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Gerontology Graduate Certificate

SIU Gerontology Students work with a group of women

We live in an aging society, one in which the older population is growing both in absolute number and in proportion to all other age groups.  Businesses, government agencies, service organizations, educational institutions, and self-employed professionals from every economic sector are recognizing the need for specialized knowledge and skills to meet the needs of this changing demography.

Students in this diverse field come from many disciplines, professions, and clinical areas such as social work, health education, recreation, rehabilitation services, kinesiology, nursing, counseling, public policy, long-term care administration, medicine, architecture, psychology.  Some people work directly with older persons in a wide variety of programs and services in the community.  Others work on behalf of older persons in areas such as advocacy and teaching about aging.

Program Description

The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology is open to post-bachelor level students who are interested in the area of gerontology. It is designed to provide knowledge, skills, and specialized training in programs and services for older persons.

The certificate includes core courses on aging in the following areas: social work, rehabilitation, health, exercise and education. Courses within the certification program will include, but not be limited to: policy and program issues, psychosocial issues and health and fitness issues.

The coursework also includes a practicum in an agency suitable to the individual’s interest. Students must complete 18 credit hours of study including a minimum of three hours of practicum, to earn the certificate.

Contact Information

For more information about the program or to request information, contact:

Dr. Elaine Jurkowski
Coordinator, Certificate in Gerontology
Pulliam Hall
475 Clocktower Dr.
Carbondale, IL 62901


Admissions to the gerontology certificate program is open to anyone who has completed a bachelor's degree.

Employment Opportunities 

Employment can be found in community-based programs, mental health programs, independent living centers, aging programs, and research facilities. Positions may be found in:

  • Social Service
  • Home Health Services
  • Mental Health Services
  • Rehabilitation Services
  • Fitness/Recreation Programs
  • Therapeutic Activities Programs
  • Hospital/Healthcare Facilities
  • Senior Community Centers
  • Law Offices
  • Adult Education Programs
  • Governmental Agencies
  • Profit/Non-profit Organizations

Careers in aging can be found on-line at Association for Gerontology in Higher Education


  • Attitude and Personality --Mannerisms, dispositions, ability to work with people, confidence, acceptance of criticism
  • Reliability and Character --Dependability, willingness, honesty, moral character
  • Personal --Reflects a personal example of a healthy and productive lifestyle
  • Work Habits and Industry --Conscientiousness, follow through, resourcefulness, self-discipline, initiative
  • Emotional Stability --Reaction to stress, poise, control, inspiring confidence
  • Capacity for Independent Thinking --Leadership ability, creative thought, curiosity, active learning
  • Judgment and Common Sense --Ability and foresight in everyday decisions, expression of opinion, maturity
  • Communication Skills --Verbal, non-verbal, and written
Elderly Couple poses for Gerontology