Learn to Assist Aging Adults With a Graduate Geropsychology Certificate
Throughout a person’s lifetime, cognitive, behavioral and developmental changes occur. Older adults experience unique challenges, and geropsychology specialists can help these patients overcome these challenges. You can prepare to pursue a meaningful career supporting aging adults by earning a geropsychology certificate.
The graduate certificate in geropsychology, available from Grand Canyon University (GCU), is appropriate for students who possess a bachelor’s degree in psychology, nursing or a related field, as well as individuals interested in continued academic exposure in the psychology field.
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers the geropsychology graduate certificate to students who feel called to serve elderly populations. Blend theories with evidence-based research as you study how the aging process is associated with mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety. You will have the opportunity to develop techniques and best practices for helping older adults achieve their optimum potential.
The graduate certificate in aging and geriatric program is available through evening courses on our welcoming, vibrant campus, or via online classes.
Course Topics in the Graduate Level Certificate in Geropsychology Program
Aging is a highly complex process that is influenced by a person’s physical, mental, spiritual and behavioral health, as well as that person’s cultural background and social support systems. As a student at GCU, you will be encouraged to exercise critical thinking and reasoning skills to develop a solid understanding of the relationship between body and mind.
In courses such as Sociology of Aging and Death and Dying, you will study the following core competencies:
- Social policies and systems that influence the aging population
- Theories, research and case studies on the sociocultural aspects of death and dying
- The aging process in light of biological processes
- Positive aging and well-being through the lens of the psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of aging
Career Opportunities for Geropsychology Graduate Program Graduates
The population of the U.S. is rapidly growing older, making this an ideal time for students who are exploring careers focused on assisting the elderly. The U.S. Census Bureau states that, by 2030, one in five residents will be of retirement age. By that time, all baby boomers will be older than age 65. It’s also expected that, during the 2030s, older adults will outnumber children for the first time in the nation’s history.1
As the population ages, there will be a greater need for services intended specifically to support geriatric patients. The certificate in geropsychology may enable students to prepare for related careers in government agencies, offices, hospitals or other clinical settings. Some of the specific job duties of a geropsychology specialist may include the following:
- Assess alterations in the patient’s mental state
- Educate family members and family caregivers
- Counsel families regarding optimal living arrangements and everyday activities
- Provide end-of-life counseling
- Empower patients to cope with life challenges, such as diagnoses, changing family roles, the deaths of loved ones and their own anticipated death
While this geropsychology certificate course does not lead to clinical licensure, it may be beneficial for those currently working in settings serving the aging populations, such as assisted living homes, who are looking to add to their marketability. Some job opportunities may require advanced education or clinical licensure.
Graduate Geropsychology Certificate Program FAQs
If you are interested in learning more about geropsychology and how to become a geropsychologist, read through our answers to these frequently asked questions.
Fill out the form on this page to speak to a university counselor about the specifics of this certificate.
1 United States Census Bureau. (2018, March 13). Older People Projected to Outnumber Children for First Time in U.S. History. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.