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With a degree in gerontology and aging services, you will join the skyrocketing labor force needed to meet the health care challenge of an aging population.

The aging baby boomer population is driving some of the fastest growth in health care jobs in the country. This group has enormous clout across many industries, including health, finance, marketing, policy, housing, transportation, and education, and by 2030, one in five Americans will be 65 or older.

With a Bachelor of Science in gerontology and aging services from University of Maryland University College, you'll gain a foundation in the physiological, social, and psychological aspects of aging, coupled with an understanding of programs, services, and policies related to aging and older adults, so that you can care for and serve this population.

The online bachelor's degree can help prepare you for any number of careers related to gerontological services, such as program manager, program and policy analyst, services developer, housing and facilities manager, and more. This program is ideal for individuals who already have some health care experience or experience with the aging population. This is also a great degree for those looking to make a career change into a secure field.

This program is also available as a minor.

About the Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

In your gerontology and aging services courses, you'll develop the ability to investigate and discuss the psychosocial, health, and political aspects of aging in contemporary society; develop effective strategies for health promotion and service implementation for older adults; and learn to work in an ethically responsible and professional manner with older adults and aging services professionals.

You'll also complete a 3-credit internship during which you'll work in a community-based placement for 15 weeks, applying your knowledge from the classroom to real-world settings. UMUC has formed relationships with several internship sites. However, students may seek placements in any industry or organization that serves older adults.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Access, interpret, and apply research findings related to biological, psychological, and social processes in the context of aging
  • Analyze the impact of factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, and social class on the aging process
  • Analyze the development of policies related to aging and their impact on services and organizations for older adults, both locally and nationally
  • Apply knowledge to work with older adults in a chosen area of practice
  • Practice within the legal and ethical standards of the aging services field

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Design a health promotion campaign to promote wellness among older adults
  • Analyze case studies of aging services to identify key problems and propose reasonable solutions
  • Consider how your own aging process will be affected by issues related to work and retirement, health care, public policies, caregiving, and ageism

Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Courses in the Major

  • STAT 200
  • GERO 100
  • GERO 301
  • GERO 302
  • GERO 306
  • GERO 311
  • GERO 320
  • GERO 338
  • GERO 342
  • GERO 390
  • GERO 427
  • GERO 486A

General Education Requirements

Writing and Communication Classes | 12 Credits

No more than 3 credits in writing can be earned by exam.

Introductory Writing Class | 3 Credits

All Available Options
  • WRTG 101
  • WRTG 101S

This requirement must be completed within the first 18 credits. A placement test is not required for WRTG 101. The requirement cannot be met through course challenge exams.

Writing Class | 3 Credits

All Available Options
  • WRTG 293 or any 3-credit WRTG class EXCEPT for
    • WRTG 486A
    • WRTG 486B
  • ENGL 102
  • JOUR 201

Communication, Writing, or Speech Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

COMM 202

All Available Options
  • A 3-credit class in COMM, SPCH, or WRTG
  • ENGL 102
  • ENGL 281
  • JOUR 201

Advanced Writing Class (Upper Level) | 3 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

WRTG 391

All Available Options
  • WRTG 391
  • WRTG 393
  • WRTG 394

Research Class | 1 Credit

LIBS 150

Arts and Humanities Classes | 6 Credits

Classes must be from different disciplines.

Historical Perspective Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

HIST 125

All Available Options

A 3-credit class in ARTH or HIST

Arts and Humanities Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

HUMN 100

All Available Options

A 3-credit class in ARTH, ARTT, ASTD, ENGL, GRCO, HIST, HUMN, MUSC, PHIL, THET, dance, literature, or foreign language

Behavioral and Social Science Classes | 6 Credits

Classes must be from different disciplines.

