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Gerontology Department College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies

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Future Gerontology Students

Thank you for your interest in the Gerontology Program at Sacramento State. Please read about our Prospective Student Advising on this page. Explore the rest of our website to gain a full view of what the Gerontology Program at Sacramento State has to offer!

This page has further information on:

  • Bachelor's in Gerontology;
  • Minor in Gerontology;
  • Special Master's in Gerontology and one other subject;
  • Admissions to our programs;
  • Advising sessions for new Gerontology students;
  • Careers in Gerontology.
Student, Ines Torres, with older adults.

Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Science

Units required for the BS: 120
Units required for the major: 48
Minimum grade required: "C" or better in all major and multidisciplinary core/elective courses.

Click HERE for a list of prerequisites. Click HERE for a 4-year plan. Click HERE for a 2-year transfer plan.

A. Required Courses (24 units)

(3) GERO 101 Elder Care Continuum Services and Strategies
(3) GERO 102 Social Policy for an Aging Society
(3) GERO 103 Applied Care Management in Gerontological Practice
(3) GERO 121 Models for Successful Aging
(3) GERO 122 Managing Disorders in Elders
(3) GERO 130 Gerontology Practicum
(3) GERO 131 Gerontology Capstone Practicum
(3) Research Course (Choose one of the following in consultation with your advisor):

  • ECON 140 Quantitative Economic Analysis
  • ETHN 194 Research in Ethnic Studies
  • GERO 123 Research on Aging
  • NURS 170 Basic Nursing Research & Application
  • RPTA 110 Research and Evaluation in Recreation & Leisure Studies
  • SWRK 111 Intro to Research Methods and Program Evaluation

B. Required Interdisciplinary Core (15 units)

(3) ETHN 133 Cross-Cultural Aging in America
(3) FACS 141 Family Finance
(3) GERO 124/PSYC 151 Perspectives on Death & Dying
(3) RPTA 117 Therapeutic Recreation & Contemporary Aspects of Disability
(3) SWRK 151 Health Services and Systems

C. Electives (9 units)

(1-3) GERO 199 Special Problems
(3) HLSC 116 Public Health Administration and Policy
(3) HLSC 134 Understand Human Sexuality
(3) HROB 101 The Management of Contemporary Organizations
(3) KINS 136 Sport and Aging
(3) FACS 113 Nutrition & Metabolism
(3) FACS 119 Nutrition and Aging
(3) FACS 150 Family Stress & Coping: Multicultural Focus
(3) FACS 159 Adulthood & Aging in Human Development
(3) GERO 100 Aging Issues in Contemporary America
(3) HLSC 150 Aging and Health
(3) PSYC 150 Psychological Aspects of Aging
(2) PSYC 152 Psychological Aspects of Health, Wellness, and Illness
(3) Soc 146 Sociology of Aging


Minor

Units required for the Minor: 21

Click HERE for a list of prerequisites.

  • GERO 100 - Aging Issues in Contemporary America
  • GERO 101 - Elder Care Services & Strategies
  • GERO 102 - Social Policy for an Aging Society
  • GERO 103 - Care Management in Gerontology Practice
  • GERO 131 - Gerontology Capstone Practicum
  • ETHN 133 - Cross-Cultural Aging in America
  • FACS 159 - Adulthood & Aging in Human Development or
  • GERO 121 - Models for Successful Aging or
  • GERO 122 - Managing Disorders in Elders
Students, Bernadette Abrea and Jamie Leal Violenta.

Admission to the Gerontology Programs

All Students:

  1. Before applying for one of our programs, attend a Prospective Student Advising Session to meet Dr. Jensen, find out more about the various programs we offer, and receive advising.
  2. Once enrolled, schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Jensen at least once every semester for advising, course-planning, etc.
  3. Once enrolled, be sure to check Canvas regularly. You should be enrolled in the "Gerontology Student Information Center." If you do not see this in your course list, please send your name and saclink username to Donna Jensen, and she will add you. This is the Program's primary mode of communication with students. Our office sends emails to students and posts announcements regularly. .
  4. Check our website frequently for program updates, news, job postings, and other information.

Bachelor of Science in Gerontology:

  1. Visit Admissions and Outreach for application due dates.
  2. Apply online to California State University, Sacramento and declare your major as Gerontology. Or, if you have already been admitted to another bachelor's program, submit a Declaration of Major form to Admissions and Records.
  3. Once admitted to the University and prior to beginning Gerontology coursework, submit a Gerontology Program Application to the Gerontology Program Office. Note: 2nd Bachelors students should complete the Program Application for Graduate Students.
  4. Schedule an advising session or make an appointment with Dr. Jensen for major advising and to plan your coursework.
  5. Be sure to attend orientation.
  6. You will receive instructions from the University about paying your tuition fees and registering for courses via My Sac State.

Minor in Gerontology:

  1. Declare a minor when you apply to an undergraduate program at Sacramento State. (Note: You may not declare a major and minor in the same discipline.) OR
  2. Submit a Declaration of Minor form to Admissions and Records to add or change your minor to Gerontology after you have been admitted.
  3. Once admitted to the University or your Change of Academic Program form has been filed, submit a Gerontology Program Application to the Program Office.
  4. You will receive instructions from the University about paying tuition fees and registering for courses via My Sac State.

