Access to faculty: in the classroom and one-on-one, our students have access to some of the best scholars in the field.
Where are they Now? Our recent MGS graduates are working in aging services and administration; employed in aging-related research, government or private sector positions; and earning advanced degrees.
photos of campus and people
We mentor tomorrow
In 2015 more than 60% of our full-time gerontology graduate students gave presentations at professional conferences.


What is the relationship between Scripps Gerontology Center and the Department of Sociology & Gerontology?

Degrees are granted through Miami University's Department of Sociology & Gerontology. The Scripps Gerontology Center provides administrative support to the graduate programs and offers opportunities for involvement in its many research projects.  Scripps also hosts lectures and brown bag presentations that are an important part of gerontology education at Miami University.

What is the focus of the MGS program?

The MGS program provides students with a thorough background in theory and research in social gerontology, fundamentals of program management, hands-on experience through an individualized and supervised field practicum, and opportunities to interact with professionals in the field of aging. This program is designed for students whose interests and career goals include research or applied work in the field of gerontology. The curriculum is flexible so that students can pursue areas of individual interest.

What is the focus of the PhD in Social Gerontology?

The doctoral program focuses and builds on three rich traditions of gerontology at Miami University:

The multidisciplinary approach characteristic of the field

Expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methods

A critical gerontology perspective that emphasizes the social construction of age and aging

As a master degree student, am I required to write a thesis?

All MGS students are required to write a critical inquiry paper. This guided independent research is a culminating, integrative experience for all MGS students. CI papers can take many forms, including original research, secondary data analysis, administrative report, position paper, feasibility analysis, case study, best practices analysis, needs assessment, program plan, or a focused, analytical summary of existing literature. The most important expectation for this process is that you will integrate information and apply analytical skills gained during your course work and professional practice. 

What is the relationship between the MGS and the doctoral program?

The PhD program builds upon the rich tradition established with the Master of Gerontological Studies (MGS) program. Although the MGS is offered as a professional degree, some of our MGS students will apply for admission to the PhD in Social Gerontology.

What are the disciplinary backgrounds of the departmental faculty?

Departmental faculty are trained in gerontology, sociology, demography, psychology, social welfare, public health, and social work.

Who is eligible for admission to the doctoral program?

Applicants to the doctoral program include those who have earned a bachelor's degree and those who have earned or are in the process of completing a master’s degree. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree may apply to the PhD program, but if accepted are required to begin their studies by earning the Master of Gerontological Studies (MGS) degree (43 semester hours). Admission of individuals with only a bachelor’s degree into the PhD program is highly competitive and relatively unusual. Students are accepted into the doctoral program from a range of disciplines. For students who enter with a master's degree from a discipline other than gerontology, the faculty will determine which MGS core courses must be taken as part of their doctoral studies.

How many students will be admitted to the doctoral program?

We admit 3-5 doctoral students each academic year.

When may I apply for admission to either the MGS or PhD program?

Applications are accepted for fall admission only. Completed application and all accompanying materials must be received by January 15.

I have a masters degree. Are my GRE scores required for admission into either the MGS or PhD program?

Yes, GRE general test scores are required of every candidate. Only scores from tests taken within the last 5 years will be accepted. International students may request a GRE waiver if extreme hardship can be demonstrated. These decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Are all international applicants required to take an English proficiency exam?

International applicants to the MGS or PhD who have not received an undergraduate or graduate degree from a U.S. institution are required to take the TOEFL or IELT.

Are assistantships available to graduate students?

Yes, graduate assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis but we typically fund all full-time students. Continued funding is contingent upon satisfactory performance and availability of funds. The application for an assistantship is part of the Graduate School application process.

Is distance education offered in the MGS and PhD programs?

Our MGS and PhD programs are offered on-campus only.  A new online graduate-level certificate on Social Entrepreneurship and Aging is in development and the launch is planned for January 2017.  Contact Aaron Abbott at for more information.