Certificate in Gerontology

Gerontology is the most recent addition to inter-institutional graduate programs offered through the Great Plains Distance Education Alliance (GP-IDEA), a consortium of universities who have come together to offer post-baccalaureate programs through distance education to students whose family or career keep them from completing an on-campus degree or certificate. The certificate program has been designed for students whose goal is a credential in gerontology and who do not need a master's degree.

The 15-credit program will prepare professionals who are either working directly with older people or who are involved in education or research related to aging issues. Professionals offering direct services often are involved in:

  • health promotion programs
  • directing intergenerational activities
  • managing senior centers or retirement communities
  • counseling older people and their families
  • helping people plan for retirement

The certificate program consists of two required courses, listed below. The remaining classes (nine credits) can be taken from other core courses or electives which are a part of the online Master’s in Gerontology program or courses which may be offered either online or on-campus at the home institution (approval of electives by the home institution advisor is required). Up to three hours of practicum experience may be included in the certificate program, but is not required.

Required Courses

FSHS 775 Perspectives in Gerontology: Cr. 3. Fall.

An overview of current aging issues including the current focus of gerontology theory and research, critical social and political issues in aging, the interdisciplinary focus of gerontology, current career opportunities, and aging in the future.

FSHS 845 Adult Development and Aging: Cr. 3. Spring.

This course explores the biological, psychological, and social factors that are associated aging. Although the focus is on the later years, information is presented from a life-span developmental framework. Empirical studies are reviewed and their strengths, limitations and implications for normative and optimal functioning are discussed.

Application Process

Kansas State University currently is accepting applications. The application packet includes all the required information including deadline dates, course schedules and descriptions, and requirements for graduate study. The application process is competitive and a limited number of slots are available to incoming students. In the event that a student is not accepted to our program due to limited space, they may wish to contact one of our partnering institutions. The application form required by the Graduate School must be completed online.

Domestic Students

Fall or Summer term: February 1
Spring term: September 1

International Students

Fall term: February 1
Spring term: August 1
Summer term: December 1

Application Requirements

To apply to the program, please follow the appropriate link below.

If you need further information or have questions regarding the program please contact:

Pam Evans
Center on Aging
253 Justin Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506


Additional Information

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


    The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA) is a consortium of Human Sciences Colleges at ten universities. Students who participate in inter-institutional programs matriculate at one institution, take courses at several, and meet graduation requirements at the institution at which they matriculated. Inter-institutional programs are developed and implemented by teams of graduate faculty representing all institutions.

  • K-State GPIDEA

    Great Plains IDEA at K-State connects you with Amanda Gnadt, the K-State Great Plains IDEA Campus Coordinator. This website is designed to provide you with information about your program, important program deadlines and resources to help you succeed.

  • Division of Continuing Education - Technology

    Most courses require the use of technology and media. Use this resource to review computer and technical requirements as well as taking an Online Readiness Test.