Gerontology is a multidisciplinary field focused on the physiological, psychological, social and cultural factors that impact human aging. Unlike geriatrics ― the medical field dealing with treatment methods for elderly patients ― gerontology is not strictly limited to healthcare. Other areas of interest for gerontologists include economics and finance, social services, geography, politics, law and public policy.

Gerontology graduates often find work in medical health and services management, occupational therapy, adult care, social work, and research.

A large number of professionals in this field begin their career by earning a master's degree in gerontology. Some of these master's programs are concentrated in gerontology; other pathways allow students to earn a gerontology degree specialization in master's subjects like public health or social services. In addition to standard coursework, gerontology degree programs often require students to receive supervised onsite training from experienced professionals as part of a practicum course; a capstone or master's thesis project may also be included. Many of today's students are choosing to earn their master's degree in gerontology online. Web-based students follow the same rigorous curriculum as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, leading to the same number of job opportunities for successful graduates. The asynchronous (or self-paced) schedule and study-from-home format are also ideal for students with part-time jobs, childcare duties and other obligations that may conflict with on-campus learning.

Learn more about what you can do with an online master's in gerontology and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.

WILL AN ONLINE MASTER'S IN GERONTOLOGY PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

A master's in gerontology will prepare students for a wide range of professional settings. Those pursuing a career in academic or medical research will learn how to collect, analyze and evaluate data related to different aspects of human aging. A gerontology in master's track is also suitable for students who plan to work in fields like social and community based services, counseling and health management; the best online master's in gerontology programs will cover certification and licensure requirements (such as exams and/or residency hours) related to these career paths.

WILL AN ONLINE MASTER'S IN GERONTOLOGY PROGRAM WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

Online master's in gerontology degree programs offer a flexible, easily accessible alternative to traditional college education. Students can download course lectures and readings, participate in virtual discussions with other students, submit written assignments, take exams and communicate with their professors on their own schedule. Current technology also enables them to study away from home using a laptop, tablet, smartphone and other portable devices with Wi-Fi capabilities. For added convenience, online gerontology master's students can usually coordinate practicum courses at facilities that are reasonably close to their current residence.

WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY MASTER'S IN GERONTOLOGY?

Students who graduate with a master's in gerontology online will be qualified for many different occupational roles. Some of the most common job titles for gerontology degree-holders include medical and research scientists, medical health and services managers, occupational and recreational therapists, adult care specialists, social workers and postsecondary teachers. The master's in gerontology will also equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a Ph.D. or doctoral gerontology program.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MASTER'S IN GERONTOLOGY PROGRAMS?

Choosing a program is an incredibly personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school's strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online MBA in healthcare management programs in the United States. If you are considering an online MBA in healthcare management, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific requirements and offerings.

Rank School Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

University of Southern California

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

One of the world's leading research colleges, the University of Southern California (USC) enrolls 47,500 students in programs administered by 21 schools and units in Los Angeles. Many in the Trojan Family pursue online degrees from USC's growing virtual platform. USC consistently makes invaluable contributions to many disciplines, including renowned care and research in the health sciences, and maintains distinction as the nation's top college in the field of gerontology.

The online MS in gerontology offers an online curriculum that trains researchers and administrators in the mechanics of longevity, aging, and population health. The flagship program in the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology enrolls learners with no experience in the field and those seeking to build on their expertise. All learners receive a strong foundation in gerontology that examines key points such as the physiology of development and aging, lifespan developmental psychology, and social policy and aging.

During a capstone, students study gerontology from an interdisciplinary standpoint, incorporating the perspectives of psychologists, biologists, and sociologists. Students translate their theoretical knowledge into real-life best practices and acquire hands-on expertise during an internship. They fulfill this aspect of the program by completing 240 hours at an organization that serves older adults.

Graduates leave the program skilled in planning, administrating, and evaluating gerontology programs, ready to assume leadership of programs in the public and private sector, and equipped to effectively deliver services to older people and their caretakers. Admission to the master's in gerontology online requires a minimum 3.0 GPA, school transcripts, and the GRE.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Gerontology
Available Concentrations: Psychology; care management; nutrition; entrepreneurship; end of life; geriatric care; health science
Tuition: $1,666/credit
Credit Requirements: 44 credits
Program Length: 1.5-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (213) 740-1728
Email: sararobi@usc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

George Washington University

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

About 26,000 students from around the world come to study at George Washington University (GW), located blocks from the White House and major government and non-governmental agencies. In addition to three campuses, GW offers online learning in various disciplines including healthcare. The adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner MSN program enrolls RNs who want to advance their nursing practice by completing a degree online on a full- or part-time basis with limited on-campus residencies.

The 48-credit degree qualifies RNs to sit for American Nurses Credentialing Center and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner certification exams. Faculty provide RNs with the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to assume roles as advanced practice nurses in home healthcare, long-term care, and other facilities. The curriculum comprises courses on nursing leadership, concepts in population health, advanced physiology and pathophysiology, and the adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner practice.

RNs complete 625 clinical hours after choosing a preceptor and clinical site in their communities. They must complete at least 120 clinical hours in a nursing home or long-term care facility as part of their rotation. RNs participate in two on-campus residencies, one of them during a course on health assessment and diagnostic reasoning that requires them to perform a complete physical examination. Near the end of the final semester, RNs return to GW to complete a series of exams that test their critical thinking and diagnostic reasoning.

