Graduate Certificate in Gerontology | SIU

Southern Illinois University




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Why Study Gerontology?

Gerontology is the multidisciplinary study of the aging processes and individuals as they grow from middle age through later life. 

It includes:

  1. Study of the physical, mental and social changes in older people as they age

  2. Investigation of the changes in society resulting from an aging population

  3. Application of this knowledge to policies and programs

It offers challenging and rewarding careers in an area that is growing rapidly, that needs people with a broad range of skills, and that will improve people’s lives.

We live in an aging society, one in which the older population is growing both in absolute number and in proportion to all other age groups.  Businesses, government agencies, service organizations, educational institutions, and self-employed professionals from every economic sector are recognizing the need for specialized knowledge and skills to meet the needs of this changing demography.

People who are interested in this diverse field come from many disciplines, professions, and clinical areas such as social work, health education, recreation, rehabilitation services, kinesiology, nursing, counseling, public policy, long-term care administration, medicine, architecture, psychology.  Some people work directly with older persons in a wide variety of programs and services in the community.  Others work on behalf of older persons in areas such as advocacy and teaching about aging.