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Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

  • Are you passionate about the issues of aging?
  • Would you enjoy studying the issues of aging with others who share your passion?
  • APPLY NOW. It is easy!
  • Gerontology is the study of the social, psychological, and biological changes in older people as they age.  With one out of every eight persons in America age 65 or older, understanding the challenges facing the elderly is critical to our society.  The aim of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate Certificate in Gerontology program is to train people to think critically about the issues of aging and how to support the wellbeing of adults as they grow older.  The program is the result of a collaboration between University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR), the College of General Studies (CGS), and the Aging Institute of UPMC Senior Services.

  • The University of Pittsburgh Graduate Certificate in Gerontology serves as a helpful complement to many other degrees.  Whether you´re a researcher, a nurse, a social worker, a rehabilitation specialist, or just someone who´s passionate about the issues of aging, you´ll be able to craft a program that fits your special interest.  Our specializations include Law, Mental Health, Nursing, Occupational Therapy/Rehabilitation, Public Health, Social Work, Gerontechnology, Caregiving, and two multi-disciplinary tracks--General and Prevention & Healthy Aging.
  • The University of Pittsburgh is a world leader in transformational research on aging.
  • With our program, you can attend 100% of your classes online, 100% in the classroom, or a mix of both--whatever suits your needs.  With online classes, you attend classes when it´s convenient for you--the convenience and flexibility working students appreciate.
  • With only 15-16 credit hours needed, you can complete your certificate in as little as nine months.
  • You can often apply the credits you earn toward a graduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh should you decide to pursue one.
  • Our instructors are leaders in the field of gerontology.
  • Eighty-eight percent of attendees surveyed said that an understanding of the challenges faced by the elderly helped them in their professional lives, and 100% said that it helped in their personal lives!
  • Unlike programs at other universities, our certificate program offers the same tuition rates to in-state and out-of-state students.  And 94% of attendees surveyed said our certificate program is a good value for the money.
  • As a student in our Gerontology Certificate Program, you have the world-class resources of the University of Pittsburgh behind you.

  • Both the Tradition and Online programs provide some flexibility to take classes in the other program.  Students should apply to the program that will make up the majority of their classes.  For more information about the Online program, please visit our program page.  Students can apply to either the Tradition or Online program by clicking the Apply Now button.

Scholarship Opportunities
  • Candidates for the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology must have a bachelors degree.
  • Course work completed on a non-degree basis that satisfies the course requirements of a graduate program within the University may be applied as advanced standing toward that degree, with the exception of the JD program offered through the School of Law.

  • The current tuition rate is $1,003 per credit for in-state students and out-of-state online students.
  • Prospective students may have tuition benefits from their employers and financial aid is available.
  • The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology is eligible for Post 911 GI Bill® benefits. Learn more about your education and training benefits. GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).


Turiano "The curriculum has augmented my level of understanding and appreciation on the components of successful aging. It has strengthened my own conviction on several attributes and their connection with aging well like resilience, which indeed has a positive relationship to aging successfully...Learning from experience holds great value; however, the coursework in the Gerontology program underscores the framework necessary for building and sustaining good health policy and for the core competencies related to aging. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a member of this learning collaborative as we work to enhance our learned professions."
- Nicole Fedeli Turiano

Zak "The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology Program has provided opportunities to improve my understanding of our growing aging population. Course content, teachers and fellow students have helped me better recognize the types of health care services and delivery options that may be most effective in improving the quality of life for the vulnerable, while addressing growing cost and access challenges. As an IT professional in the post-acute setting, I have found the program gives a chance to look at projects and issues through a slightly different lens. I am hopeful that I can contribute to the synergies of a renowned health system that grows in conjunction with the research and teaching of the University of Pittsburgh."
- Edward Zak

Garda "I began with a personal passion for working with older adults who did not have a strong professional basis, and now I enter the professional world feeling capable and confident due to the knowledge I gained in my classes.  My experience enhanced my ability to interact with older adults and their families.  The courses provided me with academic knowledge and with real-world skills that I put into practice daily in my social work position at Senior LIFE Ebensburg.  The Gerontology program is an excellent foundation for taking the personal and transitioning it seamlessly into the professional."
- Brenna Garda

Sholder "After being out of the workforce for years, classes gave me updated knowledge that used evidence-based research to examine aging.  As a former nurse I wanted to work with professors who conducted behavioral and community health research.  I felt comfortable merging my practical skills with my newly learned science-based knowledge.  I´m also a board member of a non-profit that provides community services to low economic elderly residents, so I like the ability to critically read literature, as well as learning how to find hidden resources."
- Johanna Sholder

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For more information contact:


Jennifer K. Bissell

Program Manager
(412) 624-1019


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University Center for Social & Urban Research
3343 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260   ·   412-624-5442