Students in the Adult Development and Aging program take courses taught by Adult Development and Aging faculty, other Human Development faculty, faculty from sociology and psychology, and other faculty with expertise in research methods, statistical analysis, and qualitative methods. Students who complete the Ph.D. through the Adult Development and Aging program acquire a breadth of research training, equipping them to conduct independent research using a range of methodological and analytical skills. Student programs of study typically include courses in family studies and health along with a practicum experience.

Faculty members encourage students to participate actively in research and in the dissemination of research findings, often as co-presenters at scholarly conferences and co-authors of publications. Students in the program collaborate in collecting data, coding human behaviors, analyzing data, and preparing reports of the results. Please visit the faculty members’ individual pages linked below to see recent publications.

Affiliated Centers

For more than 30 years, the Center for Gerontology has served as Virginia Tech’s organizational unit and focal point for aging-related activities. The Center fosters and facilitates basic and applied research on relationships in later life, health and aging, and elder rights; promotes and supports graduate education in gerontology; and provides leadership for outreach activities. Opportunities for students include research assistantships, internships, scholarships, and professional development activities and support. 


The Center coordinates a 9-credit Graduate Certificate in Gerontology that may be included as part of any graduate program at Virginia Tech. Certificate students are eligible for scholarships and professional development funds administered by the Center. See more information at the Center for Gerontology website.

Adult Day Services acts as a research laboratory and provides opportunities for applied training experiences for students focusing on community-based long-term care for older adults, family caregiver support, and intergenerational programming involving children and older adults. Opportunities for students include research assistantships and internships. ADS also provides a community outreach service for older adults and their family members who participate in its daily programs.