Master of Gerontology: Degree Overview

A master's degree in gerontology is the advanced study of the psychology of human aging. Students in this program may choose to focus their studies through interdisciplinary programs to get a greater sense of how certain sociological variables relate to the aging process.

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Essential Information

Master's degree programs in gerontology provide individuals with an understanding of the human aging process with a goal towards developing effective health and social practices for an aging population. Interdisciplinary programs explore culture, politics, ethics, gender and ethnicity as they relate to aging. Students may gain practical experience through internships and a thesis is usually required. A bachelor's degree satisfactory GPA, resume or program interview, and a passing score on a writing test are needed to enter a master's program. A thesis is also required for completion.


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Master's in Gerontology

The curriculum of master's programs in gerontology is focused on the research and theory of gerontology as well as the applied fields of gerontology. This includes the principles and programs related to aging. Course topics may address:

  • Dementia
  • Physical activity
  • Psychological processes
  • Sociological processes
  • Third age learning
  • Human development

Popular Career Options and Salaries

Gerontology program graduates are prepared for a variety of careers in for-profit and nonprofit organizations, federal, state or local social services, health care or education. With a master's degree in gerontology, individuals can find positions such as:

  • Industrial gerontologists
  • Geriatric social workers
  • Long-term care assistant directors
  • Senior citizen advocates
  • Senior center directors

PayScale.com reported in March 2015 that the median annual salary for geriatric social workers was $41,827. The website also reported that the median annual salary for senior center directors was $46,105.

Continuing Education

Master's degree graduates from a gerontology program may choose to continue their education by pursuing a doctoral program in the field. Doctoral programs in gerontology are typically research-based, offering students further guidance to scholarly careers in gerontology.

Students who complete master's degree programs in gerontology may become geriatric social workers or senior center directors. Coursework typically includes studying human development and psychological and sociological processes.

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