Online Bachelor’s In Gerontology Programs 2021

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Gerontology involves the study of how aging affects individuals and society. Professionals in this field, including medical scientists, strive to help people over 65 live their best life. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the need for these workers to grow 6% in 2019-2029. The BLS also projects 17% growth in the human services field during this time.

A gerontology degree emphasizes the knowledge and skills workers need for entry-level positions or graduate degrees. Fortunately, online programs help people who would not otherwise attend college earn a degree and explore new career opportunities.

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This guide provides a ranking of 2021’s top bachelor’s degree in gerontology online programs to help degree-seekers choose the best fit.

Top 10 Programs for Gerontology

FAQ


  • What is a gerontology degree?

    A gerontology degree prepares students to work with adults ages 65 and older. Programs emphasize ethical best practices, the latest research, and how different factors influence the aging process.


  • What kinds of jobs can you get with a gerontology degree?

    Potential careers for gerontology graduates include program manager, policy analyst, and facilities manager. Other professions may require an advanced degree.


  • Is a gerontology degree worth it?

    Gerontology professionals take great pride in helping senior citizens live with dignity. Workers with a bachelor’s degree earn more than their peers with only a high school diploma.


  • What is the difference between gerontology and geriatrics?

    The two fields differ in that geriatrics concerns medical treatment aligned with senior citizens’ unique needs. Gerontology involves multidisciplinary research into how people may live longer and happier lives.


Why Get a Degree in Gerontology?



The U.S. will need more gerontology professionals as the percentage of residents 65 and older increases. Additionally, a gerontology degree conveys knowledge and skills relevant to different fields, including psychology, social services, and social work. Some careers in these fields may require additional education or training.

Gerontology degrees online offer numerous advantages over on-campus programs, such as asynchronous learning. Students do not attend courses at set times, allowing them to continue working or raise children while in school. Online learning’s other advantages include exploring out-of-state schools, some of which may offer better graduate outcomes.

Online Guide to Accredited Colleges and Universities

How Much Does a Gerontology Degree Cost?

Tuition varies among schools, with public institutions offering the most competitive per-credit tuition rate to in-state students. Some public schools charge the same tuition to all online learners, regardless of residency. Other schools provide additional tuition benefits to select groups, such as active-duty service members and their dependents. This discount may save learners up to 33% on a gerontology degree.

Earning a degree in gerontology online may feature additional financial benefits besides lower tuition. Online students save money by not paying for on-campus housing, a meal plan, or a commuter pass. Some schools exempt online degree-seekers from facility fees.

Typical gerontology degree online programs do not charge lab fees. However, prospective students should still research whether online colleges and universities charge semester- or course-based technology fees. Schools’ financial aid advisors and online tuition calculators help students determine a gerontology degree’s total cost.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree



A college affordability calculator takes the guesswork out of how much someone can pay for a bachelor’s degree in gerontology. The calculator analyzes tuition, income, cost of living, and financial aid. Results help learners determine whether they need additional financial assistance to pay for college. Please consult a financial aid advisor for further guidance.

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How Much Do Gerontology Majors Make?

Multiple factors determine how much professionals with a gerontology degree earn. Although social and human services assistants earn $35,960 median annual salaries, workers in Washington, D.C., North Dakota, and California make significantly more than the national median. Other ways to earn a higher salary in this profession include exploring different employers. Business schools and the computer and management training industry offer a higher salary than rehabilitation centers and nursing homes.

Medical scientists earn a median $91,510 annual salary. However, many positions in this field require a doctorate, such as a Ph.D. in biology or another life science. These professionals pursue a higher salary by moving to Connecticut, Maine, or Tennessee. Other options for earning more include obtaining employment in the wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers industry.

No matter their profession, workers with a bachelor’s degree in gerontology increase their salary potential with on-the-job experience. College students start this process by applying to internships and volunteering.

Courses in Gerontology



A bachelor’s degree in gerontology’s major courses involve examining aging from different viewpoints, such as race, economics, and gender. Students analyze how these factors influence policy in the U.S. and worldwide. In general education courses, degree-seekers hone the transferable skills employers and graduate school admissions counselors expect applicants to possess.

The provided sample curriculum highlights three typical gerontology degree online courses. However, not all colleges and universities offer them. Please speak with an admissions counselor to learn more about their school’s gerontology degree, the student experience, graduation requirements, and graduate outcomes.

Contemporary issues in aging introduces the gerontology field’s more than 100-year history and impact on public policy. Learners analyze multiple theories and the latest scientific discoveries. Course topics include how an aging population may impact different countries throughout the 21st-century. The introductory class does not require prerequisites.

People over 65 experience unique health challenges, such as chronic illnesses. Health and aging enrollees explore these medical conditions and how to prevent them. The course emphasizes relevant medical terminology, the aging process, and how healthcare providers assess senior citizens’ health risks. Participants leave the class understanding how people remain healthy in old age.

Students in the business of aging explore how government programs and private insurance provide older Americans with healthcare services. Course topics include Social Security, Medicare, and an aging society’s economic impact. Degree-seekers review the challenges minority group members or those with financial difficulties face in attaining adequate healthcare.

Certifications and Licensure for Gerontology



Gerontology professionals may need more than a degree to qualify for a job. Some careers require either a state-issued license or professional certification. Typical licensure and certification requirements include an undergraduate or graduate degree, professional experience, and passing one or more examinations. Licensure and certification renewal criteria may involve earning continuing education credits.

American Society for Clinical Pathology Certification


ASCP offers numerous certifications to college graduates interested in medical science but not yet ready for graduate school. Requirements differ by certification but may include college prerequisites in biology and chemistry, work experience, and passing an examination. Renewal involves taking continuing education courses in safety, quality control, and patient care.

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Nursing License


Some professionals with a gerontology degree return to school to become an RN. Licensure requirements include completing an approved program, passing the NCLEX-RN exam, and submitting to a background check. Thirty-four states participate in the Nursing Licensure Compact, allowing RNs to practice across state lines without updating or modifying their license.

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Person-Centered Dementia Care Training Program


The Alzheimer’s Association offers this certification to individuals interested in treating people with Alzheimer’s. Candidates complete a three-hour, self-paced course and take a comprehensive examination. The certification remains valid for two years, and recertification involves retaking the initial certification course. The Alzheimer’s Association provides a discount to companies or organizations certifying multiple staff members.

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Scholarships for Gerontology



Degree-seekers avoid student debt by exploring different financial aid opportunities, including scholarships. Application requirements may include an exemplary high school or undergraduate GPA, recommendation letters, and an essay. The following scholarships accept applications in 2021 and appeal to individuals enrolled in or applying to gerontology degree online programs.

  • INCIGHT Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: California, Oregon, and Washington residents with a documented disability may qualify. Scholarship recipients agree to complete at least 30 hours of community service or volunteer at an INCIGHT event.

    Amount: Varies

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  • Texas Association of Developing Colleges Urban Scholarship Fund

    Who Can Apply: TADC awards this scholarship to in-state undergraduates possessing U.S. citizenship or permanent residency. Both recent high school graduates and nontraditional students may qualify.

    Amount: Up to $2,000

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Online Bachelor’s In Gerontology Programs 2021



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