And this trend isn’t going to change any time soon. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of older persons will comprise a quarter of the population by 2060.
With this aging population comes a huge need for professionals who are trained to work in the field of aging. Getting a master’s degree in Gerontology will prepare you for a wide variety of careers in this area—from advocacy and policy to financial services or care management.
Be ready to compete in a rapidly expanding field with an affordable – and accredited – online master’s degree in Gerontology.
What kind of Gerontology degree should you get?
Most master’s programs in Gerontology are interdisciplinary in nature – pulling from a variety of disciplines. But each program has its own emphasis, and some will be oriented specifically towards either practitioners or those who want to pursue research.
And while getting a master’s degree is a major endeavour, it no longer has to mean quitting your job and attending classes on campus. Of course, both types of programs have advantages, but the accredited online programs on our ranking offer the added benefit of affordability and convenience.
As an online student, you’ll do the same work and be held to the same high standards as students in the classroom. But you’ll be able to do it on your time.
For more information on online education, check out our ranking of the Most Affordable Online Colleges for a Graduate Degree.
How much money do people make with a master’s degree in Gerontology?
A master’s in Gerontology can open doors to a wide variety of careers. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most of these jobs share a much faster than average rate of job growth. With your master’s degree, you should be able to command a pretty healthy salary. To give you an idea of what that might mean for your paycheck, here are a few average numbers from the BLS:
Medical and Health Service Managers: $96,540
Social Worker: $64,680
Social and Community Care Managers: $64,680
Administrative Services Managers (Retirement Communities): $72,710
What can you do with a master’s degree in Gerontology?
Professionals in the field of aging work in a variety of settings – from the public to the private sphere, in hospitals, universities, governmental agencies, and long-term care institutions. There are jobs in which you might work directly with older adults, as well as careers in research and education. As a Gerontology specialist, you may also work in:
- Health promotion
- Care management
- Community- based service programming
- Advocacy and policy development
- Financial advising
What are the requirements for a master’s degree in Gerontology?
For admission to most Gerontology master’s programs, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from an accredited university. Most institutions will also ask for professional references, and some universities may want to see GRE scores as well.
Individual program requirements vary widely. Programs with a research emphasis will probably require a thesis, while others may involve a practicum or internship. You may also want to check out if there are options – like electives and concentrations – that will allow you to tailor your degree to your own career goals as well.
What are the most affordable online master’s degrees in Gerontology?
At College Choice, we want to help you find the best program for your tuition buck. We’ve scoured the internet for online master’s programs in Gerontology and ranked them according to their net price. The net price, which we take from the National Center for Educational Statistics, takes into consideration extra fees on top of the per-credit tuition rate. This means that you can feel confident that these numbers reflect what you’ll actually be expected to pay for your degree.
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Average Net Price: $9,145
Situated on a 238-acre campus, the University of Louisiana at Monroe is a relatively small, nationally-ranked public university. ULM has a reputation for excellence in online education as well as for their programs on aging. And the University is home to the state’s first Center on Aging, funded by the National Institute on Aging.
The Institute of Gerontology at the University of Louisiana at Monroe offers an affordable, online Master of Arts in Gerontology that will expand your career options and prepare you for advanced study. For students interested in completing doctoral work in the area, the Aging Studies specialization carries an emphasis on research. ULM’s MA in Gerontology offers six specializations to help students focus their education around their career goals:
- Long-term Care Administration
- Program Administration
- Small Business Management
- Grief Care Management
- Mental Health
- Aging Studies
The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s online MA in Gerontology is a 36-credit program. Both specializations include a set of core courses which provide foundational knowledge for the six to nine credits of electives. Although the Program Administration specialization has more of a practitioner orientation, students in both specializations can choose to complete a thesis or opt for a course-work only option.
University of Nebraska Omaha
Average Net Price: $11,223
Located in Omaha, NE, the University of Nebraska at Omaha is a public research university and the state’s premier metropolitan university. The University’s College of Public Affairs and Community Service proudly serves as home to nationally ranked programs – including online Gerontology programs – and award-winning faculty recognized as experts in their fields.
