The UNC Gerontology Program

It is a great time to pursue a career in aging! The U.S. Bureau of Labor reports that occupations that focus on an aging population will be a high growth area in the decade to come and beyond. The UNC Gerontology graduate program will prepare you to become a leader in that field, whether you work specifically within the aging network, or become the expert on aging within any occupational or community setting.

Your experience in our academic Gerontology program will provide you with:

  • Knowledge and critical understanding required to address the whole aging person, including the management of changing needs, and quality of life
  • Knowledge about the public and private systems in place to enhance the experience of aging
  • An academic curriculum that includes the study of:
    • Health
    • Family and social relationships
    • Public policy (including Medicare, Medicaid, retirement, employment, etc.)
    • Racial, ethnic and gender diversity
    • Community resources in the public and private sectors (housing, health care, financial assistance, legal, mental health care, etc.)
    • Management and administration of services within the aging network
  • You will also have:
    • Opportunities to complete elective internships, practica, or research projects that will enhance your academic curriculum with hands-on learning
    • A mentoring environment with program faculty
    • A collaborative environment with fellow students, whether learning online, or on-campus


  • Gerontology Masters Student, Angela (Nancy) Mendoza, is a Fall 2012 recipient of the UNC Graduate Dean's Citation for Excellence award. This award is given to 1-3% of the graduating class. As a gerontology student she discovered her path for research, teaching and service, out of her interest in grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. Nancy became a member of the Weld County Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Task Force, which provides information and services to grandparents, and completed her qualitative thesis "Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: A Look at Latino Cultural Influences on Needs and Service Usage" (J. Weil, Chair, S. Collins, and M. Lahman, Readers). Her thesis work used bilingual interviewing with grandfamilies and grandchildren's drawings to ground theory about Latino grandfamilies' cultural norms and barriers to service usage. Nancy's scholarship and dedication to serving older adults and their families exemplifies all that the Dean's Citation for Excellence is about; high academic achievement, discipline-related community service, and superior accomplishment. Congratulations Nancy!
  • Madeleine Jacobs, first year Gerontology Masters candidate, received the Colorado Gerontological Society Henry H. Welch Scholarship. The scholarship was presented in Denver at the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Society.
  • UNC Team of Researchers to Visit Italy to Study Resiliency
  • Dr. Susan Collins receives grant to support the Weld County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program at UNC by the Corporation for National and Community Service