California State University, Fullerton


Joseph A. Weber

College Park 900


Minor in Gerontology
Concentration in Gerontology
Master of Science in Gerontology

Pauline Abbott (Director, Institute of Gerontology)
Naoko Akashi (Economics)
Dennis Berg (Sociology)
Echo Chang (Sociology and Gerontology)
Dana Collins (Sociology)
John Doyle (Human Services)
Barbara Erickson (Anthropology)
Charlotte Fox (Osher Lifelong
Learning Institute, OLLI)
Barbara Haddad (Nursing)
Sara Johnson, (Anthropology)
Jessie Jones (Health Science)
Thomas Klammer (H&SS College Dean)
Robert Koch (Biology)
Edith Krampe (Sociology)
Davina Ling (Economics)
Margaret Luzzi (Extended Education)
Shari McMahan (Health Science)
Karen Perell (Kinesiology)
Carter Rakovski (Sociology)
Mary Read (Counseling)
Carl Renold (Human Services)
Roberta Rikli (H&HD College Dean)
Debbie Rose (Kinesiology)
Wendy Elliott Scheinberg (Oral History)
Kirt Spradlin (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, OLLI)
Chandra Srinivasan (Biochemistry)
Barbara Talento (Osher Lifelong
Learning Institute, OLLI)
Eileen Walsh (Sociology)
Andy Washington (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, OLLI)
Peggy Weatherspoon (Gerontology Academic Program, Sociology)
Joseph A. Weber (Coordinator, Gerontology Academic Program, Sociology)
Karen Wong (Sociology and Gerontology)
Laura Zettel-Watson (Psychology)

Gerontology, the study of aging, is a multidisciplinary field that examines the biological, psychological, social and health/fitness aspects of the aging process. The unprecedented growth of the older population has created a growing demand for professionals in a variety of fields who understand issues related to the aging process.

Programs in Gerontology provide students with knowledge and critical understanding of the processes of adult development and aging. They prepare students for a variety of career opportunities in business, government, industry, public and private agencies, health and human services, research and education, and entrepreneurial endeavors. Many career options involve working with healthy and independent older adults, while other positions involve working with older adults who have health problems and other age-related limitations.

Academic and career advisement is provided by the Coordinator of the Gerontology Program and members of the Gerontology Program Council. Student advising is provided at the Gerontology Academic Program Office, CP-900.

Information on job and volunteer opportunities, as well as professional events in gerontology, is posted near the Gerontology Institute office, Ruby Gerontology Center, Room 8. Students are urged to take advantage of programs available through the Career Development and Counseling Center, Langsdorf Hall 208.

The Charles L. and Rachael E. Ruby Gerontology Center serves as a forum for intellectual activity and creative scholarship in the area of gerontology. The center houses the activities of the Continuing Learning Experience, the Institute of Gerontology, as well as being a resource center on aging for the Orange County region.

The center’s goals include: promoting educational programs concerning adult development and aging; developing productive intergenerational activities in education and research; fostering cross-disciplinary research on topics related to aging and later life; providing opportunities for lifelong learning; and expanding opportunities for professional growth and development for those interested in gerontology.

Students are encouraged to become involved in research, conferences and community service activities of the Center.

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The Beverly and Arnold Miller University Scholarships in Gerontology are open to continuing junior/senior students with a declared minor, emphasis or concentration in aging, gerontology or older adult health/wellness and to graduate students accepted into the M.S. in Gerontology degree program. Students must have demonstrated an interest in a career in the field of gerontology and/or older adult health/wellness.

The Kirt and Donna Spradlin Scholarships in Gerontology are open to continuing graduate students in gerontology. Criteria include academic achievement, professional promise and demonstrated interest in a career in the field of aging.
The Mary Lois Ayres Scholarships in Gerontology are open to continuing upper division undergraduate students with a concentration or minor in gerontology and first year graduate students in gerontology. Criteria include academic achievement, professional promise and demonstrated interest in a career in the field of aging.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) Outstanding Graduate Student Award is offered each June to a MS Gerontology candidate graduating in June or having graduated in the preceding summer or fall semester at California State University, Fullerton. This award will come from a special account funded by contributions from OLLI members.

