Health Sciences and Human Performance Department

Gerontological Studies

Welcome to gerontology and the dynamic field of aging! Through its Gerontological Studies Program, Cleveland State University affords students a variety of opportunities to study aging and to prepare for careers in the growing field of gerontology. Aging is one of the basic aspects of life and few areas offer more career opportunities than the field of aging.  These range from careers in health and human service organizations to business, financial, legal, administrative, and professional careers in almost all fields. 

With the growth of the aging population and the anticipated effects of the "baby boomer generation" on the structure and functioning of society, careers in gerontology are among the most promising in American society.  Also, with the aging of populations on a world-wide basis, the need for well-prepared professionals is becoming even more evident.  At Cleveland State University, we have designed graduate and undergraduate courses and programs of study for a wide array of students interests and we are constantly exploring new possibilities.  

Students from all disciplines and professional fields are invited to explore aging and to take the minor or certificate whether their focus is in fields of nursing, psychology, social work, philosophy, liberal studies, education, history, business, literature or the natural sciences.  We also offer a graduate certificate which can be taken as part of a graduate degree program or on a non-degree basis.

Program Mission
The Gerontology Certificate Program is designed to provide a multidisciplinary education for future and current professionals in gerontology. Creative and engaging activities are provided for students to gain exposure to specialized expertise in gerontological theory, research, clinicalpractice, social policy issues, and the process of aging in a global and culturally diverse society. This expertise prepares students for a wide range of service and engagement in gerontology, including direct community and social services, program administration, mental health practice, government services, higher education, long-term care, and health and wellness both within the urban and suburban settings.

Undergraduate Gerontological Studies Certificate

The Gerontological Studies Certificate is an interdisciplinary program and students from any major can pursue the certificate. Students interested in pursuing the Certificate in Gerontology Studies should seek advising from the Health Sciences and Human Performance Department and complete the required Intent to Complete the Gerontology Studies Certificate Form. For more information, please contact :

  • HSC 180 - Introduction to Gerontology or
  • PSY 180 - Introduction to Gerontology

Electives may have prerequisites which are not considered part of the certificate. Choose 3 (three) electives from the following:

  • BIO 468 - Theories of Aging
  • COM 362 - Health Communication
  • HSC 426 - Functional Performance in Older Adults
  • PED 472 - Physiology Of Aging
  • PSY 223 - Life Span Development
  • PSY 429 - Psychology of Aging
  • SOC 316 - Sociology of Aging

**Students must complete an internship, research, or project offered by the Health Sciences and Human Performance Department or the Department of Psychology. The project must have a gerontological focus and be approved by the certificate adviser prior to completion.

Choose 1 (one) of the following:

  • HSC 393 - Special Topics in Health Sciences
  • HSC 410 - Evidence Based Practice
  • HSC 440H - Honors Cooperative Education Career Experience
  • HSC 484 - Advanced Research and Writing in Health Sciences
  • HSC 486 - Cooperative Education Career Experience
  • PSY 396 - Supervised Research

Graduate Gerontological Studies Certificate


Degree-seeking graduate students who hold Regular admission status may be admitted to the certificate program. Alternatively, applicants must meet the graduate certificate admission requirements detailed in the Admissions section of this Catalog. With program permission, non-degree graduate students may enroll in the courses noted below, but non-degree graduate students cannot earn a University graduate certificate. Credits earned for the certificate may apply toward a graduate degree, as approved by the student’s graduate program director and in keeping with policies of the College of Graduate Studies. Submit application materials to the Graduate Admissions Office.

Apply Now:


Students wishing to earn a certificate in Gerontological Studies must complete the overview course and a minimum of two specified courses plus an internship research project for a total of 13 to 15 credits.

  • HCA 650 - Long-Term Care
  • SWK 680 - Aging & Social Work Practice
  • SOC 516 - Sociology of Aging
  • HCA 650 - Long-Term Care
  • SWK 680 - Aging & Social Work Practice
  • PED 572 - Physiology Of Aging
  • SOC 516 - Sociology of Aging
  • HSC 526 - Functional Performance of Older Adults
  • COM 549 - Health Communication
  • SOC 661 - Aging and the Life Course
Students must complete an internship or research project. The capstone project may be the final field work placement or clinical placement in a professional program that includes working with older adults.  The research project may be the final capstone research project in a graduate program if the topic is approved by the Graduate Gerontology Program Director.

For more information, please contact :

Coordinator Undergraduate Gerontology Certificate
Dr. Mary Milidonis, PT, PhD
Director Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
Phone: 216.687.2447
Location: HS 111

Director Graduate Gerontology Certificate
Dr. Mary Milidonis, PT, PhD

Director Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
Phone: 216.687.2447

Location: HS 111
Graduate Certificate in Gerontology