Best Online Master’s in Gerontology Programs – 2024

Written By: Editorial Staff @

Gerontology involves the study of the process of aging among the human population. People who choose to enter online master’s in gerontology programs do so out of the desire to help older adults as they advance through their senior years. With the currently increasing number of senior citizens in the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that careers within the field of gerontology will continue to grow by around 18 percent over the next decade. People with this advanced degree are capable of working within environments that serve elderly adults such as nursing homes. Many people with this degree also work within areas of specialization that tend to have high rates of older patients who need care such as within the fields of physical therapy and cancer care. A person with this credential can also serve as the head of community service organizations that provide services to increase the health and wellbeing of the oldest members of the population. If you’d like to know about the Best Online Masters in Gerontology Programs for 2024, continue reading.


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Following are the 10 Best Online Master’s in Gerontology Programs in the Nation for 2024

1) University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA

Program Offered:

Master of Science in Gerontology & Master of Arts in Gerontology

USC’s Leonard School of Gerontology, the largest and oldest gerontology school in the world, is currently offering two online masters-level programs in Gerontology.

For someone with no background in gerontology, completing a Master of Science in Gerontology is the best bet and also the most preferred way for a career in gerontology. Alternatively, if you also have past work experience in human services, health care, or similar work, you can choose to complete an online Master of Arts in Gerontology.

Master of Science in Gerontology:

The Master of Science prepares you for a career in administration, leadership, and research science in the field of aging. The program focuses on teaching you a broad range of skills that can be applied to plan and implement policies as well as engage in research for the aging population at a local and national level. You are eligible for this 44-credit degree if you have completed your bachelor’s in any field with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The coursework comprises 32 credits in required courses and 12 in electives and takes you through courses in the physiology of development and aging, life span developmental psychology, life span developmental sociology & social policy, and aging. The curriculum also includes an internship where you will gain real-life experience. You can complete this program in 1.5 to 2 years.

Master of Arts in Gerontology:

This MA program requires completing 28-credit coursework, comprising 20 credits in required courses and 8 in electives. The curriculum includes courses in psychology, sociology, social policymaking, counseling of adults, and leadership & management in geriatric healthcare.

Key Highlights

• The online MS in Gerontology is also offered on a part-time basis, so you can conveniently pursue this degree even if you are currently working.
• You can pay your tuition costs per credit. This flexibility allows you to work part-time and fulfill your tuition obligation.

2) University of Utah - Salt Lake City, UT

Program Offered:

Master of Science in Gerontology

The online Master of Science in Gerontology program offered by the University of Utah’s College of Nursing is open to students from any academic or professional background. Offered once a year in fall, you will study along with a cohort of 12-15 students and complete this program in one year on a full-time basis. Alternatively, on a part-time basis, you can complete this program in two years. Upon completion of this program, you can explore various career opportunities such as adult day program coordinator, assisted living manager, director of area agencies on aging, and home care agency director, to name a few.

The college is highly selective in its admission process, so you must ensure that you earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in your undergraduate degree. Once enrolled, you will complete a 33-34 credit curriculum, comprising of required courses, electives, and clinical sessions. The required 21-credit coursework takes you through introduction to aging, research, social & public policy in aging, and understanding the physiology & psychology of aging. Depending on whether you choose the master’s thesis or project, you must complete 6-9 credits in elective courses.

Key Highlights

• The university is a participant of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. If you happen to be a resident of any of these partner states, you may be eligible for in-state tuition costs.
• As part of your core curriculum, you must complete 150 hours in a clinical practicum. You can choose to complete it in either a service or research-oriented experience.

3) Iowa State University - Ames, IA

Program Offered:

Master’s in Family and Consumer Sciences with Gerontology

Iowa State University, a member of Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, offers its Masters in Family and Consumer Science with a gerontology specialization, in partnership with other member universities across the country. This brings in a unique advantage to students as they get an opportunity to learn and interact with faculty from all these well-established partner institutions.

To gain eligibility into this program, ensure you earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 in your undergraduate degree. The 36-credit coursework is delivered completely online, allowing you to continue with your current life schedule. You could be coming from any background, by gaining this specialized knowledge, you can expand your career horizons in a field that is much in demand. The coursework is made up of required and elective courses, allowing you to complete some courses in your specific area of interest. You will study nutrition, economics, public policies, and perspectives in gerontology. Electives allow completing 12 credits in any of the following areas, including gender and aging, spirituality, mental health & aging, long-term care, biological aspects of aging, sexuality, and cognitive aging.