Admission to the online gerontology master's degree requires a bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA and an unencumbered nursing license.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Nursing: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Tuition: $1,340/credit
Credit Requirements: 48 credits

Delivery
Format: Hybrid

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: Active, unencumbered nursing license

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%

The University of Utah (the U) continues to churn out groundbreaking research, maintaining the school's standing as a top-tier research college in fields such as healthcare. The U ranks among the best national universities according to the U.S. News & World Report. UOnline maintains a growing catalog of online degrees to give learners around the country access to rigorous programs. The school of nursing administers the 33- to 34-credit MS in gerontology to give learners from any academic background the opportunity to study aging.

The MS curriculum introduces students to the field of gerontology and delves deeper into the issues that affect the aged through an examination of health and optimal aging, social and public policy and aging, research methods in aging, and the service agencies and programs available to older adults. Elective credits give students the option to acquire specialized knowledge in areas such as best practices in geriatric care and death, dying, and bereavement. Students complete a 150-hour practicum at an organization that serves the elderly.

The degree culminates with a master's project or thesis. Those choosing the thesis option complete at least six credits in electives, while students who plan to do a project complete at least nine credits. Full-time students can complete the degree in as little as a year if they study during the summer. Since the U participates in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, graduate students living in the 16 partnering states may benefit from reduced tuition.

Admission to one of the nation's best online gerontology master's programs requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and no GRE scores.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Gerontology
Tuition: $853 base tuition + $264/credit in-state; $3,039 base tuition + $929/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 33-34 credits
Program Length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

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

4

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 78%

Purdue University manages a system of campuses across Indiana along with Purdue Global, a robust virtual college that enrolls 30,000 distance learners. Purdue Global offers an online adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner MSN, an 81-credit degree that trains RNs equipped to care for adult and older populations in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of health problems.

The fully online degree requires a 30-credit core curriculum that examines topics such as advanced nursing roles, epidemiology and health promotion, and the theoretic foundations of advanced practice nursing. RNs also complete specialized courses in gerontology and fulfill the required clinicals and practicum at a facility within their community.

RNs can choose one of two ways to earn the degree: a traditionally structured online path or the school's signature competency-based ExcelTrack for learners seeking more control over their education. The MSN also prepares RNs to sit for the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Credentialing Center adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner exams. Furthermore, Purdue boasts a 90% pass rate for the most recent graduates who attempted these exams.

Nurses leave the program skilled in quality improvement and safety, translating scholarship into practice, and informatics and healthcare technologies. RNs learn and receive mentoring from experts actively working in the field with whom they connect through virtual discussion boards. Admission to the master's in gerontology online requires a BSN in nursing and an active U.S. RN license.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Nursing
Available Concentrations: Adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner
Tuition: $420/credit
Credit Requirements: 90 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (844) 787-3834
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 79%

More than 50,000 students attend Michigan State University (MSU), a college that ranks among the top 100 in the world. MSU's catalog of more than 200 programs of study include the online MSN in nursing adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist with a nurse education concentration. The degree prepares clinical experts knowledgeable about best practices to advance the quality of care for adults and develops nurse educators who can champion both policy and operational changes.

The MSN qualifies RNs to sit for professional certification exams administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). MSU boasts a 100% first-time pass rate for MSN graduates who take ANCC's adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist certification (AGCNS-BC) and the AACNS-AG (adult-gero) exam.

Faculty expect RNs to secure a preceptor and complete clinicals at a healthcare facility in the RN's local region. The degree provides a seamless pathway for RNs to earn the doctor of nursing practice. The fully online degree begins with a one-day orientation held on campus in East Lansing. RNs move onto the online curriculum to advance their knowledge about clinical decision-making, healthcare policy and politics, pathophysiology for advanced practice nurses, and care for aging individuals across the healthcare continuum.

MSU offers affordable tuition, and the school of nursing offers scholarships to help nurses pay for the degree. MSU offers in-state tuition to service members and their families, making this an affordable online gerontology master's degree. Admission requires RN licensure and a minimum 3.0 GPA on the last half of applicant's bachelor's in nursing.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Nursing, Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
Available Concentrations: Nurse education
Tuition: $807/credit in-state; $832/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 47 credits
Program Length: 5 semesters

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (517) 353-4827
Email: nurse@hc.msu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Webster University

Saint Louis, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 64%

Webster University, located in Saint Louis, emphasizes small classes and personalized learning offered through a global network of campuses and a virtual college. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school 23rd among regional colleges in the Midwest. Webster's MA in gerontology requires no healthcare expertise for admission, and graduates of the program acquire diverse skills in business areas such as management and economics in addition to the gerontological knowledge necessary to direct program development.

Faculty offer this program exclusively online with no residency requirements. The 36-credit MA in gerontology gives learners an introduction to gerontology and the physiology and psychology of aging. Students learn how to manage programs for older adults and perform research and assessments in gerontology. They also gain insight into the economic issues that impact older adults.

Students use electives to fulfill the remaining requirements of the degree, participating in seminars that examine contemporary issues in gerontology, and may also use elective credit to complete a practicum under the supervision of gerontological specialists working in healthcare or social services. After students complete the required core courses, they synthesize principles and concepts learned during a final course that also requires an evaluation of current research in gerontology.

