The senior service sector is growing rapidly. In addition to today's aging Baby Boomer generation, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that people older than 65 will outnumber those under 18 for the first time in 2056. All of the most common positions within the field, from geropsychologists to social workers to acute care nurse practitioners, will experience significant growth. For instance, the need for gerontology aides is projected to increase by 16% between 2016 and 2026.

Job opportunities are abundant for graduates dedicated to improving the aging experience of senior citizens. If you are interested in obtaining a gerontology graduate certificate online, the following details will help you determine whether pursuing a career in this sector is the right decision for you.

What Are The Best Online Graduate Certificate in Gerontology Programs?

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 92%

A private research university located in Los Angeles, California, the University of Southern California educates more than 45,000 students. USC offers nearly 100 undergraduate programs along with master's degrees, doctorates, professional degrees, and graduate certificates such as the graduate certificate in gerontology.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in any discipline with a minimum 3.0 GPA. USC does not require GRE scores for prospective students in this program, but applicants do need to submit two letters of recommendation, a resume, and answers to supplemental questions on the application. Prospective students also need to write a statement of interest that indicates why they are applying to the program, their experiences in gerontology, their goals, and their personal strengths and weaknesses. Typically, graduates work with aging populations in a profession such as law, business, or social work.

Students in USC's graduate certificate in gerontology online often hold bachelor's degrees in other subjects, and they usually possess different professional backgrounds. However, they all hold a common desire to learn more about gerontology theories and research. USC's 16-credit curriculum emphasizes a wide array of educational emphases, including science, policy, and advocacy. Students take courses such as perspectives on a changing society, physiology of development and aging, and counseling older adults and their families. The program does not require a thesis, final project, or practicum. Full-time students can complete the program in less than one year, and part-time students take about 1-1.5 years.

The University of Southern California holds accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
Tuition: $1,863/credit
Credit Requirements: 16 credits
Program Length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (213) 740-5156
Email: ldsgero@usc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

George Washington University

Washington, DC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 81%

Located in Washington, D.C., George Washington University was founded in 1821 by order of the U.S. Congress, and is one of five universities in the U.S. with a congressional charter. Today, GWU serves nearly 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students across three campuses and a robust online program. Online students can pursue a post-graduate certificate in adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner.

Nurses who already hold an MSN can pursue this flexible, online graduate certificate in gerontology. Students explore the theoretical and practical underpinnings of gerontology through a mixture of didactic and experiential coursework. The program includes 625 clinical hours, which nurses complete at an approved site near them.

Working nurses who apply to the program need a master's in nursing with a 3.0 GPA or better from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants must submit transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a current resume. Prospective students also need to send a copy of their current nursing license, CPR certificate, and immunization records.

The 30-credit program includes courses such as advanced physiology and pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology for nursing, and advanced health assessment and diagnostic reasoning. Students also complete a clinical learning and skills intensive and a final test out on campus. The program takes five semester to complete, and learners study part time while taking 3-8 credits each semester.

George Washington University holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Postgraduate Certificate in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Tuition: $1,395/credit
Credit Requirements: 16 credits
Program Length: 1.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (202) 994-7901
Email: nursing@gwu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 67%

Situated in the capital city of Salt Lake City, Utah, the University of Utah serves as its state's flagship university. The U began in 1850 when Mormon pioneers first entered Utah, and the university's classes met in private homes. Today, the university serves more than 30,000 learners at all postsecondary levels. Students can pursue a variety of these programs online, including an adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner certificate.

This graduate certificate in gerontology online serves professionals who work in the field of aging, plan to transition into an aging-related profession, or simply want to understand the consequences of living in an aging society. The program operates entirely online and gives working professionals the flexibility to study between family and work-related responsibilities.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in any field of study. Prospective students also need to complete an application which includes a description of their background and interest in aging-related work, as well as any past or current experiences working with ethnic minorities or in rural settings. Students can begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

Learners can complete the 15-credit program in as little as three semesters, or as many as three years. Coursework in the U's certificate program includes diversity and aging, aging and arts, and successful cognitive and emotional aging. Students must earn a grade of C or higher in each course and an overall GPA of 3.0 to graduate.

The University of Utah holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and the College of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate
Tuition: $8,300/15 credits in-state; $20,000/15 credits out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 15 credits
Program Length: 2 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (801) 581-3414
Email: gradstudentinfo@nurs.utah.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

University of South Florida

Tampa, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 71%

With a main campus in Tampa, Florida and additional locations in St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, the University of South Florida educates more than 50,000 students. The school continues its 60-year tradition of classroom education and research with on-campus and online programs such as the graduate certificate in gerontology. USF features the country's oldest and largest gerontology schools, which focuses its academic research on aging and mental health, cognitive decline, and public policy and long-term care.

Applicants to USF's graduate certificate in gerontology online must hold a bachelor's or master's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a regionally accredited college or university. Prospective students do not have to submit GRE scores. Once accepted, students can enroll in the fall, spring, or summer semester.

