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Office of Geriatrics and Interprofessional Aging Studies

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The Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Aging offers students advanced educational opportunities in the field of aging. The program allows graduate and professional students an opportunity to gain specific expertise in the care of older adults through both required and elective coursework. The Specialization’s core curriculum focuses on the basic components of gerontology shared by many disciplines, while the electives allow students to pursue either a research agenda or a more clinically-oriented pathway. Students are exposed to a broad range of settings and must successfully complete at least 14 hours of course work from the Master List of Courses in order for the Specialization to be noted on their transcript.

Specialization Guidelines

Students must apply to enroll in this program and complete at least fourteen (14) hours of graduate coursework from the Master List of courses, as follows:

  • 7-8 credit hours from the core curriculum and a minimum of 6 credits from the elective courses;
  • Students are required to take the first two (2) core courses (Integrative Seminar I in Aging and Health and Case Studies in Clinical Gerontology), and may select either of the second two core courses (MedColl 7700.04 Interprofessional Seminar in Clinical Practice or SW 7702 Research Issues in Gerontology), except as noted below:
    • Masters students (with professional goals of either research/teaching or clinical practice) are given the choice of taking either MedColl 7700.04 or SW 7702.
    • PhD students will be required to take the Research Issues in Gerontology course.
  • Students may take up to 3 hours of aging-focused Independent Study within the elective course requirements.
  • 9 out of the 14 credit hours must be taken outside the student's major program, and must involve two or more graduate programs outside the student's home program. A grade of B or better (or S when applicable) is required for each course comprising the specialization.


  • Hours earned under the quarter system will be equated to semester values to calculate requirements for completing the program.
  • The Office of Geriatrics and Interprofessional Aging Studies and the Coordinating Committee have made a commitment that the semester conversion will not impede students’ completion of the Specialization in Aging within their anticipated graduation time frame. 


Cynthia Dougherty, MSW, PhD

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