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Why Minor in Gerontology?

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the number of Americans age 65 and older will reach almost 95 million by 2060—quite an increase from today’s estimated 56 million. This means the 65+ crowd will make up 23 percent of the total population, as opposed to the current 17 percent. Communities are already seeing increasing need for services and roles that can effectively support a more mature population.

Students in the Gerontology minor will examine the physical, mental, and sociological aspects of aging, including the ways that society changes with an aging population. You will learn about best practices, at both individual and public-policy levels, for supporting successful aging.

This minor prepares you for a variety of human services and social work positions. If your career path includes working with or for the elderly, it’s important to understand the aging process as well as the specific opportunities and challenges facing senior age groups. The Gerontology minor also provides an ideal educational background if you plan to attend graduate or professional school programs in subjects like communication disorders, counseling, health planning and administration, medicine, psychology, or recreation and park management.

The Gerontology minor supports integration of knowledge and experience in the context of your primary field of study. Given the ongoing shift in American demographics, this minor can serve you well alongside almost any major—and it will provide knowledge you’ll continue to use long after graduation!

Upon completion of this minor, you will be able to:

  • describe biological, psychological, and social changes that occur as a result of aging;
  • identify societal changes that are associated with an aging population;
  • recognize ways in which aging is intersected by race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and other important social variables;
  • articulate best practices for supporting wellness and vital aging; and
  • apply knowledge from your gerontology courses to your primary field of study.

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