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Programs of Study in Higher Education in Gerontology/Geriatrics in California

Opportunities to study gerontology and geriatrics in California exist in the Community Colleges, the California State Universities, the University of California, and in Private Universities. Click below to find out more about the programs.

Community College Programs

California State University Programs

University of California Programs

Private University Programs

Community College Programs

American River College Gerontology Department

Contact: Barbara Gillogly, Ph.D.
Voice: (916)484-8512
Mail: 4700 College Oak Drive, Sacramento, CA 95841

Description: American River College (ARC) first offered classes in gerontology in 1973. In 2003, its Associate Degree in Gerontology was awarded the Program of Merit designation by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. The program offers an AA degree in Gerontology and a Certificate in Gerontology with an emphasis in one of six areas: Business, Case Management/Social Services, Environmental Design, Health Care, Recreation, or Social Policy/Advocacy. Two vocational programs are also available: Activity Coordinator and Social Services Designee. In addition, continuing education is offered for RN, LVN, CNA, Home Health Aide, RCFE Administrator, LCSW, LMFT, and Nursing Home Administrator. Many of these classes are available on-line. The classes blend both academic and experiential learning.

Chaffey College Gerontology Program

Contact: Catherine Bacus, MSG
Voice: (909) 652-6690
Mail: P.O. Box 3278, San Dimas, CA 91773
Location: 5885 Haven Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91711

Description: The Gerontology Program at Chaffey College was initiated in 1980 and offers both a Gerontology Certificate and an A.S. degree. Fourteen courses are offered; half are transfer-level. In addition to the usual core courses, transfer courses include: Fitness and Wellness, Dying and Death, and Intro to Social Work. Training courses include: Activity Coordinator, Social Service Designee, and 3 Dementia Care courses.

Coastline Community College

Contact: Debra Secord, Ph.D., Department Chair Gerontology
Department Office: (714) 241-6213
Messages: (714) 241-6115
Mail: Costa Mesa Center, 2990 Mesa Verde Drive East, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Description: The Gerontology Program at Coastline was started in the late 1970's and offers a major, a Certificate of Achievement and an A.A. degree. Our goal is to better the lives of older adults, by offering courses about the aging process and training to improve the qualifications of those working with the elderly. The Certificate of Achievement in Gerontology is designed for those seeking new careers in the field and for those who wish to advance their present careers by adding professional education in gerontology to their qualifications. We offer courses via a variety of methods to suit the schedules of working adults and caregivers of the elderly. The entire Certificate of Achievement can be completed online and new courses start approximately every 8 weeks. Most of the courses for the 21-unit certificate transfer as general education requirements or electives for a four-year degree. Many also carry Continuing Education Units for a variety of professions including R.N., L.V.N., R.C.F.E. and B.N.H.A. We also offer a facilitated transfer to the Department of Human Services at CSU Fullerton as a minor in gerontology.

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California State University Programs

Gerontology Programs, California State University, Fresno

Contact: William Dailey Jr. MPA Program Faculty
Voice: (559) 278-4212
Mail: 2345 East San Ramon Avenue MH 30, Fresno, CA 93740-8031
Location: Advising Office PHS 112 (559) 278-8465

Gerontology Academic Programs, Calfornia State University, Fullerton

California State University, Long Beach

Description: Concentration in Older Adults and Families The Older Adults and Families (OAF) concentration prepares students for practice in the delivery of social services to older adutls and their families, in the planning and evaluation of social services and in administration of services and policy development. Students experience one year of placement in direct practice setting and may select either a direct practice or other administrative practice setting for their second year.

Field work placements are available in a variety of agencies in the surrounding five-county area including public and private nonprofit agencies. Typical settings include health care, adult protective services, mental health, community-based outpatient agencies, rehabilitation, programs for the developmentally disabled, substance abuse treatment, senior programs an other specialty services.

Christine Kleinpeter
Associate Director

California State University, Northridge

Contact: Health Sciences Department
Office: (818) 677-4081
Mail: 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330-8285

Description: The Gerontology Program at CSUN was started in the late 1970's and offers a Minor and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate. The curriculum for both the minor and certificate are similar and meet the guidelines for gerontology programs recommended by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE). The program complements many other disciplines and professions that comprise health and human services, including nursing, health administration, and social work. The Interdisciplinary Studies graduate degree is also available to students who prefer to complete a masters degree with a concentration in gerontology. Our program provides students with the core knowledge and skills necessary to begin working in the field of aging in a diverse array of settings that include community organizations, long-term care institutions.

