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Gerontology Minor

Shippensburg University’s gerontology minor exposes you to many different disciplines, giving you a broad view of the aging process to help you gain the skills to help older adults.

What Will I Learn?

There are two primary goals of the minor:

  1. To provide you with up-to-date information about older adults and aging related issues that will supplement your professional training.
  2. Dispelling many of the myths about older people and to help you overcome fears about growing old.

The program is interdisciplinary in that you will be exposed to many different topics (e.g. psychology, sociology, humanities, social work) and shown how aging relates to each. Two required courses make up the core of this minor. Those are an introductory course and an internship, which focuses on an experience in either a local business or human service agency that serves older adults such as a nursing home, senior center or Area Agency on Aging. Electives allow you to focus on your personal and professional areas of interest.

Council on Social Work Education logo

Council on Social Work Education - The Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work programs offered by the Ship’s Social Work and Gerontology Department are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

What are the requirements for this degree?

To complete the minor you must complete 18 credits, which include:

  • Core courses - Two required courses make up the core of this minor. Those are Introduction to Gerontology and an internship.
  • Electives - Electives are taken in a variety of disciplines such as psychology, sociology, exercise science, and social work.


The gerontology minor is a great complement to many programs. Some common majors include:

  • Biology
  • Communication/journalism
  • Economics
  • Exercise science
  • Finance
  • Human communication studies
  • Political science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Social work

What Types of Careers Could I Get With This Degree?

Through required coursework, electives in your personal interest, applied experiences, research opportunities and volunteer activities, you will gain a firm understanding of aging-related issues that can be applied to your major field of study. A gerontology credential can show current and/or future employers that you have what it takes to serve this group.

Those who complete the gerontology minor can pursue many career options, including:

  • Administration (aging services, human resources)
  • Financial and legal services (career planning, fiduciary, fraud prevention)
  • Fitness/wellness (fitness trainer, hydrotherapy, wellness coach)
  • Health care (art therapy, alternative medicine, aging-in-place specialist)

What Kinds of Experiences Could I Have?

There is a required internship that provides you with hands-on experience in the field. Ideally, you will complete an internship that matches your career goals.

Additionally, you may join the Shippensburg Gerontological Organization, which is a student volunteer club that serves older adults in the Shippensburg area and other surrounding areas. This allows you to volunteer at local senior centers, assisted living centers and retirement homes.

Contact the Social Work and Gerontology Department 382 Shippen Hall 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1717 Fax: (717) 477-4051