Gerontology - Archived 2019-20 Graduate Catalog

Chair: Dr. Beth Sanders
Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Wendy Watson
Address: 220 Health & Human Services
Phone: 419-372-1054
Program Web Page:

Degrees Offered

Program Offered
Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Gerontology (MSIG)

Program Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Master's degree, students in the Interdisciplinary Gerontology program are expected to be able to:

  • Integrate concepts and theories to address gerontological research topics.
  • Demonstrate a solid background in biological, psychological, and social theory and research of adult development.
  • Apply knowledge learned in the classroom to organizations, agencies, policy, or advocacy regarding aging related issues.
  • Critically assess the quality of Gerontology research and identify appropriate research questions and issues in improve Gerontology.

Prerequisites to Graduate Work
As a general rule, students admitted to the program will hold an undergraduate degree in gerontology, kinesiology, family studies, human development, health care administration, sociology, psychology, social work, communication disorders, public health, allied health, recreation and tourism, or closely related field. Individuals who possess an undergraduate degree in other academic fields will be considered for admission to the MSIG program if they have experience as employees in agencies/organizations that serve older adults, or demonstrate other qualifications and interest pertinent to the course of study.

Admission Procedure
Applicants seeking admission to the graduate program in Interdisciplinary Gerontology should follow the instructions outlined in the Graduate Admission section of this Graduate Catalog.  All application materials should be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office.

Specific admission criteria for all regular-status students include (1) a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale), (2) three letters of recommendation, and (3) a written statement of interest and expectations. For students whose native language is not English, an additional requirement is official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores.

An applicant who does not meet criteria for regular admission may be considered for conditional admission status on the strength of other criteria. Students admitted conditionally must achieve an overall graduate GPA of 3.0 for their first 9 credit hours of graduate study. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program. All students with a GPA below 3.00 are required to complete the Graduate Records Examination (GRE).

Degree Requirements:
The degree curriculum requires a minimum of 33 semester hours beyond the undergraduate degree. The degree requirements are such that students could finish the degree in one calendar year of full-time study. However, the program will be configured to allow students to matriculate as part-time students over a period of one to two years. All students will complete core courses in physiological, psychological, sociological, and social policy aspects of aging. The gerontology core includes coursework from Gerontology (GERO); Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS); and Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies (HMSL). The courses in the gerontology core represent the four focal areas (gerontology, human development and family studies, kinesiology and health promotion, and social policy and administration). In addition to the gerontology core courses, students complete research courses (i.e., methods, statistics) and select elective courses that build upon the gerontology core focal areas. Candidates must complete a total of 33 hours of graduate course work, and successfully complete a culminating capstone experience. The capstone experience can be a thesis or directed research project, a directed practicum, or comprehensive exams:

Plan I: Thesis or Directed Research: The thesis or directed research option is a major project of original research, conducted under the supervision of the student’s major advisor. Students electing this option must register for no fewer than three, nor more than six, credit hours of thesis or directed research as part of their degree program.

Plan II: Comprehensive Exams: For the comprehensive exam option, candidates must complete a minimum of 33 semester hours of graduate credit. Students are required to pass comprehensive examinations in three areas: Health and Wellness, Programs and Administration, and a Specialization Area specific to each student.

Directed Practicum: The directed practicum option is intended for students who have not had previous experience working within an agency or organization that serves older adults and their families. The directed practicum is conducted at a pre-approved site under the supervision of faculty within the MSIG program and staff at the approved site. Students electing this option must register for no fewer than three, nor more than six, credit hours of independent study/practicum as part of their degree program.

The program can also accommodate students whose professional careers require more individualized timetables within university rules. Regardless of the calendar of study, all degrees must be completed with a capstone experience.

Curriculum Summary:
The following represents the required courses that are part of the Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Gerontology (MSIG) curriculum.

Gerontology Core (18 credit hours)
    Gerontology (6):
        GERO 6010 Current Perspectives in Gerontology (3) and
        GERO 6020 Health and Aging (3)
    Human Development & Family Studies (3):
        HDFS 5290 Families in Later Life (3)
    Kinesiology and Health Promotion (3):
        HMSL 6070 Aging: Physiology & Exercise (3)
    Social Policy and Administration (6):
        GERO 6100 Aging Policy and Programs (3) and
        GERO 6250 Administration of Aging Programs (3)
    Research Courses (9 credit hours):
        Research Methods (3)
        Statistics (3)
        Thesis or Directed Research (3)

Suggested Electives (6-9 credit hours)

For a list of the approved MSIG program courses, please see:

Long-Term Care Specialization
In Fall 2017, the MSIG program added to the curriculum the MSIG specialization in long-term care (LTC) administration. Students who complete this specialization are able to sit for the Ohio and federal nursing home administration licensure exams. The degree curriculum for the MSIG LTC program requires a minimum of 36 semester hours beyond the undergraduate degree, which includes the NAB-required Administrator in Training (AIT/internship) hours in an approved skilled nursing facility under the supervision of an approved Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.

The degree requirements are such that students could finish the degree in four semesters of full-time study and the program is configured to allow students to matriculate as part-time students over a period of two years. Although most students will be able to complete the required coursework within one and a half to two years, the AIT may extend the time required to obtain the degree. The MSIG LTC program includes coursework from Gerontology, Long-term Care Administration, and Management and Finance.

Graduate Courses
Please access graduate courses online by clicking the "Browsing Course Catalog" button at

Graduate courses offered in the Interdisciplinary Gerontology program use the prefix: GERO.

Updated: 08/14/2020 10:41AM