MINOR OFFERED:  Minor in Gerontology


 Dr. Deborah Altus

 Benton 311

 (785) 670-2116





This minor is constructed around the premise that a broader understanding of Gerontology is critical to meet the needs of an aging society. The minor is also based on the premise that Gerontology is, by its nature, an interdisciplinary course of study requiring education in bio-psycho-social issues.  Expanded career opportunities in gerontology are forecasted in many areas, including healthcare, the helping professions, public policy and more.  As a result, this minor is open to all undergraduate students across the university and includes courses from a variety of disciplines.  This minor will prepare students to meet increasing workforce needs of an aging society and/or to pursue graduate study in Gerontology or related fields.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students minoring in Gerontology, upon graduation, will be able to:

  • Describe biological, psychological, and social changes that occur as the result of aging;
  • Describe societal changes that are associated with an aging population;
  • Describe ways in which aging is intersected by race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, and other important social variables; and
  • Use evidence-based information, effective logic and accurate vocabulary to communicate about Gerontology.

Study Plan

To obtain the optional minor, students will complete at least 18 credit hours of coursework. In addition to 9 credit hours of required coursework, students must complete at least 9 credit hours of elective courses. At least 6 hours must be upper division coursework.  Some elective courses require completion of prerequisites. The list of electives may be modified as new courses with Gerontology content become available. The coordinator will provide advising, review requests for substitutions with a petition from the student, and will serve in the role of department chair to certify that a student has successfully met the requirements for this optional minor.  Students wishing to obtain elective credit for a directed study or internship course must obtain prior approval from the coordinator.

Courses Required for the Minor (9 hours)

HS378 - Issues in Aging

PY212 - Psychology of Adulthood and Aging (Prerequisite: PY100)

BI260 - Biology of Aging (Prerequisite: BI100 - health emphasis section recommended) or pre-approved substitution if BI260 is not offered.

Elective Courses (9 hours) with at least 6 hours in upper division coursework:

AL101 - Foundations of Healthcare

AL366 - Legal and Regulatory Issues in Healthcare (Prerequisite: consent)

AL420 - Current Issues in Healthcare (Prerequisite: consent)

AR 291/391 - Art Therapy

CJ390/HS390 - Aging and Crime

CN306 - Health Communication (Prerequisite: CN 101)

CN351 - Interpersonal Communication 

HS131 - Human Development

HS371 - Aging and Mental Health

HS372/NU335 - Death and Dying

HS390 - Strategies in Lifespan Resilience

HS411 - Family Issues

KN248 - Wellness Concepts and Application

LG220 - Wills & Estate Administration (Prerequisite: LG100, LG200, or consent)

LG320 - Elder Law (Prerequisite: LG100, LG200 or consent)

NU335 - Special Topics:

  • Interdisciplinary Community Health (2 credit hours)
  • Palliative Care (2 credit hours)
  • Death and Dying

PO305 - Public Policy (Prerequisite: consent)

PY326 - Health Psychology (Prerequisite: PY100)

AN312 - Medical Anthropology (Prerequisite: AN112)

SO326 - Aging and Society (Prerequisite: SO100)

SW390 - Geriatric SW Practice (Prerequisite: SW 100, SW 250, or consent)

An internship or practicum in a setting approved by the coordinator (up to 3 credit hours)

A directed study course approved by the coordinator (up to 3 credit hours)



For additional information contact:


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