Graduates leave the program skilled in the application of theoretical approaches to healthy aging along with the use of research to address real challenges in gerontology. Webster also ranks as one of the top 15 colleges in the Midwest for veterans and provides them with affordable education and support services. Admission to the program requires a minimum 2.5 GPA and no GRE scores.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Gerontology
Tuition: $780/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

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

7

Jefferson University

Philadelphia, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 72%

Two institutions became one when Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University merged. Jefferson's curriculum emphasizes collaboration and real-world earning to give all students a competitive advantage. Registered nurses interested in the specialized care of adult-gerontology patients can enroll in the MSN in adult-gerontology.

The 36-credit degree prepares RNs to sit for the American Association of Critical Care Nurses board certification exam. The core curriculum requires coursework in advanced nursing practice, epidemiology for the health professions, and legal and ethical dimensions of practice. Once RNs complete the specialized portion of the MSN curriculum, they acquire proficiency in areas such as advanced pharmacotherapeutics, pathophysiology of human disease, and diagnostic reasoning and clinical decision-making for acute care.

RNs in this master's in gerontology online complete the degree through a mix of online and on-campus courses. Faculty expect participants to complete 16 hours of clinical experience each week for each clinical course. Jefferson provides access to a large selection of resources via the library, including textbooks, multimedia, and clinical databases.

RNs may transfer up to 12 credits in this MSN toward completion of an additional degree. Jefferson highlights noteworthy outcomes for MSN graduates including a 95% pass rate on national certification exams and a 98% job placement rate for those who pursue employment after graduation. Admission requires a BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA, RN licensure, and one year of clinical experience.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Nursing
Available Concentrations: Adult-gerontology - acute care nurse practitioner
Tuition: $1,165/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2-5 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: Active RN license; 1 year of clinical experience

Contact
Phone: (215) 503-8890
Email: TJU.Admissions@jefferson.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Texas Tech University

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

A top-tier research college, Texas Tech University (TTU) offers 300 degrees administered by 12 colleges and schools. TTU continues to promote innovation in distance learning that began in 1966 when the school's "Flying Professors" delivered a groundbreaking master's program. Today, TTU serves distance learners with degrees delivered online through a network of regional sites and as part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA).

Seven colleges in GPIDEA contribute to the development of the MS in human development and family studies with an emphasis in gerontology. This 36-credit master's in gerontology online requires no background in healthcare for admission and suits professionals who already work in areas such as social work, nursing, adult care, or family and child services. Core courses cover topics such as adult development and aging; physical health and nutrition in aging, policy and aging; and program evaluation and research methods. Students choose three electives to tailor the degree to meet their particular areas of interest. The options include long-term care, mental health and aging, and program evaluation and research methods.

TTU notes that while other colleges offer gerontology degrees, this MS provides an alternative with unique content unavailable elsewhere. All students in the MS in human development and family studies with an emphasis in gerontology pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires all school transcripts and GRE scores.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Human Development and Family Studies
Available Concentrations: Gerontology
Tuition: $580/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (806) 742-7227
Email: elearning@ttu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

Seton Hall University

South Orange, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 67%

One of the nation's top Catholic colleges, Seton Hall University sustains a reputation for scholarship with 90 rigorous programs pursued by 10,000 students. U.S. News & World Report ranks the New Jersey institution among the nation's best national colleges. Students at Seton Hall learn in classrooms with a low 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio that helps facilitate their academic development. The online master of science in nursing, adult-gerontology nurse practitioner enrolls RNs who want to specialize in the care of elderly populations in primary and acute care settings.

The 48-credit program provides a values-centered curriculum that emphasizes the role of RNs as compassionate servant leaders trained in the provision of evidence-based care. The degree prepares RNs for board certification exams administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Students can choose a primary or acute care track, but they all must complete a nine-credit core examining the forces affecting healthcare, nursing research, and the theoretical basis of nursing. Both 39-credit tracks also offer common courses that focus on health promotion and advanced clinical pathophysiology.

All students in the online gerontology master's degree complete three immersions. The first serves as an orientation at the beginning of the program, the second as a practicum that requires students to perform physical and GYN/GU exams two years into the program, and the third as a practicum that requires both hands-on experience and presentations from guest speakers.

RNs can complete the degree in 3-4 years, and admissions requires a bachelor's degree in nursing and RN licensure in the United States.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Nursing, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
Available Concentrations: Primary care; acute care
Tuition: $1,259/credit
Credit Requirements: 48 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: Current RN license and 1 year of patient care experience

Contact
Phone: (844) 823-1198
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Iowa State University

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

Located in Ames, Iowa State University (ISU) enrolls about 35,000 students in 100 majors spanning a plethora of disciplines. ISU's growing catalog of online degrees includes the master of family and consumer sciences with a gerontology specialization, a program that requires no healthcare experience for admission. The program's student body consists of professionals already working in the field of aging, those pursuing second careers, and newly minted bachelor's degree holders.

ISU collaborates with six other schools in the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance to offer this master's in gerontology online. The 36-credit online program prepares learners to work with older adults and conduct research that addresses their healthcare needs. The curriculum covers topics such as adult development, aging and the family, program evaluation and research methods, and economics, public policy and aging.

A notable course examines the impact of the physical environment on aging and how organizations and institutions can use this knowledge to design and manage housing, neighborhoods, and communities that support the needs of older adults. Students can choose 12 credits in electives, allowing them to pursue particular areas of interest. These diverse elective subjects include rural aging, community services and aging, the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, and intergenerational issues and programs.

