Gerontology, BS

Bachelor of Science Degree in Gerontology

University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Fully Online
  • 120
  • $259.00
  • $452.00

Program Overview

The online Bachelor of Science in Gerontology uses a multidisciplinary approach to discover the many issues and opportunities facing the world's rapidly increasing aging population, including independence, health changes and end-of-life planning. 

Why pursue a degree in Gerontology:

  • You have a passion for working with the aging population. 
  • You understand the importance of knowledge and training in physical, psychological and social aspects of aging and want to further your personal knowledge in these areas. 
  • You have specific career goals and want a degree where you can tailor coursework to your career path. 
  • You need a flexible course structure, with courses offered 100% online. 
  • You want to become an influence and advocate in the needs of the aging community, including the frail and vulnerable population. 

Career Outlook: According to the Administration for Community Living, by 2020, 77 million people will be 60 and older in the U.S. The shift demands qualified professionals who can offer ideas and solutions to address the opportunities of an aging population. The degree allows students to have flexibility with coursework and can be easily paired with other majors and minors in other disciplines to expand career opportunities. The high demand for professionals with expertise in aging is growing and career opportunities are numerous and varied. 

Graduates can pursue careers in:

  • Nursing Home Administrator
  • Aging Services Administrators 
  • Assisted Living Administrators 
  • Caregivers 
  • Educators 
  • Estate Planners 
  • Financial Planners 
  • Geriatric Care/Case Managers 
  • Life Enrichment/Activities Director
  • Social Service Workers

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. Have earned a high school diploma or GED

  2. 2.5 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  4. Official transcripts from all previous schools

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:

  • Complete and submit the online application for admissions
  • Pay the $45 non-refundable application fee

Courses You’ll Take

Course Information

In the Gerontology, BS program, students must complete coursework in the following areas: 

  • Core Courses: 24 credits
  • Elective Courses: 9 credits
  • Statistics and Research Methods: 6 credits

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 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 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 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 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 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 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
GERO 4690Working with Minority Elderly3
This course is designed to provide the student with knowledge of the differing status, attitudes and experiences of the elderly within minority groups. This course examines various service systems and practice models in terms of their relevance and effectiveness in meeting needs of the minority elderly.
GERO 4940Practicum (GERO 4940)3
This course provides the opportunity to students to share field experiences; to obtain guidance concerning various relationships with agency, staff and clients; and to develop a broadly based perspective of the field of aging.

Elective Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
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.
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

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours


Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours

About Faculty

University of Nebraska online courses are taught by expert faculty who embody the qualities resulting from research experience and professional/field experience. Students learn from faculty with a variety of backgrounds, many of whom are published researchers in their fields. NU faculty who teach online do so in a way that optimizes learning within the online modality and because technology enables students to access education they may otherwise may not be able to pursue.

Application Deadlines
  • FallAug 01
  • SpringDec 01
  • SummerJul 01