Gerontology, BMS

Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies Degree with a Concentration in Gerontology

University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Fully Online
  • 120
  • $259.00
  • $534.00

Program Overview

The online Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies (BMS) degree with an area of concentration in Gerontology prepares students to work with aging adults and their families. 

Students in this program study: 

  • The human aging process 
  • Biological, behavioral and social changes associated with aging 
  • The services that assist in the aging process 
  • Real-world applications in a practicum setting 

Students of this program appreciate that it can be completed 100% online. Courses are available in an asynchronous format, meaning the student may access the content at any time and do not need to be available at a specific time, offering a convenient, thought-provoking way of learning about the aging experience.

The program is offered by the University of Nebraska at Omaha through a partnership with the Division of Continuing Studies and the Department of Gerontology, which conducts relevant research in conjunction with local and federal agencies that serve the public and its changing needs. Research areas include end-of-life planning, caregiving, resiliency and public policy.

Career Outlook: It is estimated that the population of persons 65 years of age and older will increase from 40 million in 2010 to 88 million in 2050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The shift demands qualified professionals who can offer ideas and solutions to address the opportunities of an aging population. 

Students with a Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Gerontology may pursue an advanced degree or find careers in: 

  • Aging Services Administrators 
  • Area Agency on Aging 
  • Assisted Living Administrators 
  • Caregivers 
  • Estate Planners 
  • Financial Planners 
  • Geriatric Care/Case Managers 
  • Life Enrichment/Activities Coordinators
  • Social Service Workers

More about the Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies Degree (BMS): Nationally ranked as one of the top bachelor's programs in the United States, the Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies Degree (BMS) is a flexible, individualized degree program. The adaptable nature of the program provides students with the opportunity to design a personalized degree tailored to meet individual career goals, satisfy personal aspirations or prepare for graduate studies.

The BMS program obtained this national ranking from U.S. News and World Report as one of the best bachelor's degree programs in the country. In determining these rankings, U.S. News assesses programs on four general categories: student engagement; faculty credentials and training; student services and technology; and peer reputation. Detailed results are available on the U.S. News website.

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. Have earned a high school diploma or GED

  2. 2 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Taken the SAT or ACT

  4. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  5. Official transcripts from all previous schools

  6. 21 Years Old.

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

To apply to this program:

  1. Complete and submit the online application for admissions
  2. Pay the $45 non-refundable application fee

Courses You’ll Take

Course Information

In the Gerontology, BMS program, students must complete: 

  • At least 30 credit hours in their area of concentration.
  • Two secondary fields, each consisting of 12 credit hours from the same subject.
  • 24 of the last 48 hours at UNO

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
GERO 2000Introduction to Gerontology3
An introduction to social gerontology and human development in later life; emphasis is on important elements of aging, such as socialization, family interaction, retirement, physical and psychological aging, and perceptions of older persons in contemporary society.
GERO 4460Psychology of Adult Development and Aging3
The focus of this course is on the major social and psychological changes that occur as a function of again. Both normal and abnormal patterns of developmental change are examined, along with their implications for behavior. Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing
GERO 4670Programs and Services for the Elderly3
This course is provided to give the student an historical overview of programs for the elderly; examines the national policy process as it relates to the older American; and review the principles and practices relative to the existing national programs for the aged. Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing

Elective Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
GERO 3500Biological Principles of Aging3
The Biological Bases of Aging Course provides a survey of the primary topics in the biology of aging field for undergraduate students. This a required course for the Gerontology major. By the end of the course, students will understand major theories, biological methods and seminal research studies in the biology of aging field. Furthermore, students will learn how to critically analyze and interpret primary research about biological aging. This course provides preparation for students considering graduate school in gerontology or biology, geriatric nursing and social work, geriatric medicine, neuroscience, psychology and exercise science. Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Sophomore/Junior/Senior Standing. Not open to non-degree graduate students.
GERO 4350Issues in Aging: Management and Administration of Aging Programs3
This course is intended for students in gerontology and other fields who are interested in a humanistic approach to understanding significant issues which affect the lives of older people. Prerequisites: Junior or senior
GERO 4500Legal Aspects of Aging3
Consideration of the legal concerns which are likely to arise as people age. Includes introduction to the American legal system and emphasis on underlying legal concepts and issues of special importance to older persons.
GERO 3070Death and Dying3
An interdisciplinary survey of literature in the field of thanatology, with an emphasis on working with the older patient and his or her family.
GERO 4750Mid-life, Career Change, Preretirement Planning3
This course is designed to involve candidates in the exploration of the developmental tasks of mid-life, myths and realities related to career change as well as the implication of preretirement planning. Factual information, as well as model examination and evaluation are presented to aid the candidate in becoming better equipped to understand some of the forces which affect the well-being of middle aged persons as they prepare for the later years. Prerequisites: Junior, permission of instructor
GERO 4510Long-term Care Administration3
An investigation of the broad range of policy issues, theoretical concerns and practical management strategies influencing the design, organization and delivery of long-term care services.
GERO 8726Baby Boomers and the 21st Century3
Marketing decisions and strategies apply to all businesses and are influenced by the target market. The economic realities and the character of America will change due to shifting demographics of baby boomers. Businesses that understand the power of the baby boomers will succeed; failure to understand that power may lead to economic consequences. Students from many disciplines will benefit from this cross-referenced course blending the realities of gerontology with the predictions of baby boomer behavior and the resulting impact to all businesses.
GERO 4550Health Aspects of Aging3
This course emphasizes health promotion for older adults. Special health needs of older Americans are compared and contrasted with health needs for other age groups. Prevention or delaying of chronic diseases and disorders are emphasized. Prerequisites: Six hours of health or permission of instructor.
GERO 4520Senior Housing3
This course is intended for students in gerontology and other fields who are interested in a humanistic approach to understanding significant issues which affect the lives of older people. Prerequisites: Junior or senior
GERO 4470Mental Health and Aging (GERO 4470)3
The goal of this course is to survey the mental health needs of older adults. Consideration is given to identifying both positive mental health and pathological conditions. Treatment interventions effective with older adults and their families are also discussed. Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Junior or senior.
GERO 4560Nutrition and Aging (GERO 4560)3
The goal of this course is to provide an understanding of the relationship between nutrition and successful or usual aging. This course will review the basics of good nutrition and relate them to the usual food intake of older adults. It will identify the impact of poor nutrition. This course will also look at the role nutrition plays in various disease processes that are associated with aging. It will provide information about support services that are available to assure good nutrition into old age for those living independently.
GERO 4420Recreation for the Aging (GERO 4420)3
Role of leisure services as related to understanding and working with elders. Emphasis on recreation programming as a mode of intervention. Analysis and study of the phases of aging, with reference to psychomotor, affective, and cognitive changes; introduction to the theories of aging and how they relate to the lifestyle of this population; recreational therapy intervention, activity adaptation and program design; leisure education and issues and trends.
GERO 4850Hospice and Other Services for the Dying Patient/Family3
This course examines the hospice concept and other related services available in the community. The student will learn that hospice is an alternative to the traditional medical model.

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours


Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours

Janelle Beadle, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Janelle Beadle investigates the brain basis of social cognition and perception in healthy aging, aging-related disease and patients with brain damage. In particular, she is interested in how brain changes with age affect our ability to empathize with others. Her teaching interests include the biology of aging, neuroscience of aging and changes in the cognitive and emotional systems with age.

Application Deadlines
  • Fall SemesterAug 01
  • Spring SemesterDec 01
  • Summer SemesterJun 01