Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Tina K. Newsham
More people are living longer lives than ever before in history, and this change is happening regionally, nationally, and internationally. The Master of Science in Applied Gerontology prepares professionals to improve the well-being of older adults, as advocates, direct service providers, educators/trainers, administrators, marketers and product developers, program planners, evaluators, researchers, and more. Gerontologists may work with a variety of public and private organizations that provide services and goods needed by an aging population, or they may create their own new job opportunities in this fast growing field.
This is a 36 credit hour program and prospective students will include those who have majored in fields such as psychology, sociology, social work, exercise science, recreation therapy, public health, biology, or nursing, as well as allied health professionals. The program is built on theoretical foundations, supported by the practical application of service-learning, and integrating teaching, mentoring, research, and service. Many courses are online. A primary goal of the program is to improve the well-being of the region’s older adults through strengthening the size and skills of the workforce. UNCW is a regional university, with a mission statement that indicates a dedication to serve the population of southeastern North Carolina. However, we also recognize that population aging is a global issue, and this perspective is represented in our program as well.
Through course work that is both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary, the MS in Applied Gerontology will prepare graduates to be aware of all aspects of aging, which will help them both personally and professionally. Graduates will be prepared for careers involving work with older adults through synthesizing coursework in physiology, health, psychology, and social sciences, as well as hands-on experience with older populations. Students will customize the degree program with 12 credit hours of electives to meet their needs and interests.