Graduate Certification in Gerontology

The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology is designed for individuals who have completed an undergraduate degree and wish to complement their undergraduate training with a specialization in gerontology.  It provides those currently working in the aging field and those desiring to enter the field an opportunity to increase their knowledge of aging and skill working with the elderly, thus improving their chances for employment or career advancement.  Students may pursue the certificate alone or while working toward a graduate degree in another field.  The certificate distinguishes the recipient as a knowledgeable, skilled, and committed professional in the field of aging.

Certification requires the completion of a minimum of 15 hours of graduate courses. Students must complete at least one of the core courses listed below plus 12 additional hours of approved electives.  Students may complete additional core courses as part of their electives.  

Core Courses
  PSY 5610 Adult Psychology and Aging
  SOC 5020 Sociology of Aging
  SOC 6550 Seminar on Aging

  CDFS 5390 Families in Later Life
  CDFS 5391 Aging, Health and Development
  CDIS 5800 Speech, Language, and Auditory Problems of the Adult Population
  LSM 5380 Disabilities and Diversity in Leisure, Sports and Tourism
  LSM 5470 Leisure and Aging
  MGMT 6780 Health Care Management
  N FS 5210 Nutrition in Aging
  PSY 5630 Death and Dying
  SOC 5030 Topics in Gerontology
  SOC 5040 Health Care Delivery Issues
  SOC 6660 Program Management and Evaluation
  SOC 6670 Mental Health and Aging
  SOC 6680 Counseling Elders
  SOC 6690 Death and Survivorship
  SOC 6900 Practicum: Applied Analysis (Must be approved by Program Director)
  SW 6410 Aging Issues and Controversies

Students with little or no experience working with the elderly are encouraged to complete SOC 6900 Practicum: Applied Analysis. Special Projects, Independent Study, and Thesis Research may also be counted toward the certificate if approved by the Program Director.  For more information, contact J. Brandon Wallace, Aging Studies Program Director, at (615) 898-5976 or email

Admission and Retention Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology applicants must have a bachelor's degree and an undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale. To apply, prospective students should submit an application to the Graduate College online and have transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate work sent to The College of Graduate Studies, Box 42, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132.  A letter indicating the student's interest in the Gerontology Certificate, detailing prior experience with the elderly, and outlining career goals and aspirations should be sent to the same address.  Students may transfer up to six (6) credit hours of approved graduate coursework into the certificate program. Once admitted, students will complete a Program of Study form outlining the courses they plan to take to complete the certificate. Students must comply with existing policies applicable to all graduate programs at MTSU. The time limit for use of credit toward the certificate is six years from the date of enrollment in the earliest course applied toward the certificate, including transferred courses. Students must maintain a cumulative graduate grade point average of 3.0 in courses leading to the certificate.

Can I Complete the Certificate Online?

At present we do not offer enough online courses to allow the certificate to be completed entirely online. However, it is possible to complete the certificate with a combination of online, evening, and individual study courses. Not all courses are offered in these formats. Thus, while it is possible to complete the certificate without coming to campus during regular business hours, course choices are more limited.