student at conference

Gerontology, PhD

Curriculum     We examine the aging process at the individual, family, and community level. Our doctoral program is distinctive for its emphasis on the relationship between research, social science, and policy Gerontology, PhD Venn Diagram

Diversity     The program’s approach reflects the urban mission of UMass Boston and gives special attention to the needs of low income elderly, as well as to issues of racial and cultural diversity

Faculty     We have eight dedicated Gerontology PhD faculty members. The program is supported by additional faculty in public policy, nursing, and campus units with aging-related expertise

Program Culture    The department atmosphere is cohesive with accessible faculty, supportive relationships among current students, and productive connections to alumni.

Degree Requirements

  1. Course work totaling at least 69 credits
  2. Empirical research policy paper
  3. Qualifying paper exam
  4. Doctoral dissertation

1. Course work

Four foundation courses:
Social Aspects of Aging (Geron 621)
Economic Issues in Aging Populations (Geron 626)
Psychology of Aging (Geron 628)
Ethnic and Racial Diversity in Aging Societies (Geron 724)

Six research courses:
Research Methods and Experimental Design (Geron 601)
Statistical Methods in the Analysis of Social Problems I (Geron 603)
Statistical Methods in the Analysis of Social Problems II (Geron 604)
Current National Data Bases in Gerontological Policy Research (Geron 726)
Research Practicum in Gerontology (Geron727)
Research methods elective from approved list

Three policy courses:
Issues in Aging Policy (Geron 623)
Intermediate Aging Policy Analysis (Geron 760)
Advance Policy Analysis (Geron 761)

Three credits of professional development seminar:
Multidisciplinary Seminar in Aging (Geron 688)

At least six elective courses

Nine credits of dissertation research:
Dissertation Research (Geron 899)

Students are expected to maintain a B average in courses

2. Empirical Research Policy Paper

3. Qualifying Paper Exam

4. Doctoral Dissertation