Ph.D. in Social Work and Social Research and Graduate Certificate in Gerontology


The Institute on Aging (IOA) offers the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology program. Students pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology will learn:

  • how and why we age
  • ways to reduce stigmas around aging and optimize the aging process
  • the purpose, strengths, and challenges of programs and services for improving the quality of life for older people and their families
  • ways to take advantage of the resources that older adults represent
  • This certificate program is unique in its inclusion of courses in urban studies and planning, government policy, social work, psychology and sociology.

To pursue both your Ph.D. and the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, please contact your academic or faculty advisor or email the PhD Program.

Email the Ph.D. Program at »

Get more information and apply for the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology »

Course Maps

There is a minimum of 18 credits, which include three core courses (11 credits), two elective courses (6-8 credits), and an internship placement or an independent research project (1-3 credits).

View course requirements »

Outlined course maps and course lists can communicate what the program will be like and how the program is mapped out over each year. 

View Gerontology Course list and Ph.D. in SWSR & Grad Cert. in Gerontology Program of Study »

View Ph.D. in SWSR & Grad Cert. in Gerontology Full-time Course Map »

View Ph.D. in SWSR & Grad Cert. in Gerontology Part-time Course Map »


Internships or field experiences must be at an aging services program 8 hours per week for 10 weeks. Students must complete an application form for the internship and submit it to the IOA one term prior to when the internship starts. The IOA director must approve all internships and independent research projects.

Students in the Ph.D. track may be able to fulfill this internship/independent research requirement for the certificate if their dissertation or research practicum is relevant to gerontology; that is, a dissertation topic or research practicum that has a focus on older adults. The IOA director will advise students to make sure the topic is relevant. If eligible for this exception, students would need to register separately with the IOA for a 1-credit research unit using a By-Arrangement Registration Form (AGE 602) in addition to submitting a reflective paper. If a student's dissertation topic were not relevant to gerontology, then they would have to do the field experience (AGE 504) or an independent research paper (AGE 501) separately from their program track.

View IOA internship information »