San Diego State University

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Certificate in Applied Gerontology

This program has been suspended until further notice.

This program is designed for persons working in the field of aging as well as those interested in obtaining employment in the aging field. Completion of the certificate program will enable participants to assume greater responsibility by broadening their knowledge of and skill in this specialty area. More specifically, the program is designed to provide the following:

  1. A broad knowledge base in the bio-psychosocial aspects of aging.
  2. Practical knowledge and skills in the application of this information towards services for older people.
  3. Knowledge of government programs and program planning and evaluation techniques.
  4. Knowledge of programs and services operating in local areas as well as gaps which exist in local programming.
  5. Knowledge and skills needed to function in an advocacy capacity to improve services to the elderly.

Certificate Requirements

  1. Complete 18 semester units of coursework with a grade point average of 2.0 or better.
  2. Complete coursework within four years after admission to the program.
  3. Petition the College of Extended Studies for the certificate upon completion of 18 semester units.

To be admitted to the program, students are expected to show by previous coursework and/or experience some evidence of potential for completing the academic program. Previous courses in gerontology taken at SDSU or at other universities will be considered for credit toward certification on an individual basis, but not to exceed nine units.

Required Courses for the Certificate Program

A minimum of 12 semester units must be selected from the following areas inclusive of the practicum:

  1. Introduction to Gerontology
    Gerontology 101. Introduction to Human Aging (3)
  2. Psychological Aspects of Aging
    Psychology 350. Abnormal Psychology (3)
  3. Sociological Aspects of Aging
    Gerontology 250. Intergenerational Issues and the Elderly (3)
    Gerontology 350. Social Policy and Aging (3)
  4. Practicum
    Gerontology 400A or 400B. Practicum in Gerontology (3) (Cr/NC)
  5. Elective Courses
    A minimum of six semester units selected from the following:

    • Gerontology 360. Diversity and Aging (3)
    • Gerontology 370. Images of Aging in Contemporary Society (3)
    • Gerontology 402. The Aging Network (3)
    • Gerontology 499. Special Study (1-3)
    • Gerontology 520. An Inside Look at Aging Programs–Program Analysis (3)
    • Gerontology 596. Advanced Special Topics in Gerontology (1-4)
    • Women’s Studies 310. Women in Cross-Cultural Perspective (3)

Field Practicum

Field Education is an integral part of the curriculum and a core requirement for the gerontology certificate.  The practicum learning experience consist of three units (Gero 400A or Gero 400B).  See the SSW Field site for details.

Application Instructions

The School of Social Work is responsible for the coordination of the certificate program in conjunction with the College of Extended Studies. Admission applications may be obtained from the College of Extended Studies. Applications may be submitted prior to entering the program or before the completion of nine semester units of coursework.

Students are required to submit an Open University Registration Form each semester to the College of Extended Studies. Students accepted into the program will be assigned an adviser by the School of Social Work.



last updated: 2/5/2013