Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

Counseling older adults represents a significant need and social justice concern in the United States. Statistics show that about 15% of adults over the age of 60 have a mental health condition, including anxiety, depression, behavioral concerns, grief/loss issues, end of life issues, suicidal ideation, and alcohol/substance dependency. The continued growth of the elderly population has placed renewed focus on providing older adults with quality mental health care. Counselors can help older adults experiencing distress to remember the strengths they have utilized throughout their lives and discuss ways to enhance their personal resources. Such work can be a rewarding experience for those counseling older adults.

To learn best practices in supporting and counseling older adults, graduate counseling students can apply to add a Graduate Certificate in Gerontoloy to their program of study by completing four courses. These courses can replace the required electives in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling program of study. The courses are:

  1. CSLG 6205 Counseling Older Adults (required)
  2. GRNT 6600 Current Issues in Gerontology (required)
  3. One course from the Social Sciences category below:
    • GRNT/SOCY 6130 Sociology of Aging: Theories and Research (3)
    • GRNT/SOCY 5150 Older Individual and Society (3)
    • GRNT/SOCY 6134 Family Caregiving Across the Lifespan: Theory, Practice, Policy (3)
    • GRNT 5270 Intergenerational Relationships and Programs (3)
    • GRNT 5353 Environments for Aging
  4. One course from the Administration category below:
    • NURS 6115 Health Policy and Planning in the U.S.
    • GRNT 5250 Aging Programs and Services (3)
    • GRNT/MPAD 6210 Aging and Public Policy (3)
    • GRNT/MPAD 6211 Administration of Aging Programs (3)
    • MPAD 6172 Administration of the Healthcare Systems in the United States (3)
    • MPAD 6128 Foundations of Public Policy (3)
    • EIST 6101 Learning Principles in Learning, Design, and Technology (3)

For more information and to apply please visit or contact:

Dr. Cynthia Hancock, Gerontology Program Director at