Certificate in Gerontology

Gain Knowledge and Skills for Working With Older Adults


Program Details

  • Location: Online
  • Duration: 9 months
  • Times: Flexible
  • Cost: $3,540 (noncredit)
    $4,716 (credit)

Next start date:

September 2020

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About this Program

People who work with older adults often get great satisfaction from making a positive difference in their lives. As the population of older adults in the United States and worldwide continues to grow, there will be greater need for professionals with expertise in gerontology.

In this four-course certificate program, you’ll examine the specific challenges and opportunities involved in supporting older adults and their family members. We’ll look at the relevant psychological, biological and social factors that affect the aging process so you have the knowledge you need to  better serve older adults in fields such as human services, health and wellness, housing and recreation.

▸ Related Article: Discover a Meaningful Career Serving Older Adults


Professionals and community and family members who provide services to older adults.

See Requirements

Video Overview

Nancy Hooyman, UW professor and an instructor for the Certificate in Gerontology, describes the growing need for expertise in this field.

Duration: 03:31

What You'll learn

  • Biological aspects of aging and age-associated functional changes, including illnesses common in old age
  • Social, cultural and economic factors that influence the quality of life for older adults
  • Different psychological theories of aging as well as common mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and dementia
  • Salient social and health policies that affect the lives of older adults
  • Career trends and planning your career development

Get Hands-On Experience

You’ll complete a research project that includes interviewing older adults and connecting with an agency that provides services to this community. 

Choose From Noncredit and Credit Options

By completing this certificate program, you can earn elective credit toward your bachelor’s degree. To do so, you must enroll in the credit version of the program. Because policies vary, check with your intended degree program to make sure the credits will apply. If you don’t plan to pursue a degree, choose the noncredit offering. See Noncredit & Credit Options.


You can apply for a $1,000 scholarship to help pay for this program. Details are provided as part of the certificate application process.

Program Overview

Complete the courses listed below to earn the certificate. You may be able to take individual courses without enrolling in the certificate program; check the course pages for details.

Learning Format

Online, Group-Paced

Start and finish your program with the same group of students, with frequent opportunities to interact with your instructors and classmates along the way. Courses are 100 percent online, with set due dates for assignments but no class meetings. Learn More »

Program Sessions

Online, Group-Paced

Closed Sessions