Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Center for Gerontology, Virginia Tech, 230 Grove Ln (MC 0555)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
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Certificate Overview

The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology is a university-approved program of advanced study offered by the Center for Gerontology. The required minimum of 9 credits focus on three core gerontology competency domains, namely aging processes and outcomes related to (1) biological changes and health, (2) dimensions of psychological functioning, and (3) contemporary social and societal issues. The goal of the curriculum is to offer learning experiences consistent with the recommendations of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. The Center for Gerontology is designated a Collaborating Centre by the International Association for Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG), signifying that the Center meets IAGG criteria for excellence, including being a sustainable university-level research center, offering a gerontology training program, engaging in research resulting in peer-reviewed publications, and having multiple research affiliates.

How to Apply:
Fill out the online application for participation in the certificate program.
Upon processing of the application, you will be contacted
with information about the submission of additional
required materials. Thank you for your interest.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology must complete the following requirements:

Course Requirements

The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology requires 9 credits:

Module #1 – Foundations of Gerontology
• HD 5104  Adult Development & Aging I

Module #2 – Biology/Health
• PHS 5714  Health of the Elderly

Module #3 – Gerontology Elective (3 cr)
• HD 5114  Adult Development & Aging II
• SOC 5714  Aging in Social Context
• 5904  Project and Report
• 5964  Practicum/Field Study
• Other approved course; assignments will be focused on gerontology

Optional Practicum/Field Study

An optional practicum or field study may be arranged through the student's academic department or the Center for Gerontology. The contract or letter of agreement with the host agency is reviewed and signed by the center's associate director, the student, an agency representative, and the faculty supervisor before the experience occurs in order for credit to be granted. A copy of the final written report on the internship or field study must be submitted to the Center for Gerontology for the student's file. See Practicum Guidelines for more details.

Thesis/Dissertation Requirement

The research topic of the thesis or dissertation must be on an issue in adult development and aging. This requirement is not meant to supersede the authority of the student's committee. Its aim is to assure that an issue in gerontology is examined in the research. To meet this requirement:
  • Meet with the center associate director to discuss the topic of the thesis/dissertation before completing the proposal.
  • After the advisory committee has approved the final draft of the thesis/dissertation, submit a signed cover sheet and abstract to the Center for Gerontology.

Final Documentation

Submit the Graduate School's on-line Application for Certificate Conferral Form by the Application for Degree deadline. Students applying for a degree and the Certificate conferral in the same semester/summer session will pay only one fee if the forms are submitted at the same time.