Learners complete 15 credits to earn their certificate, including a required core of six credits plus nine credits of electives. Courses include program evaluation in aging services, physical change and aging, elder abuse assessment and intervention, and gerontological counseling theory and practice. Most students take about 24 months to complete the curriculum; however, learners must finish within five years.

Students may apply the 15 credits they earn in this certificate program toward a master's degree in gerontology. USF's master's program requires 30 credits, meaning the certificate covers half of the graduate degree requirements. Graduates often work in residential facilities, private agencies, hospitals, and government agencies.

University of South Florida holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
Tuition: $435/credit in-state; $900/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 15 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (813) 974-2414
Email: cbcs-sas-grad@usf.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

Indiana University - Bloomington

Bloomington, IN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 77%

The flagship institution of the Indiana University System, Indiana University-Bloomington is based in Bloomington, a city of about 80,000 people in south-central Indiana. The university educates more than 40,000 students, making it the largest public educational institution in the state. About 55% of IU's students come from within Indiana, while the rest hail from other states or countries. Learners can complete several classes and degrees on campus or online, including a graduate certificate in gerontology and health.

Students in IU's graduate certificate in gerontology online can begin classes in the fall, spring, or one of two summer semesters. Applicants must submit an application and any transcripts from previous postsecondary education, though further documentation may be necessary, depending upon the applicant.

Students in the gerontology program explore the psychology, biology, and sociology of aging. The 12-credit curriculum consists of nine credits of core courses in gerontology and health plus three credits of a gerontology practicum. Courses include multidisciplinary perspectives of gerontology; grief in the family context; social aspects of aging and aging families; and health, longevity, and integrative therapies for the later years.

IU's online gerontology certificate requires no on-campus courses, and students can log-in at any time and from any location. Online learners have access to IU's libraries, technical support, and academic planning staff through the learning system.

Indiana University-Bloomington holds accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Gerontology and Health
Tuition: $450/credit in-state; $550/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 12 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (844) 948-4863
Email: iuoapply@Iu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Appalachian State University

Boone, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 73%

Situated in Boone, North Carolina, a small town in the state's western highlands, Appalachian State University began in 1889. Today, the school educates approximately 60,000 students in over 150 programs, making it the sixth largest institution in the University of North Carolina System. The school offers an online graduate certificate in aging, health, and society, in which students complete flexible, asynchronous courses with no on-campus requirements.

Applicants to this graduate certificate in gerontology online must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college and a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also complete an application, send their resume and transcripts, and provide a writing sample that details their reasons for applying to the program and their relevant experience. Prospective students do not need to submit GRE or other standardized test scores. Some applicants possess a healthcare or aging services background, but others may enter from an entirely different career track.

Once accepted, students complete 12 credits across four courses. Learners take two courses per semester, and the program can be completed in two semesters. Course options include healthcare and aging, sociology of adult development and aging, housing for older adults, and programs and services for older adults. Students may also complete an internship, but field experience is not required. Interested students can also pursue state-approved licensure as an Assisted Living Facility administrator through Appalachian's program.

Appalachian State holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Aging, Health, and Society
Tuition: $275/credit in-state; $925/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 12 credits
Program Length: 2 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (828) 262-3113
Email: online@appstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Lincoln, NE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

The state's oldest university and the largest institution in the University of Nebraska system, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln serves more than 25,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. The school has provided distance education programs for more than a century, and today, Nebraska offers online education for students from high school through doctorates, including an online graduate certificate in gerontology (interior design). This program functions as a cooperative between the University of Nebraska Lincoln College of Architecture Interior Design program and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Department of Gerontology,

The gerontology curriculum explores the relationship between the built environment and aging occupants. Students take 18 credits of coursework, including senior housing and applied social gerontology. The program also offers electives such as design of senior housing, human behavior and wayfinding, and baby boomers and the 21st century. Upon graduation, students can pursue careers in interior design, real estate, government code service, and nursing home administration.

Applicants to Nebraska's graduate certificate in gerontology online need to provide official transcripts showing a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale. The school maintains a rolling admissions deadline so applications are reviewed upon submission. Once enrolled, students engage in interactive course work by communicating through chat groups, discussion forums, and e-mail. The program requires no on-campus courses.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln holds accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
Tuition: $350/credit in-state; $600/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 18 credits
Program Length: 2 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (888) 622-0332
Email: admissions@unl.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 82%

A state-related research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh began in 1787 as a private institution. In 1966, Pitt joined the Commonwealth System of Higher Education and became a public university. Today, the school educates nearly 30,000 graduate and undergraduate students through 17 schools and colleges. Pitt maintains four regional campuses and a large online program.

Students can pursue Pitt's graduate certificate in gerontology online through the University Center for Social & Urban Research, which supports interdisciplinary, collaborative research that improves communities and addresses, health, economic, social, and policy issues.

