Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

Campus: Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

Instructions: Residential/On Campus 

The Center for Gerontology studies aging from a multidisciplinary perspective, with a focus on both typical and problematic aspects of aging.


Established Year


Affiliate Faculty Members


Research Project Completion


credit hours for certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology is a university-approved program of advanced study offered by the Center for Gerontology. The required minimum of 9 credits focus on three core gerontology competency domains, namely aging processes and outcomes related to (1) biological changes and health, (2) dimensions of psychological functioning, and (3) contemporary social and societal issues. The principal goal of the curriculum is to offer learning experiences consistent with the recommendations of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

The Center for Gerontology is designated a Collaborating Centre by the International Association for Gerontology and Geriatrics, signifying that the center meets the association’s criteria for excellence, including being a sustainable university-level research center, offering a gerontology training program, engaging in research resulting in peer-reviewed publications, and having multiple research affiliates.

Why Earn a Certificate?

The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology distinguishes you as a knowledgeable, skilled, and committed professional in the field of aging. Numerous employment opportunities in teaching, service, administration, and research that focus on older adults’ needs and interests can be found in government programs and agencies; public and private institutions that provide health, education, and social services; research centers; special interest groups and associations; colleges and universities; and corporate human resources divisions.

Quality Curriculum

Degree candidates seeking certification in gerontology study in such disciplines as:

  • Architecture
  • Biochemistry and Nutrition
  • Counselor Education
  • Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
  • Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise
  • Interior Design
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Marketing
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Public Health
  • Sociology
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Urban Affairs and Planning

Certificate students complete courses in the social, psychological, and physical aspects of aging. They may also complete a practicum and research on a topic in gerontology. Students normally take the certificate courses as part of their degree plan of study.

The certificate is also available to postbaccalaureate students on a nondegree basis.

Our Faculty 

Research Interest

  • Human Rights
  • Hunger
  • International Development
  • Macroeconomics
  • Human Rights
  • Hunger
  • International Development
  • Macroeconomics
Dr. Rosemary Blieszner, Alumni Distinguished Professor

Research Interest

  • Health and Social Support of Older Women
  • Caring for Older Persons with Memory Problems
  • Family Friend Relationships in Later Life
  • Elder Abuse Mistreatment
  • Managing Chronic Illness in Late Life (e.g. osteoporosis, pain, cancer)
Dr. Karen Roberto, University Distinguished Professor

Research Interest

  • Risks and Health Consequences of Functional Limitations Among Older Adults
  • Healthcare Outcomes Among Older Adults who do not Receive Sufficient Healthcare
  • How Resilience Influences Health Care Utilization Among Older Adults Exposed to a Disaster
  • Risks for Poor Outcomes Among Older Surgical Patients


Laura Sands
Dr. Laura Sands, Professor

Research Interest

  • Midlife and Aging (e.g. family caregiving, intergenerational relationships)
  • Physiological Markers of Stress, Health, and Wellbeing
  • Chronic Disease Management
  • Advanced Research Methods (e.g. longitudinal, time series, power, and missing data analyses)
  • Usefulness of mindfulness meditation
Dr. Tina Savla, Associate Professor

Research Interest

  • Elder and Vulnerable Adult Mistreatment
  • Public and Private Guardianship
  • End-of-Life Issues and Decision Making
  • Ethical Treatment and Human Rights Issues of Vulnerable Adults, Public Policy, and Public Affairs
  • Quality of Life


Dr. Pamela Teaster, Professor

Research Interest

  • Cognition
  • Lifespan
  • Aging
  • fMRI
  • tDCS
Dr. Benjamin katz, Assistant Professor

Interested in exploring aging from a multidisciplinary perspective, focused on both the normal and problematic aspects of aging?

Prospective and current students for academic support and advising, please call Pamela Teaster at 540-231-8958 or email: 

Visit our office at Center for Gerontology, 230 Grove Lane, Blacksburg, VA 24061 


Pamela Teaster
Graduate Program Director
203 Grove Lane
Blacksburg, VA 24061