California State University, Sacramento

Contact: Cheryl Osborne, RN, MSN, Ed.D., Director, Gerontology Program and Center
Office: (916) 278-7163
Fax: (916) 278-3855
Mail: 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6096

Description: The gerontology program at CSUS provides students with a unique interdisciplinary look at the process of aging. Bachelor major and minor students will enroll in courses spanning many different disciplines and have the option for multiple elective choices. Our Special Masters and Certificate Programs provide courses for "graduate options in gerontology" for other university departments such as Nursing, Counselor Education, Social Work, Public Policy and Administration, Business and Communications. The gerontology program at CSUS was created in the 1970's and continues to grow and be very dynamic, offering and sponsoring community programs about longevity, along with our academic programs.

California State University, San Diego

Contact: Professor Mario D. Garrett Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Gerontology
Director, Center on Agin
Office: 619 594 6765
FAX: 619 594 2811
Mail: SDSU College of Health and Human Services
Hepner Hall 203,
San Diego, CA 92182-1872
Description: The mission of the SDSU Gerontology Program is to enable students to gain a broad understanding of the aging process and the social implications of an aging society.
Students are prepared for professional careers in services and programs benefiting older adults, their families, and other caregivers. The interdisciplinary SJSU Gerontology Program
offers the following: (1) B.S. in Health Science with Gerontology Concentration; (2) Minor in Gerontology for students in any discipline on campus; and (3) Certificate in Applied Social
Gerontology a post-baccalaureate certificate for professionals in aging services/programs or others who wish to gain expertise in aging issues.

California State University, San Francisco

Contact: Brian deVries, Ph.D., Program Director
Voice: (415) 338-3559
FAX: (415) 338-3556
Mail and Location: HSS 242 San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway, San Francisco, CA 94132

California State University, San Jose

Gerontology Program, Health Science Department
Contact: Dr. Nancy Hikoyeda, Director
Office: MacQuarrie Hall 410
Mail Address: San Jose State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192-0140
Phone: (408) 924-2938
Fax: (408) 924-2979
Email: or

Description: The mission of the SJSU Gerontology Program is to enable students to gain a broad understanding of the aging process and the social implications of an aging society. Students are prepared for professional careers in services and programs benefiting older adults, their families, and other caregivers. The interdisciplinary SJSU Gerontology Program offers the following: (1) B.S. in Health Science with Gerontology Concentration; (2) Minor in Gerontology for students in any discipline on campus; and (3) Certificate in Applied Social Gerontology – a post-baccalaureate certificate for professionals in aging services/programs or others who wish to gain expertise in aging issues.

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University of California Programs

UC Berkeley, Resource Center on Aging

Contact: Diane Driver, Ph.D., Academic Coordinator
Voice: (510) 643-6427
Mail: 140 Warren Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-7360
Location: 535 University Hall

Description: The University of California at Berkeley Resource Center on Aging is the coordinating mechanism for activities in aging on the UC Berkeley campus, and also serves as a clearinghouse for information on aging activities both on and off campus. The Center disseminates information on education, research, grants, publications, fellowships, internships, job opportunities and community resources through a bi-monthly email newsletter, "New Resources on Aging", and a list of jobs in aging in California (email to be added to either list or both). The Center also maintains a small lending library available to students, faculty, staff, and the general public (see: Research in aging is not conducted through the Center, nor are degrees in gerontology granted through the Center. The Center is physically located in 535 University Hall which is on the corner of Oxford and University Aves in Berkeley. It is open from 12:30 - 4:30 PM Monday through Friday, or by appointment at other times, and can be reached by phone, (510) 643-6427, FAX, (510) 642-1197.
Summer Hours are 12:30 - 4:30 Monday and Friday only, or by appointment.

Center for the Advanced Study of Aging Services, School of Social Welfare

Contact: Andy Scharlach, PhD, Kleiner Professor of Aging
Voice: (510) 642-3285
Mail: 120 Haviland Hall #7400, Berkeley, CA 94720-7400
Actual Location: 16 Haviland Hall

Description: The Center for the Advanced Study of Aging Services is an initiative by the School of Social Welfare at the University of California at Berkeley. Our mission is to improve services for Elderly people through a multifaceted approach including research, collaboration and education. We support research and development regarding innovative programs and services designed to improve the lives of older persons. Collaboration is also an important goal of the Center, bringing together academics, service providers, community leaders, policy makers, consumers, students and others interested in improving services for the elderly. We also work to improve the training of social workers to meet the needs of a growing and ever-changing population of older Americans.