Applicants to the graduate certificate in gerontology online must hold a bachelor's degree, but they do not need to submit GRE, LSAT, or other standardized test scores to qualify for admission. Students come from a variety of industries and professional backgrounds, and learners in the program explore the broad sociological, psychological, and biological aspects of an aging population. Additionally, many courses in the gerontology program transfer into several other degree programs at Pitt, excluding law.

The 16-credit curriculum includes three core courses in ethics and aging, perspectives in aging, and a one-credit seminar series on aging as the core. Elective options include multidisciplinary aspects of dementia; information resources for an aging world; mental health and illness in late life; and human performance, nutrition, and aging. Most students complete the program in three semesters.

University of Pittsburgh holds accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
Tuition: $920/credit
Credit Requirements: 18 credits
Program Length: 2 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (412) 648-9499
Email: online@pitt.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

Webster University

St. Louis, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 64%

Headquartered near St. Louis, Missouri, Webster University is a private, nonprofit institution with campuses in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and online. About 80% of Webster's 22,000 students pursue graduate degrees, and online students can enroll in more than 50 educational programs at the graduate, undergraduate, and certificate levels. The school maintains an alumni base of about 170,000 people.

Webster offers a graduate certificate in gerontology and a graduate certificate in applied gerontology enhancement and specialization. Both programs feature an interdisciplinary perspective on aging with coursework drawn from the fields of management, behavioral and social sciences, natural sciences, and political science.

The graduate certificate in gerontology hosts students with diverse backgrounds and explores the factors of aging and an aging society. The graduate certificate in applied gerontology enhancement and specialization provides advanced education in gerontology for professionals already working in the field.

The 18 credit graduate certificate in gerontology online includes courses such as the physiology of aging, economic issues for older adults, and social science perspectives in gerontology. Students enrolled in the 12-credit graduate certificate in applied gerontology enhancement and specialization complete the same three courses listed above, plus a course on issues in gerontology.

Admission to both programs requires a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited institution, and a GPA of 2.5 or better. Webster maintains a rolling admissions deadline and schedules classes on a traditional semester calendar.

Webster University holds accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Gerontology; Graduate Certificate in Applied Gerontology Enhancement and Specialization
Tuition: $780/credit
Credit Requirements: 12-18 credits
Program Length: 2 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (314) 246-7800
Email: admit@webster.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 71%

Virginia's largest public university, George Mason University, lies in suburban Fairfax, Virginia on the outskirts of the District of Columbia. The school serves more than 37,000 students from over 130 countries of origin, and maintains four campus locations in northern Virginia along with an online educational system. Mason's students pursue over 200 academic programs, with about 69% of them studying full-time, and the remainder studying part-time.

George Mason University's graduate certificate in gerontology can be earned fully online. Most online courses allow students to log-in wherever and whenever they find convenient with no required class times. Applicants must submit transcripts that demonstrate a bachelor’s degree or equivalent with a 3.0 GPA or higher earned at an accredited college or university. They also need to send a goals statement, resume, and three letters of recommendation.

The graduate certificate in gerontology online combines theoretical and applied coursework in aging. Students complete an interdisciplinary mix of courses in biology, law, policy, health and health care, and other social and behavioral sciences. The 15-credit curriculum includes 12 credits of required courses and three credits of electives. Courses include social gerontology, the psychology of aging, aging programs and policies, and aging and health.

Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better to graduate, and gerontology graduates go on to pursue careers such as certified geriatric pharmacist, elder law attorney, strategic policy analyst, or an educational gerontologist.

George Mason University holds accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
Tuition: $575/credit in-state; $1,500/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 15 credits
Program Length: 2 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (703) 993-2838
Email: chhsgrad@gmu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Located in Lubbock, Texas — a city of more than 250,000 residents situated south of Amarillo and near the New Mexico border — Texas Tech University boasts a student body of 40,000. Established in 1923, TTU now maintains campuses in El Paso, Fredericksburg, Highland Lakes, Center at Junction, Waco, and online. The school offers more than 150 courses of study and has awarded more than 200,000 degrees.

TTU offers a graduate certificate in gerontology online thanks to the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA), a consortium of colleges and universities that pool their resources to offer online degrees to adult learners. Applicants to the graduate certificate in gerontology online must possess a bachelor's degree in any subject, and students can begin in the spring, fall, or summer semester.

The 15-credit certificate includes three electives and two core courses — perspectives in gerontology, and adult development and aging. Elective options include biotechnology, spirituality and aging, and program evaluation and research methods. Learners who wish to pursue TTU's master's degree in gerontology can apply credits earned in the certificate toward their graduate program. The distance education platform varies depending on the GPIDEA institution offering the course, but no course relies on required class times.