Students interested in gerontology are encouraged to join the Student Association for Gerontology Education (SAGE) and the Gamma Kappa Chapter of Sigma Phi Omega, a national honor society. Opportunities are available to become involved in research, conferences and community service activities. Students are also encouraged to become active in professional gerontology organizations such as the California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics (CCGG). Applications are available at the Gerontology Program office, Ruby Gerontology Center, Room 8 and in the Gerontology Academic Program Office, College Park 900.

The Gerontology minor consists of 21 units in the following areas:

Lower-Division Requirements (3 units)
Sociology 133 Introduction to Gerontology (3)*

Upper-Division Requirements (9 units from the following)
Biology 306 Biology of Aging (3)*
Kinesiology 454 Physical Dimensions of Aging (3)
Psychology 362 Psychology of Aging (3)*
Sociology 443 Sociology of Aging (3)

Required Internship (3 units)
One three-unit internship at the 300/400 level in a related field. An internship is a supervised experience working within the community. Internships are coordinated through the student’s major department.

Upper-Division Electives (6 units, adviser approved)
Anthropology 308 Culture and Aging: Anthropological Gerontology (3)
Anthropology 408 Ethnogerontology (3)
Anthropology 417 Life Quests (3)
Biology 306 Biology of Aging (3)
Biology 311 Nutrition and Disease (3)*
Child/Adolescent Studies 312 Human Growth and Development (3)*
Counseling 475T Counseling Special Populations (3)
Finance 411 Retirement and Estate Planning (3)
History 413 Oral History/Guided Autobiography (3)
Health Sci 342 Stress Management (3)*
Health Sci 401 Epidemiology (3)
Health Sci 440 Determinants of Health Behavior (3)
Health Sci 450 Applied Health Promotion in Aging Populations (3)
Human Comm 320 Intercultural Communication (3)*
Human Comm 345 Communication and Aging (3)*
Human Services 310 Case Management (3)
Human Services 380 Theories and Techniques of Counseling (3)*
Human Services 385 Program Design and Proposal Writing (3)
Human Services 400 Ethical and Professional Issues in Human Services (3)
Human Services 410 Crisis Intervention (3)
Human Services 420 Human Services Management (3)
Human Services 480 Case Analysis and Intervention Techniques (3)
Kinesiology 353 Physical Activity and Lifelong Well-Being (3)*
Kinesiology 364 Motor Development (3)
Kinesiology 371 Human Motor Learning and Control (3)
Kinesiology 400 Program Design in Kinesiology (3)
Kinesiology 454 Physical Dimensions of Aging (3)
Kinesiology 455 Functional Performance Assessment and Programming for Older Adults (3)
Management 435 Service Organizations and Operations (3)
Marketing 351 Principles of Marketing (3)
Nursing 301 Promotion of Optimal Health (3)*
Nursing 303 Women’s Health and Healing (3)*
Nursing 357 Health Promotion: Adult-Aged Nursing (3)
Philosophy 314 Medical Ethics (3)*
Philosophy 448 Death, Dying and Meaning (3)
Psychology 302 Learning and Memory (3)
Psychology 303 Sensation and Perception (3)
Psychology 361 Developmental Psychology (3)
Psychology 362 Psychology of Aging (3)
Psychology 415 Cognitive Processes (3)
Psychology 474 Medical Psychology (3)
Psychology 475 Psychopharmacology (3)
Sociology 351 Sociology of Families (3)*
Sociology 354 Gender, Sex and Society (3)*
Sociology 360 Death and Dying (3)*
Sociology 361 Population and the Environment (3)*
Sociology 371 Sociology of City Life (3)*
Sociology 433 Aging and Social Services (3)
Sociology 443 Sociology of Aging (3)
Women’s Studies 410 Women, Health and Aging (3)

Additional elective courses are available in selected departments across campus. Such additional electives are chosen in consultation with the major department adviser and with the approval of the Coordinator of Gerontology Program. Up to nine units of coursework may be applied to both the major and Gerontology minor.

* Meets General Education requirement.

