3310 Gerontology

Program Offered:

  • Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with a Concentration in Gerontology
  • Certificate in Gerontology

605 One Park Place

Elisabeth Burgess, Director
Chivon A. Mingo, Director of Undergraduate Studies

The Gerontology Institute offers a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) in Gerontology and an Undergraduate Certificate in Gerontology. Gerontology is an Interdisciplinary discipline that encompasses the biological, psychological, and social aspects of aging. The Gerontology program is designed to provide students with an opportunity to gain foundational, contextual, and interactional competencies in Gerontology that will support their future goals of engaging in professional careers in aging that would ultimately enhance an aging society.

The BIS in Gerontology will provide undergraduate students an opportunity to gain knowledge of aging across the life course through a diverse perspective. Gerontology-related courses are designed to draw on a variety of disciplines to expose students to the issues, knowledge, and research about aging processes, older people, and the complex needs of our rapidly aging society. The overarching objective is to offer a major that will provide students with a gerontological knowledge base and skills that will prepare them for career opportunities in the field of aging (e.g., entry-level professional jobs in direct services to older persons in nutrition programs, senior centers, volunteer programs, nursing homes, and residential and assisted living facilities) and/or admission to graduate and professional degree programs (e.g., such as gerontology, medicine, nursing, psychology, public administration, sociology, and social work) in which they plan to pursue a specialization in gerontology. Students interested in pursuing the BIS in Gerontology major can select either the Behavioral and Social Sciences or Health and Health Services Allied Field.

The Undergraduate Certificate in Gerontology gives students throughout the university the option of combining their existing major of study with an emphasis in gerontology. This certificate is designed to support students who have an interest in adding an aging focus to their declared major. The certificate curriculum provides an overview of biological, psychological, and sociological aspects of aging; health care and social service programs for older persons; and contemporary aging policy issues.

Both the BIS in Gerontology and the Undergraduate Certificate in Gerontology include an internship experience that will allow students to gain specialized skills needed to live and work in today’s aging society.
For more information visit gerontology.gsu.edu

B.I.S. with a Concentration in Gerontology

Program Admission

Students may enroll in a concentration upon admission to Georgia State University. Students who wish to change their major to this degree program should select a concentration in consultation with their academic advisor and the faculty coordinator. A 2.0 Georgia State University GPA is required.

Students who enroll in a concentration will be required to submit a course plan checklist to demonstrate their understanding of the degree requirements. It is highly recommended that students develop a course of study with their specific faculty coordinator before taking coursework in the degree program to avoid taking courses that will not count towards graduation.

Academic Advisement for Undergraduate Students

Academic advisement for undergraduate students is provided through the University Advisement Center (freshman through junior status/fewer than 90 hours) and the college’s Office of Academic Assistance (senior status/90 or more hours). See section 3040 for additional information.

Program Degree Requirements

Please refer to the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies section 3030 of this catalog for academic regulations for this program.

Students must complete coursework in at least three disciplines (defined by course prefixes) in Area G and in at least two disciplines in Area H.  Areas G and H should be constructed so that students take courses in distinct disciplines in each area (with some overlap expected); that is, the same prefix should not predominate in both Area G and H.

In addition, Per Georgia State University’s requirements, all undergraduate students must satisfy a common core curriculum. The requirements can be found in the current university Undergraduate Catalog (see sections 3030 and 1400).

Area F: Courses appropriate to the major (18)

