Graduate Certificate, Gerontology

Students gain the knowledge and skills needed to effectively promote the health and well being of the growing population of baby boomers and older persons. Designed for students pursuing a master’s or doctoral program in the University System of Maryland or those who have previously earned a graduate degree from an accredited institution, the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology can be valuable complement to many degree programs. The GGCP offers students an individually tailored curriculum of course work, supervised internships and research.

Explore Program Details

Requirements

There are two options for pursuing the Certificate:

  1. Students who have previously earned a master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited institution may enroll in the GGCP to receive the certificate only. Students enroll as special students in the Graduate School of the University of Maryland College Park. The level of Certificate earned (master’s or doctoral) corresponds with the level of degree previously earned. 
  2. Students who are enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program in the University System of Maryland may participate in the Graduate Gerontology Certificate Program in addition to their degree program. The level of Certificate earned (master’s or doctoral) corresponds with the level of degree earned. Participation in the Certificate program typically does not exceed the amount of time necessary to complete a degree since the Certificate courses and requirements are usually compatible with degree requirements.

Required credit hours

Master's Level Gerontology Certificate (18 credit hours)

  • At least 12 of these credit hours should carry 500 level or higher designation
  • At least 3 credit hours must be completed on the College Park campus                        

Doctoral Level Gerontology Certificate (21 credit hours)

  • At least 15 of these credit hours should carry 500 level or higher designation
  • At least 3 credit hours must be completed on the College Park campus

Curriculum

Required courses with aging related content (9 credit hours)

  • Course that includes physical bases of aging  (3 credit hours)
  • Course that includes psychological bases of aging (3 credit hours)
  • Course that includes social bases of aging (3 credit hours

Elective courses with aging related content (6 credit hours)

  • Courses with aging content.
  • Courses to which an aging related component may be added by the student in consultation with the course instructor and the GGCP Coordinator.

Required Internship (3 credit hours masters; 6 credit hours doctorate) 

Internship may be practice and/or research based

Internship

The primary purpose of the internship is to integrate coursework and theory in an applied practice and/or research project. It is recommended that students complete the internship experience near the end of the Graduate Gerontology Certificate program or when most of their aging-related coursework is complete. 

The student is expected to identify and pursue internship opportunities. Opportunities for internship are offered by numerous organizations and agencies in the Washington D.C. area as well as the Department of Health Services Administration and the Center on Aging at the University of Maryland. The student is required to consult with the GGCP Coordinator at least three months prior to beginning the internship to design an internship that meets the student’s career plans.

  • A 3-hour credit course based on a 150-hour experience in an aging related internship
  • An internship work plan
  • An internship final report

Required Research

Students in the Graduate Gerontology Certificate Program are required to undertake research that is oriented toward gerontological topics. This research is to be conducted as part of the courses taken for the certificate.

Requirements  

Degree and certificate:

Master’s degree - master's thesis on an aging related topic
Doctoral degree - doctoral dissertation on an aging-related topic

Certificate only:

Masters level certificate only - two research-based course papers on aging related topics
Doctoral level certificate only - two research-based course papers on aging related topics

The Graduate Gerontology Certificate is awarded after all certificate and degree requirements (when applicable) are met.