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Program Director

Dr. Daniel Van Dussen
(330) 941-1683


Gerontology is the interdisciplinary study of aging and is a rapidly growing field. The gerontology major prepares the students for a career in the field of aging. Since aging is a multifaceted, complex phenomenon, an interdisciplinary training in gerontology will give students an edge in working with the aging population.

The field of aging provides diverse occupational opportunities in health professions, non-profit organizations, recreation and leisure, for-profit businesses, education, research, government, and service providers. Settings include community, human service and religious organizations, government agencies, health and long-term care facilities, retirement communities, academic and research settings, business, industry, legal, and professional organizations.

YSU 1500Success Seminar1-2
or SS 1500 Strong Start Success Seminar
or HONR 1500 Intro to Honors
General Education Requirements
ENGL 1550Writing 13-4
or ENGL 1549 Writing 1 with Support
ENGL 1551Writing 23
CMST 1545Communication Foundations3
Mathematics requirement (met with MATH 2623)3
Some courses are categorized in more than one knowledge domain. Courses can only be used once with the GE model.
Arts and Humanities (6 s.h.)6
Natural Sciences (2 courses, 1 with lab) (6-7 s.h.)7
Social Science (6 s.h.)
SOC 1500Introduction to Sociology3
PSYC 1560General Psychology3
Social and Personal Awareness (6 s.h.)
GERO 3703Aging and Society3
GERO 3745Sociology of Health, Illness, and Healthcare3
Required Courses (47 s.h.):
GERO 1501Introduction to Gerontology3
GERO 3703Aging and Society3
GERO 3755Theories of Gerontology3
GERO 3759Physical Change and Aging3
GERO 4821Internship in Gerontology7
GERO 4850Research Methods3
GERO 4851Capstone in Gerontology3
FNUT 3720Nutrition, Health, and Aging3
PSYC 3758Lifespan Development3
SOC 3701Social Statistics4
SOC 4801Later Life Issues3
Select one from the following policy courses:3
Aging and Social Policy
Health Care Policy
Social Services and the Aged
Diversity, Ethnicity, Inclusion Select a minimum of 9 s.h. from the following:9
University Approved Study Abroad
Aging and Ethnicity
Aging in Cross-Cultural Perspective
FNLG 1550Elementary Foreign Language4
FNLG 2600Intermediate Foreign Language4
Select a minimum of 9 s.h. from the following program elective courses:9
Economics of Aging
Nutrition and Aging
Sociology of Health, Illness, and Healthcare
Aging and Social Policy
Long-Term Care
Family, Health, and Aging
Exercise and Aging for Health Professions
Health and Disease
Grant Writing
Health Care Policy
Adult Development
Biopsychological Aspects of Health and Aging
Social Services and the Aged
Sociology of Dementia
Sociology of Death and Dying
GERO 3761Elder Crimes - Elder Justice3
Total Semester Hours in the Major: 59 s.h.
Elective hours to complete the degree:12
Total Semester Hours120-122
Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
YSU 1500
Success Seminar
or Intro to Honors
or Strong Start Success Seminar
ENGL 1550
Writing 1 1
or Writing 1 with Support
GERO 1501
Introduction to Gerontology
or General Psychology
SOC 1500 Introduction to Sociology 3
FNLG 1550 Elementary Foreign Language 4
 Semester Hours14-16
ENGL 1551 Writing 2 1 3
PSYC 1560
General Psychology
or Introduction to Gerontology
CMST 1545 Communication Foundations 3
MATH 2623 Quantitative Reasoning 3
GERO 3703 Aging and Society 3
 Semester Hours15
Year 2
GE Arts and Humanities elective 3
General Education Natural Science elective 3
DEI Elective 3
DEI Elective 3
FNLG 1550 Elementary Foreign Language 4
 Semester Hours16
FNUT 3720 Nutrition, Health, and Aging 3
GE Arts and Humanities elective 3
GE Natural Science Elective and Lab 4
DEI Elective 3
GERO Elective 3
 Semester Hours16
Year 3
PSYC 3758 Lifespan Development 3
GERO 3759 Physical Change and Aging 3
Policy Elective 3
GERO Elective 3
GERO Elective 3
 Semester Hours15
SOC 3701 Social Statistics 4
GERO 3755 Theories of Gerontology 3
GERO 3745
Sociology of Health, Illness, and Healthcare (cross-listed)
or Sociology of Health, Illness, and Healthcare
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Semester Hours16
Year 4
GERO 4850 Research Methods 3
GERO 4821 Internship in Gerontology 4
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Semester Hours13
SOC 4801 Later Life Issues 3
GERO 4851 Capstone in Gerontology 3
GERO 4821 Internship in Gerontology 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Semester Hours15
 Total Semester Hours120-122

Learning Outcomes

  • Students can demonstrate understanding of the discipline of gerontology and its interdisciplinary approach to aging and society (Disciplinary Knowledge).
  • Students can explain the diversity and complexity of aging in our society.
  • Students can dispel ageist stereotypes about aging and older adults.
  • Students can explain theories, fundamental principles, theories, and core concepts of gerontology.
  • Students can assess the scientific process including various qualitative and quantitative methods. Students can synthesize theory and methods by completing an original empirical research project.