Texas Tech University holds accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
Tuition: $600/credit
Credit Requirements: 15 credits
Program Length: 2 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (844) 897-0537
Email: elearning@ttu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

University of Detroit Mercy

Detroit, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

University of Detroit Mercy began in 1877 as an educational ministry of the the Jesuits. Today, the school serves about 5,000 students with 100-plus academic programs through seven schools and colleges, making it Michigan's largest and most comprehensive Catholic university. UDM's campus sits in the heart of Detroit, a city experiencing a major urban revitalization.

UDM's online post master's certificate in clinical nurse specialist in adult-gerontology prepares nursing professionals to become prescribers, coaches, team builders, and change agents in gerontology. The 21-credit certificate includes nine credits of advanced practice core courses and 12 credits of gerontology concentration courses. Coursework includes adult-gerontology CNS role & theory I, adult-gerontology CNS practicum I, wellness adult-gerontology, and CNS practice pharmacology for advanced practice registered nurses. Learners choose their own pace through the program.

Applicants to the graduate certificate in gerontology online must possess a master's degree in nursing from a nationally accredited program, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, 2000 hours of experience as a registered nurse, and an unencumbered and state-issued nursing license. In addition to submitting transcripts, an autobiography, and letters of recommendation, prospective students must interview with the faculty.

UDM welcomes learners from all around the world who meet the program's admission criteria, but prospective students need to ensure that the curriculum meets their home country or state's specific licensure requirements.

University of Detroit Mercy holds accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Post-Master's Certificate in Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Gerontology
Tuition: $850/credit
Credit Requirements: 21 credits
Program Length: 2 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: 2,000 hours as a registered nurse

Contact
Phone: (313) 993-1245
Email: admissions@udmercy.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

University of Missouri

Columbia, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

Located in Columbia, Missouri — the state's fourth largest city — the University of Missouri began in 1839 and now enrolls more than 30,000 students. Mizzou is the state's largest university with campuses in Kansas City, Rolla, St. Louis, and online. Composed of 19 colleges and schools, Mizzou offers 300 degrees, including about 90 online programs.

Online learners can pursue a graduate certificate in gerontology through Mizzou's College of Human Environmental Sciences, Department of Human Development and Family Science. The graduate certificate in gerontology online prepares learners to advance their careers by understanding the unique challenges and diversity of older adults. Most gerontology graduates work in fields such as nursing, public policy, rehabilitation therapy, or social work.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or better in the last 60 hours of coursework. They do not have to submit GRE scores. The program operates as part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance — a consortium of educational institutions west of the Mississippi — which means course beginning and end dates vary depending on the school offering the course.

Students must complete 15 credits to earn their certificate, including two required courses and three electives. Course options include physical health in aging; topics in human development and family science; program design, implementation and evaluation gerontology; and research methods and program evaluation.

The University of Missouri holds accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
Tuition: $12,000
Credit Requirements: 21 credits
Program Length: 2 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (573) 882-2491
Email: MizzouOnline@missouri.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Iowa State University

Ames, IA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 73%

Located in Ames — a northern suburb of Des Moines — Iowa State University educates about 35,000 students in 100 majors across 10 schools and colleges. ISU was established in 1859 as a major land-grant university. Today, the school specializes in programs that relate to food, fuels, and manufacturing. ISU also maintains a robust online and distance learning presence to help students earn graduate and undergraduate degrees. Among these offerings is a graduate certificate in masters of family and consumer sciences with a specialization in gerontology, administered through its college of human sciences.

This 15-credit certificate includes two core courses in adult development and perspectives in gerontology. Learners then choose three elective courses, which can follow a design track or a long-term care track. The design track includes courses in conceptual design, policy and aging, and environments and aging, while the long-term care track features classes that cover aging in the family and cognitive health.

Students enroll in courses through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, which is a coalition of colleges and universities west of the Mississippi. This collaboration allows students to select from an array of courses, beyond those available in ISU's catalog. Students do not need to travel to any brick-and-mortar campuses to complete their program.

Applicants interested in completing this graduate certificate in gerontology online need to submit a goals statement, resume, and three recommendations. Applicants to the certificate program need not submit GRE scores. ISU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Master's of Family and Consumer Sciences With Specialization in Gerontology
Available Concentrations: Long-term care; design
Tuition: $600/credit
Credit Requirements: 15 credits
Program Length: 2-3 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (515) 294-5397
Email: gpideainfo@iastate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

The University of Texas at Arlington

Arlington, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

With 58,000 students across more than 180 degree programs, the University of Texas at Arlington produces the third-most college graduates of any institution in Texas. UTA holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The public research university was established in 1895 and currently maintains a 420-acre campus and a robust online program. Distance education students can earn a post-master's adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner certificate online at UTA.

Students pursuing this graduate certificate in gerontology online complete a curriculum that emphasizes health restoration; complex health management of adolescents; and management of complex, acute, and chronic illness. Students graduate after completing five courses, learning about adult gerontology management across the continuum and adult gerontology acute care and clinical practice. Learners also complete a practicum experience.

