Gerontology Certificate

Starting Fall 2023 

What is Gerontology?

Simply put, gerontology is the study of aging. This includes the study of normal, age-related changes in people’s social, mental, and physical states, as well as the things that can go wrong in those areas.

Gerontology draws on many disciplines, such as biology, psychology, sociology, business, and technology to understand aging and develop ways to promote the best health and quality of life as we age.

Why study Gerontology?

Each of us is growing older, has older adults in our lives, and works with others who are aging.  Developing an understanding of the changes associated with this process helps prepare us for our own experience, fosters an insight into the needs of those we care about, and gives us the necessary skills for working with older adults.  As Baby Boomers continue moving into retirement age, those entering the workforce need to be prepared to meet the needs of that generation in areas related to health, recreation, and maintaining a sense of purpose in life.

As the world’s population continues to age, many opportunities and challenges present themselves.

  • One of these challenges is to foster a society that encourages older adults to remain actively engaged by sharing their experiences, knowledge, and skills with younger generations.
  • A second challenge lies in recognizing the increasing prevalence of chronic disease in this older population and being prepared to provide adequate and affordable health care.
  • Another challenge is addressing stereotypes of aging that degrade and, ultimately, impair quality of life for both those stereotyped and for those who maintain these false illusions.

These and other issues form the foundation of the Indiana State University Gerontology Certificate program. By learning to understand and address these central challenges facing older adults, our students will be well prepared to engage in a career that encompasses and embraces this growing population.  

Course Requirements

This 9-credit certificate includes:

  • a foundation of the biological aspects of aging
  • an overview of individual and collective experiences of aging in modern society
  • the study of how to promote health and wellness among older adults
  • the opportunity for community engagement and service learning related to older adults.


While expertise in the study of aging can boost graduates’ employability in any field, those interested specifically in careers in aging will also find many opportunities. These include, but are not limited to: Activity director; Advocate; Case manager; Nursing home ombudsman; Nursing home/assisted living facility administrator; Nutritionist; Senior fitness and wellness trainer; Social services provider; Therapist (physical, occupational, recreational).

Want More Information?

Interested in learning more about the Gerontology Certificate at ISU or have any questions?

  • Interested students can contact Dr. Whitney Nesser, Gerontology Program Director for more information.

Academic Fees

Required Courses

Contact Us

Dr. Whitney Nesser, Gerontology Program Director
College of Health and Human Services Building
Department of Applied Health Sciences
401 N 4th Street
Terre Haute, IN 47809
Phone: 812-237-8753
Google Map: Location of the Department of Applied Health Sciences

Facebook icon   Instagram logo   Twitter icon