Please login now to access the My Options Box.  If you don't already have an account with us, click on the Free Registration link
The My College Options® Resource Center provides up to date news and information for students and parents.

Gerontology

The Breakdown

Let’s face it – no matter if you subsist on a diet of spinach, drink your weight in red wine (for your heart of course) or continually apply a magical face cream to diminish all traces of wrinkles you will still grow old.  It’s an inherent part of life and it is, unfortunately, unavoidable.  What’s more, the elderly form a vital but vulnerable facet of our society.  If you’re concerned about and interested in working with the aged, then gerontology just might be the major you’re looking for.   

Gerontology focuses on the biological, sociological and psychological effects of aging.  Therefore, if you decide this is the major for you, your coursework will be woven through a handful of disciplines. You will study what happens to the body as it ages and how people approach these changes mentally and emotionally.  You’ll also learn about how different societies view and treat their senior citizens.  Additionally, you can also expect to cover healthcare administration and the various business practices and principles involved.  Further, as a gerontology major, you’ll most likely enjoy a combination of classroom and laboratory work.  Lastly, many programs either require internships or offer the opportunity to engage in a practicum for credit.  

It’s imperative that students who major in gerontology have effective communication and formidable people skills.  Indeed, as a discipline, gerontology will require you to interact with a variety of individuals and settings.  You’ll need to be able to deftly navigate through it all.  Moreover, you will also require infinite amounts of patience and resilience.  And you’ll need a high tolerance for stories that begin with the phrase, “In my day…”

 

Nuts and Bolts

As a gerontology major, you’ll learn all about the process of aging with classes such as: Mental Health and Aging, Psychosocial Aspects of Aging, Philosophy of Death and Dying, Program Evaluation and Grant Writing, Social Welfare Institutions, Cognition and Aging, Sociology of Families, Biology of Aging, Psychology of Adjustment, Long-Term Care Administration, Communication Disorders in the Aging and Recreation, Leisure and Aging.

Decisions, Decisions

Gerontology majors tend to be passionate about mental health, social infrastructure and helping people.  Therefore, they also might tend to gravitate to social work, psychology, human development, nursing, pre-med, nutrition, biology, neuroscience, occupational therapy, public health, physical therapy, dietetics, sociology and public administration.

What's Next

The good news for gerontology majors is that they’ll likely always be a demand for them in the work force.  After all, as we mentioned above, no one can escape the aging process.  And with the Baby Boomers growing older, the elderly population is due to surge in the coming years.  While that’s all certainly reassuring, you’re probably wondering what you might actually do.  Good question!  Some gerontology majors ultimately become nurses, occupational therapists or social workers.  Others might work in home health care, human services or within retirement communities and nursing homes.  Still others might secure employment with adult daycare centers or with advocacy and/or lobbying groups.  No matter where you finally land, know that you will be providing a very important service.

 

Close

Thank you for visiting MyCollegeOptions.org

My College Options® is an online college planning program that connects millions of high school students with colleges and universities.

Please email us at info@mycollegeoptions.org to find out if your institution is doing everything it can to reach qualified, prospective students. We look forward to hearing from you.

To learn more about the tools and resources available to you, click here

Sincerely,

Don Munce

President, MyCollegeOptions.org