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22

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Field Learning Contracts Due to Field Liaisons

Graduate Study in Gerontology Certificate Program


GerontologyCertPageThe Certificate of Graduate Study in Gerontology Program addresses the educational needs of full-time and part-time students who will be engaged in the planning, administration, and provision of services for older adults. Students who are earning master's or doctoral degrees in related disciplines are offered the opportunity to obtain specialized preparation for career paths in the expanding fields of gerontology and geriatrics.

The Gerontology Certificate Program provides graduate students with rich opportunities to learn from gerontology educators within several academic units of USC. The program is administered by the USC Graduate School and is planned by the university's Interdisciplinary Academic Committee on Gerontology. With a commitment to excellence, the Gerontology Certificate Program has been developed in relation to standards and guidelines established by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

Each student's individualized program of study will be sponsored by one or more departments authorized to offer graduate study. All programs of study are finally approved by the Graduate School.

Curriculum Requirements
The Certificate of Graduate Study in Gerontology is granted upon completion of a structured program of 21 credit hours of graduate level courses. There are four required courses (three credit hours each) in the core curriculum:

  • PSYC 700 (equivalent to SOWK 771): Psychosocial Approaches to Gerontology
  • MEDI 700: Health Aspects of Aging
  • SOWK 772: Programs and Services for the Elderly
  • Practicum/Field Instruction or Supervised Research

Students can meet the practicum requirement through a departmentally approved residency, field instruction, or supervised research course, exclusive of the student's thesis or dissertation. Social work students may apply one semester of field instruction in an approved aging agency setting to meet the requirement. Health administration students may complete the practicum through a public health residency.

Nine credit hours of electives may be selected from a broad list of graduate level courses available throughout the University. It is required that a student take one elective outside of their academic discipline.

All Health Administration students are required to take HADM 764 (Long Term Care Administration).

Other courses, including Independent Study, may be considered for elective credit.

With the approval of the academic unit concerned and subject to the regulations of The Graduate School, courses taken in the Gerontology Certificate Program can be applied toward a graduate degree. The College of Social Work participates in the Gerontology Certificate Program, and some of the elective courses for the MSW program can be used to fulfil requirements for the Certificate. Students participating in the PhD program in Health Services Research in Aging may utilize some Gerontology Certificate Program courses to fulfil degree requirements.

Admissions Requirements
Students currently enrolled in graduate programs at USC, and others, must apply for admission to the Gerontology Certificate Program through The Graduate School. Requirements for admission include:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • A minimum GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) or a GPA of 3.0 for the last two years of undergraduate coursework
  • A written account of the applicant's past experience, including a statement of purpose for seeking the gerontology certificate and career goals
  • Scores on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), unless the applicant already has earned a graduate degree or is currently completing the requirements for a graduate degree
  • Two letters of recommendation that attest to the individual's ability to successfully undertake graduate study
  • Official transcripts of all colleges attended

The initial step in seeking admission to the program is to contact:
Dr. Katherine Leith
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
DeSaussure College
Room: 332
Columbia, SC 29208
Telephone: 803-777-0939
Fax: 803-777-3498

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