M.A. in Gerontology
As the population continues to age, the need for knowledgeable professionals increases. With a Master’s degree in Gerontology from UNC, you can advance your career while promoting and supporting healthy aging. Here you’ll find a program that combines hands-on experience, relevant research and one-on-one collaboration with passionate and expert faculty mentors.
UNC’s master’s in Gerontology focuses on the aging person, and how he or she may navigate through later life, in the contexts of human development, psychology, social relationships, health, community resources for older adults, social policies relevant for older adults, and other aspects that may affect older lives. This program prepares you for professional responsibility and leadership in the aging network—while maintaining the personal connection between faculty and students that leads to deep understanding and rewarding success.
- Psychological and social aspects of aging
- Planning and evaluation of community resources for older adults
- Health concerns and social policies of aging
- Management and administration of services for the aging population, grant development and administration
- Evaluation and application of current research in the field
- View the program requirements and courses in the UNC Catalog
You will graduate with a gerontology master’s degree has a well-rounded and in-depth knowledge of aging, which is important for anyone who plans to pursue an occupation focused on this population.
- Health care and social service settings
- Residential or community-based long-term care facilities
- Senior centers
- Recreation programs
- Agencies and organizations providing care management and/or administrating policy
- Community college teaching positions
- Industrial and business settings
- Private consultation
- Entrepreneurial occupations relevant for today's older population
The Learning Experience
This master’s degree has a 33-credit requirement, which includes 24 required credits and nine electives with an optional internship, practicum or thesis. The program culminates with completion of a detailed portfolio that demonstrates your success in meeting program learning goals. On average, students complete this program in two years.
This program prepares you to work with or on behalf of older adults in direct service, management and administration, further scholarship or similar professional endeavors. Our classes fit into your schedule, allowing you to take on-campus classes on evenings and weekends, while some classes are entirely online. You’ll choose from a wide range of quality internship, practicum and volunteer opportunities. Student experiences in the past have included work at senior centers, assisted living and nursing home residences, Alzheimer’s associations, hospice settings, veterans affairs, county offices on aging
and, wellness programs.
Because of UNC’s size and quality, you’ll develop impactful connections with your professors, advisors and fellow students, whether you’re in the classroom or taking courses online. UNC’s professors work in research in the field and are involved in significant service in the aging network in northern Colorado. As a result, you benefit from their knowledge, experience and connections as you collaborate with them on research, community-based service and internships and practica. The faculty also serve as advisors for the UNC Gerontology Club and the gerontology honor society, Sigma Phi Omega.
Admission to the Program
You must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and two letters of recommendation. In addition to the academic requirements, you’ll need a desire to work with or on behalf of older people in direct service, management and administration, further scholarship, or similar professional endeavors. You don’t need a specific bachelor’s degree as this master’s program is focused on social gerontology, a multidisciplinary study centered around older populations.
“If you have an interest in a specific Gerontology area, the types of classes offered provide the opportunity to further explore those areas of interest. The online classes make it very convenient time wise and encourage exploration of local resources. Dr. Collins and Dr. Weil offer a great experience and knowledge base. They are academically supportive and encourage critical thinking both academically and personally. My graduate practicum was hugely beneficial. Not only did it result in full time employment, but it provided experiential knowledge that can only be gained when working in the field.”
Carol Cross, MA Gerontology alumna, Compliance Coordinator and Data Analyst for Boulder County Area Agency on Aging
“ My career goal was to complete my master’s in Gerontology and then go on to earn a Ph.D. so that I can teach gerontology. I did a thesis rather than a practicum, which gave me new skills, and helped me get accepted into my Ph.D. program. I am now in my second year of an Applied Developmental Sciences
Nancy Mendoza, MA Gerontology alumna, Applied Developmental Sciences doctoral student