Certificate of Graduate Study in Aging

The Certificate of Graduate Study in Aging (CGA) is designed to address the educational needs of graduate students who will be, and of professionals who are or plan to be, engaged in work with older adults. The overarching goal of the CGA is to prepare students and professionals for competent and compassionate practice to be better able to promote the health and well-being of, and improve the quality of life for, older adults.

Students learn to assess a variety of domains (e.g., functional and cognitive status, health literacy), apply relevant theories in a health promotion and social and environmental context, and choose and implement effective interventions specifically for older adults.


All persons (graduate students and professionals) who are wishing to enroll in for the CGA must apply for admission to the University of South Carolina Graduate School. Both currently enrolled graduate students and potential students shall refer to Graduate School admission requirements for certificate eligibility.


    1. The GCA certificate requires 9-credit hours of core courses. Students must choose from the approved course list:
        • HPEB 620: Nutrition through the Life Cycle
        • HPEB 713 or EXSC 710: Behavioral Aspects of Physical Activity
        • HPEB 731: Health Promotion for Older Adults
        • HPEB 820: Public Health Advocacy and Policy
        • COMD 714: Gerontology & Communicative Disorders
        • SOWK 772: Programs and Services for Older Adults
        • EPID 830: Seminar in the Epidemiology of Aging
    2. The GCA certificate requires 6-credit hours of elective courses. Students may choose certificate electives based on their area of interest within the scope of aging. All electives must be approved before the student enrolls in elective courses. Aging courses to consider, but are not limited to, include:
        • HPSM 709: Perspectives in Rural Health
        • HSPM 764: Long-Term Care Administration
        • HSPM 777: Healthcare Policy and Principles of Healthcare Insurance
        • HPEB 552: Medical Anthropology
        • HPEB 748: Community Health Development
        • HPEB 684: HIV/STI Prevention
        • HPEB 627: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Health
        • SOWK 760: Psychopathology and Psychodiagnosis for Social Work Practice with Adults & Older Adults
        • SOWK 762: Loss and Grief
        • NURS 775: Restorative Care of older Adults
        • NURS 756: Geropsychiatric-Mental Health Nursing
        • SOCY 775: Medical Sociology
    3. The GCA certificate requires a 3-credit interactive learning practicum (HPEB 798-B).

    Application Deadline:

    Applications are accepted throughout the year.

    Application Submission and Questions:

    Applications are submitted through the UofSC Graduate School. For questions regarding the CGA program, visit the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior webpage, or contact the OSA at OSA@sc.edu.