GERO Course Listing

Contemporary Issues in Aging (GERO 100, 3 Credits)
(Fulfills the general education requirement in the behavioral and social sciences.) An overview of the study of aging from a life course perspective focusing on the older adult. The course is a multidisciplinary exploration of aging in the 21st century with an emphasis on the policies, evidence-based approaches, and attitudes that promote healthful aging. Students will engage in skill building exercises, including how to locate and read scholarly sources, how to create effective presentations in different modalities, and how to communicate with and on behalf of older people.

Health and Aging (GERO 302, 3 Credits)
Recommended: GERO 100. An exploration of the physiological processes of aging that covers normal aging and chronic illness. The goal is to distinguish normal aging from disease and evaluate factors that affect the health of older adults. Topics include biological processes and theories of aging, bodily changes normally associated with aging, long-term and healthcare systems, and related medical terminology. Review also covers substance abuse; environmental factors affecting aging; and ways of promoting health, preventing disease, and assessing health risks.

Gender and Aging (GERO 311, 3 Credits)
(Fulfills the general education requirement in behavioral and social sciences.) Recommended: GERO 100. An analysis and discussion of issues related to gender and the aging process. The goal is to evaluate and challenge negative, socially constructed assumptions associated with gender and aging, as well as examine gender-relevant issues in health and well-being after midlife. Discussion covers life transitions, socioeconomic status, culture, family and social relationships, ageism, and sexuality and health as each relates to gender. The impact of public policy and services on gender and aging is also addressed. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: GERO 311 or GERO 497E.

Psychosocial Aspects of Aging (GERO 320, 3 Credits)
(Fulfills the general education requirement in behavioral and social sciences.) Recommended: GERO 100. An advanced multidisciplinary examination of the psychosocial forces that affect the aging process. Aspects of aging are analyzed from a number of theoretical perspectives found in psychology, sociology, and social gerontology. The goal is to articulate the impact of biological, sociocultural, and life cycle forces on psychological and social well-being in post-midlife. Topics include normative and atypical psychological and social functioning in post-midlife; the social construction of aging; and the impact of aging, ageism, and longevity on social structures such as the family, work, retirement, and healthcare. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: GERO 220, GERO 320, or PSYC 357.

The Business of Aging (GERO 390, 3 Credits)
Recommended: GERO 100 and ECON 201 (or ECON 203). A comprehensive study of the sources of economic security for older adults, the problems encountered in retirement, and the impact of an aging population on the nation's economy. The goal is to outline the key sources of economic security received by older adults (including Social Security, pensions, personal savings, Medicare, and Medicaid); examine how economic security varies by race, ethnicity, gender, and social status as people age; evaluate how longevity and the "graying" of society impact the nation's economy; and explore potential solutions to the problems posed by entitlement programs. Topics include retirement planning; financing longevity; health, disability, and long-term-care costs; economic disparities by social group; and the international economics of aging.

Culture and Aging (GERO 427, 3 Credits)
(Fulfills the general education requirement in behavioral and social sciences.) Recommended: GERO 100. An interdisciplinary examination of how different cultures interpret and deal with aging and the life cycle. Focus is on the increasingly heterogeneous aging population in the United States. The goal is to raise critical awareness of how aging is experienced across cultures. Topics include cross-cultural theory and research on aging; global demographics of aging; cross-cultural perspectives of norms and values regarding work, family, and community roles for older adults; the social and economic status of older adults; intergenerational relationships; ethical caregiving; end-of-life issues; social services; and social policy. Health disparities among older adults of certain ethnicities within the United States are also addressed. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: GERO 327, GERO 410, or GERO 427.