UC Irvine Academic Geriatric Resource Center and Program in Geriatric Medicine

Contact: Ann Abrams, MSW, LCSW, Academic Coordinator
Telephone: (714) 456-5530
Mail: Geriatrics, Bldg 200, Suite 835, Rt. 81,UCIMC, 101 The City Drive South, Orange, CA, 92868-3298

Description: The University of California, Irvine Academic Geriatric Resource Center is the coordinating mechanism for all educational activities related to the UCI Program in Geriatric Medicine. These activities include a 1) Student Senior Partner Program where all medical students are matched with healthy older adults in the community to learn about health aging and unique medical needs of their older patients; 2) required rotations in Geriatric Medicine for medical students and residents; and 3) the Geriatric Fellowship Program. The UCI AGRC also facilitates numerous educational activities within the broader community for physicians, allied health professionals, and the lay public.

UCLA Multicampus Program in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology

Contact: Lucio Arruda, Program Representative Voice: (310) 312-0531
Mail: 10945 Le Conte Avenue, Suite 2339, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1687

Description: Since its inception in 1979, the UCLA Multicampus Program in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology (MPGMG) has been recognized as a national leader in providing clinical care for older persons, teaching physicians and other health professionals how to better care for older persons, and conducting research aimed at improving the health and independence of older persons. With over 60 full-time faculty members representing many disciplines, the UCLA MPGMG is one of the largest academic geriatrics programs in the world. The MPGMG is comprised of five core sites that offer community-based, nursing home, and home care programs, which extend the clinical and teaching missions of the MPGMG beyond the academic medical center. The Academic Geriatric Resource Program links the MPGMG with the Schools of Nursing, Public Health, Dentistry, Social Research, Policy and Planning; and the undergraduate program in Letter, Arts and Sciences. Two special Center programs at the MPGMG, the California Geriatric Education Center (CGEC) and the Coordinating Center for the Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR), offer faculty development and continuing education programs in geriatrics and gerontology. Of note, th UCLA Intensive Course in Geriatric Medicine and Board Review, in its 21st year, provides clinical geriatrics training through lectures, interactive and small group sessions on an annual basis.

UCLA School of Public Health, Gerontology Concentration

Contact: Steven P. Wallace, Ph.D., Professor
Voice: (310) 313-2699
Mail: UCLA Box 951772, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1772

Description: Students can pursue a concentration in aging within three departments of the School of Public Health Community Health Sciences, Epidemiology and Health Services for students pursuing MPH, MS, PhD, and DrPH degrees. In addition to the general courses required by the School of Public Health and individual departments, students complete electives in health and aging. They work with faculty advisors to identify a multi-disciplinary course of study that meets their interests and fulfills the requirements for the concentration in aging. The UCLA School of Public Health offers among the largest number of different public health and aging courses nationally, and MPH students are able to complete their fieldwork requirement in aging-related organizations.

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Private University Programs

University of Southern California, Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center, Leonard Davis School of Gerontology

Contact: Steve Arbuckle, Recruitment Manager
Voice: (213) 821-5452
Mail: 3715 McClintock Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191
WEB site:

Description: The Leonard Davis School, the first gerontology school in the nation founded in 1975, offers undergraduate, graduate certificate, master and doctoral degrees through traditional on-campus programs. A graduate certificate in gerontology, and the Master of Arts in Gerontology and Master of Long Term Care Administration degree programs may be completed entirely online through the internet. In addition to the Leonard Davis School, the Andrus Gerontology Center is home for the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, California Center for Long Term Care Integration, Long Beach Longitudinal Study on Cognition, Longitudinal Study of Generations, Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center, National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification, Tingstad Older Adult Counseling Center, and USC/UCLA Center on Biodemography and Population Health. Unprecedented financial support is available for master's and doctoral students through the David A. Peterson Graduate Fellowships in Aging and the Doris T. Westcott Endowed Fellowship Fund in Aging.

Stanford Geriatric Education Center

Contact: Annemarie Quevedo, MSM
Voice: 650-494-3986
Mail: VAPAHCS, Bldg. 4 (182B-SGEC), 3801 Miranda Avenue, Palo Alto CA 94304

Description: The Stanford Geriatric Education Center (SGEC) provides a variety of multidisciplinary ethnogeriatric programs and curriculum resource materials to educate health professionals on the cultural issues associated with aging and health. The SGEC promotes cultural competence to improve the quality of health care for the rapidly growing population of elders from diverse cultural backgrounds. SGEC is funded by the Bureau of Health Professions of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. A multiethnic affiliated core faculty from nine disciplines plan and implement the educational programs and resources.

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