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College of Science

Gerontology Program

Gerontology Program


Welcome to the Purdue University Fort Wayne Gerontology Program. The Gerontology Program is housed within the College of Arts and Sciences and benefits from participation by multiple units across campus. Gerontology is the study of aging, from biological, psychological, social, and other perspectives. This multidisciplinary field focuses on individuals as they proceed from middle age through later life. Gerontology also promotes the application of knowledge to policies and programs.

With the aging of human populations, there is a greatly expanding need for individuals to work in the field of aging. Professionals in aging work in a variety of settings, including community and human service organizations; health care and long-term care institutions; federal, state, and local government agencies; academic and other educational and research settings; and business and industry.

Why Study Gerontology?

Older adults comprise an ever-increasing proportion of the population. Since 1900, life expectancy has increased from less than 50 years to more than 78. By 2030, the older population will double; and nearly one in five Americans will be age 65 or older. Along with this growth in numbers is a change in the characteristics of older individuals: they are now healthier, better educated, and more affluent than in years past. Stereotypes of older adults are increasingly outdated.

To help meet the needs of this growing and diverse group, many more trained workers will be necessary. The field of gerontology has shifted from emphasizing the problems of aging to promoting healthy, rewarding aging. By earning a Gerontology Certificate at Purdue Fort Wayne, individuals can help fulfill the demand for people knowledgeable in the field of aging. The Gerontology Certificate may help qualify individuals for a job, or advancement in their current position.

A Gerontology Certificate will demonstrate special expertise in the area of aging and older adults, as well as add to credentials in a major, if one is pursuing a degree. The Certificate consists of 18 credits, which may also count toward other university or major requirements. Through taking the courses approved for the gerontology curriculum, students will better understand the processes of aging, issues regarding aging, and the challenges of older adulthood.