The entire program can be completed either in person, online, or a hybrid of both. In other words, you don't have to come to campus to earn your Certificate in Aging Studies. 

You can complete the program at your own pace as either a full-time or part-time student. 

Most courses are offered in the evenings to accomodate our students who need this extra flexibility due to family, work, or life.  

Certificate students can customize their program of study through electives and independent study projects that are relevant to their career goals.

Our students have such a wide diversity of educational training and work and personal experience which makes for rich and dynamic learning. 

VCU Gerontology has a strong positive relationship with the wider community, which provides students many opportunities for networking, learning, engaging, and applying knowledge and skills acquired from courses. 

VCU Gerontology has a strong commitment to viewing aging as a lifespan journey toward elderhood, with a focus on disrupting ageism where we can.

Our students get jobs! 100% of our students are employed following graduation.  

There is no Gerontological Specialist like a VCU Gerontological Specialist! 

The Certificate in Aging Studies is a post-baccalaureate graduate certificate program that can be completed on its own, or as part of a combined program outlined below. 

The Department of Gerontology, in cooperation with other programs at the university, provides students interested in working with elders or in gerontological settings with the opportunity to complete the Certificate in Aging Studies while also completing requirements for other degree programs, including:

  • Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D)

Students interested in pursuing a combined Certificate in Aging Studies must apply separately to the participating programs and must meet all admission and degree requirements for both programs. In some cases, and with the approval of the advisers of both programs, course work in one program may be approved to satisfy a course requirement in another program. 

Connect Gerontological Theory to Practice: Students will demonstrate a holistic theoretical understanding of adult development and elderhood from a biological, psychological, and social perspective and the ability to apply this knowledge to aging, using a strengths-based lifespan orientation.

Integrate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Gerontological Practice: Students will demonstrate knowledge of how discrimination, oppression and marginalization based on age and intersectional identities impacts health and longevity.  Students will be equipped with the knowledge to shape positive attitudes about aging and elderhood.

Develop Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Students will demonstrate the ability to apply critical thinking and problem solving using gerontological research to evaluate best-practice approaches and the effectiveness of policies and services that support elders, their family members, and the community. 

Uphold Professional and Ethical Standards: Students will demonstrate the ability to engage in an on-going self-reflective process of their professional gerontological practice. Students will demonstrate the ability to uphold professional standards through individually and collaboratively applying ethical decision making processes.

Identify and Respond to Community Need: Students will demonstrate knowledge of Older Adult Services and will be able to make contributions to community identified needs through the successful delivery of services and effective communication with elders, their families, the community, and the public. Community engagement will take the form of field work, research, grant writing, experiential learning opportunities, education and training. 

Curriculum requirements can be found in the VCU Graduate Bulletin

A list of Gerontology courses can be found in the VCU Bulletin*

*The course list is not exhaustive of all topics that may be offered in the Department of Gerontology. 

Joint Certificate in Aging Studies Program Core Curriculum

Curriculum requirements for the Joint Certificate in Aging Studies VCU Graduate Bulletin.

VMI Building, 2nd floor, suite 231
1000 E Marshall Street
Richmond, VA 23298
901 Floyd Avenue 
Richmond, VA 23284
MCV Campus Office
VMI Building, 3rd floor, suite 305
1000 E Marshall Street
Richmond, VA 23298
912 W Grace Street
Richmond, VA 23284
Grace E Harris Hall Building
1015 Floyd Ave, Room 3122
Richmond, VA 232384
Blair House
408 West Franklin Street, First floor
Richmond, VA 23284
N Deck 
601 North 10th Street
Richmond, VA 23298

Now that you know something about us, we would LOVE to talk to you! All prospective and current students are encouraged to reach out to us if you have any questions about our program, courses, and projects.  

Jennifer Pryor, professional headshot

Jennifer Pryor 

Program Director 

Dr. Gendron headshot

Dr. Tracey Gendron