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Interdisciplinary Gerontology Studies


The Interdisciplinary Gerontology Studies program offers a minor that examines the diversity and complexity of the older adult using a venue of varied disciplines and perspectives, including biology, psychology, sociology, spirituality, communication and nursing. In light of the necessity for multidisciplinary approaches to meet the needs of older adults, courses will include students from various disciplines and prepare the students for careers that benefit from team work, mutual respect, and comprehensive knowledge of the older adult regardless of setting whether in the United States or globally. Students will acquire knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, ethnicity, financial capacity, gender, spirituality, health and level of wellness on quality of life of older adults. They will cultivate critical awareness and ethical and political astuteness in a variety of settings that affect older adults. Students will participate as members of interdisciplinary teams encountering diverse cohorts of older adults. 

Learning Goals

Students who complete the Interdisciplinary Gerontology Studies Minor will:

  1. Acquire basic physiological, sociological, and psychological scientific knowledge and multi-perspectival understanding of aging both in the United States and globally.
  2. Acquire knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, ethnicity, financial capacity, gender, spirituality, health and level of wellness on Quality of Life and Life Satisfaction of older adults.
  3. Cultivate critical awareness as well as ethical and political astuteness in multiple areas and a variety of settings that affect older adults.
  4. Cultivate critical inquiry and acquire knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research in the field of aging.
  5. Participate as members of interdisciplinary teams encountering diverse cohorts of older adults in various settings.

Requirements (18 credit hours)

To fulfill the requirements of the minor, students must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours in approved courses, including GERON 101/NURS 199: Introduction to Aging and GERON 395: Capstone Project. Courses in the minor must have a gerontology focus, will be drawn from across the curriculum, and may include periodic special topics courses. Search Self-Service using the course type "Gerontology" to find approved courses from across the disciplines. Students seeking to complete the minor should consult with the program advisor.

Two required core courses (6 credit hours)

  • GERON 101/NURS 199: Introduction to Aging (3)
  • GERON 395: Capstone Project (3)

Four electives (12 credit hours)

Must be selected from approved Gerontology courses; including but not limited to the following:

  • BIO 124: Physiology of Aging (3)
  • COMM 216: Introduction to Health Communication (3)
  • GERON 205/NURS 205: Narrative Gerontology (3)
  • NURS 347: Nursing Care of the Older Adult (3)
  • PSYCH 224: Adulthood and Aging (3)
  • PSYCH 199: Lifespan Development (3)
  • RELST 266: Suffering and Death (3)
  • SOC 318: Sociology of Aging (3)
  • SOC 335: The Art and Science of Reminiscing (3)

Faculty and Administration

The Gerontology Studies program is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Nursing. It is an interdisciplinary program that draws upon the expertise of faculty in many academic departments and schools within the University. Faculty members offer perspectives and courses appropriate to the multidimensional study of older adults and contribute to the development of the program's curriculum.

Contact: Dr. Diane Heliker (heliker@sxu.edu)