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Undergraduate Certificate in Gerontology

Update August 2017. The Undergraduate Gerontology Certificate Program is no longer accepting new applications. It is being replaced by a minor in gerontology which can be accessed by a student's academic advisor. Students currently enrolled in the certificate program can continue in the program as planned. Also note: Students do not need to be enrolled in the certificate program to take the GERO designated courses.  


The Undergraduate Certificate in Gerontology may be pursued concurrently with any undergraduate major. The Certificate affords students an opportunity to explore the basic biological, psychological, and sociological processes of aging, their effect on the needs of older people, and the impact of social policies related to human aging. Additionally, through required field experience, students develop basic skills for effective practice with older adults. The certificate emphasizes an understanding of the unique problems and needs of older adults in Appalachia and other rural areas.

The Certificate requires eighteen credit hours, including a field experience as described below. Several of the courses are offered online.

Coordination of the Undergraduate Certificate in Gerontology was assumed by the Beatrice Ruth Burgess Center for WV Families & Communities of the WVU School of Social Work in Fall 2009. As Certificate requirements are reviewed, it is possible that some of them may be modified. You may want to check this site periodically or contact Dr. Kristina Hash, for the latest information about program requirements.

Students who satisfactorily complete the requirements of the program will receive an Undergraduate Certificate in Gerontology awarded by the School of Social Work at the time they receive their BSW. The Certificate award will also be noted on each recipient’s University transcript.

Those interested in the Gerontology Certificate may also want to explore the Summer Institute on Aging.

Required courses – 9 credit hours

Fieldwork credits for the undergraduate program are earned in GERO 491. Gerontology professors assist in identifying sites for fieldwork experience with older persons and/or a relevant agency and in the supervision of the student’s work. Permission from instructor required prior to enrollment.

Electives – 9 credit hours

For further information about the Undergraduate Certificate in Gerontology, contact Dr. Kristina Hash or Robin Swaney.