COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

The Graduate School offers a multidisciplinary post-baccalaureate program in gerontology housed in the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences. The goal of the program is to provide a program of instruction and educational experiences in the field of gerontology at the graduate level, i.e., an academic foundation for anyone who plans to work with aging adults. As those who serve the elderly must be aware of all aspects of aging, in addition to health course work will address the biology, sociology, and psychology of aging with electives in literature, life transitions, economics, psychosocial adjustment to retirement, ethics, communication, and others. Courses are taught by faculty in a number of different disciplines such as: departments of Biology, Sociology, Psychology, English, Philosophy and Religion, and Communications within the College of Arts and Sciences. Additional courses may be taught by faculty from the schools of Nursing and Social Work within the College of Health and Human and Human Sciences and from the Cameron School of Business, and the Watson School of Education.

Certificate Requirements and Teaching Methods

The program requires 15 credit hours. Graduate courses in gerontology focus on the seminar method of teaching and learning. Students will be required to do literature searches to gain information from journals as well as some textbooks, and bring their findings to class to share with other students and the faculty. Although some courses will involve lecture presentations, students must be self-directed in their studies and seek information appropriately. All but one of the core courses is available through distance education. Service-learning opportunities are also part of the curriculum. Each student will complete a gerontology practicum.

Required courses (15 credit hours)

GRN 501 - Aging and Society Credit Hours: 3 or

SOC 501 - Aging and Society Credit Hours: 3

GRN 523 - Physiology of Human Aging Credit Hours: 3

GRN 540 - Current Issues in Gerontology Credit Hours: 3

GRN 590 - Practicum in Gerontology Credit Hours: 3

PSY 524 - The Psychology of Aging Credit Hours: 3

Which department am I in?

College of Arts and Sciences

Study options

Full Time (15 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$18,548.00 per year
Application deadline

Expected April, July 2022

Start date

12 January 2022


University of North Carolina Wilmington

601 South College Road,


North Carolina,

28403, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

To be eligible for admission for graduate study at the University of North Carolina Wilmington applicants must: Regionally Accredited Bachelor's Degree: Hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in this country or its equivalent.

For international students

Applicants seeking admission to the graduate certificate program must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in this country or its equivalent in a foreign institution based on a four-year program and have a strong overall academic record with a “B” average or better in the basic courses prerequisite to gerontology.

Minimum Score Requirement: TOEFL - 79; IELTS (GENERAL) - 6.5 for acceptance, 7.0 for TA consideration.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.