Only Texas and California residents may apply for admission into this program. Applicants need an MSN from an NLNAC- or CCNE-accredited program. Prospective students must submit proof of an active or unencumbered nursing license and a resume showing two years of high acuity direct patient care in the last five years. Their undergraduate transcripts must include an undergraduate statistics course (completed with a "C" or better), and their graduate transcripts need to show an overall GPA of 3.0 or better.


Program Overview
Program Name: Post-Master's Certificate in Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Tuition: $600/credit
Credit Requirements: 20 credits
Program Length: 2-3 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: 2 years as an RN; 2 years of high-acuity, direct patient care in the last 5 years

Contact
Phone: (866) 489-2810
Email: peterle@uta.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

McDaniel College

Westminster, MD Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

A private liberal arts institution located in Westminster, Maryland, McDaniel College serves just under 2,000 students at its main campus; through its online programs; and at a satellite campus in Budapest, Hungary. McDaniel began as a Methodist institution, but today the school maintains no religious affiliation. Students at McDaniel can pursue a specialist in aging graduate certificate online.

Learners in this 18-credit program explore aging from a bio-psycho social perspective. As an interdisciplinary field, gerontology allows students to take courses related to the mental, physical, and social aspects of aging. The curriculum includes six credits of electives and 12 credits of core courses, including interdisciplinary approaches to gerontology, biology of aging, and psychosocial aspects of aging.

Students also take an applications course where they complete a research project, an internship, a practical project, a review of gerontological literature on a topic of interest, or a teaching practicum. Elective courses cover aging services, gero-psychology, health promotions, and programming for older adults. Students who complete this certificate may apply their credits to earn McDaniel's master's degree in gerontology. Full-time students can complete the certificate program in one year.

Individuals interested in earning this graduate certificate in gerontology online need to hold a bachelor's degree — in any subject — earned with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Many applicants come from the fields of social work, counseling, and psychology. McDaniel College holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Specialist in Aging Graduate Certificate
Tuition: $500/credit
Credit Requirements: 18 credits
Program Length: 2-3 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (410) 857-2516
Email: cperry@mcdaniel.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

Loyola University Chicago

Chicago, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 77%

A Catholic research institution located in Chicago, Illinois, Loyola began in 1870 as a ministry of the Jesuits. Today, the school is one of the nation's largest Catholic universities, with more than 17,000 students in 80-plus undergraduate tracks and about 170 professional, graduate, and certificate programs.

The university maintains three campuses in the Chicago area, a campus in Italy, and a large distance education program. Online students at Loyola can earn a post-master's certificate in adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist with an oncology specialty.

Nurses who hold master's degrees can complete this certificate to become adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialists. The curriculum varies and is established based on a gaps analysis of each student's clinical experiences and academic background. Students work with the program director to devise an individual plan of study to prepare for the clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner national certification examination. The plan of study may include clinical experiences and graduate-level coursework, helping learners meet national advanced practice competencies.

Applicants who want to pursue this graduate certificate in gerontology online must submit official transcripts and proof of a current nursing license. Transcripts should show both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in nursing. Students must also pass a criminal background check and CCRN certification before starting their clinicals. The program accepts applicants in the spring, summer, and fall semesters. Loyola holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Post-Master's Certificate in Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist With Oncology Specialty
Available Concentrations: Oncology nursing
Tuition:$1,130/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (708) 216-3751
Email: atopalova@luc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

Mount Carmel College of Nursing

Columbus, OH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 73%

A Catholic institution, Mount Carmel College of Nursing educates nearly 1,100 students at its main college in Columbus, Ohio; at its branch campus in Lancaster, Ohio; and in its online programs. MCCN began in 1903 as an initiative of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, and today it maintains the largest private BSN program in Ohio. The school also offers five online graduate-level offerings, including a post-master's certificate in adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner.

This graduate certificate provides an accelerated education for registered nurses who wish to train for an advanced practice nursing role. Students take 17-20 credits over two semesters to earn certification as an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. MCCN's program meets standards set by the American Nurse Credentialing Center and the American Association of Critical Care Nurse. The college also holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Students in the program take acute, critical, and chronic clinical management coursework and complete a 500-hour practicum. Learners must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate. New students start once a year in the fall.

Applicants must submit evidence that they hold an active, unrestricted Ohio nursing license and at least 12 months of experience. Prospective students should currently work in a critical or acute care setting. Applicants must have earned their master's degree in nursing from an accredited program with a 3.0 GPA or better. Students also need national certification as an adult nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist.


Program Overview
Program Name: Post-Master's Certificate in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Tuition: $500/credit
Credit Requirements: 17-20 credits
Program Length: 2 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (614) 234-4266
Email: admissions@mccn.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

West Virginia University

Morgantown, WV Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

A public research institution located in Morgantown, West Virginia University serves as the flagship institution of the West Virginia University System. The school's main campus educates nearly 27,000 learners in more than 350 subject areas. WVU offers numerous undergraduate and graduate options, including a graduate certificate in gerontology, which the university offers through its school of social work.

