Master of Arts in Gerontology

The master's degree program in gerontology is a multidisciplinary degree intended to provide both breadth and depth in the study of aging. The required portion of the 36 credit program consists of three parts: The classroom component consists of seven required courses (21 credits), the experiential component consists of an internship (3 credits) and the capstone component involves a thesis (3 credits). In addition to the internship, a practicum is required for those students who do not have prior experience in the field. The thesis may be in basic or applied research or may be a theoretical integration of a topic area.

The combination of required and elective courses prepares graduates to assume positions of responsibility in direct service, administration, social policy, and research with, or on behalf of, older people.

By design the program is part-time, with courses offered in the evening and Saturdays. A student may complete all but the thesis in three academic years by enrolling in one course in the first semester and two courses each semester thereafter. The thesis is the final course and is usually taken after all classroom work is completed.

Requirements for Admission to the Program:

Students must fulfill the general admission requirements of the Graduate College at Northeastern Illinois University.

Students seeking admission to the M.A. in Gerontology program must have completed 15 undergraduate credits in the social sciences (anthropology, psychology, political science, sociology, etc.) In addition, applicants must have completed one (3 credit) course in statistics. If applicants meet all other requirements, the statistics requirement may be fulfilled after conditional admission to the Program. In this case they will be expected to complete an undergraduate course in statistics before being allowed to enter PSYC-408 and before filing for degree candidacy. The undergraduate statistics course does not count toward the 36 hours for the M.A. degree.

Requirements for the Degree:

For students admitted to Master’s programs prior to the Fall 1997 semester, the majority of courses applied to the Master’s degree must be 400-level; a limited number of appropriate 300-level courses are applicable.

Required Courses
PSYC-401Gerontology: An Overview3
PSYC-402Developmental Processes In Later Life3
PSYC-403Developmental Processes In Aging:Physiological Aspects3
PSYC-408Research Methods3
PSYC-418Public Policy And Aging3
PSYC-426Values, Decision Making And The Elderly3
PSYC-420Seminar In Proposal Writing3
Total Hours21
Required Field Experience
For those without previous experience in the field3-6
Practicum In Gerontology
Internship In Gerontology
For those with demonstrated experience
Internship In Gerontology
Total Hours3-6
Required Capstone Experience
Thesis Hours - PSYC 5901, 5902, 5903
Elective Courses6-9
These electives may be courses from within the PSYC curriculum or other departments such as Counseling, Political Science, Human Resource Development or Business and Management. See faculty advisor for listing of approved electives.
Total Hours36

M.A. in Gerontology:

New non-Thesis Graduation Option

Beginning Spring 2010, the M.A. in Gerontology program will offer the choice of a two-part comprehensive exam (i.e., (1) written multiple-essay comprehensive exam and (2) fully-developed research proposal) in lieu of completing a full thesis. Students will be required to do an oral presentation (“defense”) of their research proposal. This non-Thesis option achieves the goals of the program and the gerontology field in training knowledgeable and competent researchers and practitioners.