The Masters of Science in Gerontology is offered through the Great Plains Distance Education Alliance (GP-IDEA). GP-IDEA is a consortium of universities that have come together to offer post-baccalaureate programs through distance education to students whose family or career keeps them from completing an on-campus graduate degree or certificate. Professionals offering direct services often are involved in health promotion programs; directing intergenerational activities; managing senior centers or retirement communities; counseling older people and their families; and helping people plan for retirement. Professionals involved in education and research may evaluate community-based services; teach others about the aging process; develop policies and programs to serve the needs of older adults; work with business and industry on issues related to an aging work force; and consumer education.
The program requires 36 credit hours of coursework, 24 of them in the following core areas:
Perspectives in Gerontology
Adult Development and Aging
Aging in the Family Context
Environments and Aging
Research Methods and Program Evaluation in Aging
Physical Health, Wellness, and Nutrition
Public Policy, Economics, and Aging
Capstone course, including ethics
The remaining 12 credit hours will be filled through GP-IDEA or on-campus electives at the home institution or through the other participating universities. No thesis option will be offered for this distance-based program. The GRE is not required. See information below for electives offered by KSU.
Universities collaborating on the gerontology program are listed on the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance website at https://www.gpidea.org/program/gerontology. Students select a “home” institution through which they will apply to the program and enroll. Students will then take courses taught by their home institution as well as the other cooperating universities. The program has been designed to provide students with the core competencies identified by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.
Students may take gerontology coursework offered at their home university as an elective, with the approval of their advisor. Approved courses offered by partner universities participating in the Great Plains IDEA Gerontology Program may also count as electives.