M.S. in Gerontology


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

As a student in Gerontology, you will develop the skills necessary to assume a professional leadership role in the delivery of service to older people. You will be learning in a program that brings together theory and practice in the field through classroom instruction, service-learning, internships, and other experiential activities.


Gerontology is the study of aging.

An interdisciplinary field, it combines disciplines such as biology, sociology, psychology, law, public policy, and demography. It pairs well with almost every profession.

Students study the physical, cognitive and social changes that are the hallmarks of aging. They learn knowledge and skills through service learning, volunteering, community research and visits to senior services locations. Internships teach leadership, service-delivery, and community-participation skills.

By 2030, one in five Americans will be 65 or older and nearly 73 million senior women and men will require advice, training, services, and support from professionals who have gerontology skills and knowledge.

Program Highlights

  • Designed to accommodate both part-time and full-time students.
  • Many service-learning and internship opportunities available.
  • Most classes feature a service-learning option or requirement.
  • The advance care planning facilitators certification class is co-taught with the Department of Nursing Science.
  • Students become certified advanced care planning facilitators.
  • The program offers a graduate certificate in gerontology.

Program Distinctions

  • State-of-the-art experiential learning equipment including age-simulation suits, vision impairment goggles, and empathy lungs designed to enhance understanding of the physical, social, and cognitive changes that may accompany the diverse experiences of aging.
  • Strong commitment to partnerships throughout the community.
  • Member of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.
  • Graduates are in high demand with a more than 90 percent job placement rate for program graduates.
  • Professor Rona Karasik was named a 2010 Distinguished Teacher by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

Student Organizations

  • Gerontology Club
  • Sigma Phi Omega

Application Deadlines

  International Outside U.S. International Inside U.S.
Fall May 15 July 15
Spring September 15 November 15
Summer N/A N/A

Popular Careers

  • Housing specialist
  • Home safety auditor
  • Entrepreneur
  • Communal living coordinator
  • Planning facilitator

University Facts & Stats

  • 60 graduate programs leading to graduate certificates, master’s and doctoral degrees
  • More than 200 graduate assistantships awarded per year
  • Graduate assistants receive up to a $9,250 stipend per year and tuition reimbursement for up to eight graduate credits per semester.

Graduate Certificate

In the graduate certificate program for Gerontology, you will receive specialized training in aging studies. Your certificate complements and supplements other graduate majors. You will acquire knowledge that can be used across numerous agencies, institutional settings, and professions.

Participation in the Gerontology certificate program provides you with advanced professional educational opportunities while also creating opportunities to develop professional networks. The coursework will give you a great expansion of knowledge and expertise in your professional development.

Gainful Employment

Certain undergraduate and graduate certificates at St. Cloud State prepare students for employment in specific fields and do not result in a degree. The Minnesota State Chancellor's office has provided this report containing data associated with those programs of study, including approximate program costs, program length and employment statistics.

Last updated May 2020

About the School

At St. Cloud State, an education is about far more than an education. It will be an opportunity to explore ideas, seek out unique perspectives and embrace new challenges – all of which will help you u ... Read More

At St. Cloud State, an education is about far more than an education. It will be an opportunity to explore ideas, seek out unique perspectives and embrace new challenges – all of which will help you unleash your true potential. You will make life-long memories on our 100-acre campus along the scenic Mississippi River. Futures that begin here might seem unassuming at first, but like the mighty Mississippi River, they quickly gather strength. Growing. Surging. Until they're seemingly unstoppable. If you're looking for choice, we've got that covered. We have more than 200 undergraduate programs of study and more than 60 graduate programs, holding nearly every available national accreditation. Founded in 1869, St. Cloud State has evolved into a comprehensive university. We're on a mission to unleash ideas, unleash imagination, purpose, and promise. Read less
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