Graduate School - Gerontology
Charlie Pruett, Advisor
Abilene, Texas 79699-7793
David Gotcher, Associate Professor
Faculty from other departments who
Bill Culp, Associate Professor of Social Work
The interdisciplinary Master of Science (MS) degree in gerontology is offered through the Department of Sociology and Family Studies at the Pruett Gerontology Center. It is a 42-hour
non-thesis program. A certificate in gerontology is also available on the graduate level.
Primary purposes of the gerontology program at Abilene Christian University are to prepare students:
1. To assist an ever-growing older population in meeting its physical, emotional, social and
2. To assume leadership roles in residential care facilities for the aged;
3. To become proficient in the planning, coordination and administration of private or public
programs in aging; and
4. To teach gerontology at the college or university level.
Course work in this interdisciplinary program is carefully integrated in an effort to add richness, depth and balance to a student’s background. Required courses come from such diverse fields as sociology, social work, psychology, biology, government, communication, administration and recreation.
A graduate certificate in gerontology is for those who do not wish to complete a degree in gerontology, but do wish to supplement their academic training or practical experience. The certificate is an 18-hour program and is a nationally-recognized credential in the field of gerontology education.
Since 1986, the Pruett Gerontology Center has worked to develop a curriculum in the study of aging, to respond to church and community service needs, and to develop a resource center to serve informational needs of individuals and organizations. The center sponsors numerous workshops, conferences and short courses to address needs and issues in aging being faced by churches, families and communities.
For admission criteria, please refer to the Graduate School Admission Requirements section of this catalog. In addition to the general Graduate School requirements, applicants to the MS in gerontology program must submit:
1. An additional gerontology program application form to the Pruett Gerontology Center;
2. An essay on why the applicant wishes to pursue a graduate degree in gerontology;
3. A personal interview with the gerontology advisor;
4. A satisfactory GRE score or MAT score.
Entrance into the program is not limited to any specific undergraduate degree. However, a background in the social or behavioral sciences is desirable. A student’s professional experience in the helping professions (particularly with older adults) will be taken into consideration. Students seeking the master’s degree in gerontology who have less than 15 hours in the social or behavioral sciences may be required to complete leveling hours in these fields.
Major Code: GERO
Requirements for the MS in gerontology are:
3. GERO 690 Practicum, 6 hours: consult with advisor.
4. Electives, 21 hours.
21 hours must be 600-level courses.
Requirements for the certificate in gerontology are:
2. Electives, 9 hours.
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