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Gerontology Program


The Master of Science in Gerontology (MSG) and Graduate Certificate in Gerontology (GCG) programs are now inactive. Students presently enrolled in these programs will finish out their degrees, but no new students will be admitted. As of this time, the Minor in Gerontology and the Undergraduate Certificate in Gerontological Studies (UCGS) programs will continue to operate and admit students.


Gerontology is the study of human aging in all of its forms. Gerontologists need to have a broad understanding of aging in order to work with and for older adults. We emphasize "generalist" training in our undergraduate program. Our goal is to equip students with the theoretical and evidence-based knowledge in order to succeed in just about any context: social services, health, hospice, long-term care, public policy, aging services administration, business, etc.

As a field of study and professional practice, gerontology is inherently multi- and interdisplinary in nature. Many health, policy, business and social service professionals focus their careers on aging. You can train as a social worker, for example, but still also market yourself as a gerontologist, too. In fact, many social work students at UMSL pursue a concurrent degree (minor, certificate) in aging to accomplish this. It is easy to do. Cross-disciplinary knowledge is critical for success in this field, and our degree programs emphasize this fact. Gerontologists play critical roles on professional teams and in the coordination care and other services for seniors.

We have undergraduate minor and certificate options to fit your learning needs and career goal in aging, including direct service, program coordination, and research. Our graduates work for major employers in St. Louis and elsewhere, including the Alzheimer's Association, Lutheran Senior Services, Alexian Brothers, the Mid East Area Agency on Aging, Washington University School of Medicine, etc. Our classes also make wonderful electives for students to develop a personal competency in aging without pursuing a formal degree. Knowledge of human aging can enrich any plan of study and career path!

Openness and collaboration are keys to our program's success. While small relative to other degree programs at UMSL, the Gerontology Program holds a unique position in education and outreach that defies disciplinary boundaries. We all need to know about health, function and success in aging - if not professionally, then certainly for ourselves and family members. Our vision for UMSL Gerontology is simple, that we are the preeminent source for academic and professional training in gerontology for our city and region! Are you ready to make your career in aging? If so, consider what UMSL has to offer!

Mission Statement

The Gerontology Program is committed to producing graduates who have an appreciation for the rewards and challenges of gerontological practice, and who are equipped with the knowledge to shape positive attitudes concerning aging, and who have the skills necessary to build meaningful structures for care and support of older adults in our community and beyond.