The College of Public Affairs and Community service at UNO offers an affordable, online Master of Arts in Social Gerontology which provides an in-depth understanding of the aging process. With both thesis and non-thesis tracks, this online program is equally applicable for practitioners who want to advance in the field and those who are pursuing a career in research. Core courses include:
- Applied Social Gerontology
- Seminar in Aging and Human Behavior
- Programs and Services for the Elderly
The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s online MA in Social Gerontology is a 36-credit program. All students complete the same core courses, though students completing the non-thesis option also complete a graduate practicum. UNO’s program is designed specifically for working students who have multiple commitments to juggle. As an online student, you’ll complete coursework on your own time and have access to all the resources of on-campus students.
University of Utah
Average Net Price: $11,322
A large public research university in Salt Lake City, the University of Utah is the state’s flagship university. The university is home to a renowned College of Nursing which offers highly-ranked online programs, including interdisciplinary programs in Gerontology. These programs serve to prepare the next generation of leaders for rewarding careers in the expanding field of aging.
The College of Nursing at the University of Utah offers an affordable online Master of Science in Gerontology. This program is not only for nurses! The goal of the program is to help students understand the aging experience at many levels – the individual, family, community, and society. Students become familiar with evidence-based research that translates into applied interventions and programs for adults and their environments. Core courses include:
- Introduction to Aging
- Health and Optimal Aging
- Physiology and Psychology of Aging
The University of Utah’s online MS in Gerontology is a 33-34 credit program which students can complete part-time over two years or full-time in one year. This program is open to students from all academic backgrounds and professions and provides the choice of either a master’s thesis or master’s project. And if you’re not ready to commit to a master’ program, the University also offers a Gerontology Certificate, nine credits of which can be applied to the MS degree.
University of Massachusetts Boston
Average Net Price: $11,966
An urban, public research university, The University of Massachusetts Boston is the third largest institution in the University of Massachusetts System and the only public university in Boston. The university’s Gerontology programs are housed in the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies which is known for both cutting-edge research and practice with local, national, and global impact.
The University of Massachusetts Boston offers an affordable online Master of Science in Management of Aging Services. This is a practitioner-oriented program which provides a broad base of knowledge – including topics in organizational finance, service delivery, and advocacy. Graduates will be ready to be leaders in the field, administrators, and program managers. Core courses include:
- Health Aging Perspectives
- Service Delivery Issues in Aging
- Human Resources and Personnel Management
UMass Boston’s MS in Management of Aging Services is a 36-credit program comprised of nine required courses and three electives. There is no thesis option for this program, but among the program requirements is a capstone project in which students develop a special project in their specific area of interest. You can complete the entire program in three semesters (full-time), but most take two years to complete it.
University of Florida
Average Net Price: $11,976
Located a couple miles from downtown Gainesville, the University of Florida is a prominent public research university and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. UF’s online graduate programs in Gerontology are delivered through the University’s renowned College of Medicine, giving students access to exceptional academics and expert professors.
The University of Florida’s Department of Aging and Geriatric Research offers a Master of Science in Medical Sciences with a concentration in Gerontology. Designed for working professionals, the curriculum takes a comprehensive look at aging from multiple perspectives – from the physiological to the psychological. Three specialty tracks are offered:
- Geriatric Care Management
- Medical Physiology
The University of Florida’s Master’s degree in Gerontology is a 36-credit program comprised of nine core courses and three electives. There is no thesis option. The program is delivered entirely online with a blend of synchronous delivery (interactive live classes) and self-study components that you can complete on your own time. The degree takes two years to complete, and UF offers three start dates throughout the year for added flexibility.
Iowa State University
Average Net Price: $13,623
Located in the city of Ames, IA, Iowa State University is a major public research institution and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. ISU’s College of Human Sciences offers outstanding online graduate programs in Gerontology, which apply a cross-section of university-wide disciplines to the study of aging.
Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences offers an affordable, online Master of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences with a Gerontology specialization. The program is intended for professionals who need specialized knowledge and skills to meet the needs of elderly clients, and the curriculum follows the guidelines and new competencies from the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. Courses include:
- Perspectives in Gerontology
- Adult Development & Aging
- Physical Health & Nutrition in Aging
Iowa State University’s online Master’s degree in Gerontology is a 36-credit program with a practitioner – rather than research – orientation. The program is comprised of eight required courses and four electives. Electives cover a broad range of possible topics, including biological aspects of aging, gender and aging, spirituality, creativity, and cognitive aging. There is no thesis component, but students may complete a practicum as part of one of their electives.
