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Our Program:

  • Funds accepted full-time students on assistantships, which include tuition waivers and stipends
  • Is offered by the Department of Sociology & Gerontology and enhanced by the Scripps Gerontology Center, an Ohio Center of Excellence that involves students in a wide range of externally-funded research projects
  • Creates an intellectual environment by encouraging critical thinking and engaged learning
  • Offers a collaborative learning and working environment
  • Helps students establish networks for professional development and career planning
  • Provides training in both quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Includes opportunities for advanced certificates in areas such as applied statistics, college teaching, GIS, and gender & sexuality studies

Our Gerontology PHD graduates have 100% job placement within 6 months of graduation

Our PhD curriculum is built on three important traditions of gerontology at Miami University: a multidisciplinary approach; expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research methods; and an emphasis on the social construction of age and aging. With this foundation, our graduates launch careers quickly after graduating. (Please note: Figures do not total 100% due to rounding.)


were hired in tenure-track faculty positions across a variety of social science departments in the U.S.


received post-doctoral research fellowships


were employed in research positions at universities and private sector organizations


were employed as non-tenure-track faculty at domestic and international universities

Postdoc Career Builders

Our Gerontology PhD grads have gone on to postdocs at:

  • Bar-Ilan University (Israel)
  • Brown University
  • Duke University
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Clemson University
  • Concordia University (Canada)
  • Miami University Scripps Gerontology Center
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Miami University's Ph.D. in Social Gerontology Program

Program Requirements

Requirements for the PhD include coursework; satisfactory performance on a written and oral qualifying examination; submission of an acceptable dissertation; and satisfactory performance on a final oral examination (dissertation defense).

Doctoral students will complete 60 post-master's credit hours, including dissertation research and coursework.

Learn more about program requirements

Application Requirements

Applicants to the doctoral program generally have a bachelor’s degree and 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 fulfilling the core requirements for the Master of Gerontological Studies (MGS) program (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 master’s-level core courses must be taken as part of their doctoral studies.

The application deadline for full and part-time students is January 15 of the same calendar year in which fall enrollment is sought.

Application requirements include:

  • Undergraduate and, where appropriate, graduate grade point averages
  • A written professional statement
  • A curriculum vitae/resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Undergraduate and graduate education transcripts

Submission of General Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores is optional for applications for Fall 2023 admission to the Miami University gerontology graduate programs. We recommend that you begin the application process early to be certain all your materials reach us by January 15.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain how “aging” is defined within social and cultural contexts;
  2. Articulate the intersection between individual agency and social contexts in shaping the life course of individuals and cohorts;
  3. Explain why chronological age is a problematic concept;
  4. Explain, compare, and contrast major theoretical perspectives in social gerontology;
  5. Integrate gerontological information from multiple sources into coherent arguments;
  6. Give one example of the ways in which thinking in the field of gerontology has changed, and use this example to illustrate how dominant paradigms help to limit “acceptable” research and knowledge;
  7. Demonstrate capacity for a rigorous process of independent and original inquiry. Depending on the primary audience and major purpose of the endeavor, the project might articulate and address a significant gap in the research literature, solve an agency-based problem, or meet practice needs of the field;
  8. Apply the principles of research design in a grant proposal for an agency-based program evaluation that is rigorous, feasible, and responsive to the role of stakeholders in applied research;
  9. Explain the major policy issues that affect the design and implementation of programs developed to meet the needs of an aging society;
  10. Describe and critique the major income maintenance, health, and social programs serving older people in the U.S.;
  11. Articulate the relationship between course content and the work of an organization in the field of aging;
  12. Establish an ongoing plan for professional development