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Gerontology programs teach people about the aging process and the needs of older people.

Gerontology programs teach people about the social science, psychology, and biology of aging. Students learn about policies that affect the aged.

Gerontology programs include topics in:


Internships and community service projects related to aging issues are usually offered and sometimes required.


A few community colleges offer associate degrees in gerontology. An associate degree program usually takes two years to complete.

Many colleges and universities offer interdisciplinary bachelor's degrees in gerontology. Interdisciplinary programs combine courses from several college departments. For gerontology it may be social sciences, psychology, and biology.

Many universities offer graduate degree programs in gerontology. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master’s degree. Many schools offer a minor or concentration in gerontology at the graduate level.

See schools that offer this program.

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Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate programs that lead to a master's or doctoral degree typically include:

Things to Know

During an internship you can work for a community education center, social welfare agency, nursing home, or nonprofit group for a term. Usually you work directly with older persons while under the supervision of a professor.


East Side Area

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

University of Washington - Seattle

Statewide and Distance Learning

Washington State University - Global Campus

Vancouver Area

Washington State University - Vancouver