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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Graduate Program

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The graduate program in aging studies is the Master of Science in Aging Studies. Also offered is the Certificate of Study in Aging Studies and specialized course work leading to original licensure as a nursing home administrator in Minnesota. Minnesota State University, Mankato is a member of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.


In addition to the admission requirements of the College of Graduate Studies, admission to the graduate program in Aging Studies requires a minimum of 16 credits of social and behavioral science at the undergraduate level, a minimum of 3.0 GPA,three letters of reference which assess the student's potential for graduate study and professional practice with older adults, and a personal statement which describes the applicant's previous training in gerontology, work and/or volunteer experience with older adults and reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in Aging Studies. A personal interview with the program director is desirable although not required.

Financial Assistance

One graduate assistantship in Aging Studies is normally available each year on a competitive basis. Other financial assistance may become available from time to time, e.g., research assistance or special project work. Contact the program director for current information.

Students pursing a Master's Degree in Aging Studies are eligible for the [PDF] Rose M. Hull Scholarship (27 KiB). The purpose of this scholarship is to recognize and encourage distinguished study in the field of gerontology and to provide financial assistance to Aging Studies students preparing for a career in the service of older adults. Two scholarships for each academic year will be awarded in April for two undergraduate or graduate students who are presently working with elders OR who wish to take courses relating to Aging Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Scholarship applicants must be planning to pursue a career relating to the care of elders.

Aging Studies MS

Thesis Plan - 30 credits
Alternate Plan Paper - 34 credits

Social - Psychological

(Choose 3 credits)

  • ANTH 536  *Anthropology of Aging (3)
  • PSYC 566  Psychology of Aging (3)
  • SOC 504    Sociology of Aging (3)
  • SOC 505    Sociology of Death (3)  

 Bio Medical

(Choose 3 credits)

  • ANTH 521  Health, Culture and Disease (3)
  • BIOL 517   *Biology of Aging and Chronic Diseases (3)
  • HLTH 555  Health and Aging (3) 

 Elective Policy / Applied Theory

(Choose 3 credits)

  • GERO 550  Innovations in Aging Policy (3)
  • GERO 585  Topics in Gerontology (1-3)
  • GERO 603  Transformative Leadership in Aging (3)
  • SOWK 519  Social Work and Aging (3) 

Required Electives

(Choose 8-14 credits)
Note: SOC 517 is also listed as CORR 517

  • FCS 574    Residential Management for Families and Special Needs (3)
  • GERO 580 Nursing Home Administration (3)
  • GERO 601 Current Health Issues in Aging (3)
  • GERO 677 Individual Study (1-4)
  • HLTH 541  Death Education (3)
  • RPLS 582 Leisure and Older Adults (3)
  • SOC 517   Program Administration (3)
  • SOC 566   Program Planning (3)

Required Thesis or APP Credits

(Choose 1-6 credits)

  • GERO 694 Alternate Plan Paper (1-2); or,
  • GERO 699 Thesis (1-3)

 Required Core

(Choose 12 credits)
A 600 level research course from any department (3 credits) is required. Six (6) credits of internship are required.

  • GERO 600 Gerontology Theory and Practice (3)
  • GERO 697 Internship (1-6)

* - Course has prerequisite courses

For schedules of courses, contact the registrar's office at Minnesota State University, Mankato 507-389-6266.

*Any additional courses completed from the three core areas will be credited as Electives.

Additional credits needed to meet degree requirements and to meet the specific educational objectives of the student are to be chosen from the above list and/or from the offerings of other departments with emphasis on course work at the 600 level. For example, one might include course work in program planning, administration and evaluation and/or graduate-level course work which is required for nursing home administration licensure. Early consultation with the Aging Studies Program Director is required to assure careful program planning and maximum utilization of program options.

Certificate of Study - Graduate