Aging Studies Graduate Certificate Programs
The population is getting older on average due to improved health outcomes and lower birth rates. As such, medical professionals specializing in elder care and non-frontline health issues are needed now more than ever.
Therefore, some colleges and universities in the U.S. are now offering dedicated Aging Studies Graduate Certificates. These certificate programs are geared toward nurses, health intervention specialists, public outreach professionals, social workers, and others aligned with elder care.
Educational establishments now offering Aging Studies Graduate Certificate programs will require that you check off a list of minimum entry requirements. This list is generally as follows, with some variations:
- Complete an accredited bachelor's degree – major is often flexible so long as it is relevant
- A relevant master's degree or currently enrolled in such a program
- A minimum 2.75 GPA score on the 4.0 scale. Some schools may ask for lower (down to 2.5) while others are higher
- Copies of your academic transcripts
- The completed application form and fee
- A resume detailing your work background
- Recommendation letters from employers or scholarly sources
- Some schools may request a personal statement with details about your intended career path
- International students are welcome to apply but must supply proof of English proficiency if they do not come from an exempt country. IELTS, TOEFL, or PTEA are the most common certifications; DuoLingo may be accepted
Aging Studies Graduate Certificates are made up of courses that form credits. Some courses are mandatory, while some are elective. Typical coursework often includes:
- Public Health and Aging
- Health Communications and Aging
- Family Care Management
- The Medicare System
- Perspectives on an Aging Society
- Innovations in Aging Policy
- Gerontology Theory and Practice
- Transformational Leadership in Aging
- Program Administration
- Program Planning and Evaluation
- Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Aging
- Physical Dimensions of Aging
- Aging Individuals Within Society and Communities
- Psychology of Aging
- Aging in Place
- Evaluating and Synthesizing Literature
A range of roles are open to you once you finish this Graduate Certificate. Some may depend on your previous background, with new doors opening for you:
- Sociology Researcher: Depending on your background, you could work as a researcher or research assistant on various aging issues, from health outcomes to public health, community issues, and more.
- Family Services: Aligned with social work or counseling, you can help with individual patients' one-on-one issues, such as dementia patients.
- Gerontology Nurse: You must be a licensed and certified nurse or medical assistant (or equivalent), but you can specialize in caring for elderly patients.
- Bioinformatician: With a background in information technology, your database administration or data processing skills will help recognize trends in population data.
- Mental Health Counselor: Loneliness is a big problem among older people as friends pass away, and children become adults. With a mental health background, you can treat associated mental health issues in the aging population (separate counseling education and licensure required).
- Research Program Manager: Managing teams of researchers, project organizers, public health, local government, and others working on initiatives for the elderly; this is a significant behind-the-scenes role for overseeing projects.
|University of Arizona
|Online - Innovations in Aging
|University of Florida
|Online - Aging and Geriatric Practice
|Appalachian State University
|Online - Aging, Health, and Society
|Online - Aging Studies
|Virginia Commonwealth University
|Online - Aging Studies
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