Master’s in Psychology: Geropsychology Emphasis

Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in GeroPsychology

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Focus on Geriatric Mental Health for Enhanced Quality of Life

Every aging adult deserves to lead a full life. However, the aging can experience psychological issues that inhibit quality of life, such as depression and suicide.1 Geropsychology is a specialized field of psychology that focuses on understanding and addressing the mental health concerns that may affect older adults.

You can blend passion with purpose by enrolling in the Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in GeroPsychology degree program at Grand Canyon University. This master’s program is offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

geropsychologist visits patient
Get More Information

Loading Form

Earn Your Master’s in Psychology: Geropsychology Emphasis From GCU

GCU is a modern university with technological adaptations to meet the needs of its diverse student body. Learners may complete the master’s in psychology with an emphasis in geropsychology online or via evening classes on campus. All courses are taught by qualified instructors who are knowledgeable in their field. 

The comprehensive curriculum teaches core competencies in the field as you work toward a career dedicated to helping some of the most vulnerable members of society. A career in geriatric mental health can be meaningful and personally fulfilling for those with a service-minded personality. At GCU, our geropsychology courses are fully integrated with the Christian worldview, and our students are encouraged to emulate a Christ-like character.

Further your geropsychology education online at GCU, taking classes from virtually anywhere and connecting with fellow learners and instructors on a schedule that’s convenient for you. Our intuitive e-learning platform provides a convenient place to work through the curriculum and complete your coursework, and the interactive elements are designed to enrich the academic experience. 

If you prefer in-person learning, GCU welcomes you to our vibrant, student-focused learning community. Take on-campus geropsychology courses one at a time as a member of an evening cohort. Enjoy academically stimulating conversations with fellow learners and instructors during conveniently scheduled evening classes. Most evening cohorts meet once per week, which can enable you to continue meeting your current work and family responsibilities while advancing your education.

Total Credits: 36
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $590 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Focus Your Psychology Degree With Geropsychology Courses

The master’s in psychology with a geropsychology emphasis offers a timely and relevant curriculum focused on ethical frameworks for enhancing the health, wellness and quality of life of aging populations. You will be taught key skills in analytical reasoning and evidence-based strategies. The program explores physical, cognitive and spiritual care for individuals during the later stage of life.

Explore Geriatric Mental Health Topics

As a student, you will examine the relationship between body and mind, and identify the appropriate interventions that may inspire positive change. Examine foundational knowledge in the psychological and neurological aspects of aging as you work through a comprehensive curriculum that covers geriatric psychology topics, such as:

  • The biological principles of aging, including age-related diseases
  • The impact of family, employment, work and religion on aging populations
  • The promotion of positive aging
  • Grief management principles and practices
  • Cognitive and psychosocial changes that affect aging populations
  • Best practices in applied psychological theories and research

The modern curriculum provides a survey of issues relevant to aging populations to enhance your understanding of your future clients. Some of the competencies you will be expected to acquire include:

  • The social, group and multicultural factors that affect individual behavior
  • The social policies and systems that affect aging and retirement
  • Strategies for promoting well-being later in life
  • The sociocultural dimensions of death and dying

The master’s in psychology: geropsychology emphasis concludes with a capstone course. This is designed to prepare you to continue your education or pursue professional objectives. As you explore career paths in the field, you will be expected to develop and present your own original research ideas in the field of geropsychology.

Career Paths for Master’s in Psychology: Geropsychology Emphasis Graduates

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, all baby boomers will be older than age 65 by the year 2030. One in every five residents will be of retirement age. The U.S. Census Bureau also notes that, during the 2030s, the population of older adults will outnumber the population of children for the first time in U.S. history.

As the population grows older, geropsychology professionals and other elder care specialists will have more opportunities to help aging populations who need specialized care. If you feel called upon to serve your elders, you may find work in the following settings after earning your master’s in psychology with a geropsychology emphasis:4

  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Nursing homes
  • Hospice agencies
  • Home healthcare agencies
  • Educational institutions
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Government agencies

Some graduates of this program may choose to pursue a research-based career. Private- and government-funded research initiatives explore issues common among older adults in order to contribute to the body of knowledge in the field.4

GCU Is Institutionally Accredited

GCU is proud to be institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1968. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences is united in GCU’s commitment to upholding the principles and standards established by our accrediting bodies. You can further your geropsychology training with the confidence that comes from knowing GCU prioritizes the quality of our education.

