University Bulletin 2022-23

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Undergraduate Gerontology Certificate

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Requirements For The Undergraduate Gerontology Certificate

Students who wish to earn an Undergraduate Certificate in Gerontology must complete four courses (12 semester hours), including an approved internship that will expose the student directly to older people and their families. The internship must be approved by the program director during the semester prior to placement.  The internship may be waived for students who are currently employed in the field of aging or those who can provide documentation of substantial work experience in the field. Waiver of the internship requirement must be approved by the Gerontology Program Director and the student’s academic advisor. Students in professional programs may be able to substitute clinical or field placements for the internship with permission of the Gerontology Program Director and the student’s academic advisor. Substitutions will be approved only if the placement provides opportunities to interact with and provide services for older individuals and their families. 

Approved courses are offered in various departments as well as in Gerontology (GRN). Students are encouraged to pursue the Gerontology Certificate in conjunction with degree programs. Some approved courses may not carry the GRN designation. It is essential for students to work with their academic advisors and the Gerontology program director or associate director to develop a plan of study for the Gerontology Certificate.

Undergraduate Gerontology Certificate
Core Courses For The Undergraduate Certificate
SY 372 (3 hrs)
BLY 207 or  SY 435 or GRN 435 (3 hrs)
Select One
IST 201, IST 401, PSY 456, PSY 250 (3 hrs) 
Internship (3 hrs Required)
Internship in Gerontology (GRN 496 or equivalent). With permission of the program director and the student's academic advisor, an internship in the student's primary discipline may be substituted if the internship provides significant contact with older people, their families, or appropriate service agencies. Three (3) semester hours required; up to six (6) semester hours may be accepted. Approval of the internship placement must be obtained at least 6 weeks prior to registration. The 3 hour internship requires 100 contact hours; the 6 hour internship requires 200 contact hours. If you plan to substitute an internship from another discipline, you must obtain written approval from the Gerontology Program Director prior to registration.
Elective Courses
(Select courses to bring total hours to 12)
Any required course option that is not chosen from the list above to fulfill a requirement may be used as an elective, other elective choices include:
GRN 272
GRN 290
GRN 435
GRN 490
GRN 494
HS 262
HS 462
IST 201
KIN 263
LS 397
LS 479
PSC 481
PSY 250
PSY 416
PSY 428
PSY 456
PSY 475
SY 435
SY 472
SY 490
Directed studies courses, special topics, and seminars in gerontology or other disciplines may be accepted only when the course topic is appropriate for gerontology. Please note: GRN 290 and GRN 490 are variable topics courses. Check the class schedule each term to determine which topic is being offered. Sample topics include: Gender and Aging; and Aging and Public Policy. Additional courses may be used as electives, if approved by the Gerontology program director or associate director. Students should meet with the program director to discuss specific questions about elective courses.

Program Enhancement

Research opportunities, service learning, and scholarships may be available for students in Gerontology. Contact the Program Director for details. Membership in Sigma Phi Omega Gerontology Honor Society and the Gerontology Club are also available to qualified students.

Application For The Certificate

Printed certificates are not sent automatically to students. The certificate application is available at the Gerontology website:

An exit interview may be required. Contact the program director at least 6 weeks prior to completion of requirements for the certificate. Recipients of the Gerontology Certificates are listed in the Commencement Program closest to the date the certificate completion documentation was approved.

Gerontology Staff (251) 460-6020
Program Director and Academic Advisor Dr. Roma Stovall Hanks
Associate Director and Academic Advisor Dr. Hosik Min

Department of Gerontology website

The University of South Alabama offers Certificates in Gerontology at the Graduate and Undergraduate levels and an Interdisciplinary Minor in Gerontology.

Gerontology is the interdisciplinary study of:

  1. The human life cycle
  2. Issues related to aging
  3. Intergenerational Relationships

The Gerontology program is designed to establish an expertise that will enhance and compliment the analytical skills that the student acquires as part of the major area of study. This expertise may be used as preparation to specialize within the career area related to the student's major area of study or to pursue further academic training in graduate or medical school. Special topics courses and on-line instruction are available.

Depending on their specific needs and interests, students may be able to complete requirements for the Undergraduate or Graduate Certificate in Gerontology through distance learning options. Students who are interested in pursuing a Gerontology Certificate on-line should speak with their academic advisor and the Gerontology program director.  Students in professional programs may be able to use field placements in lieu of the Gerontology Internship.

The Degree Works audit tool lists the Gerontology Certificates as programs. Students should alert their advisors to check that they are enrolled in a Gerontology Certificate program (Graduate or Undergraduate). In order to receive the printed Gerontology Certificate, the student must submit a completed Data Sheet and Application available at the program website: The certificate is not automatically issued without an application.  Students and alumni of the program may be asked to participate in exit interviews or surveys.