Why This Matters

  • ELDERLY POPULATION RISING TO 95M BY 2060

    According to the Population Reference Bureau, the number of Americans age 65 and older will grow from 52 million to 95 million within the next 40 years. Adults 65 and older will account for 23 percent of the U.S. population.

  • HEALTHCARE JOBS TO INCREASE BY 14% BY 2028

    This rising elderly population is a main driving factor in the increase in employment of healthcare professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1.9 million new jobs in this sector, particularly for support occupations.

  • EARN $33,290 MORE PER YEAR WITH A MASTER’S

    A master’s degree can lead to management roles, such as medical and health services manager, which earn an average annual salary of $99,730. By comparison, bachelor’s-level healthcare workers earn $66,440 per year on average.

Our Research

We concentrated our research on programs that offer degrees in gerontology. Students typically earn either a Master of Arts (MA) or a Master of Science (MS) degree in this field.

To ensure flexibility, we focused on reviewing programs that can be completed fully or primarily online. In instances where schools offer classes both on-campus and online, students may have the option of completing the program through a mixture of in-person and online coursework.

All of the schools on our list have regional accreditation. This confirms that they meet high standards of quality for postsecondary education. Several programs are also accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).

We evaluated the programs based on their flexibility, faculty, cost, outcomes, and reputation. Then we calculated an Intelligent Score for each program on a scale of 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best online master’s in gerontology are affordable, flexible, and respected in the industry. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 76 hours to write this article
  • 195 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 411 education programs we compared

The Top 30 Online Master’s in Gerontology Programs

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What You Should Know About This Degree

Gerontology is a complex field that deals with all aspects of the aging process, including physical, mental, and emotional care for the elderly, and helping individuals, families, and communities cope with the aging process. As such, there are multiple career paths open to those earning a master’s in gerontology, including employment in healthcare facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, social service agencies, government, and private businesses.

Before selecting a master’s in gerontology program, consider what area of the field you are interested in working in, so you can matriculate into a program that will allow you to focus on your area of interest.

Working with elderly populations presents some unique challenges, including working with individuals suffering from dementia or memory loss; navigating the balance between independence and assistance, and developing emotional attachments to individuals who are nearing the end of their lives. Individuals who work with the elderly must be patient, compassionate, and physically and emotionally strong. While a master’s in gerontology program will give you the skills you need for various roles, you should consider whether you have the right natural aptitudes for working in this field.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Gerontology programs:

  • How are online courses delivered? Distance learning programs are usually delivered via synchronous or asynchronous classes. Students attend synchronous classes remotely at set times throughout the term. Asynchronous classes do not have set meeting times. Instead, students can access their lessons and assignments at any time. Decide which type of delivery method works best for you based on your schedule before selecting a program.
  • Am I eligible for this program? Some master’s in gerontology programs require students to have an educational or professional background in gerontology or a related human development field. When researching programs, be sure to review their eligibility requirements, to confirm that meet the minimum qualifications for admission.

This is also a good time to gather your application materials. Make note of application deadlines, so you can submit your materials in a timely manner. This will help your admissions process go as smoothly as possible.

Financing your graduate degree is another important consideration. Research funding options including student loans, scholarships, assistantships, and grants. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers any kind of tuition assistance benefits.