highly qualified and trained stewards of gerontological leadership trained in applied gerontology. Candidates of this degree may actively engage in research, teaching, or service in academic or nonacademic settings. [Source: AGHE Standards and Guidelines for Gerontology and Geriatric Programs, 2008]

The longevity revolution and growing numbers of people associated with an aging population is creating the need for advanced multidisciplinary study in gerontology. This doctoral program in gerontology reflects the need for expanding the knowledge base in the field and training in the profession.

Graduates of our program will be armed with specialized training and will be well-positioned to assume leadership roles as a gerontologist in government, healthcare or academic settings.


Your tuition is guaranteed to not increase while you study


Get to know your peers & professor with only 18 students per class


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Additional Program Information

Additional Program Information

  • 100% online
  • Asynchronous (you don’t have to log-on at a certain time)
  • 3-year tract or 4-year tract available
    • 3-year is 2 classes per term allowing you to finish your course work in 2-years with a year for your dissertation
    • 4-year is 1 class per term allowing you to finish your course work in 3-years with a year for your dissertation

Doctoral Specialization: Gerontology Courses 30 Credit Hours

Course Number Course Credits
GERO 7560
Sociocultural Aspects of Aging
Presents a socio‐cultural perspective on the aging process. This course examines social and cultural factors that influence aging and the nature of the integration of older adults into society, as well as the way in which population aging affects the larger society.
GERO 7505
The Psychological Aspects of Aging
Examines psychological development and change across the adult lifespan. Using frameworks of developmental psychology, this course reviews and explores adult development in the broad domains of cognition, personality and socio‐emotional functioning. Issues related to normative and optimal adult development and aging are considered.
GERO 7805
Issues in Aging Policy
Explores the development, implementation and analysis of social policy in the United States on major issues affecting older people. Considers the determinants of aging policy. The policymaking process and development of legislation are analyzed as factors related to the making of policy for older adults.
GERO 7000
Gerontological Theory
Reviews major types of gerontological theory within the context of theoretical paradigms. This course explores the differences and commonalities within the various theoretical strands of knowledge
construction within gerontology.
GERO 7500
The Physiology of Aging
Presents an in‐depth analysis of the biology of aging, building up from changes occurring at the molecular and cellular level and analyzing the consequences at the organism level. Examines the influence of these age‐related changes in what are commonly considered a disease of aging.
GERO 7800
Demography and Epidemiology of Aging
Explores fertility, mortality and global aging; distribution of health and illness within a population; age‐based migration and its impact on locations of origin and destination; variations in health and mortality by gender, race, ethnicity and social class; impact of health and mortality patterns for individuals, society and public policy.
GERO 7810
Foundations of Teaching and Learning in Gerontology
Exploration and application of teaching and learning strategies for communicating gerontological knowledge. This course addresses teaching gerontology in classroom settings as well as in public settings to a variety of audiences in applied and policy settings.
GERO 7820
Leadership, Applied Ethics, Aging & Global Change
Examines the ethical dilemmas of leadership, the foundations and context of moral choice, and the moral implications of decision‐making as they relate to gerontological leadership. Considers the ethical challenges and decision criteria facing leaders, the role of politics and power in organizations and the leader’s ability to promote and infuse organizational ethics and integrity in an aging and globalized world.
GERO 7900
Diversity in Aging Societies
Explores how ethnicity, race and gender structure the lives of individuals throughout the life course and how other factors such as age, cohort and class intersect with these realities. This course considers how the lives of people differ across diverse strata and how social policies shape individuals’ lives
GERO 7905
Professional Seminar in Gerontology
Applies and integrates knowledge gained in earlier courses and strengthens skills necessary to claim identity as a gerontologist. Through applications in gerontology‐related areas such as advocacy, professionalism, and/or family and workplace issues, candidates will hone skills needed in the profession (i.e., CV/Resume development, job acquisition tools, communication skills, etc.).

