Gerontology

Become a Gerontologist

Pacific University’s online graduate certificate program in gerontology for the healthcare professional is a post-baccalaureate program designed for many different employment opportunities including leadership, entrepreneurship, aging specialist, and health educator. Learn more about opportunities in Why Study Aging (pdf).

Our program develops ethical, visionary leaders who want to advance their knowledge and skills to improve societal health and well-being in the aging population.

Why Study Gerontology at Pacific University

The graduate certificate program in gerontology for the healthcare professional has a unique mission to foster and facilitate transdisciplinary education that enhances the quality of life of older adults. The certificate program emphasizes the science of aging and the experience of aging. The program focuses on:

  • health and aging
  • elder rights and health disparity in aging
  • creating change in the healthcare environment by developing, leading and managing innovative programs to better serve older adults

At Pacific, we focus on authentic learning, or developing real-life knowledge and skills. The program encourages students to create tangible and useful products to be shared with their world. In the gerontology program, students develop and implement ideas in their own workplaces. Pacific professors provide motivational challenges. They nurture and provide the necessary criteria, planning, timelines, resources and support to accommodate student success.

Here, the professor guides and facilitates. Assignments become processes for creating change and better outcomes in services to older adults. The capstone project is a real-life task that provides the learner with opportunities to connect with the real world.

Instead of vicariously discussing topics and regurgitating information in a traditional way on an exam, Pacific’s gerontology program provides learners with support to achieve a tangible, useful product worth sharing with their community and their world.

Program Features

  • 21 credits (seven courses completed in 15 months)
  • Online format designed to meet the needs of a working professional
  • Interdisciplinary faculty and students
  • Evidence-based approach
  • Courses designed to empower students to create change in their work environment
  • Flexible program start date

Gainful Employment Disclosure

Visiting Assistant Professor, Chatham University

Bobby Nijjar, RD, EdD

Assistant Professor

The Gerontology Program is designed to provide working professionals and other health professions students an opportunity to receive their certificate in gerontology simultaneously in an online environment.

  • Seven courses for a total of 21 credits
  • Curriculum culminates in a final capstone project that optimizes care and/or care environments for older adults
  • Courses build upon each other, thus students are expected to complete the curriculum in sequence
  • All courses are completed online, with no residential requirements
  • Class size limited to 15 students.

Spring & Fall 2014

Date

Course Title

Jan. 6 - Feb. 21

GERO-525: Health Literacy and Communication

March 3 - April 25*

GERO-575: Dementia and Memory

April 27 - June 12

GERO-600: Aging and Disability

Sept. 2 - Oct. 17

GERO-625: Health Disparity in Aging

Sept. 2 - Oct. 17

GERO-501: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Aging Research

Oct. 20 - Dec. 12*

GERO-650: Capstone Course: Creating Change

Oct. 20 - Dec. 12*

GERO-550: Aging Brain and Body

 

Spring 2015

Date

Course Title

Jan. 5 - Feb. 13

GERO-525: Health Literacy and Communication

March 2 - April 24*

GERO-575: Dementia and Memory

April 27 - June 12

GERO-600: Aging and Disability

*Some courses may be longer to accommodate Spring and Thanksgiving breaks.

Courses must be completed within four years of entering the program. See our Program Requirements for more information.