  1. Required Courses (3-6)
    • GERO 2000 Introduction to Gerontology (3)
    • PSYC 1101 Introduction to General Psychology (3) (if not taken in Area E)
  2. World language at the 1002 or higher level (3)
  3. Select additional courses as necessary from the following to complete 18 hours in Area F:
    • AAS 1140 Introduction to African and African American History and Culture (3)
    • AAS 2010 Introduction to African-American Studies (3)
    • ANTH 1102 Introduction to Anthropology (3)
    • ANTH 2010 Introduction to Biological Anthropology (3)
    • ANTH 2020 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3)
    • BIOL 1103K Introductory Biology I (4)
    • BIOL 1104K Introductory Biology II (4)
    • BIOL 2110K Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4)
    • BIOL 2120K Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4)
    • BIOL 2107K Principles of Biology I (4)
    • BIOL 2108K Principles of Biology II (4)
    • BIOL 2240 Introduction to Human Physiology (3)
    • BIOL 2300 Microbiology and Public Health (3)
    • BIOL 2310 Microbiology and Public Health Lab (2)
    • CHEM 1151K Survey of Chemistry I (4)
    • CHEM 1152K Survey of Chemistry II (4)
    • CHEM 2100 Intermediate Organic Chemistry Lab I (2)
    • CHEM 2400 Organic Chemistry I (3)
    • CHEM 2410 Organic Chemistry II (3)
    • ECON 2100 Global Economics (3)
    • ECON 2105 Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
    • ECON 2106 Principles of Microeconomics (3)
    • EPY 2050 Human Growth and Development (3)
    • KH 2130 Introduction to the Allied Fields of Health, Physical Education and Fitness (3)
    • KH 2220 Anatomy in Kinesiology and Health (3)
    • KH 2230 Physiology in Kinesiology and Health (3)
    • MATH 1070 Elementary Statistics (3)
    • MATH 1101 Introduction to Mathematical Modeling (3)
    • MATH 1111 College Algebra (3)
    • MATH 1113 Precalculus (3)
    • MATH 1220 Survey of Calculus (3)
    • MATH 2211 Calculus of One Variable I (3)
    • MATH 2201 Calculus for the Life Sciences (3)
    • NURS 2010 Health and Human Development Across the Lifespan (3)
    • [PH] 2000 Introduction to Public Health (3)
    • [PHYS] 2211K Principles of Physics I (4)
    • [PHYS] 2212K Principles of Physics II (4)
    • POLS 2101 Introduction to Political Science (3)
    • POLS 2401 Global Issues (3)
    • PSYC 1100 Introduction to Biological Psychology (3)
    • PSYC 2040 Introduction to Applied Psychology (3)
    • PSYC 2050 Introduction to Drugs and Behavior (3)
    • PSYC 2103 Introduction to Human Development: Individual and Family Issues (3)
    • PHYS 1111K Introductory Physics I (4)
    • [PHYS 1112 K] Introductory Physics II (4)
    • [SNHP 2010] Medical Terminology for Healthcare (3)
    • SOCI 1101 Introductory to Sociology (3)
    • SOCI 1160 Introduction to Social Problems (3)
    • SCOM 1010 Voice and Articulation (3)
    • SCOM 1500 Public Speaking (3)
    • SW 2000 Introduction to Social Work (3)
    • WGSS 2010 Introduction to Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies (3)

Area G: Area of Concentration – Gerontology (27-29)

Interdisciplinary Course Selection

Students must complete coursework in at least three disciplines (defined by course prefixes) in Area G.

Students are strongly encouraged to take the statistics and methods courses in sequence. Specifically, a course in section 1 below should be taken prior to the course selected in section 2 below. Several courses in section 2 have a prerequisite from section 1, and in this case sequencing is not optional. Students may not take courses in section 1 and 2 below during the same term.*

  1. Select One Course (3-4)
    • PSYC 3510 Introduction to Research Design and Data Analysis (4)
    • SOCI 3010 Social Statistics (3)
    • SW 3500 Methods of Social Work Research (3)
  2. Select One Course (3-4)
    • AAS 3980 Research Methods in African Americans Studies (CTW) (3)
    • PSYC 3530 Advanced Research Design and Analysis (CTW) (4)
    • SOCI 3020 Social Research Methods (CTW) (3)
  3. Required Courses (21)
    See “Interdisciplinary Course Selection” guidance above.

Area H: Allied Field – Behavioral and Social Science (15)

Students must complete coursework in at least two disciplines (defined by course prefixes) in Area H.

  1. Select Five Courses (15)


Area H: Allied Field – Health and Health Services (15)

Students must complete coursework in at least two disciplines (defined by course prefixes) in Area H.