The Gerontology minor is available and appropriate to strengthen and otherwise complement the coursework of students in many majors. Notation of the minor appears on the transcript and the diploma.

The Master of Science program combines training in both scientific and applied areas of gerontology. Because various departments across the university participate in the program, the student is able to design a study plan that will meet his or her individual needs. In addition to coursework in research and theory, the program provides preparation for work in a variety of settings. It can also be tailored to meet the needs of the student who wants to prepare for a doctoral program.

Application Deadlines
The deadlines for completing online applications are March 1 for the fall semester and October 1 for the spring semester (see Mailed applications need to be postmarked by the same deadlines. However, deadlines may be changed based upon enrollment projections. Check for current information at

Admissions to Graduate Standing: Conditionally Classified
An applicant who meets the following requirements may be considered for conditionally classified graduate standing: a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and a grade point average of at least 3.0 in the last 60 units attempted; submission of the formal application form; submission of two copies of transcripts from all institutions attended; three letters of recommendation; and a letter from the student stating professional objectives. A Gerontology Program Application form must be filed with the Gerontology Program Office.

The baccalaureate must be in gerontology or a related field in conjunction with an undergraduate minor, certificate or emphasis in gerontology or the equivalent. In the absence of the above, the student should have the following 12 units of upper-division coursework in gerontology or their equivalent:

Biology 306 Biology of Aging (3 units)
Kinesiology 454 Physical Dimensions of Aging (3 units)
Psychology 362 Psychology of Aging (3 units)
Sociology 443 Sociology of Aging (3 units)

The following additional criteria may be taken into consideration: research experience, previous paid or volunteer experience in working with elderly people.

It may be possible for applicants who have minimal deficiencies in prerequisite requirements, as detailed above, but who are otherwise highly qualified, to be admitted in conditionally classified graduate standing, with provisions made for removal of deficiencies prior to the granting of classified standing. For further information, consult with the Gerontology Academic Program Coordinator.

Admissions to Graduate Standing: Classified
Each student, in consultation with the Program Coordinator, will develop a study plan. This will be outlined on an official university Study Plan Form. Students who have met the requirements for conditionally classified standing will be granted classified standing upon submission of an adviser-approved study plan to the Graduate Studies office.

Study Plan
The Master of Science in Gerontology requires 30 units of approved graduate work with a minimum of 21 units at the 500 level.

Required Core Courses (12 units)
Gerontology 500 Adult Development and Aging (3)
Gerontology 501 Research Methods in Gerontology (3)
Gerontology 503 Aging and Public Policy (3)
Gerontology 595 Gerontology Internship (3)
Gerontology Electives (6-9 units)

Multidisciplinary Electives (6-9 units)
Selected from two or more departments with the program coordinator’s approval:

Exit Option (0-3 units)*
Gerontology 598 Thesis (3)
OR Gerontology Project 597 (3)
OR Comprehensive Exam (0 units)

*If a project or thesis is not done, an additional three units of a Gerontology 500-level elective course and a comprehensive examination must be taken.

Sociology, B.A.
A concentration in Gerontology is offered within the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Degree requirements are outlined in the Sociology Department concentration options section of this catalog.

Kinesiology, B.S., M.S.
Students pursuing the B.S. or M.S. in Kinesiology may choose a focus area in Gerontology. Requirements are available through the Department of Kinesiology.

Human Services, B.S.
Students pursuing a B.S. in Human Services may choose a gerontology track. Requirements are available through the Department of Human Services.

Courses are designated as GERO in the class schedule.

GERO 133    Introduction to Gerontology

Description: (Same as Sociology 133)
Units: (3)

GERO 410    Women, Health and Aging

Description: (Same as Women’s Studies 410)
Units: (3)

GERO 413    Oral History/Guided Autobiography

Description: (Same as History 413.)
Units: (3)

GERO 420    Aging and Dementia

Description: Prerequisites: completion of G. E. Section I; satisfies the upper-division writing requirement; Psychology 201 or Sociology 303 or equivalent; or classified graduate standing. Physiological, psychological, social, economic aspects of dementia; its impact on the individual, family and society, with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease. One or more sections offered online.
Units: (3)

