View Gerontology Major brochure


Program Objectives


Students completing the Gerontology major will:

1. Have a greater appreciation for the specific needs of older adults.
2. Know about major demographic and epidemiological trends related to older adults.
3. Gain knowledge about the cognitive, physical, and social changes associated with older adulthood.
4. Develop an interdisciplinary perspective by taking courses in health, political science, or communications.
5. Gain knowledge of end-of-life issues
6. Have knowledge of the physical, mental and social changes common in older adulthood.
7. Develop an understanding of the long-term care and housing industry.


Major Requirements


The Gerontology major should be planned with a gerontology adviser. The Gerontology major consists of 58 hours of focused coursework beyond introductory coursework (there are no hidden prerequisites in the required coursework).

For a full description of each of the courses, visit the course descriptions in the WOU Academic Course Catalog.


Required Courses (42 hours)


PSY 201 General Psychology I (4 credits)

PSY 202 General Psychology II (4 credits)

PSY 301W Introduction to Research Methods (4 credits)

GERO 320 Introduction to Gerontology (4 credits)

GERO 360 Cognitive and Physical Changes in Aging (4 credits)

GERO 410 Practicum I (4 credits)

GERO 411 Practicum II (6 credits)

GERO 430 Palliative Care and Chronic Illness (4 credits)

GERO 455 Social Ties & Aging (4 credits)

GERO 460 Retirement/LTC Housing for the Elderly (4 credits)


Elective Portion A (select at least two courses)


GERO 370 Aging & Mental Health (4)

GERO 407 Seminar (4)

GERO 480 Alzheimer’s Disease and
Other Dementias Management (4)



Elective Portion B (select at least two courses)


PSY 311 Developmental Psychology

PSY 423 Interviewing and Appraisal

PSY 439 Positive Psychology

PSY 445 Introduction to Industrial/Organizational Psychology

PSY 446 The Psychology of Leadership (4)

PSY 451 Behavioral Neuroscience (4)

PSY 460 Cognitive Neuroscience (4)

PSY 461 Psychopharmacology (4)

PSY 483 Adulthood and Aging (4)

PSY 484 Death, Dying, and Grief (4)

ANTH 395 Medical Anthropology

BA 211 Financial Accounting (4)

BA 310 Principles of Marketing (3)

BA 391 Human Resource Management (3)

HE 227 Community and Public Health (4)

HE 325 Nutrition (4)

HE 375 Epidemiology (4)

HE 411 Health Communication (4)

HE 434W Diseases (4)

HE 485W Bioethics and Public Health (4)

HST 484 Health, Medicine and Gender in Historical Perspective (4)

PS 350 Introduction to Public Policy (3)

PS 430 The Aging Society (3)

PS 433 Healthcare Politics and Policy (3)





Behavioral Sciences Division

(503) 838-8344 | or e-mail:  | Location: Todd 325