Gerontology, Undergraduate Certificate

Undergraduate Certificate in Gerontology

University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Fully Online
  • 18
  • $259.00
  • $452.00

Program Overview

The online Gerontology, undergraduate certificate is designed to provide students with a sophisticated understanding of aging and prepare them to work with an aging population. 

This certificate is not a degree but represents a specialization intended as a companion for students who have a major in another discipline or who are working in a professional capacity. 

Students choose this program to: 

  • gain real-world experience through the practicum experience.
  • customize their learning experience by completing coursework in their area of interest.
  • Complete coursework a convenient, thought-provoking way. Courses are offered 100% online, asynchronously. 

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 caregiving, end-of-life planning, 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.

The high demand for professionals with expertise in aging is growing and career opportunities are numerous and varied. 

A few examples of careers in Gerontology:

  • Aging Services Administrators 
  • Architects 
  • Assisted Living Administrators 
  • Caregivers 
  • Educators 
  • Elder Law Attorneys 
  • Estate Planners 
  • Financial Planners 
  • Geriatric Care/Case Managers 
  • Interior Designers
  • Life Enrichment/Activities Coordinators
  • Social Service workers 

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. 2.5 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  2. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  3. 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

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
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 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 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 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 8730Death, Dying 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 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 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 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 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 4756Mid-life, 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 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 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

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours


Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours

Lyn Meridew Holley, Ph.D.

Lyn Meridew Holley, member of the UNO Thompson Learning Community, Graduate Faculty, Native American Studies Faculty and Honors Faculty, has received awards for teaching excellence that includes the 2009 UNO Alumni Association Teacher of the Year Award, the 2010 UNO Faculty Service Learning Award and nomination for the 2014 OTICA. Her research interests include public programs and services for the aging, intergenerational relationships, lifespan resilience and long-term staffing policies and programs.

Application Deadlines

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