Students pursuing this 15-credit certificate explore older people and the aging process. Learners complete nine credits of required courses and six credits of electives. Core courses include fundamentals of gerontology, the rural elderly, and public policy of aging. Elective options include communication in later life; contemporary issues in aging; and aging, women, and cultural issues. The school also permits individuals to engage in independent study or enroll in a research class. Learners must earn a "B" or better in all classes. Students may take all required courses and several electives online.

Individuals who want to earn this graduate certificate in gerontology online must qualify as non-degree students. Prospective students need a bachelor's degree earned with a 3.0 GPA or better. WVU accepts new students for both the fall and spring semesters, and learners can share up to six credits between certificate and degree programs. WVU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
Tuition: $600/credit in-state; $1,507/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 15 credits
Program Length: 2 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (304) 293-3501
Email: socialwork@mail.wvu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 70%

A public school located in Manhattan, Kansas State University serves as the flagship school of the Kansas State System. K-State enrolls nearly 24,000 students in over 250 undergraduate majors and offers more than 150 graduate degrees and certificates. Students can take courses on the school's main campus, at one of two branch campuses, or online.

The university's 15-credit online graduate certificate in gerontology is offered through its college of human ecology, which houses many healthcare, youth development, and financial planning programs. This gerontology credential prepares graduates to work in research or education positions that do not require a master's degree or doctorate. The curriculum meets requirements established by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. Courses include perspectives in gerontology and adult development and aging. Students may also take up to three practicum credits.

K-State offers this certificate through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance — a collaborative coalition of state schools in the region. Students can take courses through any participating school for the same price as their home state's college.

Applicants seeking to earn this graduate certificate in gerontology online need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA over their final 60 credits. K-State welcomes new students in the fall, spring, and summer terms. While the school does not set strict application deadlines, most applications take six weeks to process. K-State holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
Tuition: $575/credit
Credit Requirements: 15 credits
Program Length: 1.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (785) 532-5575
Email: global@k-state.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

Maryville University of Saint Louis

St. Louis, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 72%

A private school associated with the Society of the Sacred Heart, Maryville University is located 22 miles from downtown St. Louis, Missouri. The university enrolls more than 9,000 students from around the world. Maryville offers almost 100 degree and certificates, including 25 online options. Nurses can enroll in several online academic tracks, earning a post-master's certificate in nursing practice with a concentration option in adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner or adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner.

Each of these graduate certificates in gerontology can be completed fully online without any on-campus coursework. Students complete clinical requirements in an approved setting near their homes. Learners in the primary care program take three semesters to complete 29 credits and 580 clinical hours. For the acute care certificate, learners complete 35 credits and 830 clinical hours total. Courses in both programs include professional role development, health promotion and disease prevention, advanced pathophysiology, and advanced health assessment.

Admission to a post-master's certificate program requires a master of science in nursing, but applicants do not need to submit any standardized test scores. New learners can begin at one of six entry points throughout the year. Maryville holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Post-Master's Certificate in Nursing Practice With a Concentration in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner; Post-Master's Certificate in Nursing Practice With a Concentration in Adult-Gerontology; Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Available Concentrations: Pediatric primary care; family nurse practitioner; psychiatric mental health
Tuition:$1,130/credit
Credit Requirements: 29-35 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: 1 year

Contact
Phone: (888) 504-6298
Email: Admissions@online.maryville.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

Madonna University

Livonia, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 69%

A Catholic liberal arts institution located in Livonia, Michigan, Madonna University was established in 1937 as Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary College. Today, MU admits more than 3,000 graduate and undergraduate students from diverse religious backgrounds. The school hosts over 100 undergraduate programs, 30 master's programs, and a doctorate track in nursing. Established over 50 years ago, MU's nursing school offers degrees and certificates in person and online.

MU's post-master's certificate in advanced practice registered nurse gerontology can be earned entirely online. The program emphasizes the complex care management of older adults and their families. Students pursuing this certificate can take advantage of an optional practicum to prepare them to sit for either the adult-gerontology acute care or primary care national NP board certification exam.

Learners not preparing for board certification take nine credits, including 60 clock hours of an interdisciplinary field experience. Students preparing for the board exam take an additional four credits of practicum coursework. Classes in this graduate certificate in gerontology online program include management of health issues in older adults; interdisciplinary perspectives in gerontology; and advanced pharmacologic, physiologic, and ASMT considerations in older adults.

Applicants should be advanced practice registered nurses who want to learn the evidence-based physiologic, pharmacologic, and assessment strategies of nursing the elderly. Students who wish to pursue the highest level of caregiving or teach gerontology nursing can apply their certificate credits to MU's doctor of nursing practice program.

