Apr 17, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2015-2016 
Graduate Catalog | 2015-2016 Previous Edition

Gerontology, M.A.

The Master of Arts in Gerontology is designed to prepare graduates with the knowledge and skills to fill a wide variety of positions in the developing field of aging. Interdisciplinary Gerontology courses integrate materials from various disciplines. Multidisciplinary Gerontology courses are also included, requiring students to study aging from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. The core of essential materials included in the required courses are augmented by the selection of elective courses in an individually designed program for each student. Students work with their advisor to develop a program that will best prepare them to meet their goals.

Potential students are encouraged to apply to begin the program in the fall semester, although applications are reviewed throughout the year. The program can be completed on either a full-time or part-time basis with all required courses and a selection of electives offered in the evening. Some courses may require prerequisites and it is the responsibility of the candidate to meet any prerequisites (e.g., statistics is a required prerequisite for GRNT 6201 ). Students will work in conjunction with their advisor and graduate committee to design and implement their individual program.

Additional Admission Requirements

  • Grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 overall and 3.0 in courses in Gerontology
  • Satisfactory GRE or MAT scores (A standardized test score is waived for a student who completes the Graduate Certificate Program in Gerontology with grades of all B or above)
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s personal and professional qualifications
  • An essay is required describing the applicant’s relevant experience and objectives in undertaking graduate study in Gerontology

Degree Requirements

The Gerontology Program requires a minimum of 36 credit hours of graduate coursework.

Thesis/Applied Project

Select one of the following:


Other electives may be selected in consultation with the student’s advisor.

Comprehensive Examination

Each student will complete an oral comprehensive exam at the time of the thesis or applied project proposal defense.

The grading options for each question are “High Pass,” “Pass,” “Low Pass,” and “Fail.” In order to pass, students may not earn more than one “Low Pass.” In the case of failing one question, students may be allowed to prepare an essay answering the question, if they have not received a “Low Pass” on any other questions. With this option, students cannot receive more than a “Low Pass” for that question, and if students get more than one low pass, they have failed. If students fail the oral exam, they will be allowed to retake it one time and the questions may be revised.

Students should discuss with their Graduate Committee Chair in advance of the Proposal Defense about how to prepare for the Comprehensive Exam.


Each student should select his/her Graduate Committee before completion of GRNT 6201 .

Thesis or Applied Project

The thesis option entails 9 elective credit hours and 6 thesis credit hours (GRNT 6999 ).

The student must also pass an oral defense of both the thesis proposal and thesis, and oral comprehensive exams at the time of the thesis proposal defense.

The applied project option generally entails 12 elective credit hours and 3 applied project credit hours (GRNT 6990 ).

The student must also pass an oral defense of both the applied project proposal and the project, and oral comprehensive exams at the time of the project proposal defense.

In order to apply for Candidacy, the student must have passed the Oral Comprehensive Exam and Thesis or Applied Project Defense before the deadline for applying for Candidacy for the given semester.

Financial Aid/Financial Assistance

The program offers the NMR Gerontology Graduate Scholarship annually with all application materials due by June 1.

Early Entry Program

Exceptional undergraduate students may be accepted into the M.A. in Gerontology program and begin work toward a graduate degree before completion of the baccalaureate degree.