Graduate Geropsychology Certificate Program

Graduate Certificate of Completion in GeroPsychology

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

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.

You can study geropsychology from anywhere at any time, while continuing to meet your current professional obligations. Classes for the geropsychology certificate online are eight weeks in length.

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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.

Geropsychology is an area of specialty in psychology that focuses on the aging population. Geropsychologists provide mental healthcare to older populations and address issues that impact adults as they age, such as coping with chronic illnesses, lifestyle changes, dementia, anxiety, depression, loneliness, age-related stresses and end-of-life care. This field in psychology provides the needed support for a growing portion of our society.

Consider earning your graduate certificate in geropsychology if you are interested in specializing within the field of psychology to serve older adults to help them navigate age-related issues. The Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in GeroPsychology should also be considered if you plan to become a psychologist or a psychology teacher.

This geropsychology certificate requires 16 credits to complete — four courses in gerontology that are four credits each. Each course generally spans eight weeks. You can choose to earn your certificate through online classes or in-person evening classes.


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.

Total Credits: 16
Online: 8 weeks
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The University will accept one course of the total certificate requirements in transfer.
Online: $590 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

16 credits
Degree Requirements:
16 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is a critical examination of social policies and systems which affect aging and retirement. The impact of multiple social contexts such as family, employment, work, and religion are examined.

Course Description

This course introduces the concept of death in society. Students examine research, theories, and case studies on the sociocultural dimensions of death and dying with a focus on end of life issues and grief management.

Course Description

This course examines the biological principles and research that explain the causes of aging. An investigation into the human experience of biological aging, longevity, and age-related disease is made in order promote and modulate successful aging.

Course Description

This course examines the psychological, emotional, and spiritual aspects of aging. There is a focus on promoting positive aging and increasing well-being. Prerequisite: PSY-630.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* 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.