MU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Post-Master's Certificate in Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Gerontology
Available Concentrations: Acute care; primary care
Tuition: $950/credit
Credit Requirements: 9 credits
Program Length: 1 semester

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (734) 432-5667
Email: grad@madonna.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23

University of Massachusetts - Boston

Boston, MA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

Situated on a picturesque waterfront campus near downtown, the University of Massachusetts Boston is the third-largest institution in the University of Massachusetts System and the only public university in the city. The university enrolls more than 16,000 students in 77 undergraduate and 130 graduate programs.

The fully online Frank J. Manning certificate in gerontology provides learners insight into the aging process and the aging network. The six-course certificate can be earned completely online and includes coursework that covers learning experiences in research, policy development, improvement of care, and quality-of-life programs for older adults. Gerontology students study trends affecting the quality of life for aging populations, legislative advocacy, health and social service administration, and appropriate helping relationships with frail adults.

Students earning this graduate certificate in gerontology online learn about frontiers in global human aging, health and physical aspects of aging, applied research in aging, and service delivery issues for aging populations. In addition to this certificate, UMass Boston offers a bachelor's degree, two master's degrees, and a Ph.D. in gerontology; students may be able to transfer most certificate credits into a degree program. The university also supports a gerontology institution and publishes two journals on aging: the Journal on Aging & Social Policy and Research on Aging.

Applicants should submit a completed application and their transcripts. Fall semester students should apply by June 1 and spring semester students should apply by November 1. UMass Boston holds accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Frank J. Manning Certificate in Gerontology
Tuition: $750/credit in-state; $1,500/credit out-of-state; $1,200/credit Northeast region
Credit Requirements: 15 credits
Program Length: 1.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum

Contact
Phone: (617) 287-7338
Email: gerontology@umb.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 64%

A public research university located in Tucson, the University of Arizona was founded in 1895. Today, UA enrolls nearly 45,000 undergraduate and graduate students in more than 370 academic programs. The university maintains a large selection of online courses, and all distance learners pay the same tuition, regardless of their state of residence.

Online students at UA can pursue a graduate certificate in adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. This program prepares current advanced practitioner registered nurses to sit for additional certification in gerontology. Students complete at least 29 credits and 540 clinical hours to earn their graduate certificate in gerontology online. Courses in the program include diagnosis and management of chronic and acute illness, cardiac rhythm analysis and interventions, adult-gerontology traumatic injury and acute illness, and a nurse practitioner internship.

While the bulk of the coursework in this program is available online, students must attend UA's Resident Intensive Summer Experience once during the program. Learners may also need to participate in select on-campus intensives.

Applicants do not have to submit standardized test scores, but they must hold an unrestricted nursing license and advanced practice registered nurse certification. Prospective students also need to send in transcripts showing proof of an advanced practice nursing degree earned with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. The program takes four terms to complete if students take 6-10 credits each term.

UA holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Graduate Certificate in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Tuition: $975/credit
Credit Requirements: 29 credits
Program Length: 4 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (520) 621-0898
Email: advanced@nursing.arizona.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25

Wilkes University

Wilkes-Barre, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 60%

A private, nonsectarian university located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Wilkes University serves more than 5,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students through seven colleges and schools. Students can take courses at Wilkes' home campus in the Pocono Mountains, at one of several satellite campuses across the state, and online. Working nurses can pursue an online postgraduate certificate in adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner through Wilkes.

Individuals who earn this 25-credit certificate in gerontology online learn how to provide primary healthcare management, prevent disease, and promote health in senior adults in multiple settings. Once they complete the program, graduates can sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center's examination for adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner.

Wilkes determines each student's course of study individually based on an analysis of their official transcripts. However, learners usually enroll in courses such as diagnostic reasoning for nurse practitioners; nurse practitioners in primary care; an advanced practice in adult gerontology clinical; and health perspectives of culturally diverse, rural, and underserved populations. Students also take a course called health assessments, which requires an on-campus residency. Each course lasts 12 weeks.

Applicants must be experienced registered nurses who hold either a master's degree or a doctorate from an institution with programmatic accreditation in nursing. Prospective students need a GPA of 3.0 or better, an unencumbered nursing license, at least one year of clinical experience, an advanced practice registered nurse license, and appropriate national board certification.

Wilkes holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Post-Graduate Certificate in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Tuition: $730/credit
Credit Requirements: 25 credits
Program Length: 3-4 semesters

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (570) 408-4235
Email: GraduateStudies@Wilkes.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

What Else can I Expect From an Online Graduate Certificate in Gerontology Program?

Curriculum for an Online Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

Coursework for a graduate certificate in gerontology online program typically includes several general core requirements related to the field. You can also choose electives based on your area of interest and/or profession. Classes range from in-depth studies of the physical and psychological changes that occur with age to ethical, social, and medical concerns. The following classes are examples of topics you may cover in your program.

