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Please contact us if you would like more information about the Gerontology Minor.

What is Gerontology

Gerontology is an interdisciplinary field focused on the study of older adults, typically defined as over age 65. Unlike other groups that experience bias and discrimination, if we’re fortunate to live this long, at some point we’ll all belong to this group. Discrimination endured by other groups (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality) is compounded in the aging process impacting overall health, mental health, disease and longevity differently in the diverse groups.

Students who study gerontology at SCU gain hands-on experience working with and for older adults in the community and engage with intersections with diverse experiences first-hand. The skills gained are utilized in any career and personal journey through life.


29 units total including one lower division course and five upper division courses across multiple disciplines. As gerontology is an interdisciplinary field, the number of age-related classes students take in any one discipline to satisfy the minor is capped at 2. Below is a sample of which classes count for the minor.

This interdisciplinary minor was developed from those ongoing conversations among the SCU community. These classes are offered in many disciplines across campus, particularly in the College. Many of these classes satisfy university core requirements, too, so you can sample classes in multiple areas, satisfy core requirements and increase your awareness and understanding of age-related issues while completing this minor.


There are a variety of classes you will take in multiple disciplines that will introduce you to different approaches used to understanding aging.

  • You’ll take one lower-division course that emphasizes different approaches to understanding aging such as an aging-specific course (PHSC 21. Health and Aging), or an introductory class in anthropology, psychology, public health or sociology.
  • You'll also take two upper-division classes that are entirely focused on aging, Anthropology of Aging (ANTH 172) and Psychology of Aging (PSYC 196).
  • You'll select from two (2) courses that provide opportunities for you to apply course content to age-related issues. These classes are found in a variety of disciplines including anthropology, biology, psychology, religious studies, and sociology.
  • Finally, you'll complete a practicum experience (GERO 198), this is a 100-hour hands-on service-learning course, internship experience, or other equivalent work that allows you to directly engage with older adults.

View the complete list of classes  that satisfy the minor.

Navigate here to Gerontology Minor
Contact Us
Patti Simone, Ph.D., Director
Department of Psychology