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Admissions Office
The College of St. Scholastica
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
(218) 723-6046
TTY/TDD: (218) 723-6790

Angela Hauger, Ph.D., L.P.
Program Director
Tower Hall, Room 3650
(218) 723-6148


Fast Facts: Gerontology Minor

  • Founded ahead of its time more than 30 years ago, the gerontology program is still going strong today
  • Coursework centers on the psychological, biological and social elements of aging
  • Given the enormous number of the baby boomers now becoming older adults, a background in gerontology is an important career asset
  • Professors from several departments teach the required gerontology courses — giving students diverse and critical perspectives on the process of aging
  • St. Scholastica was named on the list of Top 200 schools for Native Americans pursuing degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) by Winds of Change magazine

Program Requirements

Minor: 20 Credits
Certificate: Available to students who are not seeking a degree.

Research or Internships

Through the Gerontology Directed Applied Project (GERO-DAP), students take their textbook knowledge and put it to work in a variety of appropriate settings. Students in the GERO-DAP have completed projects at a number of different agencies, including the Benedictine Living Community of Duluth; Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging; the Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association; Edgewood Vista Senior Living and Retirement; and the Essentia Health - Polinsky Medical Rehabilitation Center.


The number of adults 65 years and older is growing faster than any other segment of the population. Since aging brings with it specific challenges and opportunities that warrant specialized services and care, those with a background in gerontology are needed in every profession: medical, social, financial, administrative, residential and hospitality services. Recent graduates with a gerontology minor have gone on to pursue graduate study in gerontology or careers in Social Work, Psychology, Sociology, Nursing, Exercise Physiology, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy.

Sample curriculum

Here are some classes you could take as part of this minor. Please note that you would not necessarily need all of these courses to fulfill a minor. This list doesn't include general education courses. Be sure to create your course plan in consultation with your advisor.

Course Creation Center

Expand and Collapse Coursework

Expand and Collapse EXP 3334 - Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation

Studies multi-disciplinary risk factors considered responsible for heart and vascular disease along with commonly associated diseases (obesity, diabetes) and behaviors (smoking, physical inactivity). Changes in cardiac structure, function and coronary circulation that occur in heart and vascular disease. Behavioral, surgical and pharmacological treatments used in primary and secondary prevention of heart disease. Use of diagnostic techniques to determine safe and effective exercise prescription for cardiac and pulmonary patients. Recognition of, and response to, common psychosocial issues as they relate to the post-myocardial infarction and pulmonary patients.

Expand and Collapse GER 3316 - Health and Functioning in Late Life

Overview of the basic principles and concepts of the normal aging process, including the realities of physical aging and common health deviations. Theories of aging, physiological changes in the older adult, and common chronic diseases are explored. Health promotion, preventive action and the healthcare system for the older adult are components of the course content.

Expand and Collapse GER 3777 - Topics in Gerontology

Courses not a part of the regular gerontology curriculum but taught at upper-division level because of special need, interest or opportunity.

Expand and Collapse GER 4444 - Research in Gerontology

Students either (a) initiate and implement empirical research in an area of special interest or (b) participate in an ongoing empirical research project developed by a faculty member. For student-initiated projects, the student develops the research proposal, conducts the research and reports the research in standard APA format. For faculty-initiated research, students work one-on-one with the faculty member or as part of his/her research team of students. Activities may include doing library research, developing measures, collecting data, analyzing data and writing portions of research reports using APA style. Prerequisite: consent of supervising faculty member and gerontology program director.

Expand and Collapse GER 4555 - Gerontology Fieldwork Project

Provides first-hand experience in the field of aging services. Students engage in fieldwork with or advocating for older adults in a community setting. Students must work with a faculty advisor, typically the gerontology program director, to: (a) write a proposal including objectives and strategies for meeting objectives, (b) write a paper in which gerontological concepts are applied to fieldwork experience, and (c) participate in an oral presentation. Evaluation is by the faculty advisor, a faculty reader, and the on-site supervisor. Prerequisites: 3 gerontology courses and consent of gerontology program director.

Expand and Collapse HSC 2215 - Nutrition for Health/Wellness

Focuses on how the basic principles of nutrition affect the individual. The role of nutrition in heath promotion and disease prevention is explored.

Expand and Collapse SWK 4440 - Social Work Intervention with Groups

This course is the third sequenced course of four practice courses required for all Social Work majors. The course incorporates knowledge and skill content developed in SWK 3370 and SWK 3383. Students examine the nature and development of social work group practice within task and treatment groups. Specific attention is given to group dynamics theory, leadership and group facilitation skills, stages of group development, theories and techniques adapted to a variety of treatment and task group settings, ethical standards for group practice, and cultural and ethnic consideration in social work group intervention. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate group facilitation and memberships skills in group labs. In addition, students receive instruction in implementing empirically based interventions in evaluating practice effectiveness. Prerequisites SWK 2240 and SWK 3370.

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  • "After completing my gerontology courses, I was able to go into my future career site and feel competent enough to voice my opinions and follow along with the conversations of people who’ve worked there for years! It was a great feeling and I owe it all to the gerontology program."

    – Allie Hodgkins, ‘17

  • "The gerontology courses have opened my eyes to the many issues older adults face. I believe that taking gerontology courses will benefit my career because I'd like to work in geriatrics, particularly with those who suffer from dementia. No matter what your major is, I highly recommend the gerontology program."

    – Stephanie Davich, ‘14

  • "My experience in the gerontology program was phenomenal. I had the opportunity to learn more about the aging process from a variety of different disciplines: biology, psychology and sociology, to name a few. Additionally, my Gerontology Directed Applied Project helped me discover my passion for working with older adults."

    – Margaret Butler, ‘15