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.
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 Program Requirements section of our website 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.
To be admitted to our graduate programs, you must have completed a 4-year Bachelor’s degree in a social science area with a minimum 3.0 GPA Undergraduate courses in the following areas:
- 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.
Graduate Certificate in Health Communication and Aging
The Graduate Certificate in Health Communication and Aging is a 2.0 unit (4 course) program. It will provide you with an understanding of the interplay between human communication, aging and health. This program will: (a) encourage students to develop a broad understanding of communication and aging theories; (b) contribute to the advancement of health communication and aging as an emerging field of study; (c) provide enhanced opportunities for students to study the contextual nature of health communication and aging in its various forms; (d) develop in students an appreciation of the processes that define human communication and aging; and, (e) develop within students an appreciation for and awareness of ethical communication. This program is best suited to applicants with an undergraduate degree in Communication, Family Studies & Gerontology, or a related field.
To be admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Health Communication and Aging students must provide evidence of an undergraduate degree in a field that provides required background for the certificate, with a GPA of 3.0 (B) or better. If a required course for the credential has an undergraduate course as a prerequisite, successful completion of the undergraduate course may be set as a condition for admission to the graduate credential. Admission to the program may be assessed on a case-by-case basis to ascertain the relevance of students’ previous undergraduate degree as background for the proposed certificate program. A ‘relevant’ background could constitute Communication, Family Studies and Gerontology, or related fields.