Courses and Curriculum

The Certificate in Gerontology is a 15-credit program, 5 courses: 3 required courses and 2 elective courses. *Please note, some students may be required to take HDFS 190 (Internship) if they do not have prior experience working with elders or in a related field. All courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

Students begin the certificate program by enrolling in SOC/HDFS 020: Aging – Change and Adaptation.


Required Courses (9 Credits)

SOC 020: Aging: Change and Adaptation
This is the first course in the Gerontology Certificate. Individual and social meanings of aging and old age; physical, physiological, psychological, and sociological changes accompanying aging; individual, family, community, and societal adaptations to aging. Cross-listed with: HDFS 020. Offered Fall semesters, beginning 2019. 

HLTH 100: Biology of Aging (Online) OR HDFS 221:  Psychology of Aging

HLTH 100: Human aging examined emphasizing biological and non-pathological physiological changes and their effects on the functioning of elders. Prerequisites: BIOL 004, ANPS 019 and ANPS 020, or Instructor permission. Offered online Fall and Spring semesters.

OR

HDFS 221: This course provides students with a comprehensive overview of psychological aspects of aging as broadly conceptualized. Students will gain core knowledge and understanding of both normative and non-normative biological, psychological, and social age-related changes in late adulthood. Attention will also be paid to institutional and societal factors that affect late adulthood. In addition to learning about these aspects of late adulthood, key lessons and facilitative practices for supporting positive aging will be explored. A guiding question throughout the course will be: What does it mean to age positively, and how do we, as social service professionals, support positive aging? Offered approximately once every two years.

SOC 120: Aging in Modern Society
Analysis of contemporary needs and problems of the elderly, including discrimination, poverty, health care, and loneliness, and the evaluation of services and programs for the elderly. Prerequisite: Three hours of Sociology. Offered in Spring semesters.

*HDFS 190: Internship
By permission; may be required for students without prior experience working with elders or in a related field. Offered every semester as an independent study.


Elective Courses (6 Credits)

Students who have prior experience working with elders take two electives instead of the internship. Students who enroll in the internship take one elective.

ANTH 189: Aging in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Aging from an anthropological perspective. Topics include exploration of biological and cultural aspects of human aging across the adult life-cycle in a variety of cultural groups. Prerequisite: ANTH 021 or SOC 020. Offered approximately once every two years.

HDFS 190: Internship
By permission; may be required for students without prior experience working with elders or in a related field. Offered every semester as an independent study.

HDFS 221: Psychology of Aging
This course provides students with a comprehensive overview of psychological aspects of aging as broadly conceptualized. Students will gain core knowledge and understanding of both normative and non-normative biological, psychological, and social age-related changes in late adulthood. Attention will also be paid to institutional and societal factors that affect late adulthood. In addition to learning about these aspects of late adulthood, key lessons and facilitative practices for supporting positive aging will be explored. A guiding question throughout the course will be: What does it mean to age positively, and how do we, as social service professionals, support positive aging? Offered approximately once every two years.

HLTH 100: Biology of Aging (Online)
Human aging examined emphasizing biological and non-pathological physiological changes and their effects on the functioning of elders. Prerequisites: BIOL 004, ANPS 019 and ANPS 020, or Instructor permission. Cross-listed with: HDFS 152: Psychology of Aging. Offered online Fall and Spring semesters.

NH 120: Health Care Ethics (Online)
A study of ethical principles and applications used to help resolve dilemmas in health care delivery. Introduction to ethical decision-making models used in the practice of modern health care. Offered Spring semesters.

NFS 143: Nutrition in the Life Cycle (Summer, Online)
Nutritional needs of people throughout the life cycle. Physiological and environmental factors which affect nutritional status. Designed for Nutrition majors. Prerequisite: NFS 043. Offered Fall semesters, and online in Summer semesters.

SOC 154: Dying, Death & Bereavement
Comparative examination of socio-cultural adaptations to mortality with special attention to family, medical, legal, religious, and economic responses to fatal illness and death in contemporary society. Prerequisite: Three hours of Sociology. Offering dependent on instructor availability. 

SOC 224: Health Care and Aging
Health and health care issues in aging and old age with emphases on chronic illness and health care institutions, occupations, financing, and long-term care. Prerequisites: Six hours of Sociology including SOC 001 and SOC 100, or SOC 001 and SOC 101, or Instructor permission. Offering dependent on instructor availability. 

*An approved aging related course in another relevant program (e.g., PRNU 121: Introduction to Gerontology, available to select majors in CNHS) may fulfill one elective course requirement.

There are no courses that meet this criteria.


Example Sequence of Courses

Students Taking Two Courses Per Year:

Year 1: (1) HDFS/SOC 020 Fall; (2) SOC 120 Spring
Year 2: (3) HLTH 100 or HDFS 221; (4) Elective Course (potentially the other of HLTH 100 or HDFS 221)
Year 3: (5) HDFS 190 Internship (if required of a select student) or Elective Course 2

Students Taking One Course Per Year:

Year 1: HDFS/SOC 020
Year 2: SOC 120
Year 3: HLTH 100 or HDFS 221
Year 4: Elective Course 1 (may be the other of HLTH 100 or HDFS 221)
Year 5: HDFS 190 Internship (if required of a select student) or Elective Course 2