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Gerontology at the University of Utah

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What exactly is gerontology?

A: Gerontology is the interdisciplinary (i.e., biology, sociology, psychology, policy etc.) study of the aging process and issues related to an aging society. As a basic and applied science, it examines specific biological and physiological changes in individuals as well as the broader psychological and social issues confronting them.

Q: Do I need to be a nurse to become a gerontologist?

A: No! Although our program is housed within the College of Nursing our program is interdisciplinary meaning that students from any disciplinary program can earn this degree. Aging issues apply across all academic disciplines—it is one of the greatest values of this degree.

The 5 Reasons to become a Gerontologist

  1. Utah has the fastest growing older adult population in the country! With the aging of the Baby Boomer population, increasing life expectancy and retirees relocating into Utah, there is going to be significant growth in the older adult population over the next decade.
  2. The program’s mission is to understand the aging experience at many levels – individual, family, community, and society – and ground the discovery of knowledge in scientific process and evidence-based research that translates into applied interventions and programs for adults and their environments.
  3. Students have the opportunity to design a customized program of study that is tailored toward their specific educational and career goals.
  4. Faculty come from diverse academic backgrounds including health promotion, human development, sociology, social work, and nursing and are associates of the Center on Aging, Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, and the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
  5. Since its inception, the program has awarded over 100 master's degrees and 500 certificates