Gerontology (Minor)

Gerontology (Minor)

Older woman's hands

What is gerontology?

Gerontology is the study of the biological, psychological and social aspects of aging. In this minor, you’ll learn to promote the health and well-being of aging individuals through research, teaching and service. The interdisciplinary curriculum lets you explore the fundamentals of gerontology. Faculty research areas include elder maltreatment, intergenerational relations and support, transitions in care and functioning, and community services and policies for older populations. You can combine the minor in gerontology with a major in areas such as healthcare, human development and family studies, recreation management or social work, preparing you for a variety of in-demand careers.

Why study gerontology at UNH?

As a major public research university, UNH emphasizes hands-on experience and research opportunities. Students in the gerontology minor have the opportunity to put theory into practice through the Center on Aging and Community Living, an integrated center of applied research, evaluation and training relevant to aging and community living. The center focuses on care giving, care transitions, person-centered approaches, innovative community living, and workforce development. The College of Health and Human Services also hosts an annual Age of Champions health fair, the goal of which is to raise awareness of and promote healthy aging from a holistic perspective.

Potential careers

  • Assisted living activities coordinator
  • Educator
  • Eldercare policy analyst
  • Family intervention case manager
  • Human rights advocate
  • Rehabilitation counselor
  • Social worker
  • Therapeutic recreation coordinator
  • Veteran services provider


Department of Social Work
Pettee Hall, 55 College Road
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: (603) 862-1799

Curriculum & Requirements

The gerontology interdisciplinary minor provides students with the opportunity to examine and evaluate the aging process as it affects the individual and society within the United States. Through a multidisciplinary course selection, students develop an understanding of aging from a variety of perspectives with a focus on how people age physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially. Students are encouraged to analyze the historical and philosophical foundation from which policies, programs, and professional activities affecting the aged are developed, implemented, and evaluated. The purpose of this minor is to prepare students as they enter their career fields on the effects that the growing elderly population will have in every component of modern life.

To complete a minor in gerontology students are required to take a minimum of 20 credits (five courses).

GERO 795 Independent Study, is not a required course but is used by students and faculty as an option for creating an individual experience relating to aging. A faculty member must approve and oversee (mentor) the student's work in GERO 795 Independent Study. Additionally, the GMM coordinator must also approve of the proposal and retain a copy. A copy of the proposal and the final copy will be kept in the student's major academic folder.

Students who wish to discuss or find out more about the minor may contact GERO Minor Coordinator, BoRin Kim, Social Work Department, Pettee Hall 317.

Required courses:8
EXSC 607
Biology of Aging
GERO 500
I'm Old, So What! An introduction to aging in the United States
Select 3 additional courses from the following:12
NURS 535
Death and Dying
OT 501
Developmental Tasks of Adulthood
SW 625
Social Welfare Policy in a Global Context
Special Topics
Total Credits20

Please contact the GERO Minor Coordinator for other elective options.

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