Graduate Certificate Description & Requirements



 The curriculum toward a graduate gerontology certificate can be taken either as a free-standing program or in conjunction with various degree programs. An understanding of aging processes is needed in a wide variety of fields. Some of the graduate degrees that students have combined with the gerontology certificate in recent years include the following:

  • Social Work
  • Counseling
  • Liberal Arts
  • Sociology
  • Public Administration

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The curriculum requires you to take 18 credits. It is recommended that you begin the 3-credit Colloquium on Aging, followed by 3 credits from each of the 3 core areas, 3 credits of electives, and a 3-credit practicum. These are described below in more detail.



           A&S 5500, Interdisciplinary Colloquium in Aging 

Core courses

  • Sociology (choose one)
    • Soc.Sci.411P--Aging in American Society: Past and Present
    • Soc. 5500--The Sociology of Aging
  • Psychology (choose one)
    • Psych. 5543--Adult Development and Aging
    • Psych. 5540--Psychology of Aging
    • CPCE 5589GC--Counseling the Older Adult
  • Health/Biology (choose one)
    • Nat. Sci. 430PC--Biological and Ethical Issues in Aging
    • A&S 5501--Experience of Health in Aging


Elective Courses (3 credit)

  • Soc. 5560-Sociology of Death and Dying
  • Soc. 5554--Sociology of the Aging Woman
  • Soc. 5556/ 5557--Aging and Developmental Disabilities (with optional practicum)
  • Pol. Sci. 5570--Politics of Social Security
  • Phil. 401PC--Biological and Ethical Issues in Aging



           A&S 5592--Field Practicum in Aging

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Dr. Linda Breytspraak is the advisor for the graduate Gerontology Certificate. Students should contact her at 816-235-1744, to enroll in the program and for advice about which classes to enroll in each term. She will help students arrange a practicum experience, but this process must begin approximately 10-12 weeks ahead of the term in which the practicum will begin.

Go to Graduate Practicum Requirements

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Enroll: follow this link and click on "Applying to the College of Arts and Sciences" and then on "Graduate Certificate in Gerontology"


Tuition and Fees Rates

Quiz on Aging


Contact Info

Center Director:
Joan McDowd
#314 Cherry Hall
Phone: (816) 235-2490

Linda Breytspraak
106-I Manheim Hall
Phone:  (816) 235-1744