In the final semester, students prepare a case study and research paper as part of the capstone course, then defend their research via an oral exam. Admission requires school transcripts and GRE scores.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Family and Consumer Sciences
Available Concentrations: Gerontology
Tuition: $580/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 6 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (515) 294-3028
Email: margrett@iastate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

University of Detroit Mercy

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

About 5,000 students receive a liberal arts education in the Jesuit tradition at University of Detroit Mercy (UDM). The university offers more than 100 academic programs including online degrees that students can pursue at their own pace. RNs seeking to advance their certification to clinical nurse specialist (CNS) can enroll in the MS in nursing with a major in nursing education and adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialty. The program trains advanced practice registered nurses to serve as change agents, team-builders, and skilled clinicians.

During an intraprofessional advanced practice core, RNs examine issues such as advanced health assessment and pharmacology for advanced practice nurses and learn the intricacies of curriculum development and nursing program planning and evaluation. The specialty focuses on the competencies that CNSs must master to effectively provide high-quality and safe care to older adults.

RNs complete 500 clinical practicum hours to demonstrate their effectiveness in promoting wellness, ability to provide an optimum standard of care, and effectiveness in collaborating with nurses and administrators to improve nursing practice.

UDM boasts that MSN graduates have a 100% pass rate on certification exams administered by boards such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center. One of the nation's best gerontology master's programs online, every graduate who possesses this degree assumes roles in healthcare settings, care coordination, or academia. Nurses choose their own pace to complete this MSN, offering them flexibility as they juggle multiple obligations. Admission requires a bachelor's degree in nursing, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and unencumbered RN licensure.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Nursing, Nursing Education and Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialty
Tuition: $981/credit
Credit Requirements: 51 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: Current, unencumbered RN license; 2,000 hours of RN experience

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

12

Concordia University - Nebraska

Seward, NE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 66%

Founded in 1894, Concordia University Nebraska equips learners for lives of learning, leadership, and service. Concordia, one in a network of colleges affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, enrolls 2,500 students. The fully online master of human services with a concentration in gerontology examines the issues and challenges facing the growing population of older adults. Participants acquire proficiency in managing programs that provide older adults with quality long-term care, and students can complete the degree entirely online with no on-campus residency requirements.

Healthcare leaders teach the program, providing students with a rigorous real-world curriculum that incorporates Christian ethics. Core courses examine issues such as healthcare financial management, healthcare outcomes and quality improvement, and management of healthcare organizations. Students also acquire knowledge of the laws and ethics that guide healthcare delivery and administration. The nine-credit concentration explores gerontology and aging, social gerontology, and long-term care administration.

Faculty give learners an opportunity to demonstrate their expertise and build experience during a practicum focused on healthcare administration. Graduates leave the program effective leaders skilled in applying business theories and techniques in the healthcare environment.

Students can transfer up to nine qualifying credits into this online program, facilitating faster and cheaper degree completion. Online students pay the same tuition regardless of residency. All of the students who attend Concordia receive some form of financial aid, making this degree one of the nation's most affordable master's in gerontology online programs. Admission requires school transcripts.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Healthcare Administration
Available Concentrations: Gerontology
Tuition: $500/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.8 minimum

Contact
Phone: (402) 643-7177
Email: info@cune.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

Loyola University Chicago

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

Students attending Loyola University Chicago receive a liberal arts education in the Jesuit tradition. Located in downtown Chicago, Loyola enrolls 17,000 students in programs delivered in classrooms with a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Loyola Online provides graduate students with a portfolio of fully online or hybrid degrees that need not interfere with work. RNs receive training for roles as clinical nurse specialists in the MSN in adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist (CNS) with an oncology specialty.

The 38-credit blended curriculum requires a core that examines topics in epidemiology, ethical practice, nursing concepts and theories, and research for health professions. RNs also complete advanced coursework in areas such as health assessment, pharmacology, role socialization, and CNS practice across the adult age spectrum. RNs arrange to fulfill a clinical placement at a facility close to work or home and must hold RN licensure in Illinois before they can begin the clinical.

RNs leave the program equipped to deliver evidence-based nursing interventions, develop and evaluate population-based care, implement best practices to improve healthcare delivery, and collaborate with interdisciplinary teams. The MSN prepares learners to sit for CNS board certification exams administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. In addition, RNs completing this online gerontology master's degree can sit for the Advanced Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist exam administered by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation.

In addition to competitive tuition, Loyola offers RNs scholarships to help pay for tuition. Admission requires an undergraduate nursing degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and RN licensure in the U.S.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Nursing Clinical Nurse Specialist
Available Concentrations: Adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist; adult-gerontology acute care clinical nurse specialist
Tuition: $1,130/credit
Credit Requirements: 38-39 credits

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: Current nursing license; 2,000 recent clinical hours

Contact
Phone: (708) 216-9101
Email: schoolofnursing@luc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

McDaniel College

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

A private liberal arts and sciences college, McDaniel College provides learners with a cozy learning environment on a scenic hilltop campus located in Westminster, Maryland. McDaniel's 70 areas of study include the MS in gerontology offered in fully online and hybrid formats. The degree empowers learners with the skills necessary to assume leadership roles in the private and public sectors where they can improve the lives of the elderly.

The degree consists of 30-36 credits and includes courses that examine the biology and psychology of aging, aging in a diverse society, and research methodologies. Elective options allow learners to investigate diverse topics in gerontology, such as spirituality and dementia in older adults. During an internship at a relevant facility, participants engage in hands-on activities that enhance their knowledge of the various dimensions of aging.

