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

The aging baby boomer population is driving some of the fastest growth in healthcare 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.

These program requirements are for students who enroll in the 2017–2018 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit the catalog archive in the Current Students section.

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

Research Course

  • LIBS 150
    (to be taken in first 6 credits)

Writing and Communication Courses

  • WRTG 101 
  • WRTG 293 or other writing course 
  • COMM 202 or other communication, writing, or speech course
  • WRTG 391 or other advanced upper-level writing course

Arts and Humanities Courses

  • HIST 125 or other arts and humanities course
  • HUMN 100 or other arts and humanities course

Behavioral and Social Sciences Courses

  • ECON 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course
  • BEHS 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course

Biological and Physical Sciences Courses

  • BIOL 103 or other science lecture and laboratory course(s) 
  • NSCI 100 or other science lecture course

Math Course

  • MATH 106 or other 3-credit approved math or statistics course

Computing Courses

  • IFSM 201 or CMST 301
  • CMIS 111 or another computing course appropriate to the academic major

Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. Please also see more information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements.

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. You may not earn a second bachelor's degree in general studies and may not obtain a second associate's degree within the second bachelor's degree. 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.

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help prepare you for a number of gerontological careers in areas that include program management, program and policy analysis, services development, and housing and facilities management.

Experience Recommended for Success in the Program

This program is appropriate for individuals who already have some healthcare experience or experience with the aging population and also for those seeking a career change into a secure field.

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.