Gerontology Specialist (AAS)

Degree: Associate of Applied Science
Major: Gerontology Specialist
Program Code: 1305

About This Major...

The Gerontology program is for individuals who wish to develop careers in the field of aging, those already employed or active in gerontology or related fields who wish to enhance their career paths, and those seeking challenging and meaningful career changes in response to new opportunities created by an aging society.

The coursework for the AAS Degree, provides a foundation for gerontology knowledge and application with a biopsychosocial perspective on the aging process. It focuses on preparation for positions in organizations that provide services, care, and programs for senior adults; though typically, another degree or additional education/experience is warranted for such positions. It also provides applicable learning and relevancy as an additional degree, valuable to Health Science and Social/Behavioral Science majors who want to specialize in working with the elderly population.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit WCCC's Programs of Study page.

All CMU/WCCC associate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus‐wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Apply biopsychosocial gerontological knowledge to case studies and real-life situations involving older persons. (Specialized Knowledge/Applied Learning)
  2. Present and explain effective interventions, practices, or activities promoting an older person’s strengths and adaptations to maximize well-being, health and mental health. (Communication Fluency)
  3. Critically evaluate arguments regarding issues and controversies within the field of aging and present a position, supporting it with evidence. (Critical Thinking)
  4. Associate social conditions in the current and recent past with their potential impact on future aging cohorts. (Personal and Social Responsibility)
  5. Evaluate the impact of diversity in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and citizenship on aging outcomes nationally and globally, citing sources of information. (Information Literacy)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU and WCCC Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 60 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 15 of the final 30 semester hours of credit at CMU/WCCC.
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU/WCCC coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 20 semester credit hours for an AAS degree.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Specific to this degree:

  • 63 semester hours total for the AAS, Gerontology Specialist.

Essential Learning Requirements

(16 semester hours)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below.  If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
Select one of the following:3
English Composition II-GTCO2
Interpersonal Communications
MATH 107Career Math (or higher)3
Other Essential Learning Core Courses
PSYC 233Human Growth and Development-GTSS33
BIOL 101
General Human Biology-GTSC1
and General Human Biology Laboratory-GTSC1
Total Semester Credit Hours16

Other Lower Division Requirements

(2 semester hours)

Wellness Requirements
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
Select one Activity course1
Total Semester Credit Hours2

Program Specific Degree Requirements

(45 semester hours)

GRNT 110Introduction to Gerontology3
GRNT 125Community Resources for Older Adults3
GRNT 175The Aging Mind3
GRNT 176Cognitive Activity Design2
GRNT 181Exploring the Field of Aging2
GRNT 207Ethics and Aging3
GRNT 233Supporting End of Life3
GRNT 234Hospice Care1
GRNT 235Introduction to Dementia Care3
GRNT 236Dementia Care Practices1
GRNT 240Care and Service Coordination3
GRNT 245Health and Aging3
GRNT 246Aging and Mental Health3
GRNT 247Applied Legal and Policy Issues in Aging3
GRNT 250Death: Cross-Cultural Perspectives3
GRNT 280Management of Senior Living Communities3
GRNT 299Internship3
Total Semester Credit Hours45

(63 Hours Required)

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
BIOL 101
General Human Biology-GTSC1
and General Human Biology Laboratory-GTSC1
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
MATH 107 Career Math 3
GRNT 110 Introduction to Gerontology 3
GRNT 181 Exploring the Field of Aging 2
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
Select one of the following: 3
English Composition II-GTCO2
Interpersonal Communications
PSYC 233 Human Growth and Development-GTSS3 3
GRNT 125 Community Resources for Older Adults 3
GRNT 207 Ethics and Aging 3
GRNT 245 Health and Aging 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Second Year
Fall Semester
GRNT 175 The Aging Mind 3
GRNT 176 Cognitive Activity Design 2
GRNT 233 Supporting End of Life 3
GRNT 234 Hospice Care 1
GRNT 240 Care and Service Coordination 3
GRNT 247 Applied Legal and Policy Issues in Aging 3
KINA Activity Course 1
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
GRNT 235 Introduction to Dementia Care 3
GRNT 236 Dementia Care Practices 1
GRNT 246 Aging and Mental Health 3
GRNT 250 Death: Cross-Cultural Perspectives 3
GRNT 280 Management of Senior Living Communities 3
GRNT 299 Internship 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
 Total Semester Credit Hours63

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be her/his responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.