Gerontology

College of Health and Human Services

223 Health Center, 419-372-2326

The bachelor of science in gerontology degree prepares graduates for positions in agencies and institutions that administer and deliver services for older adults, including senior centers, nutrition programs, nursing homes, recreation and counseling agencies, research organizations, and social service agencies.

While providing a basic background in general studies, the gerontology program is flexible enough to permit students to select courses that will best prepare them for particular types of careers within the general field of aging.

Each student in the gerontology program selects a cognate area from areas such as administration, biology, health, human resource management, psychology, recreation, and sociology. Cognate areas are designed by the student and his or her academic advisor.  Students pursuing the general gerontology track can expect to graduate in the eight-semester sequence, provided they begin the sequence as a freshman or early in their sophomore year.

Students must take all core courses for a grade and earn a "C" or higher. Students must also maintain a BGSU GPA of at least a 2.5 to remain in the major. Dropping below a 2.5 GPA will result in being placed on departmental probation for one semester, during which the student has the opportunity to raise his/her GPA above the 2.5 level. Failure to do so will result in the student being moved from the GERO category and barred from taking any GERO or DHS courses. One may not graduate with a degree in Gerontology without an overall Bowling Green State University GPA of at least 2.5.

Upon completion of coursework, students in their last semester complete either a 400- or 800-hour field placement in an agency or an institution serving older adults. Prior to the field experience, each student must complete a 50-hour volunteer or paid experience in a facility or a program with elderly clients.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in gerontology are expected to:

  • Critically evaluate contemporary policies and practices, as well as social and cultural issues, as they relate to the elderly, gerontology, and long-term care;
  • Demonstrate mastery of key concepts related to aging and societal responses in meeting the needs of the aging population;
  • Communicate knowledge about aging to diverse audiences, both orally and in writing.

Fall 2014 course requirements

This program is subject to revision and may be modified to meet student needs.

Long-Term Care Administration specialization - Fall 2014 course requirements

A special option available is to elect a specialization in long-term care administration, which prepares the student to sit for both the state (Ohio) and federal nursing home administrator’s licensure examinations. This cognate consists of 12 courses in accounting, business administration, economics, finance, legal studies, and management. The student is also required to complete a practicum of a minimum of 800 hours of experience in an approved long-term care facility, under the supervision of an Ohio-licensed nursing home administrator.

Because of the need for close supervision of the student registered for this practicum experience, it is recommended that the placement be in a facility in close proximity to Bowling Green. The student should also be aware that 128 hours are required for graduation in the long-term care administration option.

Students pursuing the long-term care administration specialization should be aware of the additional coursework and practicum requirements, which make one or two additional semesters necessary.

This option has been approved by the Ohio Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators and may not be modified without the approval of the board.

Minor (21 hours)
Students are required to complete three core courses, with the remaining hours selected from a list of approved courses. No internship is required for the minor.

Required Core Courses

All students are required to complete the following courses:

  • Gerontology 1010—Aging, the Individual, and Society (3 hours)
  • Gerontology 3300 —Psychosocial Aspects of Aging (3 hours)
  • Gerontology 4020—Health and Aging (3 hours)
Elective Courses

Students should complete four courses from the following:

  • Gerontology 3010—Diversity in the Experience of Aging (3 hours)
  • Gerontology 3250—Applied Social Gerontology (3 hours)
  • Gerontology 4050 —Cross-Cultural Aspects of Aging (3 hours)
  • Gerontology 4100—Social Policy and Programs (3 hours)
  • Gerontology 4200—Program Evaluation and Grant Writing (3 hours)
  • Gerontology 4600—Mental Health and Aging (3 hours)
  • DHS 3000—Research Methods (3 hours)
  • Gerontology 4700—Special Topics in Gerontology ( 3 hours)
  • Biology 3100—Biology of Aging (3 hours)
  • Philosophy 2190—Philosophy of Death and Dying (3 hours)
  • Psychology 3090—Psychology of Adult Development and Aging (3 hours)

Any questions regarding the coursework in the Gerontology Program, or potential course substitutions, should be directed to the office, located at: 223 Health Center, BGSU, Bowling Green, OH—419-372-2326.