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.

Eligibility Criteria:

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 should refer to these admission requirements:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. A minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.00 scale) or a GPA of 3.5 for the last two years of undergraduate work
  • A resume describing past professional experience, especially as it pertains to aging
  • A personal statement of purpose for seeking the certificate of aging that describes why you want to study aging and outlines future career goals
  • Scores on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), with a minimum of a combined GRE score of 300 (e.g., 153 verbal and 147 quantitative) and a 4.0 analytical writing score*. In certain cases, other information may be accepted in lieu of GRE scores
  • EFL or IELTS scores are required for those whose native language is not English
  • Official transcripts from ALL institutions previously attended; non-US institution transcripts must be verified by World Education Services or equivalent service
  • Letters of recommendation from academic/professional sources

If you are not already studying for a graduate degree, the certificate can be a stand-alone program.
* Requirement of GRE is dependent on the UofSC Graduate School admission criteria.

Program Requirements:

Students must complete the following to earn the CGA:

  1. 9-hours of core courses:
      • HPEB 731: Health Promotion for Older Adults
      • SOWK 772: Programs and Services for Older Adults
      • HSPM 764: Long-Term Care Administration
  2. 6-credit hours of elective courses. Students may choose certificate electives based on their area of interest. Although, a focus in aging or aging topics is highly encouraged. Aging courses to consider, but are not limited to, include:
      • HPSM 709: Perspectives in Rural Health
      • 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 w/ 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. A 3-credit practical, interactive learning experience similar to a practicum or internship. Such as, but not limited to, working with health agencies or conducting research

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.