Gerontology

The program in gerontology is a University-wide program that promotes study, teaching, and research on aging and older adults. It also maintains relationships with state and local agencies serving Rhode Island’s older population. This affords opportunities for research, internships, and field experiences to students interested in aging.

In addition to fulfilling all the basic requirements for a minor (see Minor Fields of Study), students who declare a minor in gerontology must complete the requirements described below.

The Bachelor of Science program in Human Development and Family Studies is the recommended major for gerontology. There is also the opportunity for students taking their major studies in a number of areas to do a less-specialized study in aging by declaring a minor in gerontology. This must be done no later than the first semester of the senior year. It requires 18 or more credits in aging-related studies approved by the program in gerontology and the college in which the student is registered.

HDF 314 (Introduction to Gerontology) is required for either specialization. Undergraduate gerontology courses include NFS 395; HDF 201, 405, 431, 440; and SOC 438. Also relevant are HDF 421, 450, 480; NUR 360; and BIO 242. Students may also enroll in a directed study or special problems course that focuses on a topic relevant to older adults.

It is important to take courses that fulfill degree requirements from the beginning. Students who wish to specialize in aging are advised to contact the program in gerontology early in their University studies.