  1. Select Five Courses (15)
    • ANTH 4460 Health and Culture (4)
    • ECON 4210 Health Economics (3)
    • ECON 4350 Economics of Poverty and Public Policy (3)
    • HA 3950 Health Economics and Financing (3)
    • HA 445 Legal Concepts in Healthcare (3)
    • KH 3360 Disability, Sport, and Physical Activity (3)
    • KH 3600 Biomechanics (3)
    • KH 3610 Motor Learning and Development (3)
    • KH 3650 Physiology of Exercise (3) (CTW)
    • KH 3710 Health Risk Behaviors (3) (CTW)
    • NURS 3200 Introduction to Clinical Nutrition (2)
    • NUTR 3105 Normal Nutrition through the Life Cycle (3)
    • NUTR 4955 Nutrition and Food Policy (3)
    • PH 3001 Introduction to Epidemiology (3)
    • PH 3004 Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3)
    • PH 4300 Introduction to Controversies in Public Health (3)
    • [PT 3000] Introduction to Physical and Occupational Therapy Practice (3)
    • [PT 3660] Complementary and Alternative Therapies (3)
    • RT 3005 Clinical Cardio Physiology (3)
    • RT 3027 Pulmonary Disease (4) (CTW)
    • RT 3040 Respiratory Care Pharmacology (3)
    • RT 4020 Neurobiology of Sleep (3)
    • RT 4096 End of Life Issues (1)
    • [SNHP 3000] Communication and Cultural Diversity (3)
    • [SNHP 3100] Electronic Health Records (3)
    • [SNHP 3010] Advanced Medical Terminology (3)
    • [SNHP 4010] Leadership and Ethics in Healthcare (3)
    • [SNHP 4110] Future Trends-Telemedicine, Telehealth (3)
    • SCOM 4560 Health Communication (3)
    • SW 4320 Social Work Administration (3)
    • SW 4330 Contemporary Health Challenges (3)
    • SW 4440 Global Social Work Practice, Policy, Research (3)
    • SW 4460 Aging Practice, Policy and Research (3)
    • SW 4480 Disabilities Practice, Policy, and Research (3)

Courses selected within Area H: Allied Field – Health and Health Services may require authorization from the instructor prior to registration.

Area J: Electives

Students take elective courses beyond those specified in Areas A-H to reach the 120 hours needed to earn a bachelor’s degree (including 39 hours at the 3000-4000 level taken at Georgia State University). The following courses are recommended as elective options for students pursuing the BIS with a concentration in Gerontology if additional hours are needed to reach 120 hours.

  • GERO 4119 Global Aging and Families (3)
  • GERO 4122 Death, Dying and Loss (3)
  • GERO 4130 Family, Intimacy, and Aging (3)
  • GERO 4475 Communication and Aging (3)
  • GERO 4700 Special Topics in Gerontology (3)
  • GERO 4800 Directed Study in Gerontology (3)
  • SW 4460 Aging Practice, Policy and Research (3)
  • Any course listed in Area H not taken to meet Area H requirements

Graduation with Distinction in the Major

This program offers undergraduate students with the opportunity to earn the designation of graduation with distinction in the major. Please contact the undergraduate director for the specific criteria for this honor.

Undergraduate Certificate in Gerontology

Program Admission

To be admitted to the undergraduate Certificate in Gerontology, students must be regularly enrolled in a degree program at Georgia State University. Students are required to submit an application to the certificate program obtained from the Gerontology Institute and have a minimal institutional GPA of 2.0.

Program Degree Requirements

To receive the undergraduate Certificate in Gerontology, students must complete the following 18-semester-hour curriculum with a grade of C or higher on all course work.

Undergraduate Certificate in Gerontology

  1. Required courses (9):
    • GERO 2000 Introduction to Gerontology (3)
    • Select two of the following required courses (6):
  2. Select one course (3):
    • GERO 4110 Aging Policy and Services (3)
    • SW 4460 Aging Practice, Policy and Research Issues (3)
  3. Select one course (3):
    • GERO 3124 Diversity and Aging (3)
    • GERO 4110 Aging Policy and Services (3) (if not taken in section 2 above)
    • GERO 4116 Aging and Society (3) (if not taken in section 1 above)
    • GERO 4119 Global Aging and Services
    • GERO 4122 Death, Dying, and Loss (3)
    • GERO 4130 Family, Intimacy, and Aging (3)
    • GERO 4200 Health and the Older Adult (3) (if not taken in section 1 above)
    • GERO 4475 Communication and Aging (3)
    • GERO 4610 Psychology of Aging (3) (if not taken in section 1 above)
    • GERO 4700 Selected Topics in Gerontology (3)
    • GERO 4800 Directed Study in Gerontology (3)
    • SW 4460 Aging Practice, Policy and Research Issues (3) (if not taken in section 2 above)
  4. Required course (3):
    • GERO 4910 Gerontology Internship (1-3) (or an approved alternate internship course)