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Practicum Requirements

Three (3) credit hours of practicum are required for both the gerontology undergraduate certificate and the MS degree, whereas it is optional core or elective credit for the graduate certificate in gerontology. Three semester credits are equivalent to 150 clock hours (50 clock hours per credit hour). Practicum can be either service (Geron 5990/6990) or research (Geron 5400/6400) experience or any combination up to three (3) credit hours.

To participate in practicum, students must complete at least one gerontology course. They must also register for the practicum course in order to earn practicum credit. The grade will be assigned once the work is completed.

Students must also complete the following with each site preceptor:

  1. A form stating goals and job description prior to starting the practicum experience
  2. Weekly time sheets signed by the preceptor documenting hours worked toward total hours
  3. A practicum evaluation form as completed by the preceptor

Practicum Waivers and/or Exemptions

Previous but recent aging-related employment or service can waive the student for one (1) of the required credit hours (or 50 clock hours). In this case, the student only needs to register for remaining two (2) credit hours and work 100 clock hours of practicum. This one (1) credit waiver needs to be approved by the practicum coordinator.


In order to apply for a practicum waiver, the student must obtain a letter from the agency or organization where the experience occurred that includes the following:

  • Dates of employment or volunteer work
  • Average hours per week
  • Brief job description and/or title
  • Statement describing how the experience was aging-related or gerontological in focus
  • Satisfactory review from the supervisor of the student’s work in that position


Undergraduate Certificate Students

Most undergraduate certificate students come into the program with little or no practical experience in an aging setting whereas more of those in the graduate certificate program do;  however, if they are working full-time in the aging network, there is the possibility that they can apply for an undergraduate practicum exemption. It is important to note that merely working full time in an aging or gerontological setting does NOT automatically guarantee being qualified for an exemption, but the position must meet an appropriate level of skill and responsibility.

In order to apply for this exemption, the student must provide the following:

  • Official letter from their immediate supervisor or cognizant administrator with the student's job title, responsibilities or duties
  • Evidence of at least three-quarter time employment
  • Evidence of length of time they have been employed in that position

The practicum requirement exemption potentially also could apply to a student's previous work experience (up to within the prior 36 months) provided that experience meets the aforementioned criteria and is similarly documented. All exemptions are subject to the approval of the practicum coordinator or the coordinator of the certificate program.

Master Students

Students pursuing an MS degree seeking to receive a practicum exemption must submit the same documents as listed above for the undergraduate certificate students. They should keep in mind, however, that the graduate school requires a minimum of 30 credit hours for graduation.

If a student is considering applying for the exemption, they are strongly encouraged to discuss their intentions with the practicum coordinator in order to determine if they would be eligible and if the exemption would be in the best interest of the student's professional or career goals.  

Practicum Sites

Adult Day Centers
Neighborhood House

Geriatric Care Managers
Age Connections
ElderCare Consult
Golden Years Consultants Inc.

Governmental Agencies & Programs
Division of Aging and Adult Services
Department of Human Services, Office of Public Guardian
Salt Lake County Aging Services
Salt Lake County Aging Services–Community Care Transition
Salt Lake County Aging Services–Active Aging Program
Salt Lake County Aging Service–Ombudsman
Salt Lake County Aging Services–Retired Senior Volunteer Program
Weber County Division of Aging and Volunteers

Home & Community Health Programs
Community Nursing Services
Episcopal Social and Pastoral Ministries
Lutheran Social Service of Utah
VistaCare Hospice
Jewish Family Services
Wasatch Valley Rehab
Catholic Community Services
Goodwill’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors


Healthsouth Rehab Hospital of Utah

Long-Term Care & Residential Facilities
Friendship Manor Corporation
Garden Terrace Alzheimer’s Center
Sarah Daft Home (Assisted Living Care Home)
Silverado Senior Living
Wasatch Villa Convalescent Center
Woodland Park Care Center

Private Non-Profit Agencies
Alzheimer’s Association
American Association of Retired Person, Utah
Community Services Council/Lifecare Services
Easter Seal Society of Utah
Humane Society of Utah

Senior Enrichment/Education Programs
Mount Olympus Senior Center
Senior Scholars Program—SL Co. Aging Services
Women’s Book Discussion Group (Sponsored by First Unitarian Church)
Liberty Senior Center

Contact Us

For further information regarding practicum opportunities, please contact the practicum coordinator:

Gail Towsley, Ph.D., NHA
Practicum Coordinator
Phone: (801) 581-3572