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Center on Aging

Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

The certificate in gerontology is an applied program designed to prepare you for working with the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. In a rapidly aging world, you will likely work with and be surrounded by older adults. The graduate certificate helps you specialize and have a competitive, professional advantage.

This program, taught entirely via the Internet, creates flexibility and practicality for a wide range of individuals who may be pursuing a credential in the field of gerontology including working professionals, those with families, or those studying at a distance. It does not require the GRE exam. Faculty serve as advisers for online students and are developing ways to be more interactive, giving students the sense of belonging that is sometimes missing for distance students. In addition, a newsletter, developed with the online student in mind, is sent to students several times a year.

The 15 credits of coursework will prepare professionals who are either working directly with older adults 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, or helping people plan for retirement.

The certificate program consists of 6 credit hours of required courses (Perspectives in Gerontology and Adult Development and Aging) as well as 9 credit hours of electives. The electives 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. Up to three hours of practicum experience may be included in the certificate program, but it is not required.

Three options are available to students when completing the 15 credit hours required for this program.

  • Two required courses (Adult Development and Aging, Perspectives in Gerontology) plus 9 hours of electives. See the course matrix for a schedule of class offerings
  • Design track: Two required courses (Adult Development and Aging, Perspectives in Gerontology) plus three of the following four courses:
    • Environments and Aging
    • Seminar in Long-Term Care
    • Design for Aging in a Modern World
    • Policy and Aging
  • Long-Term Care track: Two required courses (Adult Development and Aging, Perspectives in Gerontology) plus three of the following four courses:
    • Seminar in Long-Term Care
    • Policy and Aging
    • Aging in the Family
    • Cognitive Health

Gerontology is just one of the 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. The certificate program has been designed for students whose goal is to obtain a credential in gerontology and who do not need a master's degree. The inter-institutional program combines the expertise of graduate faculty and courses from seven partner universities.

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 a student is not accepted to the 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.

Deadline for applications - Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

There are currently no application deadlines for domestic students. For international students the application deadlines are as follows:

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
1324 Lovers Lane
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.