Gerontology, Minor

Program Code: GERON_UMNR

Program Description

The intercollege minor in Gerontology is designed for students to gain an in-depth understanding of the aging process and old age. With the growth of the number of older people in the population, increased need has arisen for people with knowledge of the aging process in a variety of professional and occupational roles. In conjunction with the student's major, the minor prepares students for entry-level human service positions working with the elderly, or for graduate or professional school programs including communication disorders, counseling, health planning and administration, medicine, psychology, recreation and park management, and social work where knowledge of the aging process and problems of older people is relevant. Eighteen credits are required for the minor, including at least 6 credits at the 400 level.

What is Gerontology?

Gerontology is the comprehensive study of aging as a developmental process using the many disciplinary frameworks of the biological, life, and health sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and arts and humanities. The intercollege minor in Gerontology at Penn State offers students in all colleges and campuses an opportunity to learn about this complex and important field through multidisciplinary study. As scientific and societal successes extended the human lifespan, population aging has now become a common phenomenon across many nations. There is enormous need for individuals with an understanding of aging processes who can work as clinicians, health professionals, managers, researchers and more.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT GERONTOLOGY

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You want to learn more about the aging process and problems of older people.
  • You want to prepare for an entry-level position working with elderly individuals or elderly populations.
  • You plan to pursue a graduate or professional school program in a field in which knowledge of the aging process and problems of older people is relevant, such as communication disorders, counseling, health planning and administration, medicine, psychology, recreation and park management, or social work.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT WHY STUDENTS CHOOSE TO STUDY GERONTOLOGY

Program Requirements

Requirement Credits
Requirements for the Minor 18

Requirements for the Minor

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
HDFS 249NAdult Development and Aging Keystone/General Education Course3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
BIOL 155Introduction to the Biology of Aging Keystone/General Education Course3
or SOC 35 Sociology of Aging
SOC 435/HDFS 434Perspectives on Aging3
or HDFS 445/PSYCH 416 Development Throughout Adulthood
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 credits of the following:9
Introduction to Lifelong Learning and Adult Education
Intergenerational Programs and Practices (must be approved by the Graduate School)
Foundations and Principles of Health Promotion
Developmental and Health Genetics
Principles of Epidemiology
Introduction to the Biology of Aging Keystone/General Education Course
Communication and Aging
Developmental Problems in Adulthood
Development Throughout Adulthood
Programs and Services in Gerontology
Issues in Gerontology
Hospitality in Senior Living
Introduction to Health Services Organization
Health Systems Management
Long-Term Care Management
Neurobiology of Sensorimotor Stroke Rehabilitation
Scientific Basis of Exercise for Older Adults
Medications and the Elderly Client
Therapeutic Nursing Care of the Older Adult Client in a Variety of Settings
Dying and Death Keystone/General Education Course
Fundamentals of Private Pensions
Sociology of Aging
Social Demography
Perspectives on Aging

Note: Students may enroll in special topics courses (297, 497) that focus on aging or old age, with faculty permission. With faculty approval, students may also enroll for independent studies in their major department to write a senior thesis focused on an issue of aging.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Sarah Krupp
Academic Adviser
119 Health and Human Development
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-8000
seg143@psu.edu

DuBois

Jessica Clontz
Lecturer
1 College Place
DuBois, PA 15801
814-375-4833
jlb5810@psu.edu

Scranton

Janet Melnick
Associate Teaching Professor
111B Dawson Building
Dunmore, PA 18512
570-963-2674
jam81@psu.edu

Shenango

Roxanne Atterholt
Assistant Teaching Professor, Program Coordinator, and Adviser
147 Sharon Ave.
102 McDowell Hall
Sharon, PA 16146
724-983-2953
rxa32@psu.edu

Career Paths

 With the growth in the number of older persons in the U.S. and globally, nearly every health profession, from geriatricians (physicians who specialize in care for older persons) to hospice nurses, is impacted by the need for health care among an aging population. In addition, older people are living more active lives, so fitness and recreational professionals and hospitality and tourism managers see increased demand from older persons. And, the increase in the aging population is placing new challenges on organizations, families, and communities, so anyone interested in these societal organizations will be affected by gerontological issues.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES WITH A MINOR IN GERONTOLOGY

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Contact

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND FAMILY STUDIES
119 Health & Human Development
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-8000

http://healthyaging.psu.edu/gerontology_minor

DuBois

1 College Place
DuBois, PA 15801
814-375-4833
jlb5810@psu.edu

http://dubois.psu.edu/minor-gerontology

Scranton

111B Dawson Building
Dunmore, PA 18512
570-963-2674
jam81@psu.edu

Shenango

147 Sharon Ave.
102 McDowell Hall
Sharon, PA 16146
724-983-2953
rxa32@psu.edu

https://shenango.psu.edu/academics/majors-shenango/human-development-family-studies