Students culminate this degree with a master's thesis or capstone project that outlines their ability to apply research and knowledge learned in a practical setting. Graduates enter the field of gerontology equipped to interpret and apply gerontological research, effectively communicate gerontological concepts, and a portfolio of relevant work. Students pursuing this degree receive full access to the college's Center for the Study of Aging, where they can participate in workshops and seminars throughout the year.

Social workers and psychologists practicing in Pennsylvania and Maryland can earn continuing education credits for courses in this online master's in gerontology. Graduates qualify for roles in healthcare and long-term care; retirement communities; academic institutions; and community, human services, and religious organizations. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Gerontology
Tuition: $500/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (410) 857-2500
Email: ocm@mcdaniel.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

The University of Texas at Arlington

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

The University of Texas at Arlington's high level of research activity puts the school in the company of prestigious and influential institutions such as Harvard and MIT. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA among the nation's best schools for nursing. UTA offers two MSN programs focused on the care of older adults: a 41-credit MSN in adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner and the 41-credit MSN in adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner.

UTA offers both programs online to prepare advanced practice nurses skilled in caring for adults in hospitals and clinics. Each curriculum varies but shares core courses in subjects, such as advanced pathophysiology, evidence-based practice, advanced pharmacology, and advanced health assessment and diagnostic reasoning. Both curriculums immerse RNs in gerontological studies with courses examining adult-gerontology management across the continuum, and clinical experiences conducted in healthcare settings.

RNs in the online gerontology master's programs demonstrate their mastery during a required practicum overseen by a preceptor at a selected healthcare facility site. Unlike many similar MSN programs, both degrees allow learners to transfer up to 10 credits, as long as the credits fulfill curriculum requirements.


Online learners pay by the course and owe the same tuition regardless of residency. RNs who complete either degree without interruption lock in their affordable tuition rates. Admission for either program requires a BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA, the GRE for RNs with lower GPAs, and unencumbered RN licensure. The programs offer multiple start dates throughout the year.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Nursing in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner; MS in Nursing in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Tuition: $654/credit
Credit Requirements: 41 credits
Program Length: 29-35 months

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.8 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE (if GPA below 3.0)
Work Experience: Current, unencumbered RN license

Contact
Phone: (817) 533-3118
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, OK Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

Oklahoma State University is a five-campus system with more than 35,000 students enrolled. OSU's campus in Stillwater gives learners from 100 countries and all 50 states countries the opportunity to earn online degrees from one of the nation's premier land-grant institutions. The MS in human development and family science: gerontology offers a flexible degree that suits busy professionals. Students typically earn their degrees in three years by completing one course every semester.

OSU collaborates with six other colleges to bring the MS in human development and family science: gerontology to virtual learners. This 36-credit curriculum examines a sweeping number of subjects to those who serve the elderly, including adult development and aging, family systems, nutrition and physical activity in aging, and program evaluation and research in gerontology. Students can use directed study to pursue specialized training in areas not covered in the curriculum core. The diverse options include mental health and aging, spirituality and aging, and cognitive care.

The degree requires a creative component that students fulfill with one of two options: a 240-hour field experience or a research-based written project. Near the end of the program, RNs also complete a professional seminar that integrates gerontological knowledge to address issues such as advocacy and family/workplace issues. Seven schools deliver this program through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance.

Students in this program pay competitive online tuition, and admission requires no GRE.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Human Development and Family Science
Available Concentrations: Gerontology
Tuition: $230/credit in-state; $360/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (405) 744-5053
Email: cohs@okstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 71%

Drexel University enjoys a global reputation for its experiential learning and online learning delivery. The school operates three campuses in Philadelphia and several regional sites. About 24,000 students study at Drexel, including about 4,600 online students. Drexel Online offers an MSN to prepare RNs for adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner certifications.

The 52-credit curriculum requires a core that cultivates RN skills in areas such as quality and safety in healthcare, research methods and biostatistics, and advanced ethical decision-making. The curriculum also provides support courses that examine advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, health assessment and diagnostic reasoning, and some of the issues faced by nurse practitioners.

Students must complete four clinical courses in the online gerontology master's degree, beginning with an exploration of caring for patients of all ages across the wellness-illness continuum. The remaining clinical courses hone nurses' skills in the management and care of adult patients and gerontology management and care.

Nurses must visit campus in the summer of the second year and the spring of the third year to engage in simulated clinical experiences in Drexel's new state-of-the-art lab. Through these highly immersive hands-on experiences, students can hone their problem-solving and technical proficiencies.

Throughout the program, nurses learn from faculty members who remain active in the field and hold national board certification. Students complete the degree online using a synchronous format. Admission requires a BSN with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA, unencumbered RN licensure in the U.S., and a preferred one year of adult nursing experience.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Nursing: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Tuition: $968/credit
Credit Requirements: 52 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: Current, unrestricted RN license

Contact
Phone: (267) 359-5936
Email: duonline@drexel.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

University of Missouri

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

Founded in 1839, the University of Missouri is the state's largest and most comprehensive college. About 30,000 students enroll in 300 programs, 90 of which they can pursue online. The 36-credit MA in human development and family studies with an emphasis in gerontology requires no healthcare background for admission. The fully online curriculum prepares administrators for governmental and private sector programs serving the elderly.

