Studying Gerontology

At one time, talks of aging prompted images of failing health, isolation, and lack of purpose. Today, people are living longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Gerontology is the study of changes that take place in the process of aging. Studying Gerontology at St. Thomas, you will explore the impact of the way society defines aging and how individuals actually experience and understand their own later years.

You will examine aging from sociological, psychological, physical, spiritual, and philosophical perspectives. Courses focus on issues that concern older persons themselves, and range from an examination of health-care needs to the understanding of wisdom.

St. Thomas is also home to The Third Age Centre, an autonomous, community-based, non-profit organization to empower older adults to maintain healthy, independent, active lifestyles. The centre conducts research and public education on issues of particular concern to older adults. We are also affiliated with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Narrative. Students are often invited to be involved in projects undertaken by these centres.

Critical and Transferable Skills

The study of Gerontology will give you academic skills, as well as self-care and self-exploration strategies. You will learn how to conduct interviews with older adults. You will learn how to design recreation and educational programs for older adults. You will learn critical thinking as you explore controversial and ethical issues in long-term care, end of life, work life, as well as images in the media and popular culture.

Careers and Graduate Pathways

Graduates from a Bachelor of Arts with a focus in Gerontology move in to a variety of careers that involve people—many involving vulnerable groups such as frail older individuals, that is, those facing illness or other difficult circumstances. Popular careers include social work, government policy, research, medicine, nursing, senior centre administration, pastoral care, recreation therapy, private enterprise, occupational therapy, and more.

Related Areas of Study

As Gerontology draws on a number of disciplines, it is complemented well by areas such as Psychology, Anthropology, Economics, Philosophy, Religious Stu