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Gerontology Certificate Requirements

Coursework for Certificate

All Gerontology coursework must carry a letter grade. Gerontology courses may not be taken pass/fail. A grade of C or better is required in all Gerontology Certificate coursework to count towards the certificate. In addition, the GPA for Gerontology Certificate coursework must be 3.0 or higher.

Required courses (6 credits):

  1. FCHD 3540: Adult Development and Aging (3 credits; Prerequisites: FCHD 1500 and Junior Standing)
  2. FCHD 4240: Social and Family Gerontology (3 credits; Prerequisites: FCHD 2400 and Junior Standing)
    OR NFS 4480: Community Nutrition (3 credits; Prerequisite: NFS 1020)

Elective courses (6 credits):

Students pick six additional credits from a list of approved courses across various majors and departments. Students are encouraged to choose electives that will be most applicable to their chosen field of study. CLICK HERE FOR THE CURRENT LIST OF ELECTIVES


In elective courses, if a student is given an option to choose a topic for a paper or project, the student is encouraged to choose a topic related to adulthood and aging.

Other courses not listed are subject to approval by Gerontology Certificate Coordinator, who will need to see the syllabus, and may ask to see assignments and a writing sample from the course.

Practical Experience

FCHD 4970: Gerontology Practicum (3 credits; Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment with FCHD 4240 or NFS 4480)

This course is taught by Grant Bartholomew in the department of FCHD. Judy Hendrickson (Administrative Assistant in FCHD) processes practicum materials. The course requires you to commit 150 hours working (volunteer or for pay) in a setting with/on behalf of older adults. This course is only open to currently enrolled certificate students. You choose the facility, and it does not have to be in Logan, Utah. Some common practicum sites:

  • Assisted Living or Nursing Homes
  • Senior Centers
  • Agency on Aging Offices
  • Hospice
  • Rehabilitation Centers

Practicum Handbook

The information on this web page is meant to be a quick summary. Detailed instructions for requirements for the gerontology practicum, the application process and so on, are provided in the Practicum Student Handbook (see link on the right).

Deadlines for Practicum

FCHD majors: You must abide by the same practicum application deadlines for the Gerontology Practicum as you do for the FCHD Practicum.

Other majors: You must have your background check and other materials approved by the start of the semester you wish to take the practicum. As there are often lengthy delays on background checks, please aim to get all materials submitted at least 6 weeks before the start of the semester. If possible, aim to follow the same deadlines as the FCHD majors.

Practicum Application:

The application for the Gerontology practicum is SEPARATE from the application to the gerontology certificate. Being accepted into the gerontology certificate program does NOT get you accepted into the practicum. Review the handbook for application instructions.

Integrative Paper

FCHD 4940: Gerontology Integration (1 credit; Prerequisites: FCHD 3540, FCHD 4240/NFS 4480; FCHD 4970) As students near the end of their certificate requirements, they write an 8-10 page paper on an approved topic of their choice, in which they integrate their academic knowledge and their practical experiences within their chosen field of study. In this course you will work one-on-one with the gerontology certificate coordinator. Course registrations is only open for current Gerontology Certificate students, and these students will need permission to register for this course. Please send an e-mail to the Gerontology Certificate coordinator ( during the registration period, and the coordinator and academic advisor will allow for registration.

Service and Professional Development: Student Gerontology Association

Logan campus students participate in USU's Student Gerontology Association (SGA) for a minimum of ten hours to meet the requirements of the Gerontology Certificate. Most students elect to participate for at least two semesters (5 hours of club-related activity each semester). SGA is a club that meets regularly and conducts service projects with older adults in the community. The club also arranges activities which foster career development, such as inviting speakers to campus to talk about jobs in aging, or touring facilities or organizations that work with older adults.

Students who are not located at USU's Logan campus can meet this requirement by participating in 10 hours of volunteer service within their own community.

All certificate students in SGA must track their own hours and submit their hours in their certificate graduation materials Students should record each Activity/Meeting, Date, Hours, as this information will be added to their certificate graduation application.

A student is automatically added to the SGA membership and list serve when they are accepted into the Gerontology Certificate Program.

Any USU student, regardless of whether they are seeking the Gerontology Certificate or not, can participate as a club member. To be added to club membership, please e-mail

Graduation with the Certificate:

The semester you are graduating: Complete the Graduation Form for Certificate at the beginning of this semester.

Include the description of your SGA volunteer hours (Activity/Meeting, Date, Hours).

Calculate your Gerontology GPA: Please use USU's unofficial GPA Calculator. After graduation, check your transcript. You will look for SPECIAL CERTIFICATE IN GERONTOLOGY (currently this appears in the notes section at the bottom of the electronic transcript)

Gerontology Program Coordinator

    Dr. Beth Fauth

     2905 Old Main Hill
        Logan, UT 84322-2905

Practicum Coordinator
Practicum Advising

    Judy Hendrickson

     2905 Old Main Hill
        Logan, UT 84322-2905