Bachelor of Arts | College of Arts and Science

What is Gerontology?

Gerontology is the study of later life. As a social science, it focuses on social aspects of the aging experience. The world population is growing older. For the first time in human history, there are now more people age 60 and over than age 5 and under. The effects of population aging societies affect everyone. Gerontology majors engage in critical, multidisciplinary analysis of aging and develop ideas and skills that can be integrated with other areas of study such as business, policy, health, and many others. Students learn about policies and programs for older persons, how to conduct age-related research, issues related to health and aging, and many other important topics that influence societies, organizations, communities and individuals.

What are the features of Miami’s program?

Small class size

To maximize interaction between faculty and students, most introductory level gerontology courses are limited to 50 or fewer students, and advanced courses are limited even further, with many having 30 or fewer students.

Applied research experience

Students conduct applied research as part of their coursework and have additional opportunities to work on independent research with faculty.

Specialized tracks

Based on their interest, students choose one of three track areas: applied research, aspiring health professions, or policies and programs.


All majors complete a two-hour pre-internship course and a six-hour internship. Internships are driven by student interest and are completed during the semester.

Multidisciplinary faculty

Gerontology faculty members represent a wide variety of disciplines, including gerontology, psychology, sociology, public health, social work and social welfare.

Scripps Gerontology Center

All gerontology faculty members are actively involved in research, and students are encouraged to work with them to gain experience. This research is conducted through Miami University's Scripps Gerontology Center, which has a full-time research staff and was one of the first centers in the nation dedicated to the study of aging.

What are the special admission requirements, if any?

There are no additional admission requirements for this program.

What courses would I take?

The first year of study includes the College of Arts and Science requirements and Global Miami Plan courses in addition to an introductory gerontology course, Big Ideas in Aging. In their sophomore year, majors will take coursework in statistics and research methods followed by upper-level courses during their junior and senior years based on their selected track.

What can I do with this major?

Most graduates pursue careers and/or advanced degrees in an aging-related field. Because of the ever-increasing population of older persons, there will continue to be a great need for individuals trained in gerontology.

Continued increases in numbers, proportion, and life expectancy of the older population will have an impact on the entire population and all of our social institutions. Because of these demographic changes, individuals with gerontological expertise will have employment opportunities both within the traditional aging network (such as government agencies and health- and housing-related services) and beyond (in business and industry).

Graduates who are employed in applied settings direct plan, implement and evaluate services; develop policy; administer programs; and conduct research. Gerontology graduates also work in social service, community, and government agencies; in advocacy and research organizations; in business/industry; and in various housing and care settings.

Who can I contact for more information?

Department of Sociology and Gerontology
375 Upham Hall
Oxford, OH 45056