The Master of Arts degree in gerontology is one of Youngstown State University’s newest degree programs. With a solid interdisciplinary focus on social epidemiology and aging, the program differs from the few others of its kind in the State and joins only a handful of others throughout the country. The population across the country is changing in a way that will greatly impact healthcare professionals – it’s aging. Ohio currently has the sixth largest population of older adults in the U.S. according to the 2010 Census. The aging population, coupled with an increase in life expectancy and the decrease in birthrate, will continue to increase both the proportion and number of older adults, creating a stronger need for increased professionals in the field. From volunteer coordinators in hospice centers and hospitals to home health care employees and case managers for aging-related agencies, gerontology-focused careers will be in high demand in the near future. A master's program in gerontology may soon be essential for individuals interested in attending to the country’s aging population; YSU's new graduate program in gerontology comes as a response to new opportunities in the field.
The MA in gerontology program at YSU provides students with advanced education in issues facing older adults for the purpose of preparing them for advancement in the field of gerontology. Under the program’s unique blend of psychology, political science, social work, and human ecology coursework, faculty and graduate students will study the health of older adults, including risk factors of disease that affect the health and illness of this population. They also will study the interaction between social factors, such as gender, race, and SES, and health and illness of the community. With a health-focused curriculum, this program is useful for professionals currently working in aging- and health-related areas, as well as undergraduate students in the following areas of study: gerontology, sociology, nursing, nursing home administration, health professions, public health, human ecology, biology, and social work. The master’s in gerontology program focus on two types of career opportunities: research-related career tracks (researcher or entry into doctoral programs in gerontology) and service/clinical-related career tracks (assisted living administration, public policy, non-profit organizations, etc.). It serves as both a stepping stone to achieve a terminal degree in the field and as a career ladder for professionals to improve job performance, increase their knowledge of aging, and to seek promotion. Through the program, students also have several opportunities to gain real-world experience - from internships to graduate assistantships - and evening, distance-learning, and hybrid courses facilitate flexibility around students' work schedules.
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Last updated December 3, 2017