Many former students have stated that their careers and job opportunities were enhanced by their gerontology training. A secondary major provides extra credentials for employment by supplementing your knowledge base within your chosen career path. Americans are now living longer due to technological advances. They are also a diverse group with a wide range of needs and interests. There are almost unlimited possibilities for individuals to work not only in the field of healthcare and retirement planning, but also in the delivery of new products and services. Having a background in gerontology may provide job opportunities in the areas of financial/legal services, leisure/travel/hospitality, fitness/wellness, advocacy, marketing and product development, counseling, program planning and evaluation, architectural/environmental services and more. People working in the field of gerontology report great job satisfaction and feel that they are truly making a difference in the lives of older Americans. Want to work with the older population but not sure how? Look at our brochures on the secondary major in gerontology, the long term care administration program or the minor in gerontology.
A secondary major requires more hours than a minor, but less hours than a double major. It allows you to get an area of specialization within your preferred area of study and is typically more interdisciplinary than a minor. Most students find it enhances their job opportunities after college. If a student is applying for medical school or additional degrees after their Bachelors degree, they find it gives them an edge in the application process. The Secondary Major in Gerontology at Kansas State University requires a total of 24 credit hours which may overlap with courses taken for the students' primary major. The secondary major may not be completed as a stand-alone program.
Available since June 2020, a15-credit minor in gerontology is now available. It includes 6 credit hours of required courses (GERON 315 Introduction to Gerontology and GERON 510 Aging in America: Policy & Advocacy) and 9 hours of electives taken from our list of approved courses.
The required courses and some of the elective courses are offered online at least once per year, depending on the specific course. With careful planning, a student should be able to complete the program entirely online.
Students should email or call the gerontology advisor at 785-532-5945 specifying whether they want to add the minor or the secondary major. The advisor will send an electronic request to the Registrars office to be added to the students' record.
Students should take the Intro to Gerontology in one of their first few semesters after adding the secondary major or minor because it provides background information for other gerontology courses. It does not need to be the very first class that a student takes in the program. Before a student enrolls in the Seminar in Gerontology, they must take 15 hours of other gerontology courses.
Some of the courses that count as gerontology electives and are offered by other departments on campus will have prerequisites. Some instructors will waive prerequisites for gerontology students. For more specific information you can check the course catalog for information about a class or you can contact the gerontology advisor.
Yes, students may use a course to count for both the major and the secondary major or minor. For example, sometimes the gerontology courses can be used as professional or unrestricted electives for their primary major or can also count as K-State 8 requirements.
Pam Evans currently serves as the advisor for the program and certifies completion of the requirements when a student is ready to graduate. She can be contacted by telephone at 785-532-5945 or by email.
No, this is an interdisciplinary program. Students may be in any college and any degree program at Kansas State University. Some majors will naturally have more overlap of course requirements than others. However there are no restrictions on who can declare the Secondary Major, as long as they are an undergraduate student.
Students must complete an undergraduate degree at Kansas State University concurrently with the secondary major in gerontology. It is not a stand-alone program. It cannot be taken and then recognized on a student transcript if the student already has received a Bachelors degree from KSU.
You could do this, but it is best to declare this option as early as you can so that the gerontology advisor can oversee your coursework. This will ensure you get everything completed by your graduation date without any errors. Additionally, once you declare gerontology you will start receiving electronic student communications which include career information, announcements of upcoming events or activities, new classes being offered, part time job opportunities and other activities that you may want to join.
No. The Secondary Major is for undergraduate students only and the courses completed must be taken for undergraduate credit. Students may be interested in the online Graduate Certificate in Gerontology or online Master's in Gerontology offered by Kansas State University after completion of their bachelor's degree.
The gerontology advisor and the Center on Aging director will review course information to determine whether it may be used in the program. The Center on Aging will usually require a copy of the course syllabus as well as information on textbooks used, and may also contact the course instructor in order to assess the gerontology content of the class.
It may be possible to use an internship to count toward gerontology studies requirements. Students must talk to the gerontology advisor in advance of an internship to see if that is possible. Students will also have required assignments to complete for the Center on Aging if their internship in another department is counted as a gerontology elective.
Many students find it is helpful to have an internship experience specific to gerontology on their transcript and resume when they begin to apply for jobs or to additional schools after graduation. Their comments indicate that employers like to see this type of experience, and students feel that they gained a lot of knowledge about the older population and real world experience during the internship. For more information on course requirements, credit hours and possible placement sites, please contact the gerontology advisor. Gerontology internships must be arranged prior to the start of the semester in which the student is enrolled in the course. Enrollment in the variable credit gerontology internship course is by permission only. Students will be required to keep a daily log of their internship activities as well as complete a project during their internship.
The required courses (Intro to Gerontology, Aging in America, and Seminar in Gerontology) as well as any course with a GERON prefix are taught by Center on Aging staff. Elective courses are taught by faculty in departments across the university who have an interest in aging-related issues within their areas of expertise. See more information about these faculty members.
Minors and Secondary Majors are not listed on the student diploma. It will be listed on the student transcript, and the Center on Aging will provide a signed certificate listing the number of gerontology hours completed for the program. Students must apply for graduation for both their primary and their secondary major or minor in KSIS during their last semester at K-State. The gerontology advisor will then review the applications for graduation and approve them in KSIS so that they become a part of the student's academic records.