Online Certificate Programs in Gerontology

Penn Foster Career School
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  • Education Prerequisites: Students enrolling in an online graduate certificate program in gerontology must hold at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • Professional Prerequisites: None
  • Average Program Length: 1 year (full time)

An online certificate program in gerontology is designed to increase a student’s knowledge of the aging process and the effects that aging can have on a person both physically and mentally. This certificate can be used toward a career, qualifying students for positions at nursing homes or other types of patient care facilities. Many students use this certificate to fulfill admission requirements for a graduate program in gerontology, health care, counseling, or other related field. Some professionals may enroll in an online gerontology certificate program to advance their careers or allow them to take their careers in new directions.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Gerontology

Each institution will have its own set of requirements for its gerontology certificate program. On average, an online gerontology certificate program will require completion of around 15 graduate credits, though it’s not unusual for a program to require 20 or more credits. Unlike a traditional program, a gerontology certificate program online will allow you to complete all of your assignments and courses without having to set foot in a physical classroom, keeping you from needing to adhere to a set classroom schedule. However, some online certificate programs may require you to complete a certain number of clinical hours to gain hands-on training prior to graduation.

Written assignments and exams are the most common assignments in an online certificate program. Some programs will include assignments requiring you to work through scenarios simulating real-world issues or tasks, such as mock patient assessments. These allow you to put what you have learned into practice. The curriculum for an online gerontology certificate program will vary by institution, but some of the common courses you may find include Health and Optimal Aging, Aging Concepts and Controversies, Health Care and Aging, Programs and Services for Older Adults, and Sociology of Adult Development and Aging.

What Your Online Certificate in Gerontology Can Do for You

An accredited online gerontology certificate program will familiarize you with aging and the aging process, geriatrics, and the physical, mental, social, and psychological effects aging can have on an individual. This knowledge can be used in a variety of ways. You may use what you learned through this program to better understand older adults, provide better medical or psychological care, improve services or facilities that cater to older adults, and more. This can also apply to a variety of industries, including health care, social services, therapy, counseling, and more.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides information on the various career possibilities that an online certificate in gerontology can lead to. For example, you may use your certificate toward a career as a medical and health services manager, possibly at a nursing care facility, where, according to the BLS, the average income is $84,270 a year and there is an expected 22% increase in employment through 2020. You may also use your certificate toward a career as a mental health counselor or marriage and family therapist specializing in older adults where, according to the BLS, the average income is $39,710 a year, and there is an expected 37% increase in employment. Finally, you may use your certificate toward a career in social and community service management specializing in providing services for the elderly, where BLS shows the average income to be $57,950 a year and an expected 27% increase in employment.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Herzing University
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Herzing University - Herzing's online certificate program offers the flexibility, personalization, and support you need to succeed in today's ever-changing job market. Discover Herzing's hands-on coursework, experienced faculty, and student-first approach which sets them apart from other online universities.

Ultimate Medical Academy
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Ultimate Medical Academy -
Get personalized attention with UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

Gainful employment information can be found at and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement and occupations.

Penn Foster

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Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School offers over 85 online career diploma and certificate programs that can help students prepare for a career path in some of today’s fastest growing fields. If you are looking for training in allied health, business, education, or the trades, then Penn Foster Career School is a great choice. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.