To deliver this program, MU joins several other institutions in forming the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance. The core curriculum examines many of the issues that impact the elderly, including aging policies, the family structure, their physical health, and living environments. Each student uses 12 elective credits in areas such as long-term care administration, before culminating the master's in gerontology online with a comprehensive exam.

Graduates leave the program with a sound understanding of adult development, family systems, and other issues related to older adults. Practitioners also apply research findings in real-world settings to address some of the challenges faced by the elderly population and their families.

All students in MU's MA in human development and family studies pay in-state tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and no GRE. The program admits students in the fall, spring, and summer.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Human Development and Family Studies
Available Concentrations: Gerontology
Tuition: $566/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

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

19

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, ND Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

Founded in 1883, the University of North Dakota maintains a reputation as a top research institution and innovator in diverse fields such as aviation, energy, and medicine. UND enrolls 13,800 students in 225 programs, managing a 550-acre campus in Grand Forks and a thriving virtual college. The MS in adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner track cultivates nurses to be skilled in caring for adult and geriatric patients, particularly rural and vulnerable residents.

The fully online, 47-credit program trains nurses to become well versed in subjects such as advanced pharmacology, health promotion, illness management in adult-gerontology, and advanced health assessment. RNs complete three practicum courses that provide theoretical knowledge and clinical experiences that prepare them to care for adult-gerontology patients in primary, specialty, and long-term healthcare settings. RNs acquire hands-on expertise through 600 hours of direct patient care performed under the supervision of experienced healthcare professionals.

After completing their online gerontology master's degrees, nurses can sit for board certification exams administered by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and American Nurses Credentialing Center. UND allows students to transfer up to 25% of the required credits from another program to accelerate degree completion and cut down costs. RNs save even more by paying the same per-credit tuition regardless of which state they live. All active duty personnel pay in-state tuition.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA, unencumbered RN license in the U.S., and a recommended one year of RN experience.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Track
Tuition: $765/credit
Credit Requirements: 47 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: Current, unencumbered RN license

Contact
Phone: (701) 777-3000
Email: UND.info@UND.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

Eastern Illinois University

Charleston, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 56%

Founded in 1895, Eastern Illinois University enrolls 7,400 students in programs delivered online and on a 320-acre campus in Charleston. Since 1981, EIU has paved the way for learners to pursue careers in the field of gerontology. The 33-credit MA in aging studies continues that tradition as one of only four graduate programs to hold the Association of Gerontology in Higher Education's national program of merit designation.

Students who pursue the fully online or hybrid MA in aging studies come from various professional backgrounds, including human services administration, psychology, and health studies. The required core examines subjects such as aging policy in action, societal theories of aging, and the psychological processes of aging. A notable course provides learners with an overview of research in key areas, such as intergenerational communication.

Electives allow learners to tailor their degrees by studying subjects such as neurobiology, death and dying, and health program planning and evaluation. All students must also choose one of the following: independent study, a research thesis, or an internship completed at a related agency. The online gerontology master's degree at EIU allows students to conduct research for independent study, plus the option to pursue professional development through research fairs, symposiums, and national conferences.

Learners interested in the hybrid format may choose to pursue a graduate assistantship that pays full tuition and a monthly salary. Students can complete the online gerontology master's degree in 18 months on average. Admission requires a minimum 2.75 GPA and no GRE.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Aging Studies
Tuition: $302/credit in-state; $725/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum

Contact
Phone: (217) 581-6350
Email: kaorourke@eiu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

Kansas State University

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

Kansas State University operates three campuses and K-State Global, an online campus with no borders. K-State enrolls 24,000 in about 400 programs, including 159 graduate degrees and certificates. K-State Global offers a 36-credit MS in human development and family science with a specialization in gerontology, a program offered through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance. The degree incorporates the core competencies identified by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

The degree qualifies learners to conduct research in the field and work with older people in governmental or nongovernmental programs. The required curriculum covers several topics, including adult development and aging, aging in the family, and physical health and nutrition in aging. Electives provide learners with opportunities to acquire specialized gerontological knowledge in areas such as spirituality and aging, sexuality and aging, and long-term care.

A unique elective focused on gerontechnology examines population and technological changes, including technologies that can improve the lives of older adults in places such as rural areas. Participants can learn more about the cognitive health of older adults by taking a course that explores normative and non-normative cognitive changes, ways to assess older adults' cognitive function, and interventions used to address challenges they may face.

Students pursuing this degree through K-State Global pay the same tuition regardless of where they live. Admission to the master's in gerontology online requires a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last two years of the baccalaureate degree. The program admits students in the fall, spring, and summer.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Gerontology
Tuition: $568/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (785) 532-5945
Email: gerontology@k-state.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

Concordia University - Wisconsin

Mequon, WI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 53%

Concordia University-Wisconsin, affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, is part of a nine-college system. CUW lauds a community devoted to faith and learning since 1881. Students in Mequon study on a scenic campus that overlooks Lake Michigan, while many students across the country choose to learn from a distance through CUW's robust virtual college. RNs seeking to advance their careers enroll in the MSN in adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner.

The 41-credit degree provides part-time and full-time enrollment options. Faculty members bring their clinical nursing expertise to the classroom, integrating best practices in nursing and Christian values. The required MSN core covers subjects such as healthcare informatics, healthcare policy and issues in advanced nursing, advanced pathophysiology across the lifespan, and interprofessional collaboration.

