Graduate Certificate Program in Gerontology

The University Center on Aging and Health, with the approval of the Case Western Reserve University Faculty Senate, has developed a Graduate Certificate Program in Gerontology. The Program is intended to help meet the academic and career needs of graduate students and employed professionals in a wide variety of disciplines.

The increasing number and percentage of elderly persons have resulted in an increase in opportunities for working for and with elderly populations, as well as opportunities for gerontological researchers, educators, and practitioners. The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology provides official University recognition of a student's completion of multidisciplinary coursework in gerontology, and can thus be beneficial to the student either in securing employment or in facilitating admission to further graduate study.

By participating in this program, some students will be able to obtain specialized and multidisciplinary education in gerontology when their own major academic program has only limited course offerings in aging or does not require gerontological coursework outside the discipline. For other students whose academic departments do not have any courses in gerontology, the Certificate can provide an opportunity to pursue the study of aging. For the employed person with a graduate degree, the Certificate may lead to a career advancement, greater career enrichment, or opportunities for career changes.


To be eligible for the Graduate Certificate Program in Gerontology, a student must either (1) be currently enrolled in a Master's or Doctoral Program at Case or (2) hold at least a Master's degree and be enrolled as a non-degree graduate student at Case. Interested students who feel they are eligible for the Program but who do not fall into either of these two categories, may contact the University Center on Aging and Health to inquire about their special eligibility for this Program.

Coursework Requirements

A total of 12 credits is required for the Certificate, to be distributed as follows

Two Gerontology Courses Within the Discipline -6 Credits

  • Two courses must be taken within one's own academic department. This may be an independent study course. In cases where there are no gerontology courses offered in the department, an independent study course will be required. This course will be supervised by a faculty member from the department, or, if no such faculty member is available, by a member of the discipline with faculty status (to be approved by the Advisory Committee). Arrangements will be made for non-degree students to affiliate themselves with departments or schools within the University associated with their academic or professional discipline.

One Gerontology Course Outside the Discipline - 3 Credits

  • One course in gerontology must be taken outside one's academic discipline. One of the courses may be an independent study course. However, no more than one independent study course will be permitted for the Certificate Program. Accordingly, students who must take an independent study course to meet the three-credit requirement in their own department must then take two regular courses outside their discipline.

Seminar in Gerontology

  • This course will be offered by the University Center on Aging and Health. It will seek to integrate material from a variety of disciplines, but at the same time, this course will deal with issues which transcend individual disciplines. The Seminar will also permit students to test out ideas for theses and dissertations.

Application Procedures

The Graduate Certificate Program in Gerontology will be administered by the University Center on Aging and Health, with the assistance of an interdisciplinary Advisory Committee. Interested persons should contact the Center to submit a Notice of Intent to pursue the Certificate, and upon completion of the requirements, students must formally apply for the Certificate. The Certificate will be awarded at the completion of a student's degree program, or, for non-degree students, at the completion of the Program requirements. Courses taken at other educational institutions will not be accepted in lieu of any of the 12 credits required for the Certificate.

Download Form - Notice of Intent to Pursue the Graduate Certificate Program in Gerontology