Behavioral and Social Sciences Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

ECON 103

All Available Options
  • A 3-credit class in ANTH, BEHS, ECON, GEOG, GERO, GVPT, PSYC, or SOCY
  • AASP 201
  • CCJS 100
  • CCJS 105
  • CCJS 350
  • CCJS 360
  • CCJS 461
  • WMST 200

Behavioral and Social Sciences Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

BEHS 103

All Available Options
  • A 3-credit class in ANTH, BEHS, ECON, GEOG, GERO, GVPT, PSYC, or SOCY
  • AASP 201
  • CCJS 100
  • CCJS 105
  • CCJS 350
  • CCJS 360
  • CCJS 461
  • WMST 200

Biological and Physical Sciences Classes | 7 Credits

Laboratory Science Class | 4 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

BIOL 103

All Available Options
  • A 3-credit science lecture class with a related 1-credit lab
  • A 4-credit science class combining lecture and lab chosen from ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, NSCI, PHYS, biotechnology, botany, entomology, general science, or zoology

Science Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

NSCI 100

All Available Options
  • NUTR 100
  • A 3-credit class in ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, NSCI, PHYS, biotechnology, botany, entomology, general science, or zoology

Math Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

MATH 106

All Available Options
  • MATH 106
  • MATH 107
  • A 3-credit MATH class at or above the level of college algebra

Computing Classes | 6 Credits

Computing Class | 3 Credits

All Available Options
  • IFSM 201
  • CMST 301

Computing Class Appropriate to Your Major | 3 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree
  • CMIS 111
  • IFSM 300
All Available Options
  • ACCT 326
  • A 3-credit class in CMIS, CMIT, CMSC, CMST, CSIA, IFSM, or SDEV

Overall Bachelor's Degree Requirements

In addition to the general education requirements and the major, minor, and elective requirements, the overall requirements listed below apply to all bachelor's degrees.

  • You must complete a minimum of 120 credits
  • You must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall and a minimum grade of C for any class applied to the academic major or minor
  • Within the 120 credits required, the following coursework must be taken through UMUC:
    • 30 credits (normally the final 30)
    • Half of the required number of credits within both the major and the minor
    • 15 credits at the upper level (earned in classes numbered 300 to 499), preferably within the major or minor
  • At least 45 credits must be upper level and include
    • At least half of the credits required for the major
    • 3 credits in advanced writing
  • The remaining upper-level credits can be earned in any part of the curriculum
  • At least half the required number of credits for any academic major or minor must be earned through graded coursework. Credit earned by examination, portfolio assessment, or noncollegiate training does not count as graded coursework

Double majors: You can earn a dual major upon completion of all requirements for both majors, including the required minimum number of credits for each major and all related requirements for both majors. The same class cannot be used to fulfill requirements for more than one major. Certain restrictions (including use of credit and acceptable combinations of majors) apply for double majors. You cannot major in two programs with excessive overlap of required coursework. Contact an admissions counselor before selecting a double major.

Second bachelor's degree: To earn a second bachelor's degree, you must complete at least 30 credits through UMUC after completing the first degree. The combined credit in both degrees must add up to at least 150 credits. You must complete all requirements for the major. All prerequisites apply. If any of these requirements were satisfied in the previous degree, the remainder necessary to complete the minimum 30 credits of new classes should be satisfied with classes related to your major. Contact an admissions counselor before pursuing a second bachelor's degree.

Electives: Electives can be taken in any academic discipline. No more than 21 credits can consist of vocational or technical credit. Pass/fail credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits, can be applied toward electives only.

Student Clubs and Organizations

Pi Gamma Mu

Type: Honor society
Available To: Undergraduate

Pi Gamma Mu is the international honor society that recognizes outstanding scholarship in the social sciences at UMUC. Students interested in anthropology, criminal justice, economics, gerontology, history, political science, social psychology, sociology, and women's studies may qualify for membership. The society recently named UMUC's Maryland Theta chapter to its Roll of Distinction, the highest honor that the society grants.

Sigma Phi Omega

Type: Honor society
Available To: Undergraduate

Sigma Phi Omega is a national academic honor and professional society in gerontology. It was established in 1980 to recognize excellence among students studying gerontology and aging and to acknowledge the outstanding service of professionals who work with or on behalf of older persons. The society provides a much-needed link between educators, practitioners, and administrators in various settings where older persons are served. Sigma Phi Omega seeks to promote scholarship, professionalism, friendship, and services to older persons and to recognize exemplary attainment in gerontology and aging studies and related fields.