Gerontology Certificate

Program Overview

The Gerontology Certificate program has been implemented in the Department of Social Work at Wright State University for over three decades. The program was founded by Dr. Bela Bognar and implemented in future years by Dr. Marita Rogers, Dr. Beth Kinsel, and currently by Dr. Hyejin Kim. The program is available to undergraduate and graduate students and for students across all majors.

The Gerontology Certificate at WSU is a set of courses demonstrating specialized classroom and internship knowledge related to older adults. The certificate is open to all major ans will be designated on the student's final academic transcript. All of the courses may be taken in conjunction with requirements for a major.

The certificate program is built on three distinct but interrelated components totaling twenty-seven semester credit hours:

  • Three core courses that provide an overall understanding of the field.
  • At least two elective courses that explore vital issues.
  • A field education experience related to the student's discipline in which they work with older adults.
  • A minimum grade of B is required for the courses taken for the certificate in Gerontology.

Career Options

By offering a certificate in gerontology, Wright State University is joining a national trend of providing "content" in gerontology for students majoring in one of the human services. Thus, the certificate in gerontology is an addition to the degree and provides proof for graduates seeking employment that they have mastered the specific knowledge. Current labor statistics indicate that gerontology and geriatrics are the fastest growing employment fields in the U.S.  Having a degree in their own discipline and a certificate in gerontology will enable graduates to find employment in institutional settings, community care agencies, mental health services, and other areas.


Core Courses (9 hours)

  • SW 2700 – Introduction to Social Work (3) or PSY 1010 – Introduction to Psychology (4)
  • SW/SOC 4620/6620 - Social Gerontology (3)
  • SW 3700 – Human Behavior in the Social Environment I – Micro (3) or SW 6170 – Human Behavior in the Social Environment I – Micro (3)

Electives (6 hours in Gerontology courses)

Students choose at least two courses from the following:

  • SW 3890/6890 - Aging & End of Life Issues (3)
  • SW 3890/6890 – Women and Aging (3)
  • SW 3890/6890 – Issues in Aging: Opportunities and Challenges in the Community (3)
  • Other electives approved by the Gerontology Certificate Director

Additional Required Courses (12-15 hours)

  • SW 4860 – SW Field Practicum 1
  • SW 4870 – SW Field Seminar 1
  • SW 4880 – SW Field Practicum 2
  • SW 4890 – SW Field Seminar 2

Gerontology courses from other institutions may be transferable. All of the above courses may be taken in conjunction with requirements for a major.

Gerontology Certificate Application (PDF)