Graduate Certificates

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 flexibiliy due to family, work, or life.  

Certificate students can customize their program of study through electives and independey 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 intersted 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, cousre work in one program may be approved to satisfy a course requirement in another program. 

All admissions requirements can be found in the VCU Graduate Bulletin

To apply for our program, please visit the VCU Graduate School website

1. Students will demonstrate understanding and application of the biological, psychological, sociological and spiritual theories of aging to gerontology practice.

2. Students will demonstrate understanding and respect for the interdisciplinary team process in effective gerontological practice and essential role of various disciplines on the care team. Students develop a clearer understanding of eldercare through the biopsychosocial approach, lifespan perspective and the theories within the field (as implicit in AGHE's core competencies). 

3. Students will demonstrate a thorough understanding of the multiple paths, methods and techniques of optimal aging in order to assist older persons, their families, program providers and policymakers toward the goal of optimal aging. A comprehensive understanding of gerontology core concepts is essential to this goal.

4. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the aging network and will be able to make contributions to community-identified needs through the successful delivery of services in the aging network. Community engagement will take the form of field work, research, grant writing, service-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 and the Master of Social Work can be found in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for Social Work

Curriculum requirements for the Joint Certificate in Aging Studies and the Doctor of Pharmacy can be found in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for Pharmacy

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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.  

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Jennifer Pryor 

Program Director 

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Dr. Tracey Gendron