Institute for Life-Span Development and Gerontology 

Suite 340 
College of Arts and Sciences Bldg

Akron, Ohio 44325-4307

(330) 972-7243

lifespan@uakron.edu 

Wisdom is knowing what to pick up from the past.

WHAT IS GERONTOLOGY?

Gerontology is the study of aging across the life span. It is interdisciplinary in its approach incorporating information from the following fields: 

  • biology 
  • psychology 
  • sociology 
  • home economics and family ecology 
  • social work 
  • physiology and many others. 

In addition to education and research about adulthood and aging, there is an emphasis on practice in order to more effectively provide service to adults and older adults and their families.

WHY STUDY GERONTOLOGY?

The population of the United States is growing older. At present, one in eight persons is sixty-five or older. It is estimated that in the year 2020, one in five persons will be sixty-five or older. The increasing numbers of elderly persons will mean an increasing demand for individuals with the skills and insight gained from training in gerontology.

Gerontology also helps each person understand his/her own aging and how to age successfully. Personal concerns about the aging of family members may also be pursued in gerontological studies.

WHAT IS A CERTIFICATE IN GERONTOLOGY?

There have been two major approaches to gerontology education in the United States: One approach, going back to the late 1940s, has been to offer a special course of study in addition to a traditional discipline resulting in a "certificate." This is the approach taken at The University of Akron along with approximately 350 other college and university programs that belong to the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

A certificate may be received with any degree at the Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral level. The completion is acknowledged by special notation on the student's transcript. The other approach is to offer a degree in gerontology at the bachelor's, master's or doctoral level.

There are approximately 25 undergraduate and 25 graduate programs among members of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education nationally that provide degrees in gerontology. If this is your interest, we will be happy to recommend such a program to you.

WHY STUDY GERONTOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON?

For over three decades, The University of Akron has offered gerontological education, research and service. In 1976, the Institute for Life-Span Development and Gerontology was created and has grown into a campus wide program involving over 70 faculty in 22 different departments.

There are over 40 courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Research, education, training and service support has been received from the following:

  • Administration on Aging 
  • National Institute on Aging 
  • United States Department of Education 
  • Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services
  • National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
  • Andrus Foundation
  • Ohio Department on Aging and Area Agency on Aging 10B 

The Institute serves as a major site for the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center Consortium on Aging and Developmental Disabilities involving seven universities in six states.

A sequence of study is also available in Nursing Home Administration through the Institute in conjunction with the College of Business Administration.

Students in the B.S.M.D. program may begin certificate studies at The University of Akron and complete requirements as part of their work at NEOUCOM in cooperation with the Office of Geriatric Medicine.

WHAT ABOUT THE TIME AND MONEY FOR THE CERTIFICATE COURSES?

Many of the courses meet the 300-400 hour distributional requirement for your elective credits. By planning ahead, you may be able to obtain a Certificate in Gerontology with no additional expenditure of time and money.

However, it is never too late!

You are encouraged to make an appointment to discuss your plans with Institute faculty.

IS THE STUDY OF GERONTOLOGY COMPATIBLE WITH MY DEGREE?

More than 300 students have obtained a Certificate in Gerontology.

 Academic areas represented include:

  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Communications
  • Communicative Disorders 
  • Counseling/Community Counseling 
  • Education
  • Educational Administration 
  • Family and Child Development
  • Guidance and Counseling
  • Home Economics and Family Ecology
  • Management
  • Marketing 
  • Nursing
  • Psychology 
  • Sociology
  • Social Work
  • Technical Education

SPECIAL OPTIONS:

A sequence of study is also available in Nursing Home Administration through the Institute in conjunction with the College of Business Administration.

Students in the B.S.M.D. program may begin certificate studies at The University of Akron and complete requirements as part of their work at NEOUCOM in cooperation with the Office of Geriatric Medicine.

WHEN IS THE CERTIFICATE AWARDED?

Certificates are awarded in conjunction with a degree earned in any discipline and upon completion of certificate requirements:

Undergraduate 20 credits minimum 
(15 credits, core courses; 5 credits, electives)

Graduate 18 credits minimum 
(9 credits, core courses; 9 credits, electives)

WHERE CAN I GET ADDITIONAL INFORMATION?

The Institute for Life-Span Development and Gerontology will provide additional information including an application form.

Contact the Institute Office:

The University of Akron
Institute for Life-Span Development and Gerontology
Suite 340 
College of Arts and Sciences Bldg
Akron, Ohio 44325-4307
(330) 972-7243