How do gerontology, aging and geriatrics relate to each other?
In broad terms, gerontology is the scientific study of aging across the life course, and geriatrics is the healthcare specialty related to the diagnosis, management, and prevention of medical problems associated with aging. Geriatrics focuses specifically on disease while gerontology focuses on all other aspects of aging especially the biological, psychological, and sociological aspects. In practice, the two disciplines overlap and increasing emphasis is being placed on how to encourage health, wellness, and quality of life as we age.
What can I do with a degree in gerontology?
A degree in gerontology qualifies you for a career working directly with older people or indirectly for their benefit. In general, increases in both the number of older adults and their longevity assure an expanding job market for graduates with training in gerontology. Graduates from gerontology programs work for local and state agencies, non-profit organizations, health and long-term care institutions, financial and legal firms, as well as private companies that develop products and services for older adults. Specifically, graduates in gerontology are moving into positions with titles such as corporate gerontologist, aging planner, geriatric care manager, memory unit director, family caregiver specialist, in-home care supervisor, policy analyst, retirement property manager, marketing/development director, adult tourism coordinator, and innumerable other fascinating jobs. Envision your job title!
Upon graduation from the MS program, students may use the designation “gerontologist”. The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) defines a gerontologist as an individual who “improves the quality of life and promotes the well-being of persons as they age within their families, communities and societies through research, education and application of interdisciplinary knowledge of the aging process and aging populations”. The growth in the aging population will create more demand for gerontologists.
To learn more about careers in gerontology, please see this brochure from AGHE (PDF)
Is there an internship component?
Students in the MS in Gerontology are required to complete a capstone experience that may include an internship, research, or project. Such experiences are developed individually between the student and Graduate Program Coordinator to meet the educational needs of the students.
Do I have to take the GRE?
No GRE or MAT test scores are required for the MS in Gerontology or Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program.
I received my bachelor’s degree several years ago. Going through the admissions process for the MS Program is daunting to me. Is there a way I can “test drive” graduate coursework?
Yes, if you have a bachelor’s degree, you may enroll through the UNCG Visions Program. The UNCG Gerontology Program allows GRO coursework taken via the Visions Program to count toward a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate or MS in Gerontology if you subsequently seek and receive admission to a formal program. It is not unusual for students in your circumstances to begin as Visions students and then progress (via the application process) to the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate or the MS in Gerontology. UNCG Gerontology may accept up to 3 credit hours taken as a Visions’ student for the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in gerontology and up to 9 credit hours taken as a Visions’ student for the MS in Gerontology.
I see that a personal statement is required with my admission package. What type of information should I include in my personal statement?
The personal statement is our opportunity to learn something about the applicant and to access an applicant’s writing abilities. And it is your opportunity to tell The UNCG Gerontology admission committee about your prior academic and professional career paths, your goals, and why you feel the program will help you meet your goals. The personal statement should be no more than 2 or 3 pages.
What is the deadline for application for each semester to the Gerontology Program?
The standard deadlines for application are set by the Graduate School and include July 1 for fall start, October 1 for spring start, and April 1 for summer start. Please visit Graduate School.
Note that there are different deadlines for international students.
How long does it take to receive an admission decision?
Once an application is complete, it is reviewed in a timely fashion. You will be able to check the status of your application online.
May I start the Program in the summer?
The program is non-cohort and has a rolling admission meaning applications are evaluated as they are received. You may start the program any semester as long as you meet the application deadline for that semester.
I want to pursue a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Gerontology while currently enrolled in a different UNCG graduate program. What steps do I need to complete?
Complete the application for the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate which includes submission of a personal statement and payment of the application fee. Use the application form. Note that we can use common parts of your original application to the Graduate School, such as your references, in this review process. The coursework you have already completed, or coursework in your other program, may count toward your certificate. The Gerontology Coordinator will review that potential with you when you develop a plan of study.
Important note: These questions are posed and answered from the perspective of a general applicant. If you have specific questions you are encouraged to contact the Elise Eifert, Gerontology Graduate Coordinator, or Rebecca Adams, Gerontology Undergraduate Coordinator.