Key Highlights

• Before enrolling as a master’s student, you can take up to nine credits as a non-degree seeking student and then decide to enroll. These credits will be transferred to your master’s degree.
• You can enroll either for the part-time or full-time option. As a full-time student, you can complete the program faster by taking three courses at a time or slow the pace as a part-time student, by bringing it down to one course.

4) McDaniel College - Westminster, MD

Program Offered:

Master of Science in Gerontology

McDaniel College’s Master of Science in Gerontology online degree can prove to be a career changer for those aspiring to get into the care of the geriatric population. The coursework teaches you the biology of aging, aging in a diverse society, research in aging, and psychology of aging, thereby preparing you for leadership roles in private and public organizations to improve the quality of life for the aged. The curriculum is offered completely online and also in a hybrid mode, for those who prefer a few one-on-one interactive sessions.

To begin with, you must be holding a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college with a minimum GPA of 2.50. To earn your master’s, you must complete a total of 36 credits that comprise 18-credit hour core courses, 15-credit electives, and either a 3-credit capstone or thesis. With a wide choice in electives, from almost fourteen areas, you can add specialized knowledge in your topic of interest.

Key Highlights

• The college allows you to master interdisciplinary knowledge by providing optional hands-on learning opportunities through its Center for the Study of Aging. Here you may attend year-round seminars and workshops to enhance practical professional skills.
• If you have significant work experience of working with the aging population, you can have it documented and ask for a waiver of the three-credit internship course. Similarly, if you have previously completed a minor or major in gerontology, you can have the first core course of three credits waived off.

5) University of Nebraska - Omaha, NE

Program Offered:

Master of Arts in Social Gerontology

With an increasing lifespan, the country’s aging population is on the rise. To cater to the sensitive needs of the aged, a career in gerontology can be promising as well as rewarding. The University of Nebraska has been designing education for gerontology aspirants since 1972. This Master of Arts in Social Gerontology is an online degree that can be pursued even by working professionals.

Undergraduates from any field with a minimum GPA of 3.0 can avail of this training. The 36- credit coursework is offered as a thesis and non-thesis option. While the thesis option is ideal if you are not from the gerontology background, the non-thesis track can be taken if you have the experience of working with the aging population. Depending on the option you choose, 18 to 21 credits are to be completed in elective courses. The core courses for both options remain the same and include courses in applied social gerontology, a seminar in aging, programs and services for the elderly, and research methods for the aged population. The only difference is that the non-thesis option includes a practicum instead of a thesis course.

Key Highlights

• This program has a rolling admission policy; this means you can apply any time throughout the year.
• A practicum of 156 hours must be completed at a suitable site in your own geographical location to gain practical professional experience.

6) Webster University - Saint Louis, MO

Program Offered:

Master of Arts in Gerontology

Webster University offers the Master of Arts in Gerontology course through its College of Arts and Sciences. This online program is open to students from any field, so you could be from management, political science or even from an economics background, all you need to gain eligibility is a bachelor’s degree and a keen desire to help the elderly. The training prepares you with a broad knowledge base in gerontology in areas of education, direct care, research, and administration. You will learn to apply research knowledge to real-world issues faced by the aged.

This 36-credit hour curriculum will cover courses related to gerontology, economics, physiology, and psychology of aging, social science perspectives and management programs for the elderly.

Upon graduation, you can go on to explore a career in public policymaking for the old at a local and national level. Some students get involved in providing direct services such as counseling, medical planning, and financial management for aging individuals.

Key Highlights

• The college also offers an online MBA degree with an emphasis in gerontology for students interested in taking up management roles in careers related to the aging population.
• After you complete the required core courses, you can fulfill the remaining credit requirements either as elective courses or through a combination of electives, a seminar in gerontology, and a practicum where you hone your professional skills. This partial customization of the coursework helps you reach your personal academic goals.

7) Kansas State University - Manhattan, KS

Program Offered:

Master of Science in Gerontology

Kansas State University’s partnership with member universities of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance makes this Master of Science a collaborative effort of expert faculties from seven renowned universities. This program is being offered since 2003 through the university’s Health and Human Sciences College and is specifically designed keeping working professionals in mind. No matter where you are located, you can pursue this degree as the entire coursework is taught 100% online.

