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Online MS in Applied Gerontology curriculum

Curriculum Details

30 total credits required

Position yourself to better answer the needs of an aging population with this interdisciplinary MS in Applied Gerontology program from Brenau University. Through 30 total credit hours of study, you’ll gain expertise in the psychology of aging, cultural issues of aging, effective communication with geriatric clients and more in preparation for the next step in your career.

This program is designed to be earned as a standalone degree or simultaneously with another graduate-level psychology program. You’ll connect with other students from various professional backgrounds in flexible courses led by expert faculty. Complete a culminating capstone course involving either fieldwork or a major project, and graduate in two years with a degree customized to your goals. From here, you can

View the course catalog.

Program Prerequisites (choose 1)


The basic principles and concepts of psychology as a science of human behavior are presented, as well as a historical perspective of the field emphasizing major theoretical contributions. This course is a prerequisite for many courses in the major. Can count as a lab science if taken with PY 101L.

The principles related to growth and development from birth to death.

Prerequisite(s): PY 101

Major Core (21 hours)


This interdisciplinary survey course is the first required, introductory course for the M.S. degree in applied gerontology. Students will learn about gerontology theory as well as the field of gerontology and develop an understanding of the physiological, psychological, sociological, familial, economic, and legal aspects of aging. This course will also focus on implications of the aging population trends for individuals and society. Various careers in the field of gerontology will be explored.
This course will examine and analyze the cultural system on the universal human experience of aging. Special emphasis will be placed on the behaviors and meaning attached to the states of growing older in a variety of cultural systems. Additional issues to be covered include ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, mental and physical characteristics, families and family values, religious and spiritual values, socioeconomics status, and communities in which the elder lives.
This course addresses concerns regarding physical aspects of aging. Discussion about universal changes that occur with normal and pathological aging as well as dispelling myths about physical changes that occur with aging.
In this course, students will develop an in-depth understanding of the developmental processes related to aging from a psychosocial perspective. This course will cover psychological theories as they relate to aging and human adaptation in terms of mental health, personality stability, sensory aging, intelligence, memory, cognitive disorders, gender roles, occupational patterns, retirement, and leisure. Special consideration is given to effects of health and socioeconomic factors as they relate to the psychological processes of aging. Stress and coping with a life threatening, chronic, or terminal illness will be addressed.
In this course, students will develop special skills needed to communicate effectively with the elderly population. Topics will include theory, application, and communication techniques with older adults and their families. Course will include an experiential component.
This course utilizes and interdisciplinary approach to explore the psychological and behavioral aspects of death, dying and loss from various perspectives. Through readings, films, online discussions and case studies, students will gain knowledge and understanding of these issues a they relate to the elderly and their families. Psychosocial issues to be covered include coping with loss, impending death of loved one or self and/or dealing with recent death. Other topics include attitudes toward and preparation for death, fear of death and dying, the understanding of and care for the terminally ill, funeral rites, grief and mourning practices, suicide and euthanasia. Material covered in this class may be emotionally intense and the student may experience strong personal reactions to certain issues.
Depending on the student’s discipline, this capstone course will involve either fieldwork or a major project that demonstrates an application and integration of all previous coursework. Students will work with their adviser to ascertain whether the fieldwork experience or the project best suits their particular discipline. Each experience is tailored to meet the individual student’s needs and interests.

Additional Courses


  • HS 550 – Global Health Perspectives
  • GT 645 – Aging in Place
  • GT 660 – Aging and the Family
  • GT 665 – Geriatric Pharmacotherapy
  • GT 670 – Mediation Skills in Aging
  • GT 672 – Elder Law
  • GT 675 – Social Policy and Aging
  • GT 702 – Ethics and Professional Orientation
  • MG 729 – Management of People
  • HC 750 – Ethics and Leadership in Healthcare

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