Gerontology Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

About Gerontology

Gain expertise in the expanding field of services for the elderly population.

Explore the meaning, experiences and context of later life and the aging process. A bachelor's degree in gerontology from California University of Pennsylvania is a career-oriented course of study that will teach you about the various aspects of aging, including biological, psychological, social, health and economic.

You will graduate with a comprehensive understanding of the aging services network and will be prepared to work in a variety of careers dedicated to the enhancement of life quality for seniors, their families and their communities.

As more people in our society are growing older, there is an increasing need for professionals specialized in gerontology. The bachelor’s degree. gerontology minor or aging specialist certificate will provide you with the knowledge and skills that are necessary to work with the older population.

Why choose Cal U for your gerontology degree?

  • Cal U offers the only bachelor's degree in gerontology in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education.
  • You will complete valuable real-world internships in agencies or facilities serving the elderly.
  • Employers love hiring Cal U's gerontology graduates and actively reach out to our program faculty with job openings.
  • This degree program can accommodate both full- and part-time students, students with or without professional experience, and incoming first-year and transfer students. The minor in gerontology can be added to any course of study.


Education Beyond the Classroom: As a gerontology major at Cal U, you'll have a wide variety of opportunities for hands-on work experience with senior citizens in Pennsylvania and beyond. You'll complete a three-credit practicum and a six-credit internship, and will be encouraged to complete another six credits of internship experience.

Top Faculty: Cal U's gerontology faculty has significant career experience working with the aging population, in addition to advanced academic training in the field. Faculty also maintain key contacts with employers.

Expanding Career OpportunitiesThe Association for Gerontology in Higher Education expects an increase in the older population throughout the 21st century to result in expanded career opportunities for gerontology professionals in many disciplines.

Add a minor: Earn 21-24 credits in gerontology, depending on the field experience you choose, to add a minor in this field. Students in majors such as social work, nursing, communication disorders, psychology, sociology or pre-professional biology may find this minor especially relevant.

Learn more about applying


Top 20   
great value colleges for gerontology in 2016-2017, awarded by
100 %
 of surveyed gerontology graduates found jobs in the industry or went on to graduate school. (From respondents to a survey of 2013-2016 graduates.)


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Degree Benefits

Cal U's faculty members are often notified about more available jobs in aging services than there are graduates to fill them. Professionals trained in all aspects of the aging process will continue to be in high demand during the next century as the "baby boomers" pass into the ranks of the older generation. In fact, between 2000 and 2030, the senior population (people age 65 and older) in the United States will more than double, from 35 million to 71.5 million, with people over age 85 as the fastest growing segment. Your bachelor's degree in gerontology will open up a world of career opportunities that are increasingly vital to the health and welfare of our nation.

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Graduate Outcomes

Variety and opportunity are the best words to describe jobs in gerontology. A Cal U bachelor's degree in gerontology will prepare you to pursue graduate education in gerontology or a related discipline, as well as to work with the elderly in settings including:

  • Long-term care facilities and retirement communities.
  • Senior housing and senior centers.
  • Federal, state and local government offices on aging.
  • Home healthcare agencies and care management agencies.
  • Adult day services, leisure programs and health promotion programs.
  • Adult protective service agencies.
Center in the Woods.

 One-of-a-Kind Opportunities for Students

Gain invaluable hands-on work experience at The Center in the Woods, an innovative, multipurpose agency serving senior citizens that's located just a few miles from Cal U's campus in California, Pennsylvania. Cal U gerontology students work with older adults at the center's senior housing and supportive services, adult day services, health services, and educational, social and exercise programs.

Gerontology students talk.

Gerontology Club

Join Cal U's active Gerontology Club, which plans and implements volunteer, social and educational activities for students interested in aging. Each year the club attends the annual Aging in America Conference conducted by the American Society on Aging. Students volunteer at the conference, and the club provides financial support for their attendance. 

 Email Mary Hart

Gerontology - Bachelor's Degree Courses

The bachelor's degree in gerontology is a career-oriented course of study that can accommodate both full- and part-time students. A total of 120 credits are required for the degree, including 42 credits of gerontology coursework.


Course Credits
Freshman Year  
First Semester 15
ENG 101  English Composition I 3
GTY 100  Introduction to Gerontology 3
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar 1
General Education Courses 8
Second Semester 15
ENG 102  English Composition II 3
GTY 200  Aging in American Society 3
General Education Courses 9
Sophomore Year  
Third Semester 15
GTY 300  Aging Policies and Services 3
MAT 215  Statistics  OR  PSY 220  Descriptive Statistics in Psychology 3
General Education OR Elective Courses 9
Fourth Semester 15
GTY 305  Biology of Aging 3
GTY 310  Aging in the Family 3
Related Elective 3
General Education OR Elective Courses 6
Junior Year  
Fifth Semester 15
GTY 340  Diversity and Aging 3
GTY 350  Ethical Issues in Aging 3
Related Elective 3
General Education OR Elective Courses 6
Sixth Semester 15
GTY 315  Practicum in Gerontology 3
GTY 330  Dying, Death and Bereavement 3
GTY 380  Wellness in Aging 3
300- or 400-level General Education OR Elective Courses 6
Senior Year  
Seventh Semester 15
GTY 320  Alternatives in Long-Term Care  3
GTY 400  Adult Development and Aging  3
GTY 410  Research Methods Gerontology 3
300- or 400-level Related Electives 6
Eighth Semester 15
GTY 430  Seminar in Gerontology 3
GTY 440  Internship 6 to 12
Related Electives 0 to 6
Total 120
Graduates have found careers in ...


  • Nursing home administrator
  • Personal care home or assisted living administrator
  • Service coordinator in supportive housing            
  • Care manager           
  • Elder law attorney            
  • Physical therapist            
  • Occupational therapist            
  • Protective services caseworker            
  • Bereavement coordinator            
  • Volunteer coordinator – hospice            
  • Director of admissions            
  • Social worker            
  • Speech therapist


  • Aging Specialist Certificate
    An 18-credit certificate program designed both for people currently working with senior citizens and for undergraduate students majoring in other areas who are interested in an in-depth study of aging.

  • The geronotology minor is either 21 or 24 credits, depending on the field experience selected. Courses required include Introduction to Gerontology (GTY 100), one course in psychological aspects of aging (GTY 330 or 400), one course in social aspects of aging (GTY 200, 300, 320, 340 or 350), one course in  biological aspects of aging (GTY 305 or 380), one integrating course (GTY 350 or GTY 430), one field experience course (GTY 315 or GTY 440) and one gerontology elective (any additional GTY course).  


Gerontology Faculty

Mary A. Hart
Professor; Director, Gerontology Program

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