Best Online Master’s in Gerontology

If we’re lucky, we’ll all age. How well we age and the services we can access will be shaped by those with one of the best Master’s degrees in Gerontology. 

What Is A Master’s In Gerontology?

The word “gerontology” was first introduced in 1903; and simply put, is the scientific approach to the process of aging and its inherent problems. The Baby Boomer generation is, indeed, creating another boom. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the population of U.S. citizens over the age of 65 will outpace children under the age of 18 (77.0 million vs. 76.5 million, respectively).

We live in a time where more research and studies are being directed toward understanding the aging process and its impact on individuals and society. Master’s-prepared Gerontologists research and improve the behavioral health, emotional health, social, and economic problems of the elderly.

How Much Can You Earn With A Master’s In Gerontology?

PayScale reports salary ranges for this career between $31,000 to $103,000 annually, with $54,000 being the median average. Employment will be found in a broad range of opportunities in research, healthcare, social work, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, nursing, administration, and more.

If the management side is what calls you, consider one of the Best Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration.

What Is Required For A Master’s In Gerontology?

Admission to graduate programs in gerontology will require the basics: a baccalaureate degree, academic transcripts, GPA over 2.0, etc. Most programs will include foundational studies in aging, social and behavioral concerns, research, and public health. You may be able to choose between a thesis or non-thesis program.

Depending on your career focus, you may participate in an internship or practicum experience in the gerontology field. Many programs will seek accreditation from the Accreditation for Gerontology Education Council which sets quality benchmarks for the discipline.

What Are the Best Master’s Degrees in Gerontology?

OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.

The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.

  1. Webster University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $13,140(in state) / $13,140(out of state)
    • 36 Credit Hours
    • Military Friendly
    • One of U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools 2019”

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction72.20%
    Admission Rate54%
    Programs offered online17

    Program Level

    Median Debt$60,687
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School18.43%
    100%
    OSR Score

    Webster University in St. Louis, MO, offers an online M.A. through its College of Liberal Arts.The program takes a multidisciplinary approach with studies in social and behavioral sciences, management, political science, etc. There is one requisite course in Gerontology required. 

  2. University of Utah

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,725(in state) / $23,740(out of state)
    • 33-34 Credit Hours
    • Certification Available
    • Full or Part Time

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75.20%
    Admission Rate66%
    Programs offered online113

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department5
    Popularity at School6.41%
    95%
    OSR Score

    This M.S. in Gerontology is offered through the School of Nursing. The interdisciplinary approach includes studies in physiology and psychology, research, public policy, and a practicum. You can choose between a thesis or a non-thesis option with this degree. 

  3. University of Southern California

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $43,200(in state) / $43,200(out of state)
    • Blended/Online
    • Merit Based Scholarships Available 
    • 28 Credit Hours (M.A.); 44 Credit Hours (M.S.)

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75.80%
    Admission Rate16%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$69,203
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School12.51%
    93%
    OSR Score

    USC’s Leonard Davis School of Gerontology offers either an M.A. or M.S. in Gerontology degree. The M.A. is designed for currently working professionals and the M.S. prepares students for policy and research. The school also offers three other gerontology graduate programs. 

  4. National University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $14,976(in state) / $14,976(out of state)
    • 100% Online
    • 54 Credit Hours
    • Military Friendly

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction70.80%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online46

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School< 1%
    88%
    OSR Score

    The M.A. in Gerontology at National University can be tailored to those currently working in the field, those new to the field, or those who work in public/private organizations. Studies have foundations in advocacy and case-based learning. The university offers year-round enrollment.

  5. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $5,219(in state) / $18,937(out of state)
    • 30 Credit Hours
    • 100% Online
    • Special Online Tuition Rates

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74.80%
    Admission Rate78%
    Programs offered online7

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School7.83%
    85%
    OSR Score

    UNC-G offers an M.S. degree that concentrates on an interdisciplinary and applied learning approach. Courses will include studies in social services, research methods, theoretical foundations, etc. You’ll also complete a capstone project prior to graduation.

  6. Texas Tech University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $5,724(in state) / $13,068(out of state)
    • 36 Credit Hours
    • 100% Online
    • No Residency Requirements

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74.60%
    Admission Rate69%
    Programs offered online7

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School2.63%
    82%
    OSR Score

    This online graduate degree is offered through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, a consortium of seven universities. You may pick the university you want for your home school. The degree prepares you for careers in aging research, study, and application of gerontology principles.

  7. Concordia University-Nebraska

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,395(in state) / $9,395(out of state)
    • 100% Online
    • No Residency Requirements
    • 36 Credit Hours

    School Wide

    Student SatisfactionNot Reported
    Admission Rate75%
    Programs offered online2

    Program Level

    Median Debt$31,395
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School5.47%
    79%
    OSR Score

    Concordia University has a Master of Health Administration degree with a gerontology concentration. Core coursework revolves around healthcare foundations of ethics, law, technology, etc. Specialty courses cover long-term administration, aging issues, and social aspects. 

  8. University of Nebraska at Omaha

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $4,950(in state) / $13,824(out of state)
    • Thesis or Non-Thesis Options
    • 100% Online
    • 36 Credit Hours

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75.40%
    Admission Rate87%
    Programs offered online14

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School4.65%
    78%
    OSR Score

    This online M.A. is offered through Nebraska’s Department of Gerontology on the Omaha campus and concentrates on social gerontology. Studies include the neuroscience of aging, public policy, end-of-life planning, etc. The program also includes a practicum experience. 

  9. Eastern Illinois University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $7,008(in state) / $16,794(out of state)
    • 33 Credit Hours
    • 100% Online
    • Accelerated Program Available

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74.00%
    Admission Rate52%
    Programs offered online6

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School3.70%
    77%
    OSR Score

    Eastern Illinois University offers an online M.A. in Aging Studies degree. Topics in this program include theory, research, and policy issues. The program has been recognized as a Program of Merit by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. 

  10. McDaniel College

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $8,820(in state) / $8,820(out of state)
    • Capstone or Thesis Option
    • 30-36 Credit Hours
    • No Residency Requirement

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76.00%
    Admission Rate85%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School7.71%
    76%
    OSR Score

    McDaniel College has been offering gerontology education since 1974. Core coursework includes an internship, which may be waived with verifiable documentation of working with the aged. You’ll also have access to the college’s Center for the Office on Aging.