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*NEW* AGHE Program of Merit Designation

In Fall 2013, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education designated the NEIU gerontology program as a program of merit. This designation indicates that the NEIU gerontology program has a standard of excellence in both offering a quality education and career training for its students.

Gerontology Student Testimonials

Check out the following YouTube video for students’ testimonials about the great education they received in the NEIU graduate gerontology program:

Program Mission

Established in 1991, the mission of the Gerontology Program at Northeastern Illinois University NEIU) is to contribute to the quality of life of older adults through education, research and community service. To that end, the program seeks to train practitioners through a broad education in the history, characteristics, and circumstances of this older population and prepare them to make a contribution to direct service, advocacy, and research. As such, this program is appropriate for individuals working in the field, for those seeking professional level entry into the field, and also for those whose interest is in studying aging for their own academic or personal growth.

Program Goals

The Gerontology Program is designed to meet the educational needs of a variety of student groups: those already working with the elderly, those contemplating a career change, and those working in other fields who wish to increase their knowledge of aging processes. To address these needs, students complete a set of required courses providing a solid background in the concepts of gerontology. Additional elective courses permit the student to gain expertise in either counseling/clinical or administration/social policy. This combination of general and specific course work prepares students for positions in direct service or in administration and policy analysis. The program is also structured to ensure the development of skills in both theoretical and applied research, enabling students to be proficient consumers, reviewers, and generators of research in gerontology.

Career Opportunities in Gerontology

The gerontology faculty members fully support our students in training for careers in the aging field. Check out information on various careers in the field at,,, and contact the program coordinator ( for further guidance in finding your career in a growing job market with an equally growing aging population.

M.A. in Gerontology Program Overview

The M.A. in Gerontology curriculum consists of 36 credit hours organized into three components: classroom courses, experiential learning, and independent research. Each of these components provides an opportunity for a specific type of learning; all are intended to be coordinated around the student's focus in the program. The classroom component will provide the theoretical knowledge and the academic skills necessary for success in the other two. The experiential component will give students the opportunity to apply, as well as to increase, their knowledge and skills by working in agencies and programs for the elderly in the greater Chicago land area. Finally, the research component allows students to integrate what they have learned from both of the above and to produce a thesis or pass a new comprehensive exam option that demonstrates their mastery of the interdisciplinary field of gerontology.

Graduate Certificate in Gerontology Overview

The graduate-level Certificate in Gerontology curriculum consists of 12 credit hours encompassing core classwork from the master’s degree program. Students take courses with master’s degree students and can transfer coursework (9 of the 12 credit hours) into the M.A. in Gerontology for continuing education purposes.

For more information, please refer to the list of options to the left to access important information about details of the program, tentative course offerings, and other information helpful to potential and current gerontology students (e.g., student handbook).

Advising and Applying to the Gerontology Program

If you have any questions and/or would like to set up a meeting to discuss your interest in gerontology further, please feel free to contact the gerontology program coordinator for information:

Dr. L. Hollis-Sawyer, Gerontology Coordinator

Brommel Building, BBH 307E

Phone: (773) 442-5846


Dr. Masami Takahashi

Brommel Building, BBH 307A

(773) 542-5845


Generativity Club and SIGMA PHI OMEGA Honor Society

Dr. Takahashi is the faculty supervisor for both the gerontology club (Generativity Club) and the honor society in gerontology (Sigma Phi Omega). Please contact Dr. Takahashi for more information and how you can be involved!


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