Master’s in Psychology: Geropsychology Emphasis FAQs

Before enrolling in geropsychology courses, you may wish to do further research on the field and your potential career outcomes. The following frequently asked questions and answers can provide a starting point as you reflect upon your options for supporting geriatric mental health.

Geropsychology is a distinct specialty area of psychology that focuses on the older adult population. Geropsychology professionals work with clients to understand and support their mental well-being as they age. Geropsychologists also work with families and caregivers as well as care facilities to ensure their clients’ needs are being met according to the recommended care plan.2

This master’s degree requires 36 credits for completion. Most of the online courses are eight weeks in length. You can fill out the form on this page to request a consult with a university counselor, who can help you to better understand how long it might take you to earn this degree.

The annual salary of a geropsychologist can vary, depending on their employer, years of experience and credentials. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not track salary data for geropsychologists specifically. However, as of May 2022, the annual median salary for all types of psychologists combined was $85,330.5

Geropsychologists may find the career to be both challenging and rewarding, helping aging adults live healthy and productive lives as they transition into older age. If you’re interested in a career that can allow you to make a positive difference in the lives of people in need, then this may be an ideal field for you. There is also positive job growth within the broader field of psychology. According to the BLS, the job growth rate for all types of psychologists is projected to be 6% from 2022 through 2032, faster than average.6

Combine your passion for helping others with purpose for the future. Apply today to take geropsychology courses online or on campus in the evenings at GCU.

1 WebMD. (2021, Nov. 1). What to know about mental health in older adults. WebMD. Retrieved Jan. 22, 2024. 

2 American Psychological Association. (2008). Geropsychology. APA. Retrieved Jan. 22, 2024.

3 U.S. Census Bureau. (2018, March 13). Older people projected to outnumber children for first time in U.S. history. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved Jan. 22, 2024. 

4 Careers in Psychology. (n.d.). Geropsychology careers. Careers in Psychology. Retrieved Jan. 22, 2024. 

5 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Psychologists as of May 2022, retrieved on Jan. 22, 2024. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 to 2022 may be atypical compared to prior years. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers nationwide with varying levels of education and experience. It does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as Psychologists, nor does it reflect the earnings of workers in one city or region of the country or a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries. Your employability will be determined by numerous factors over which GCU has no control, such as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, the graduate’s experience level, individual characteristics, skills, etc. against a pool of candidates. 

6 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 to 2022 may be atypical compared to prior years. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2023, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Psychologists, retrieved in January 2024. 

Course List

36 credits
Degree Requirements:
36 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the liberal arts. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

This course serves as the foundation for advanced graduate study in the field of psychology. Professional skill development, such as critical thinking, scholarly writing, and literature reviewing are covered, as well as contemporary ethical issues in the field of psychology, including issues in research, writing, psychotherapy, forensic psychology, and animal research.

Course Description

This course is a study of social, group, and multicultural factors affecting individual behavior. Attention is given to the development of attitudes, leadership roles, group thinking, sources of conflict, altruism, attraction, effects of competition and cooperation, analysis and evaluation of propaganda techniques, and the influence of mass communication on social awareness and control.

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 provides a study of theories of probability, descriptive and inferential analyses of data, and testing of statistical hypotheses. Practical experience is provided in the application of statistical methods. This course requires the use of SPSS software via the Citrix Workspace to complete assignments, please ensure your device is compatible with this software prior to the start of your course.

Course Description

This course emphasizes both the theoretical and applied aspects of experimental design and research methodology at the graduate level, including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed designs. Prerequisite: PSY-520.

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.

Course Description

This course prepares students to enter their prospective career and/or continue their education in psychology. Students will explore occupations and leaders in the various psychological fields, formulate and compile their experiences and achievements, and construct a roadmap for success. Original research ideas will be solidified and presented. Prerequisite: PSY-550.


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.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* 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.