Bachelor's in Gerontology

A bachelor's degree program in gerontology examines the human aging process from multiple perspectives. Learn about degree requirements, courses, online options, employment possibilities and salary info for related careers. Schools offering Gerontology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will a Bachelor's Degree Program in Gerontology Teach Me?

Gerontology is the study of the human aging process. Bachelor's degree programs in gerontology pay particular attention to the physiological and social implications of aging and society's attitudes toward the elderly.

The major emphasizes the practical application of these concepts, since many graduates go on to care for the elderly. Some programs also allow you to combine study of gerontology and social work so you can become a social advocate for the elderly.

Program Options Some programs combine the fields of gerontology and social work
Common Courses Psychology, physiology, the female aging process, societal views on aging, the effects of race and class on aging
Learning Environments Traditional classroom and online degree options are offered
Potential Work Environments Nursing homes, health care facilities, government agencies, retirement communities

What Classes Will I Take?

Gerontology coursework usually involves classroom time combined with hands-on experience working with the elderly. The majority of gerontology programs require you to complete an internship caring for the elderly during the second half of the undergraduate program, so that you can apply lectures to real life situations. Common gerontology classes you'll take include:

  • The physiology of aging
  • Psychological consequences of aging
  • The female aging process
  • Effect of race and class on aging
  • Psychological effects of illness and death
  • Societal views on aging
  • Ethical elderly care and treatment
  • Film depictions of aging

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

You can earn your bachelor's degree in gerontology entirely online. To apply to an online degree program, you typically must hold your high school diploma or GED certificate.

Some online programs require you to use speakers or headphones for online lectures and discussions. You can turn in all assignments online and contact students and faculty through discussion boards. Final exams for the bachelor's degree program, however, usually must be proctored at approved testing sites. These locations can include your local community college or a nearby university.

What Jobs Does the Major Prepare Me For?

A bachelor's degree in gerontology will allow you to find employment at retirement communities, nursing homes, government agencies and health care facilities. After you graduate, you can go on to become a social worker. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that medical and public health social workers earned an average salary of $53,590 in 2014 (www.bls.gov).

You can also find work as a case manager. According to PayScale.com, case managers earned an annual salary of approximately $26,819-$69,648 in January 2016. Another possibility with the bachelor's degree in gerontology is to enter assisted living administration. PayScale stated that assisted living administrators earned approximately $30,422-$78,880 per year in January 2016.

The gerontology program also prepares you for health care management. This job is a bit more competitive if you do not hold a postgraduate degree, but according to the BLS, you can obtain an entry-level managerial position with your bachelor's degree. The BLS stated that medical and health services managers made an average annual wage of $103,680 in 2014.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Ashford University

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  • Regent University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Liberty University

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Post University

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Colorado Christian University

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  • New England College

    New England College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

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  • University of Northern Iowa

    Campus Locations:

    • Iowa: Cedar Falls
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