Special Master's in Gerontology:

  1. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Jensen approximately one year before your anticipated start date in the Special Master's program. She will help you choose a faculty committee, plan your coursework, complete your Special Master's application and keep you informed of application deadlines. Schedule a new student advising session or make an appointment with Dr. Jensen.
  2. Take the General Subject GRE (Graduate Record Exam)*. Exam scores should be from the last 10 years and must include a writing component. No specific score is required. The test is used as a diagnostic tool to be sure students are ready for graduate-level coursework. Supplemental coursework may be recommended based on students' scores.
    *Note: Students who, within the past 10 years, have successfully completed a Master's Degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher do not need to take the GRE.
  3. Submit a Gerontology Program Application to the Gerontology Program Office, Benicia 1018. Be sure to send us copies of your GRE scores if applicable.
  4. Complete a draft of the Graduate Special Major Application and Special Major Declaration and make an appointment with Dr. Jensen to discuss the application and determine the next steps.
  5. Submit the completed Graduate Special Major Application and Special Major Declaration, along with 2 copies of all college transcripts, to the Gerontology Program office.
  6. You'll be notified by the department when to apply online via CSU Mentor.
  7. You will recieve instructions from the University about paying your tuition fees and registering for courses via My Sac State.

Graduate Certificate:

Currently Unavailable.

Graduate Program

Special Master's

Required Courses: 18 units

(3 units) GERO 200 Adaptation to Age Related Changes
(3 units) GERO 221 Models for Successful Longevity
(3 units) GERO 222 Managing Disorders in Elders
(3 units) GERO 295 Internship/Project
(3 units) GERO 101 Elder Care Continuum Services & Strategies
(3 units) GERO 102 Social Policy for an Aging Society
OR
GERO 103 Applied Care Management in Gerontology Practice
(1-6 units) GERO 299* Special Problems
*This course is optional, and is for students interested in advanced, independent study in a particular area.

The CSUS Gerontology Special Master's Program is an individualized graduate program. Because there is no set curriculum for the program, each student meets with the Program Director to discuss his or her unique needs and goals. With permission from the Director, students will combine a concentration in Gerontology with a secondary academic discipline of their choice, and will title their own degree. In the past, students have chosen disciplines such as psychology, sociology, education, therapeutic recreation, ethnic studies, marketing, and public policy to enhance their degree in Gerontology.

Graduate Certificate

Currently Unavailable

New Gerontology Student Advising Sessions

Dr. Donna Jensen, Chair of the Gerontology Department, holds advising sessions for prospective students each semester.

Anyone interested in enrolling in any of our programs (Major, Minor, or Special Master's) should attend one of these sessions. She will provide you with an overview of each of the programs, and will answer any specific questions you may have. These sessions provide you an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with Dr. Osborne and with the program.

Please RSVP by emailing melanie.saeck@csus.edu with your prefered day and time.

When we return to campus in future semesters, those who RSVP at least 7 days before the meeting will be eligible to receive a visitor parking permit. If you need a permit, be sure to let us know. Permits will be available at Information Booth #2 (on the south, Hwy 50 side of campus) on the day of the meeting. If you RSVP less than 7 days in advance, you may still attend, but you will have to purchase a daily parking permit.

Spring 2021 Meetings
Day Time Location
Thurs, April 8 10:00 AM Zoom
Thurs, April 8 10:30 AM Zoom
Thurs, April 8 11:00 AM Zoom
Thurs, April 8 11:30 AM Zoom
Thurs, April 29 10:00 AM Zoom
Thurs, April 29 10:30 AM Zoom
Thurs, April 29 11:00 AM Zoom
Thurs, April 29 11:30 AM Zoom
Thurs, May 6 11:30 AM Zoom
Student, Erick Camarena, showing a camera to a disabled older adult.

Careers in Gerontology

As people live longer, and the United States population continues to grow older, the need for understanding how to work with and for the elder population becomes more and more important. Even if you are working on a degree in another field, consider a minor, and boost your career opportunities.

Gerontology Job Roles: (adapted from AGHE)

Some professionals work directly with older persons. Their activities may include:

  • Developing programs such as health promotion, senior theater groups, or intergenerational activites for older persons in senior centers, community agencies, or retirement communities.
  • Providing direct care to frail, ill, or impaired older persons in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or through aduld day care or home.
  • Counseling older persons and their families about issues of caregiving, employment, death and dying or mental health.
  • Advising older clients about estate planning and investments, financing long-term care or housing options.

Other professionals are less directly involved with older persons, but work on their behalf, educate others or investigate issues in the field of aging. Examples of their activities include:

  • Conducting research on the aging processes and diseases associated with aging such as Alzheimer's disease or asteoporosis.
  • Analyzing issues related to older persons such as retirement. opportunities, income maintenance, the health care system and housing alternatives.
  • Planning, administering and evaluating community-based services and service delivery systems for older persons.
  • Teaching courses on aging to college and university students, health care professionals and older adults.
  • Designing products to meet the special needs of older persons.
  • Advising business, industry and labor regarding older workers and consumers.

Some professionals devote themselves full-time to the field of aging; others divide their time between aging and other areas of interest within their disciplinary, professional or clinical areas.