Leadership Courses  12 Credit Hours

Course Number Course Credits
EDL 7120
Research‐Based Decision Making
The analysis of the methodological and statistical components of existing research data to enhance and facilitate the educational decision‐making process is the topic of this course. Particular attention is given to application of research to issues of educational policy and reform.
EDL 7141
Organizational Change (non-K12)
This course is designed to address the importance of organizational changes at it relates to school Administration. The need for change, planning for change, implementing change, and evaluating change will be discussed from a variety of theoretical and practical perspectives.
FPR 7300
The Philosophy of Scientific Knowledge
This course provides an orientation to the nature, uses and limitations of science with the aim of achieving and understanding of the variety of approaches to research design and developing conceptual frameworks. With regard to the metatheory of knowledge, particular attention will be paid to the following topics: the relationship between theory and observations, the role of the researcher’s values in knowledge generation, how the research conceptualizes the relationship between researcher and subjects, the standards that are used to appraise theories, the theory of reality (ontology) and of how to know that reality (epistemology) that underlies critical theories, and how different methods of data gathering and data analysis influence the generation of scientific knowledge.
EDL 7210
Policy Analysis (non-K12)
This course is designed for doctoral students seeking a degree program specializing in higher education leadership, organizational leadership, sports management leadership, health and human performance, and gerontology. Students examine the policy process of analysis, formation and implementation, and the ways in which politics shape these processes.

Research Courses  10 Credit Hours

Course Number Course Credits
RES 7900
Research Design
Principles of research theory, methods, inquiry, problem formulation, data collection, literature searches and ethical considerations. Emphasis on how to design a doctoral‐level research study.
RES 7605
Quantitative Analysis
An introduction to the quantitative analysis of data; including data coding and entry of data. SPSS will be used to explore descriptive and inferential statistics: using both non‐parametric and initial parametric techniques.
RES 7700
Qualitative Research
An examination of qualitative research approaches with a focus on research design, the role of the researcher, data collection and analysis, and writing from a qualitative perspective.

Dissertation/Comprehensive Exam  (10 – minimum of 9 dissertation Credit Hours)

Course Number Course Credits
COMP 7000
Comprehensive Exam
The comprehensive exam is a written exam in two parts that is administered in Blackboard. The purpose of the exam is to evaluate a) your content knowledge and your ability to apply that knowledge to address a problem in the field, and b) your ability to formulate a scholarly argument based on a literature review on a topic of your choice.
DISS 7010, 7020, 7030
DISS 8000
Dissertation Supervision

The faculty at Concordia University Chicago can be found hard at work in the fields they teach and specialize in. At Concordia, we realize that a top-flight education in only possible with best-in-class instructors with real-world experience. We recruit passionate professionals from around the globe who are committed to helping you achieve your academic and professional goals. Read more about the gerontology faculty:

Mixon Ware, PhD
Mary Frances De Rose, MA
Marcus B. Wolfe, SR. MSW
Julie Bates, MSG
Kathy Bonnar, EdD
Victoria Russo, PhD

Our tuition is reasonable and will not change while you are enrolled in our program.

Concordia University Chicago is committed to providing students with a high-quality education at a reasonable cost. And for graduates, the benefits of obtaining a Master of Science degree can be very valuable. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the median of earnings for adults ages 25-34 working full-time, year-round, with a master’s degree or higher was $59,200, compared to just $44,970 for individuals with a bachelor’s degree.

EdD in Health & Human Performance COST
Tuition (Per Credit Hour) $726
Technology Fee (Per Credit Hour) $17
Books (Approximate) $1775
Total $47,841
  • Master’s Degree in Health Science, or related field with a minimum of 3.0 GPA on 4.0 scale.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Millers Analogy Test (MAT), there is no minimum score requirement; however, the score is evaluated by the program coordinator during the application process. GRE or MAT must be taken within the past three years.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from former/current professors or employers.
  • Letter of application, including state of career goals and research interests.
  • Writing sample.
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae.
  • Transcripts from each institution attended.

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

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