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What will I learn?

Students learn about the physiology of human development and aging, examining social policies related to aging as well as the psychological, behavioral, and sociological impact on lifespan development. Working closely with a faculty mentor, they concentrate on a specific area of interest and begin the process of discovering and shaping their own academic specialization. They work closely with faculty on research and publications, participate in colloquia, attend and present at national organization meetings, acquire teaching experience, and develop a rich academic, personal, and professional network.

All Programs:

  • Students will develop a gerontological perspective through knowledge and self-reflection
  • Students will engage collaboratively with others to promote integrated approaches to aging
  • Students will learn to promote life-long learning opportunities across the life span to enhance personal development social inclusion and quality of life

Ph.D. Programs

  • Students will utilize gerontological frameworks to examine human development and aging.
  • Students will relate psychological theories and science to understand adaptation, stability, and change in aging.
  • Students will relate social theories and science of aging to understanding heterogeneity, inequality, and context of aging.
  • Students will develop comprehensive and meaningful concepts, definitions and measures for the well-being of older adults and their families, grounded in Humanities and Arts
  • Students will learn to distinguish factors related to aging outcomes, both intrinsic and contextual, through critical thinking and empirical research
  • Students will promote quality of life and positive social environment for older persons
  • Students will learn to employ and design programmatic and community development with and on behalf of the aging population
  • Students will learn to employ and generate policy to equitably address the needs of older persons
  • Students will engage in research to advance knowledge and improve interventions for older persons

Which department am I in?

USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology

Study options

Full Time (Minimum of 60 units)

Tuition fees
US$57,256.00 per year
Start date

Expected January, August 2023


University of Southern California

University Park Campus,



90089, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have a Bachelor degree earned at an institution recognized by the Ministry of Education.

For international students

Applicants must have earned the equivalent of a 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree with a competitive GPA.

Applicants to doctor's programs who have attained an Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) score of 100, with no less than 20 on each sub-score; or an IELTS score of 7, with no less than 6 on each band score.

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


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