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Gerontology Minor

(18 credits) 

Coordinator: Joy Ernst

Studying gerontology provides an opportunity for students to engage in a multidisciplinary study of the biological, psychological and social determinants of the aging process. The 18-credit undergraduate minor may be used to supplement a number of majors, including biology, economics, management, psychology, social work and sociology. The minor provides special needs of this segment of the population; the skills required to work effectively with the older adult and the elderly; and the economic, political, clinical and social issues surrounding the increasingly larger proportion of aged individuals in the American society.

By supplementing a major with the gerontology minor, students will be better prepared for careers as project planners, counselors for families caring for the elderly, instructors for adult education programs, grief counselors, educators and others.

Requirements for the Minor:Four of the following (12 credits):
  • BIOL 138 The Human Health Mosaic
  • GERO 370 Gerontology Practicum
  • PSY 373 Psychology of Aging
  • PYSO 221 Social Gerontology or SOWK 327 Gerontological Social Work: Policy and Practice
Two of the following (6 credits):
  • MGMT 205 Principles of Management—Introduction to Organizations
  • MGMT 301 Organizational Theory and Behavior
  • PE 225 Health Maintenance: Stress Assessment and Control
  • PE 226 Health Maintenance: Physical Fitness
  • PSY 204 Psychology of Death
  • PSY 238 Human Development II: Adulthood and Aging
  • SOC 215 Social Problems
  • SOC 260 Methods of Social Research
  • SOWK 301 Social Policy and Human Service Programs
  • SOWK 330 Social Work With Families

In addition to the specific courses listed above, an independent study related to gerontology might be taken in any number of departments. This should be cleared in advance with the program coordinator in order to ensure that it will fulfill credits toward the minor.

A large number of today’s elderly live in urban areas and are Spanish speaking. Thus, students will benefit by having background in Spanish, particularly through SPAN 103.

Gerontology students have many practicum sites available to them, including the National Council on Aging, the Maryland State Office on Aging, community commissions on aging, nursing facilities, adult day care centers, Hospice and many independent living facilities for the aging.