Department Affiliation: Sociology
The Gerontology major is interdisciplinary and grounded in the excellent liberal arts tradition of Mount St. Mary's College. All required courses for the major, minor and certificate are available in an online format. This means the program core requirements (as listed below) can be completed via distance learning.
Gerontology consists of an exploration of the biopsychosocial dimensions of life course development, with a focus on the rapidly expanding aging population of the United States. In the twenty-first century, careers in gerontology are projected to expand rapidly, with demand remaining high over the next several decades.
As a gerontologist, career options include case management and care management, social work, non-profit or for-profit management, and more. The Gerontology major provides excellent preparation for working with elders in a variety of settings and for graduate studies in social work, gerontology, public policy, the law, and research.
Along with the Major in Gerontology, a Minor and Certificate Program are also available.
Core required courses
Plus one additional courses from the following :
Plus completion of General Studies requirements for a total of 124 units. If a student's first or primary major will culminate in a B.S. Degree, the Modern Language requirement is not applicable.
Total units for Major in Gerontology: 36
A minimum of six courses selected from the core courses for the Gerontology Major.
Total units for the Minor in Gerontology: 18
A Certificate in Gerontology is available to those who have previously earned an Associate degree, but now wish to receive training in gerontology in order to prepare for a career in the field.
Total units in Gerontology: 21
GER 120 Case Management (3)
A study of the methods and practices utilized by health and human services case managers working in a variety of social service resource settings, such as hospitals, daycare centers, senior centers, non-profit outreach programs, and convalescent facilities. Fundamental business, management and social interaction skills will be highlighted.
GER 138 Non-Profit Management Seminar (3)
This course will introduce managerial theories on leading non-profit organizations. The learning experience includes review of literature, class presentations and active sponsorship of service organizations. A service-learning project integrates theory with practice, requiring team cooperation, planning, and accountability.
GER 181 Public Policy and Aging (3)
This course will examine the origins and development of major U.S. public policy and social welfare programs as they apply to the elderly population with a focus on historical context, contemporary issues, and diversity implications. Students will analyze this population's unique needs based on emerging issues and controversies.
GER 184 Diversity and Aging in the Social Environment (3)
This course will provide the foundational knowledge of working with a diverse aging population in the context of their social environment. It will engage the students' sociological imagination through a multisystemic viewpoint and deepen their understanding of the impact of the environment on individuals in the aging stage of their life course.
GER 188 Caregiving and Adaptations for Elders (3)
This course addresses the multiple challenges caregivers must address in serving the needs of elders. Caregiving, service modalities, and care options are examined. In addition, environmental adaptations that provide optimal conditions for sustained independent living are presented.
GER 189 Gerontology (3)
A cross-cultural exploration of aging as experienced in the United States. Ageism, societal attitudes regarding the elderly, and responses to the aging process, both from the individual and social perspective, are examined. Cultural variation and responses to aging and the social, political, and economic implications of a rapidly expanding aging population in the U.S. and in many regions of the world, will be analyzed. Resource and service availability for the elderly--locally, regionally, and nationally--will also be assessed.
GER 192 Thanatology (3)
A multi-disciplinary and comparative approach to death and dying. The course focus will consist of historical and literary themes, along with cultural responses which have provided understanding, coping, and meaning for the death and dying process.
GER 196H Senior Honors Thesis (3)
Open only to students admitted to the Honors Program.
GER 197 Gerontology Internship (3)
The application of the major's program of study through an internship experience. A minimum of 120 hours of on-site experience is required, along with practicum attendance and participation. Internship site to be selected and mutually agreed upon by student and advisor. Open to majors only and to be taken in senior year of study. Prerequisite: GER 189.
GER 198 Readings in Gerontology (1-6)
Intensive and independent study in a field of special interest at the culmination of one's gerontology studies.
GER 199 Special Studies (1-6)
A more advanced or specialized treatment of an area covered in the regular course list.