Master of Arts in Gerontology

Available Online

The MA in gerontology fosters development of the conceptual and clinical foundations necessary to design and provide strengths-based services to our aging population, and to develop methods of inquiry and innovative practices to address the evolving needs of the growing numbers of aging persons in their communities. The intended enrollees in gerontology graduate programs are mid-career professionals who want to increase their proficiency in this area of specialization or who want to re-specialize, having worked in allied fields.

Coursework in the Master of Arts in Gerontology program can be tailored for (1) those currently providing or those who plan to provide direct services to older adults, (2) those whose practice and/or scholarly work will focus on older adults or on issues relating to aging, and (3) those whose work for public and/or private organizations will address the needs and concerns of older adults. Graduates with a Master of Arts in Gerontology will be prepared to work in a variety of settings including:

  • community, human service, and religious organizations;
  • health care and long-term care institutions;
  • federal, state, and local government agencies
  • retirement communities;
  • academic and other educational and research settings;
  • professional organizations; and,
  • business and industry

Learning experiences in the Master of Arts in Gerontology program are based in an advocacy/participatory system of inquiry and case-based pedagogy suitable for adult mid-career professionals. Online tools are used to help build and sustain learning communities through collaborative inquiry.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Design and implement strengths-based strategies to address the challenges and opportunities facing societies and families as members age
  • Develop strategies for working with older adults that take into consideration age-related physical, cognitive, and emotional changes
  • Solve problems facing older individuals or organizations serving them using knowledge of assessment and evidence-based practice, as well as an understanding of relevant legal and ethical issues
  • Examine their own presumptions and biases about older adults and develop a deep appreciation for the paradoxes inherent in the aging process
  • Use contemporary modes of information technology and communications media in case management, program assessment, and advocacy
  • Advocate for public policies that improve the health and well-being of older adults and their families
  • Conduct applied research that addresses challenges or opportunities for older adults and their communities


To earn the Master of Arts in Gerontology, students must complete at least 54 quarter units of graduate work, including an integrative project for 9 quarter units. A total of 13.5 quarter units of graduate credit may be granted for equivalent graduate work completed at another institution, as it applies to this degree and provided the units were not used in earning another advanced degree. Refer to the section on graduate admission requirements for specific information regarding application and evaluation.

Core Requirements (7 courses; 31.5 quarter units)
Core Requisite(s):
Elective Requirements (5 courses; 22.5 quarter units)