Gerontology Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Program

Person-in-ChargeJudith Hupcey
Program CodeGERON
Campus(es)University Park

In conjunction with the Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, the Penn State College of Nursing offers a Gerontology Graduate Certificate program. The primary goal of the program is to prepare individuals with a Bachelor’s or higher degree in Nursing or a related health discipline in gerontology. The curriculum includes 6 credits (two 3 credit courses) of didactic content in geriatric assessment and interventions for common health issues in the elderly and 3 credits (one 3 credit course) in primary palliative care or person-centered care. All courses will be delivered using distance technology.

Effective Semester: Fall 2018
Expiration Semester: Fall 2023

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies. International applicants may be required to satisfy an English proficiency requirement; see GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Applicants should have a B.S.N. or bachelor’s degree in a health-related field. Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended must accompany the application. Prior to an applicant's admission, transcripts are evaluated by the Director of the Center to ascertain the applicant's potential for successful completion of the core nursing courses. A recommendation regarding admission is discussed with the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research prior to making an offer of admission to this certificate program.

Certificate Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in Graduate Council policy GCAC-212 Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs.

Required Courses
NURS 522Comprehensive Assessment of the Older Adult3
NURS 523Interventions for Common Health Issues in Older Adults3
Choose one of the following:3
Primary Palliative Care: An Interdisciplinary Approach
Primary Palliative Care: Interdisciplinary Management of Advanced Serious Illness
Person-Centered Care: Emerging Interdisciplinary Approaches for Older Adults
Total Credits9


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the assessment of the biological, physical, clinical, functional, cognitive, psychological, and social changes associated with aging.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of both common acute and chronic health issues experienced by older adults and interventions to address these issues. 
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of primary palliative care as it applies to the older adult population.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of relevant theories in relation to delivering person-centered care.


Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head Judith E Hupcey
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Sheri Matter
Program Contact

Cassidy Shull
201 Nursing Sciences Building
University Park PA 16802

Program Website View