  • Biology of Aging: This course examines the human aging process and the common disorders and diseases that occur with age. Coursework promotes an understanding of the physical changes that affect the human body over time; this is useful for students who to plan work with the senior population in healthcare, counseling, and home settings. Students also study current clinical research techniques.
  • Geriatric Pharmacology: This course multifaceted issues of medication for senior citizens are reviewed in this course. Topics include prescribing, dosing, administration, and oversight of drugs; the common errors inherent within each aspect; and the ramifications of those errors. This class is important for all professionals in the senior sector and is critical for those working in the healthcare field.
  • Perspectives on Death and Dying: This course provides a global examination of the end-of-life experience, from historical and cultural aspects to physical and psychological changes. It also provides an understanding of the grief process for caregivers and family members. This is important knowledge for counselors, social workers, and healthcare workers.
  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Aging: Students gain an understanding of the complex health and legal concerns affecting the aging population. These range from end-of-life care and decision-making to the rights afforded to seniors, their families, and caregivers by the legal system and certain legal documents. The ethical concerns related to these topics are examined, often through case studies. This course is important for jobs involving senior healthcare, law, and social work.
  • Aging and the Family: This class examines the dynamics of aging within the context of family, work, and community. Changes that occur within family units regarding roles, responsibilities, and caregiving - and how they affect seniors psychologically and socially - are reviewed. Counselors, psychologists, and social workers benefit from this course.

How Long Does it Take to get an Online Graduate Certificate in Gerontology?

If you choose to pursue a gerontology graduate certificate online, you should expect to dedicate 15 to 18 months to your studies. Some students take up to two years to complete their certificates, depending on their schedules. Programs typically require the completion of 12 to 15 credits.

Some programs utilize a cohort learning model, which organizes students into groups who pursue their certificate as a unit. This method provides shared learning experiences and deepens the impact of class discussions, which are often delivered synchronously. Certain cohort programs are accelerated and can be completed in 15 months. Alternatively, an individually-paced program lets students take classes at their convenience. Most of these courses are taught asynchronously and distance learners can access coursework at any time.

What Can I Do With an Online Graduate Certificate in Gerontology?

Professionals who earn a gerontology graduate certificate online can work in a variety of capacities within the senior service sector. Psychologists, social workers and their assistants, and counselors support seniors and manage issues affecting mental or emotional health, while nurse practitioners deliver expert healthcare. Anyone interacting with seniors should be compassionate and caring. They must also have excellent communication, listening, and problem-solving skills. Most of these positions require advanced degrees, state and/or board licensure, and internships.

Geropsychologists

These psychologists work with the senior population. They observe, analyze, and treat patients for mental or emotional disorders. They may also assist them in the short-term with issues related to grief or trauma.

Median Annual Salary $75,230
Projected Growth Rate 19%

Gerontology Social Workers

This type of social worker helps seniors manage disorders or adjust to changes in their lives, such as altered living situations or grief. They work in senior living communities, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations serving seniors. They may be licensed or clinical social workers.

Median Annual Salary $46,890
Projected Growth Rate 12%

Mental Health Counselors

Some mental health counselors specialize in assisting seniors and provide them with strategies to manage grief, substance abuse, stress, anxiety, and other issues.

Median Annual Salary $44,170
Projected Growth Rate 19%

Gerontology Aides

These professionals assist social workers and help seniors who live independently. Tasks may include coordinating meal and housekeeping assistance. In some cases, gerontology aides also help seniors find residential communities or nursing homes.

Median Annual Salary $31,810
Projected Growth Rate 11%

Acute Care Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners provide a higher level of professional care and often specialize in senior health management. Acute care nurse practitioners deal with urgent healthcare needs in hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. They can prescribe medication and order lab tests.

Median Annual Salary $107,460
Projected Growth Rate 31%

Graduate Certificate in Gerontology Salary

Students who complete a graduate certificate in gerontology online typically find employment in a profession within the senior service sector. They may have already earned a master's degree and have several years of work experience. The following table features data collected by PayScale. It outlines the correlation between years of work experience and salary increases for professional positions commonly held by individuals with an online graduate certificate in gerontology.

Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees Median Salary for Late-Career Employees
Psychologist $75,330 $67,522 $81,479 $90,443
Hospice Social Worker $49,667 $49,667 $52,615 $54,315
Mental Health Counselor $40,270 $39,073 $42,373 $49,061
Social and Human Service Assistant $33,617 $29,000 $29,000 $34,000
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner $98,328 $95,114 $102,706 $107,172

Financing Your Online Graduate Certificate in Gerontology Program

There are a variety of resources available to students seeking financial aid. By completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you'll receive eligibility information about federal loans, scholarships, grants, and work-study opportunities. There are also private sources of funding you can use to finance your online graduate certificate in gerontology. These include personal loans, private and organizational scholarships and grants, and employer tuition reimbursement programs. Some employers may cover some of your educational costs in order to hire you or retain your services in this specialized field.

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UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

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Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

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