Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

With a gerontology degree, join the skyrocketing labor force needed to meet the healthcare challenge of an aging population.

The aging baby boomer population is driving some of the fastest growth in healthcare jobs in the country. This group has enormous clout across many industries, including health, finance, marketing, policy, housing, transportation, and education, and by 2030, one in five Americans will be 65 or older.

With an online degree in gerontology and aging services from University of Maryland University College, you'll gain a foundation in the physiological, social, and psychological aspects of aging, coupled with an understanding of programs, services, and policies related to aging and older adults, so that you can care for and serve this population.

Your degree can help prepare you for any number of careers related to gerontological services, such as program manager, program and policy analyst, services developer, housing and facilities manager, and more. This program is ideal for individuals who already have some healthcare experience or experience with the aging population. This is also a great degree for those looking to make a career change into a secure field.

This program is also available as a minor.

About the Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

In your gerontology degree courses, you'll develop the ability to investigate and discuss the psychosocial, health, and political aspects of aging in contemporary society; develop effective strategies for health promotion and service implementation for older adults; and learn to work in an ethically responsible and professional manner with older adults and aging services professionals.

You'll also complete a 3-credit internship during which you'll work in a community-based placement for 15 weeks, applying your knowledge from the classroom to real-world settings. UMUC has formed relationships with several internship sites. However, students may seek placements in any industry or organization that serves older adults.


Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Access, interpret, and apply research findings related to biological, psychological, and social processes in the context of aging
  • Analyze the impact of factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, and social class on the aging process
  • Analyze the development of policies related to aging and their impact on services and organizations for older adults, both locally and nationally
  • Apply knowledge to work with older adults in a chosen area of practice
  • Practice within the legal and ethical standards of the aging services field

Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Classes in the Major

General Education Requirements

Writing and Communication Classes | 12 Credits

No more than 3 credits in writing can be earned by exam.

Introductory Writing Class | 3 Credits

All Available Options

This requirement must be completed within the first 18 credits. A placement test is not required for Introduction to Writing (3 Credits, WRTG 101). The requirement cannot be met through course challenge exams.

Writing Class | 3 Credits

All Available Options

Communication, Writing, or Speech Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

Media and Society (3 Credits, COMM 202)

All Available Options

Advanced Writing Class (Upper Level) | 3 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

Advanced Research Writing (3 Credits, WRTG 391)

All Available Options

Arts and Humanities Classes | 6 Credits

Classes must be from different disciplines.

Historical Perspective Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

Technological Transformations (3 Credits, HIST 125)

All Available Options

A 3-credit class in ARTH or HIST

Arts and Humanities Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

Introduction to Humanities (3 Credits, HUMN 100)

All Available Options

A 3-credit class in ARTH, ARTT, ASTD, ENGL, GRCO, HIST, HUMN, MUSC, PHIL, THET, dance, literature, or foreign language

Biological and Physical Sciences Classes | 7 Credits

Laboratory Science Class | 4 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

Introduction to Biology (4 Credits, BIOL 103)

All Available Options

  • A 3-credit science lecture class with a related 1-credit lab
  • A 4-credit science class combining lecture and lab chosen from ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, NSCI, PHYS, biotechnology, botany, entomology, general science, or zoology

Science Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

Introduction to Physical Science (3 Credits, NSCI 100)

All Available Options

Math Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Gerontology and Aging Services Bachelor's Degree

Finite Mathematics (3 Credits, MATH 106)

All Available Options

Overall Bachelor's Degree Requirements

In addition to the general education requirements and the major, minor, and elective requirements, the overall requirements listed below apply to all bachelor's degrees.

  • You must complete a minimum of 120 credits
  • You must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall and a minimum grade of C for any class applied to the academic major or minor
  • Within the 120 credits required, the following coursework must be taken through UMUC:
    • 30 credits (normally the final 30)
    • Half of the required number of credits within both the major and the minor
    • 15 credits at the upper level (earned in classes numbered 300 to 499), preferably within the major or minor
  • At least 45 credits must be upper level and include
    • At least half of the credits required for the major
    • 3 credits in advanced writing
  • The remaining upper-level credits can be earned in any part of the curriculum
  • At least half the required number of credits for any academic major or minor must be earned through graded coursework. Credit earned by examination, portfolio assessment, or noncollegiate training does not count as graded coursework

Double majors: You can earn a dual major upon completion of all requirements for both majors, including the required minimum number of credits for each major and all related requirements for both majors. The same class cannot be used to fulfill requirements for more than one major. Certain restrictions (including use of credit and acceptable combinations of majors) apply for double majors. You cannot major in two programs with excessive overlap of required coursework. Contact an admissions counselor before selecting a double major.

Second bachelor's degree: To earn a second bachelor's degree, you must complete at least 30 credits through UMUC after completing the first degree. The combined credit in both degrees must add up to at least 150 credits. You must complete all requirements for the major. All prerequisites apply. If any of these requirements were satisfied in the previous degree, the remainder necessary to complete the minimum 30 credits of new classes should be satisfied with classes related to your major. Contact an admissions counselor before pursuing a second bachelor's degree.

Electives: Electives can be taken in any academic discipline. No more than 21 credits can consist of vocational or technical credit. Pass/fail credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits, can be applied toward electives only.

Recommended Minors

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2015-16 Gerontology and Aging Services Degree Planning Worksheet

If you began your degree program prior to fall 2015, please refer to the

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