GERO 425    Successful Aging and Gerotechnology

Description: Prerequisites: Completion of G. E. Category I.A., I.B., and I.C.; Sociology/Gero 133, or classified graduate standing. Gerotechnology is the study of technology and aging. This course explores the impact of computer and internet, devices for sensory impairments, telehealth, smart home, automobile and transportation innovation on older adults, caregivers and society.
Units: (3)

GERO 433    Aging and Social Services

Description: (Same as Sociology 433)
Units: (3)

GERO 443    Sociology of Aging

Description: (Same as Sociology 443)
Units: (3)

GERO 450    Applied Health Promotion in Aging Populations

Description: (Same as Health Science 450)
Units: (3)

GERO 500    Adult Development and Aging

Description: Prerequisite: graduate standing and/or admission into a master’s program. Overview of theory and research on biological, psychological and social changes that accompany adult development and aging. May include a service learning component. One or more sections offered online. (Same as Sociology 500)
Units: (3)

GERO 501    Research Methods in Gerontology

Description: Prerequisite: admission to M.S. in Gerontology. Overview of research processes and problems in gerontology; more detailed study of applied research, including program evaluation in the field of gerontology.
Units: (3)

GERO 503    Aging and Public Policy

Description: Prerequisites: Gero 500, Sociology 443, Political Science 309 or 315 or classified graduate student status. Origin, development and overview of public policies affecting older persons, families and service providers. Political administrative, advocacy and private sector involvements in employment, retirement, income security, health care, social services and housing of older persons. May include a service learning component. (Same as Political Science 503 and Sociology 503)
Units: (3)

GERO 504T    Selected Topics in Gerontology

Description: Prerequisites: classified status in a master’s program. A detailed examination of a selected area of gerontology. Emphasis will be both on the relevant literature and on the preparation, presentation (oral and written) and discussion of research papers. May be repeated once for credit with a different topic. (Same as Sociology 504T)
Units: (3)

GERO 506    Economics of Aging

Description: Prerequisites: admission into the Gerontology M.S. Program or classified BAE status and Gero 501 or Economics 340. Economic consequences of population aging and the economic status of the aged. Income adequacy in old age: dependency, work income, retirement planning, social security, employer-sponsored pensions and financing health care. Economic security today and tomorrow. International comparisons. (Same as Economics 506)
Units: (3)

GERO 507    Professional Issues in Gerontology

Description: Prerequisite: classified graduate student status. An introduction to the concepts, attitudes, knowledge, skills and ethical issues upon which professional practice in gerontology is based.
Units: (3)

GERO 508    Social and Ethical Issues in Aging

Description: Prerequisite: graduate standing in Gerontology, Sociology or Public Health. Analysis of social and ethical issues facing an aging society. Review of ethical terminology, ethical decision making and social implications of ethical issues related to such topics as nursing homes, caregiving, suicide and intergenerational equality. (Same as Sociology 508.)
Units: (3)

GERO 526    Administration and Systems Management

Description: (Same as Political Science 526).
Units: (3)

GERO 595    Gerontology Internship

Description: Prerequisites: classified status in the M.S. in Gerontology degree program and consent of instructor and Program Coordinator. Supervised experience in organizations that serve older adults and their families. May be repeated once for credit.
Units: (3)

GERO 597    Project

Description: Prerequisites: classified status in the M.S. in Gerontology Program and consent of instructor and Program Coordinator. Under the direction of a faculty member, a topic that integrates learning in the program with an applied area of student interests will be selected and a major project on the topic will be developed and submitted.
Units: (3)

GERO 598    Thesis

Description: Prerequisites: classified status in the M.S. in Gerontology degree program and consent of instructor and Program Coordinator. Individual research under supervision, reported in a thesis and defended successfully in an oral examination conducted by a faculty thesis committee.
Units: (3)

GERO 599    Independent Study in Gerontology

Description: Prerequisites: completion of the M.S. in Gerontology core courses. Individualized study with an instructor whose recognized interests are in the area of the planned study. Conferences with the instructor as necessary and the work will culminate in one or more papers. May be repeated once for credit.
Units: (1-3)

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