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College of Health and Human Services

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Gerontology - Programs

Master of Science in Gerontology (code FCS_MS02)

Interested students should contact Dr. Barbara White at 562-985-1582 or

The Master of Science Degree in Gerontology is designed to prepare students with a thorough background in existing theory and research in gerontology, advanced principles of program management, and an enhancement to their baccalaureate preparation for their professional discipline. Students who complete the M.S. in Gerontology will accomplish the following objectives:

  1. Acquire advanced education and professional training in gerontology in order to become administrators of state and federal programs, services such as senior centers and retirement homes, businesses, and intergenerational programs.
  2. Enhance cultural competence regarding age, cohort, gender, race and ethnicity, and/or diverse abilities.
  3. Acquire expertise in planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating innovative programs to meet the needs of older persons.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to conduct appropriate research.
  5. Exercise sound professional judgment based on high ethical standards and expectations.

Admission Requirements

  1. Complete the application form to be admitted to the university with graduate standing;
  2. Send the following materials to the Gerontology Program, in addition to those sent to the Office of Enrollment Services:
  • A. Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work,
  • B. Three letters of recommendation reflecting academic potential, personal qualifications, sensitivity, and evidence of ability and motivation to work with older adults and professionals in the field of aging,
  • C. A current resume,
  • D. A personal statement of interest in aging and career goals in the field.

Admission to the program is contingent on approval by the Gerontology Program Director.


  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  2. Evidence of a 3.0 or better grade point average in all undergraduate work. Students with less than a 3.0 grade point average in the last 60 undergraduate semester or 90 quarter units attempted but with evidence of professional promise and experiential background may be admitted conditionally by action of the Program Director.
  3. Successful completion of the following courses or their approved substitutes: GERN 400I; BIOL 301; PSY 365 or HDEV 357I; ANTH 454; An approved upper-division statistics course.


  1. Maintain a 3.0 or better grade point average in all graduate work completed at CSULB and all approved graduate work transferred to meet graduate requirements.
  2. Continuous satisfactory progress toward the degree objective.

Advancement to Candidacy

  1. Satisfy the general University requirements for advancement to candidacy.
  2. Fulfill the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) (to be taken during the first term).
  3. Complete a minimum of six units of graduate level coursework in geronology.
  4. Be enroll during the semester or summer session in which advancement to candidacy takes place.
  5. Obtain approval for one's individual program plan from the Gerontology Program Director and then from the Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Services.


Thesis Option: Completion of a minimum of 37 units, with at least 28 units of 500 and/or 600 series courses in Gerontology, including GERN 563, 592, 600, 610, 696, 697, and 698. A maximum of six units may be taken outside of the major.

Directed Project Option: Completion of a minimum of 37 units with at least 28 units of 500 and/or 600 series courses in Gerontology, including GERN 563, 592, 600, 610, 697, and 692. A maximum of six units may be taken outside the major.

Certificate in Gerontology (code FCS_CT03)

Interested students should contact Dr. Maria Claver at 562-985-4495 or

The Certificate program is designed to educate individuals as gerontology specialists within a major area of study. Alumni work in community programs, health services organizations, government agencies, and the private sector.

The Certificate in Gerontology may be earned in conjunction with a baccalaureate degree or awarded subsequent to earning a bachelor’s degree. Up to six units of courses taken in the student's major department may be approved to satisfy certificate requirements as may general education and elective courses also used to complete the bachelor’s degree if they contain appropriate gerontology content.


  • 1. In consultation with the Gerontology Certificate Coordinator, submit to Enrollment Services the intent form to add the Certificate in Gerontology to the major program of study.
  • 2. A bachelor’s degree in any major (may be taken concurrently)
  • 3. A minimum GPA of 2.5
  • 4. 24 units distributed as follows
    • A. Fifteen (15) required units including GERN 400I (meets GE Capstone requirement), ANTH 454, BIOL 301, PSY 365 or HDEV 357I (meets GE Capstone requirement), and GERN 492 (an internship in a gerontology setting).
    • B. A minimum of nine units chosen in consultation with the Gerontology Certificate Coordinator from a list of approved elective courses (three to six units of appropriate coursework in the major field may partially fulfill this requirement). Three units may be fulfilled by taking GERN 497 or an approved substitute.
  • 5. Application for the Certificate in Gerontology through completion of the appropriate Program Planner in consultation with the Gerontology Certificate Coordinator. This must be done in the semester prior to the completion of the Certificate to assure timely issuance of the Certificate.