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StudentsAndMaple

Graduate Degrees in Family Studies and Gerontology

You can choose from two degrees programs: the thesis-based Master of Arts in Family Studies and Gerontology and the applied (course-based) Master of Family Studies and Gerontology. Graduate study in Family Studies and Gerontology focuses on issues that impact societal concerns such as population aging, public policy, as well as on individual family members and families. Our programs prepare  or enhance your career in aging, community or family services, family life education, and community development.

Master of Arts in Family Studies and Gerontology

To earn your MA in Family Studies and Gerontology, you must complete seven courses and a thesis*.

When you’re choosing your thesis topic, you should consider the research interests of current faculty members. The department will assign a supervisor to work with you as you research and write your thesis; this supervisor will be a faculty member with similar research interests.

You will use a mixed method approach to research; that is, you'll use both quantitative and qualitative research, and you'll work with your advisor to choose the most appropriate methodology to answer your research questions in your thesis.

See graduate student thesis topics »

Full-time students normally complete their degrees in two years. Part-time students have up to five years to complete all the program requirements.

Master of Family Studies and Gerontology

To earn your MA in Family Studies and Gerontology, you must complete ten courses*. You will use a mixed method approach to research; that is, you'll use both quantitative and qualitative research in your coursework.

Full-time students normally complete their degrees in two years. Part-time students have up to five years to complete all the program requirements.

*The Graduate Academic Calendar describes these requirements as 10 units of course weight. A course that is offered over a single academic term is valued at 0.5 academic units. 

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to our graduate programs, you must have completed the following: 

  • A 4-year Bachelor's degree in a social science area with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Undergraduate courses in the following areas: statistics, research methods, at least five courses in family studies or gerontology

If you do not meet these admission requirements, you may be required to complete additional undergraduate and/or graduate coursework and obtain a minimum of B in these courses before you are accepted into the program.

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Core Competencies

In addition to knowledge on (a) family dynamics/development or (b) individual and population aging, our programs focus on the following six core competencies, which balance theoretical and practical knowledge:

  1. Understanding and application of the critical-ecological framework;
  2. Understanding of the continuum of prevention (health promotion, primary prevention, secondary prevention, tertiary prevention, mediation) and the position of professionals in Family Studies and Gerontology within it;
  3. Analysis of the processes and outcomes related to program and policy development, implementation and evaluation in family studies and gerontolgy;
  4. Development of quantitative and qualtitative research literacies;
  5. Understanding the interplay among theories, research and the fields of practice related to family studies and gerontology;
  6. Development of professional attitudes and dispositions that recognize and acknowledge a diversity, self-determination, autonomy and inclusion;
  7. Understanding the social aspects of individual and population aging;
  8. Understanding family dynamics and development.

Our students have been very successful in obtaining awards and funding for their research. See graduate scholarship information and deadlines »

If you are ready to apply, please complete the online graduate application form.