Format: On-campus

Every day 10,000 people in the U.S. turn 65. By 2030, one in every five U.S. residents will be of retirement age.

An aging population deserves qualified social workers to support later-life transitions; advocate for public policy; provide services in home health care agencies, assisted living communities and other settings; serve as adult protective service champions; and more.

While three-quarters of social workers are already involved with older adults in some capacity, most have little formal preparation for working with clients in this stage of life. Older adults cover the entire continuum, from active older individuals living independently to individuals receiving skilled nursing home care for serious cognitive or physical impairment.

Studying aging at the Mandel School uniquely qualifies you to understand and serve the individual needs of older adults and their families and to enhance quality of life in those age 65 and older.

The aging curriculum emphasizes core skills like counseling, case management, advocacy, interdisciplinary work and consulting roles. Studying aging, you will learn to support clients’ personal strengths and their efforts to deal with changing roles, such as adjusting to retirement, or changes in health, such as loss of functional abilities. The effects of poverty, gender, and minority status on aging patterns and needs are given special attention.

Related Opportunities

Careers in Aging

  • Administrator in an organization serving older adults
  • Adult protective services
  • Bereavement counseling
  • Elder care services for employed family caregivers
  • Financial counseling and consumer protection for older adults
  • Geriatric mental health or substance use services
  • Grant development and fundraising for long-term care and social supports
  • Public policy development or analysis at the local, state, national and international levels

Sample Courses

  • Advanced Social Work Practice in Integrated Health Care
  • Aging Policy and Service Delivery
  • Social Work with Death, Grief and Loss
  • Social Work Practice with Older Adults