Gerontological Social Policy Certificate (online)


  • This program is no longer offered. Contact the Undergraduate Gerontology Program at 617.287.7324 or

For students with a background in aging services, we offer a 12-credit, four-course Certificate in Gerontological Social Policy (online).

Gerontological social policy occurs within a complex social, economic, and political context. Policy makers and advocates not only need to be familiar with what the policy is and how it functions but must also know the context within which it occurs and the theories upon which it is based. Knowledge of how the present policy is developed is essential. Understanding and assessing the power structure within administrative agencies and legislative bodies is also important.

The final requirement of the Certificate is a Capstone course where students identify an issue, plan a project, and contribute to the resolution of a community problem by implementing a plan to benefit a group, community, or society. Recent projects have focused on senior transportation, Alzheimer’s disease, oral health and long-term care. Ultimately, this certificate program prepares students to analyze and evaluate information as they seek to understand and influence the development of new social policies appropriate for our elder population.

This certificate represents advanced level work beyond the introductory coursework in gerontology as represented in the Manning Certificate in Gerontology . The Gerontological Social Policy Certificate is part of the Gerontology program of the McCormack Graduate School (MGS) and is offered online in partnership with the College of Advancing and Professional Studies (CAPS).

Career Directions

The Gerontological Social Policy and Manning certificate programs are designed to help those interested in the field of gerontology develop and augment their current knowledge and skills in order to advance in a rewarding career built around issues of aging and public service.

Students who study gerontology work as advocates, care managers, lifelong learning educators, ombudsman, unit managers in assisted living facilities, senior housing, nursing homes, councils’ on aging, home care agencies or senior centers. Some begin their own entrepreneurial interests such as home-care management or adult day programs.