This 36-credit curriculum includes 24 credits in gerontology centric core courses and 12 credits for electives. Some of the core courses that you take are perspectives in gerontology, adult development and aging, environments and aging, aging research, physical health, wellness and nutrition, public policy, and economics. The remaining elective courses can either be completed online or on-campus through KSU or any of its partner universities.

Key Highlights

• The program does not have a GRE requirement; neither are you required to complete a thesis.
• The Great Plains Alliance facilitates interaction with peers from other universities. This wide exposure can prove to be a rich learning experience and can help you build a wide network across the country.

8) University of Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN

Program Offered:

Master of Science in Gerontology

University of Indianapolis’s Master of Science in Gerontology prepares you for the care of the aged, thereby opening-up career opportunities in senior fitness, community planning, social work, financial planning, and higher education in government and private institutions. The program offers flexible scheduling options and can be completed in 18 months; however, if need be, you can stretch it up to five years. You can enter this program either in August, January, or May.

The 36-credit coursework starts with five core courses that comprise 15 credit hours. You are then allowed to complete nine credit hours in specialty courses from either Aging in Place or Applied Public Policy. Furthermore, the curriculum also comprises two elective courses and two skill courses that enhance professional skills. So, to sum up, the 36 credits, you must complete 15 credits in core courses, 9 credits in specialty courses, 6 credits in electives, and 6 credits in skills courses.

Key Highlights

• With the university offering eleven dual degree options, you can transfer some credits from this program to pursue a dual degree and further broaden your career avenues.
• If you have no past work experience with the aging population, then you must complete a practicum instead of the capstone at a site that has been decided in consultation with the faculty.

9) University of Florida - Gainesville, FL

Program Offered:

Master’s in Medical Sciences with Gerontology

University of Florida’s online master’s in gerontology course can be pursued even if you have no experience with the aging population. Offered through its Department of Aging and Geriatric Research, you can complete this career-changing degree in two years. All you need is a bachelor’s with a minimum GPA of 3.0, two recommendation letters, and a resume to be eligible for this program. The coursework covers every aspect of geriatric care, be it clinical, psychological, or sociological.

This 36-credit coursework delivered entirely online includes nine courses in gerontology and three specialty courses in either of your chosen concentrations in geriatric care management, psychosocial gerontology, or medical physiology. While the geriatric care management specialty prepares you to provide advocacy, psychosocial support & health care, the medical and psychological tracks are aimed towards medical and psychological care for the elderly.

Key Highlights

• If you are unsure of whether this degree is right for you, the college allows you to enter this program as a non-degree seeking student. You can start by completing six credit hours, after which, if you decide to enroll, you can transfer these credits towards your masters in gerontology.
• You will be taught by a faculty of experts who are driven towards the cause of aging and education.

10) University of Massachusetts - Boston, MA

Program Offered:

Master of Science in Gerontology-Management of Aging Services

The Master of Science in Gerontology with a specialization in management of aging services at the University of Massachusetts-Boston is aimed towards preparing you with professional skills and knowledge required in policymaking, program management, finance, economics, and administration, with emphasis being the aging population. This entirely online coursework is offered with flexible schedules, allowing you to decide the number of courses you want to take each semester. This can be a boon if you are currently working and looking at either advancing your career in gerontology or all together, desiring a new career start in geriatric care, either way, you will be prepared for this rewarding field.

To begin with, you must have earned a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75. Once enrolled in the program, you must complete 36-credit hour coursework to earn your degree. This twelve-course curriculum can be completed in three semesters on a full-time basis. The core coursework covers courses in organization and financing of aging services, marketing aging services, aging policy and programming, and research methods for managers.

Key Highlights

• You are required to participate in synchronous chat sessions, where you will be directly interacting with the faculty as well as your peers and engage in meaningful interactions to further enhance your knowledge and skills. These sessions are scheduled during evenings or weekends to ensure you will not have to compromise much on your work schedule.
• If you are an undergraduate student of the university’s College of Liberal Arts and Honors College with a cumulative GPA of 3.20 and above, then you are qualified to complete this master’s program in half the time frame and cost.

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