Wichita State University
Average Net Price: $14,175
Wichita State University is a public research university that places a premium on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. With a focus on emerging trends and a collaborative community of talented, committed faculty, staff, and students, WSU’s College of Health Professions is the leading provider of healthcare education in Kansas.
WSU’s College of Health Professions offers an online Master of Arts in Aging Studies for working professionals who desire to become more qualified to work with the aging population. The program prepares students to succeed in a wide range of professional settings, from Social Work to Nursing Home Administration and Education. Students can tailor their degree to their career goals through one of three concentrations of study:
- Public Health
- Social Sciences
Wichita State University’s online MA In Aging Studies is a 30-credit program, comprised of 15 credits of core courses and 12 credits in the chosen concentration. The program also includes a 3-credit culminating activity which, depending on your academic and career goals, can be either a thesis, a practicum, or an elective course. It’s possible to complete the program in one year, and students can enter the program in the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters.
University of North Dakota
Average Net Price: $14,693
Located in Grand Forks, ND, the University of North Dakota is a mid-sized public research university and the state’s flagship institution. UND ranks among the top 25 most innovative schools in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report, and their College of Nursing, which offers the Gerontology program, ranks among the best in the country.
The University of North Dakota’s College of Nursing offers an online, Nurse Practitioner track Master of Science in Adult Gerontology Primary Care. Through online courses and clinical practicums, students learn to address and manage complex health conditions. Graduates of the program will be ready to take on the responsibilities of an advanced practice nurse who cares for adults throughout their lifespans. Courses include:
- Theories and Concepts in Nursing
- Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology
- Essentials in Epidemiology
The University of North Dakota’s MSN in Gerontology is a 52-54 credit program that students can complete in 2-3 years. This is a hybrid program comprised of both online coursework and four on-campus visits of one week each. As a graduate of the program, you’ll be eligible to complete the national exam for certification as an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
Kansas State University
Average Net Price: $16,431
One of America’s first land-grant colleges, Kansas State University is a large public research university located in Manhattan, Kansas. The University is home to a Global Campus that provides high quality, affordable online programs to students nationally and internationally. The Gerontology Master’s is offered through the Center on Aging, in K-State’s renowned College of Human Ecology.
Kansas State University offers an affordable online Master of Science in Family Studies and Human Services with a specialization in Gerontology. The program is designed to prepare students to work directly with older people and get involved in education or research related to aging issues. The curriculum is interdisciplinary in nature and draws from multiple perspectives on aging. Courses include:
- Perspectives on Aging
- Adult Development and Aging
- Aging in the Family
Kansas State University’s Master’s in Gerontology is a 36-credit program comprised of eight core courses and four electives. All courses in Kansas State’s online programs are taught by the same qualified faculty who teach on-campus courses. And as an online student you’ll be able to complete coursework on your own time while meeting assignment deadlines and participating in discussion boards.
Concordia University, Nebraska
Average Net Price: $19,335
A member of the ten-school Concordia University System, Concordia University, Nebraska is a private Christian university located in Seward, NB. Affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the university ranks in the top tier of the Midwest Regional Colleges category in the U.S. News and World Report’s rankings. Concordia offers numerous affordable graduate degree programs, like the one in Gerontology, through their online portal.
Concordia University, Nebraska offers a Master of Healthcare Administration with a concentration in Gerontology. Taught by healthcare leaders through a Christian ethics framework, students examine the issues, challenges, and social aspects facing aging adults. Students gain an understanding of the skills needed to improve the quality of long-term care and are ready to excel across workplaces and industries. Courses include:
- Health Services Organization
- Health Outcomes & Quality Improvement
- Social Gerontology
Concordia University, Nebraska’s Master of Healthcare Administration is a 36 credit-hour degree program comprised of 24 credits in Healthcare Administration, nine credits in the Gerontology concentration, and a three-credit practicum. There are multiple start-dates throughout the year, and courses are delivered in accelerated 8-week terms. Concordia will accept up to nine credit hours of qualifying transfer credit for this online program.