Gerontology, PhD

Department of Gerontology, College of Public Affairs & Community Service

Vision Statement

Our program provides interdisciplinary training, preparing students to be leaders in the field of gerontology. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the field, our students have much flexibility as we create individualized programs tailored to each student’s research and substantive interests to ensure that their training has enough breadth and depth. Our graduates acquire knowledge through various approaches including symposia, formal classes, directed studies, research projects and workshops. All students develop abilities to understand, analyze and evaluate the challenges and opportunities of an aging population. Finally, through training by our multidisciplinary faculty, students strengthen their research and writing skills to produce quality research suitable for peer-reviewed publication and presentation at national conferences.

Program Contact Information

Julie Blaskewicz Boron, PhD, Doctoral Program Chair (DPC)
210L College of Public Affairs & Community Service (CPACS)
402.554.3391
jboron@unomaha.edu

Program Website

Admissions

General Application Requirements and Admission Criteria

Program-Specific Requirements

Application Deadlines (Doctoral students begin in the Fall semester):

  • Fall: January 15 (Priority deadline if interested in scholarship or graduate assistantship); Applications accepted through April 15

Other Requirements

  • Entrance Exam: Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • English Language Proficiency: Applicants are required to have a command of oral and written English. Those who do not hold a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from the United States, OR a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from a predetermined country on the waiver list, must meet the minimum language proficiency score requirement in order to be considered for admission.
    • Paper-based TOEFL: 550, Internet-based TOEFL: 80, IELTS: 6.5, PTE: 53, Duolingo: 105 
  • Statement of Purpose: This should describe prior education, relevant professional experience, career goals, and the specific relationship of the PhD degree to the achievement of those goals. If there are particular faculty you are interested in working with, or areas of study that you would like to pursue please include in your statement. If you are interested in a graduate assistantship, please indicate your interest and the skills you have to assist the faculty.
  • Writing Sample: this may be a master’s or honors thesis, a published article, or any similar manuscript or paper written in a scholarly style.
  • Resume
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three academic letters of recommendation are required.
  • International applicants who have completed any undergraduate or graduate coursework at international higher education institution(s), for the purpose of having the application reviewed by the Department of Gerontology, may submit a copy of the unofficial transcripts, in addition to all other application materials. Should the department wish to make a recommendation for admission, the applicant will be required to have a course-by-course transcript evaluation completed by WES, ECE, or Educational Perspectives prior to your admission being formally reviewed and processed by the Office of Graduate Studies.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses
GERO 8800GRADUATE SEMINAR IN THE AGING BRAIN 13
or GERO 8056 ADVANCED BIOLOGY OF AGING
GERO 8500POLITICS IN AGING3
GERO 8730DYING, DEATH & GRIEVING3
GERO 9110APPLIED SOCIAL GERONTOLOGY3
GERO 9460SEMINAR IN AGING AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR3
GERO 9020GRADUATE SEMINAR IN STATISTICAL APPLICATIONS3
Methodology/Statistics Courses6
Electives46
Exit Requirements 220
Total Credits90
1

Students may take either GERO 8800 or 8056; both courses are not required.

2

 Students may begin work on the dissertation after successful completion of the comprehensive examination. The dissertation topic must be approved by the student’s dissertation committee, which consists of a chair and three other members. One Committee member must be a faculty member from outside the Department of Gerontology. The dissertation topic, prospectus, and the dissertation all require the approval of the dissertation committee. A doctoral student will be required to take at least one hour of GERO 9990 Dissertation each fall and spring semester while working toward the completion of the dissertation. A minimum of 20 credit hours of GERO 9990 is required for all doctoral students.

Comprehensive Examination and Admission to Candidacy

When all or most of the coursework is completed on the plan of study, you must pass a written comprehensive examination. Once these exams are passed the supervisory committee will submit the necessary Application for Candidacy Form for approval by the Office of Graduate Studies.