Frequently Asked Questions

I am completing a master’s degree and I am interested in the Certificate Program, but I am not sure how it would fit into my program of study. Can I complete the requirements for my degree and the Certificate and still graduate in two years?

The Certificate Program is designed so that elective courses in most programs that have been approved as Certificate courses can be used to fulfill Certificate requirements. Courses may be used to count towards both a Master’s degree and the Gerontology Certificate if they fulfill requirements of both programs. With proper planning, one can complete both programs of study in a two-year period. Planning and getting started in the Certificate Program early provides more flexibility to fit in all required courses.

I have already completed a master’s or Doctoral degree and wish to come to the University of Georgia for the sole purpose of completing the Graduate Certificate of Gerontology. Is this possible?

Yes. A number of individuals have completed the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology after having earned master’s or Doctoral degrees. Admission must be secured from the UGA Graduate School as a non-degree candidate. The Graduate Coordinator will guide individuals to appropriate departments and personnel in the Graduate School who will provide assistance in gaining admission to the Graduate School under these circumstances.

To request information from the UGA Graduate School, visit

What if I am unable to complete all of the requirements before I graduate? Is it possible for me to continue to take courses to earn the Certificate of Gerontology?

Yes. If all Certificate of Gerontology requirements cannot be met before graduation from a degree program, work can still be done toward the Certificate after graduation. Non-degree status must be granted through the Graduate School early in the semester before enrollment in courses as a non-degree student.

How will completing the Graduate Certificate of Gerontology help me in my job search?

The completion of the Certificate will be formally noted on your transcript and will indicate to prospective employers that, in addition to training within a particular discipline and degree program, formal interdisciplinary training in gerontology has been obtained.

How long do I have to finish the Certificate? Is there a deadline?

The Institute of Gerontology does not impose a time limit for receiving the Certificate. If classes have not been taken over a three-year period, a student will be considered “inactive.” Students who have been classified as “inactive” can have the status lifted by scheduling an advisory session with the Graduate Coordinator of the Institute of Gerontology. This meeting is necessary to review the courses which are available and necessary for completion of the Certificate requirements.

Where can I find information about tuition & fees?

The UGA Bursar’s Office provide information on the University’s current tuition and fee schedules at

Can I transfer course credits from another institution?

In special circumstances, students have the opportunity to take a graduate level gerontology course at another institution in a traditional classroom situation or through distance learning. Students may transfer one graduate course into their Certificate program, if appropriate. A student must supply the Graduate Coordinator of the Institute of Gerontology with a copy of the syllabus that will be used in the course. The Graduate Coordinator, in consultation with other gerontology faculty if necessary, will review the syllabus to determine if the course is appropriate for Certificate credit. Approval for completed courses should not be obtained retroactively. Therefore, the student must take responsibility to seek approval from the Institute of Gerontology before enrolling in a course at another college or university

Can I take any independent study courses toward my certificate?

In certain circumstances, the GRNT 8000 and GRNT 8010 courses may be taken as independent study courses. Generally, no more than three hours of the Certificate Program can be taken in this manner. The student may enroll in an independent study course of a specific department and also have the course counted under GRNT designation to apply towards the Certificate, if appropriate. The Graduate Coordinator of the Institute of Gerontology must approve the use of GRNT courses for independent study during the semester before enrollment in the independent study begins.

The procedures for crafting an independent study are:

  • The student will complete the practicum approval form for GRNT 8000 or 8010 to identify a specific area of interest for these credits. The form must be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator and a meeting held to discuss how this particular content cannot be investigated in any of the other approved Certificate courses.
  • The student must also secure consent in writing from a gerontology faculty member who will supervise the independent study. If a student does not have a particular faculty member identified, the Graduate Coordinator can assist the student with this process.
  • The student, in conjunction with the supervising faculty member, will construct learning objectives for the independent study. These will concretely identify what the student will learn from the experience.
  • The student will submit a proposal that outlines the requirements for the independent study along with the practicum approval form to the Graduate Coordinator of the Institute of Gerontology. The form will include the assignments the student will complete (e.g., a literature review of a particular area) and the product which will be evaluated for the course grade (e.g., completed paper, article or chapter submitted for publication, grant proposal). Both the student and the faculty member who will supervise the independent study will sign the proposal.
  •  The student will supply the Institute of Gerontology with a copy of the independent study course assignment at the conclusion of the semester.

Need more information? Students are also welcome to contact the Institute to discuss the program and their interests before deciding to apply. Email: .