Gerontology, MA

Master of Arts Degree in Gerontology

University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Fully Online
  • 36
  • $375.00
  • $617.00

Program Overview

With thesis and non-thesis options, the Gerontology, MA online program is designed to meet the educational needs of working professionals and those interested in research. The program provides students with a sophisticated understanding of an aging population. 

Students in this program study: 

  • The human aging process
  • Biological, psychological and social changes associated with aging
  • The services that assist in the aging process
  • Program planning and evaluation

The Gerontology, MA program is offered 100% online and can be completed fully at a distance. Courses are asynchronous, meaning the student and instructor may access the content at any time and do not need to be available at a specific time. The program has embraced online learning as a reflection of the 21st century, and this program offers students a convenient, thought-provoking way of learning about the aging experience. 

Two tracks are offered: 

  • Thesis: Designed for professionals who wish to gain additional knowledge and insight from the research in the field of gerontology, to interpret the research critically and who may wish to be prepared to conduct research on their own. 
  • Non-Thesis: Designed for practitioners currently working with older adults or aspire to work with elders in some capacity. The non-thesis option provides students with the necessary educational support to understand age-related changes. The training will also allow students to design, implement and evaluate programming for elders and their families. 

The program is offered by the University of Nebraska at Omaha 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 the neuroscience of aging, end-of-life planning, aging prisoners, 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. Administration on Aging. The shift demands qualified professionals who can address the impact individuals in this age group will have. 

Gerontologists may work in a variety of settings. Some include: 

  • Hospitals
  • Hospice Care Centers
  • Nursing Homes
  • Assisted Living Facilities
  • Independent Living Communities 
  • Senior Centers 
  • Nutrition sites
  • Area Agencies on Aging
  • Government Offices

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A Bachelor's degree

  2. 3 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  4. 2 letters of recommendation

  5. Official transcripts from all previous schools

  6. A writing sample

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
  3. Submit separate application to academic department

Courses You’ll Take

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
GERO 8730-850Dying, Death and Grieving3
An examination of theory and research relevant to interaction with the older, terminally ill person, focusing on communication with widows and other survivors as well as the dying patient
GERO 9110-850Applied Social Gerontology3
An overview of social gerontology with an emphasis on the interplay between social, psychological and physical elements in later life. Restricted to graduate students only; required of gerontology students.
GERO 8990Thesis6
Independent research project required of all students working toward the Master of Arts degree. The thesis is written under the supervision of the thesis adviser and the thesis committee.
GERO 9110Applied Social Gerontology3
An overview of social gerontology with an emphasis on the social, psychological and physical elements in later life.
GERO 8756Midlife, Career-Change and Pre Retirement3
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.
GERO 8946Practicum3
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.
GERO 8730Dying, Death and Grieving3
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 8556Health 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.
GERO 8526Senior Housing3
This course focuses on various living environments available to older adults, and provides information that will help in the choosing of an appropriate living situation other than the family home.
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 9460Seminar in Aging and Human Behavior3
This course will examine in detail age-related changes in psychological processes and explore the implications of these changes for behavior.
GERO 8476Mental Health and Aging (E)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.
GERO 8920Special Studies in Gerontology3
Special studies designed around the interests and needs of the individual student in such areas as the psychology, sociology, economics or politics of aging, as well as operation of various service systems. The studies may be either a literature review project or a field project in which experience is gained in the community identifying and analyzing needs and services related to older people.
GERO 8020Introduction to Research Methods3
This course will provide experience in how to read, interpret and assess research articles in Gerontology, training in problem formulation and translating the problem formulation into appropriate methodology for empirical testing of hypotheses.
GERO 8466Psychology 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

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

Rolling admissions. Application review will begin upon receipt of all required application materials.