A required course specifically examines RNs' transition to the role of nurse practitioners, highlighting subjects such as clinical education, clinical placement, family-focused care, and professionalism. RNs acquire specialized training during a component that explores evidence-based practice, disease prevention, and health promotion in the adult population. To round off their training in the master's in gerontology online, RNs complete didactic and clinical learning experiences in their community.

Students can complete the degree online with a two-week residency required on campus in Mequon during the advanced health assessment course. On average, it takes RNs about 3-4 years to finish this degree, and they pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires a BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA, RN licensure, and evidence of active practice.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Nursing
Available Concentrations: Adult/gerontology primary care nurse practitioner
Tuition: $719/credit
Credit Requirements: 41 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: Current RN licensure; current employment in health practice

Contact
Phone: (262) 243-5700
Email: admissions@cuw.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23

University of Massachusetts - Boston

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

UMass Boston, a hub of innovation in New England, manages a growing portfolio of degrees, research centers, and institutes. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school in the top tier of national colleges. The university enrolls 16,000 students in programs administered by 10 colleges. The 36-credit MS in gerontology with a track in management of aging services enrolls distance learners interested in managerial roles at facilities serving the elderly.

Enrollees gain expertise in program management, service delivery, and policy development. Working professionals can complete the degree at their own pace through a part-time enrollment option. The curriculum covers subjects such as aging in society, the psychological impact of aging, and marketing aging services. A course focused on long-term care examines the responsibilities of residential care managers and explores state licensure in the field.

Near the end of the program, each student completes a special project in a chosen area of interest, demonstrating mastery of the concepts learned in an applied context. Faculty members interact with students by holding required synchronous chats weekly or biweekly in the evenings or on weekends.

For highly motivated students, UMass Boston offers an accelerated bachelor's/master's in management of aging services that allows students to complete their master's degrees in half the time and at half the cost. Admission to the master's in gerontology online requires school transcripts and no GRE.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Gerontology
Available Concentrations: Management of aging services
Tuition: $8,948/semester in-state; $14,529/semester New England resident; $17,466/semester out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 3 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum

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

24

Brenau University

Gainesville, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

Brenau University celebrates a rich tradition of educating women since 1878. Outside of the storied Women's College, Brenau educates both women and men on several campuses in Georgia and online. The 30-credit MS in applied gerontology explores an interdisciplinary curriculum that explores various dimensions of aging, including psychology, occupational therapy, and housing.

Students begin the program with two prerequisite courses that examine psychology and human development. They move on to the required core, examining many of the major issues in gerontology, including death, dying and loss; the physical aspects of aging; and the cultural and social issues that impact aging. Each student must complete a course that cultivates their ability to effectively communicate with the elderly and their families, including an experiential component.

Enrollees can choose from a suite of electives, acquiring specialized knowledge in areas such as elder law, geriatric pharmacotherapy, and mediation skills. Participants explore the rights and responsibilities of older clients, in addition to handling legal and ethical dilemmas that arise in their profession. Students leave this course armed with professional guidelines that inform ethical decision-making.

Students pursuing the degree, one of the best gerontology master's programs online, cap their learning by either completing fieldwork or a major project that demonstrates their ability to apply knowledge in the real world. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA and no GRE.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Applied Gerontology
Tuition: $695/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (770) 534-6299
Email: info@brenau.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25

University of North Texas

Denton, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

Established in 1890, the University of North Texas ranks as a Tier One research college, continuing the school's longstanding commitment to innovation. UNT enrolls 38,000 students in 230 programs administered by 14 colleges and schools. UNT Online offers affordable and flexible degrees such as the 36-credit MS in health services administration with a concentration in applied gerontology.

The 24-credit core specifically addresses management strategies in healthcare delivery systems; the use of information systems; legal and ethical issues in healthcare; and the effective marketing of health services. The core also provides learners with a broad overview of financial matters in health services administration, such as effective planning and budgeting techniques.

The applied gerontology concentration focuses on issues such as housing; the process of aging; and federal, state, and local programs in aging. A course in the concentration equips learners with the skills necessary to conduct a needs assessment for services for the elderly. Participants learn how to design programs that address elder needs in areas such as housing, healthcare, income maintenance, and personal support. During a required capstone, each learner can complete a comprehensive research project in their area of specialization.

While students complete the degree online, the virtual learning format encourages interaction between faculty and peers, the exchange of ideas, and community building. Faculty members design the program as an accelerated degree for students to complete in 18 months. Admission to the MS in health services administration, one of the nation's best gerontology master's programs online, requires a minimum 3.0 GPA.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Health Services Administration
Available Concentrations: Applied gerontology
Tuition: $252/credit in-state; $675/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (940) 565-2488
Email: hsprogram@unt.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

How Long Is an Online Gerontology Program? 18 months to 2 years
Program Costs $25,000 to $50,000
Concentrations Public Health, Biology, Psychology, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, Medical and Health Technology
Accreditation Accreditation will vary by program. Some will receive programmatic accreditation from the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), or other related agencies like the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commission on Accreditation (COA) or American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (APA-CoA). Others will receive regional accreditation through the college or university where the program is offered.

Job Placement: Master's in Gerontology

The demand for qualified gerontologists has risen in recent years, largely due to the aging baby boomer population; according to the Administration for Community Living (ACL), there are roughly 46.2 million elderly men and women (age 65 and older) currently living in the United States. This number is expected to double between 2015 and 2055. As a result, the employment outlook for gerontology-related professions is currently quite strong.

