Gerontology Major - Social and Behavioral Gerontology Degree (BA or BS)

Earn a Degree in Gerontology at GMercyU

The only program of its kind in the area, the BA or BS in Behavioral and Social Gerontology draws heavily on sociology and psychology to examine the unique needs of the aged population. The gerontology degree program includes courses about death and dying, ethics, the social psychology of aging, the biology of aging, theories of counseling, and therapeutic activities.

The GMercyU Difference

Gwynedd Mercy University offers you a hands-on experience that’s unrivaled by other Behavioral and Social Gerontology programs in PA. GMercyU’s degree in gerontology program offers:

  • Personalized attention with small class sizes and a low student-to-faculty ratio
  • Professors who are experts in aging and dying
  • Internships that provide you with real-world experience before you graduate
  • A competitive advantage: Earn a degree that is in demand, but not widely available

Undergraduate Minors

Increase the value of your degree in gerontology by adding an undergraduate minor. GMercyU offers a wide variety of minors so you can choose the one that best meets your personal and professional goals.


In addition to general education and University requirements, as a gerontology major you will need to complete the following major-related courses:

Major Requirements – 60 Credits

PSY 111 Statistics
PSY 200 Developmental Psychology
PSY 209 Dementia: Understanding and Best Practices
PSY 212  Counseling and Communication Skills
PSY 285 Therapeutic Activities for the Elderly
PSY 312 Research Methods
PSY 314 Ethical Issues in Behavioral and Social Sciences
PSY 320 Experimental Psychology
PSY  Electives (2)
SOC 201 Introduction to Human Services
SOC 246 Issues in Gerontology
SOC 260 Death & Dying
SOC 335 Human Services Administration
SOC 341 Social Psychology of Aging
SOC 442 Gerontology Field Placement I
SOC 443 Gerontology Field Placement II
SOC 4000 Capstone
SOC Electives (2)

Credit Requirement

A minimum of 125 credits is required for a degree in gerontology.

See the undergraduate catalog (PDF) for more information and course descriptions.

Internship Opportunities

GMercyU’s Gerontology major students have interned at some of the best facilities in the area, including:

  • Abington Memorial Hospital
  • Artman Lutheran Home
  • Caring Hospice
  • Catholic Health East
  • Life Choice Hospice
  • Mercy Neighborhood Ministries
  • Neshaminy Manor
  • Normandy Farms Estates
  • Park Pleasant Nursing Home
  • Shady Lane Nursing Home
  • Spring House Estates
  • Souderton Mennonite Home
  • YMCA – Active Older Adults

Our Outstanding Faculty

Career Outcomes

A bachelor’s degree in Behavioral and Social Gerontology will prepare you for entry-level work doing case management and activity coordination. If you wish to pursue additional education, you’ll find your gerontology degree makes an excellent stepping-stone to graduate study in social work or administration. Job growth in this area is expected to grow at a much faster rate than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Possible Careers for a Gerontology Major

•    Agency Director
•    Assistant Director of Agency
•    Behavior Specialist
•    Case Worker
•    Clinical Social Worker
•    Developmental Disabilities (Dementia)
•    Educator, Higher Education
•    Employment / Occupational Social Worker
•    Faith-based Agency Worker
•    Family Services Social Worker
•    Group Home Director
•    Health Care Specialist
•    Health Care Worker
•    Hospital Social Worker
•    Intake Counselor

•    Market Research Analyst
•    Marriage Counselor
•    Mental Health Worker
•    Mobile Therapist
•    Peace Corps / VISTA Volunteer / Mercy Corps
•    Program Manager
•    Psychiatric Social Worker
•    Research Analyst
•    Residential Counselor
•    School Social Worker
•    Technical Writer
•    Therapeutic Staff Service Worker
•    Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

* Some of these careers may involve acquiring additional education.
*This is only a partial list and not meant to limit you.