Using data from U.S. News & World Report, the following table looks at unemployment rates for some of the most common careers among gerontology degree recipients.

Occupation Unemployment Rate (2016)
Occupational Therapist 1.1%
Physical Therapist 1.2%
Medical Health and Services Manager 1.7%
Dietitian and Nutritionist 2.9%
Clinical Social Worker 3.4%
Epidemiologist/Medical Scientist 3.9%

Source: 'Best Health Care Jobs', 'Best STEM Jobs' and 'Best Social Services Jobs' by U.S. News & World Report.

Of the six professions listed in the table, the average unemployment rate is 2.4%. This figure is significantly lower than the national unemployment rate for all industries, which currently sits at 4.6%.

Earning a Living

According to the 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report, students who graduate with a master's in gerontology earn a median annual salary of $46,000 during their first five years in the workforce and $60,600 once they hit the 10-year mark. This amounts to a 31.7% earnings increase after their first decade on the job. By comparison, the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual salary for all industries is $36,200.

Like unemployment rates, however, the earning potential for gerontology master's recipients will largely depend on the degree-holder's specific job title. The next table explores career salary growth projections for some of the most popular occupations related to gerontology.

Occupation Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years) Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-20 years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)
Medical Social Worker $48,343 $51,525 $56,112 $59,446
Geriatric Social Worker $42,000 $44,000 $46,000 $55,000
Occupational Therapist $61,425 $71,554 $75,079 $77,957
Medical Laboratory Scientist $50,547 $58,685 $59,664 $65,387
Retirement Plan Specialist $44,091 $51,956 $64,927 $73,242

Source: PayScale

All five occupations listed in the table experience a career salary growth rate of at least 23%. Retirement plan specialists reported the most substantial growth: a 66.1% increase between the entry-level and late-career stages. Medical laboratory scientists placed second with 29.4% career earnings growth, followed by occupational therapists with 26.9% growth.

Career Opportunities

Students who graduate with a master's in gerontology will be qualified for dozens of top-level positions, although individual eligibility will depend on additional factors like company size and city/state of employment. Four of the most common career pathways in gerontology are detailed below.

Medical Scientists: Medical scientists specialize in research rooted in human health and medical treatment. Some focus their work on epidemiology and disease pathology, while others target pharmacology, drugs and medical devices. Their most common workplaces include higher-learning institutions, hospitals, pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing centers and medical diagnostic laboratories.

Social Workers: Social workers assist members of the public with various issues that impact their daily lives. Within the gerontology field, most of these professionals work directly with elderly clients to secure accessible housing, obtain medical benefits, receive medical treatment and address other important concerns related to aging.

Medical and Health Services Managers: Also known as healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, these professionals oversee the various services offered at hospitals, clinics, physician's offices and other care-based facilities. Their day-to-day duties may involve medical billing and recordkeeping, equipment maintenance, facility upkeep, and staff hiring and training.

Occupational Therapist: Occupational therapists assist clients with injuries, chronic illnesses and other conditions that negatively impact their daily routines. They specialize in treatment and therapeutic techniques that utilize everyday objects and activities.

Occupation Median Annual Salary Projected Growth (2014-24)
Medical Scientists $82,240 8% (+9,000 jobs)
Social Workers $49,500 12% (+74,800 jobs)
Medical and Health Services Managers $94,500 17% (+56,300 jobs)
Human Resources Managers $80,150 27% (+30,400 jobs)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to gerontology is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you'll find three of the country's most prominent organizations established for gerontology professionals. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates. Resources like these often prove invaluable as you complete your degree requirements and prepare to enter the job market.

  • Gerontological Society of America: Founded in 1939 as the 'Club for Research on Ageing', the GSA today represents more than 5,500 members. The organization publishes two online journals, hosts an annual conference and offers webinars and professional development courses.
  • International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics: Also known as the International Federation on Ageing (IFA), this Canada-based organization boasts more than 45,000 members worldwide and 73 member organizations in 65 different countries. Membership benefits include reduced conference fees, networking events and opportunities to become part of the IFA Board of Directors.
  • American Society on Aging: The ASA abides by a mission to "to support the commitment and enhance the knowledge and skills of those who seek to improve the quality of life of older adults and their families". Online webinars and continuing education courses are available, and the ASA honors individuals and organizations through its comprehensive awards program.

Despite the relative affordability of online programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

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.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE COLLEGE STUDENTS

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.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WOMEN

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We've curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Master's in Gerontology Programs of 2018
Ranking School Location
1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
2 The University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, TX
3 George Washington University Washington, DC
4 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
5 Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
6 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
7 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
8 Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA
9 Iowa State University Ames, IA
10 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
11 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
12 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
13 Concordia University-Chicago River Forest, IL
14 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX
15 Concordia University-Nebraska Seward, NE
16 Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ
17 Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK
18 McDaniel College Westminster, MD
19 University of North Texas Denton, TX
20 The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX
21 Brenau University Gainesville, GA
22 Concordia University-Wisconsin Mequon, WI
23 University of Missouri-Columbia Columbia, MO
24 Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL
25 North Dakota State University Fargo, ND
Best Online Master's in Gerontology Programs of 2017
Rank School Location
1 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
2 Webster University Saint Louis, MO
3 McDaniel College Westminster, MD
4 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
5 Concordia University-Nebraska Seward, NE
6 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
7 University of Massachusetts-Boston Boston, MA
8 University of Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN
9 University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, LA
10 National University La Jolla, CA