Master of Arts in Medical Gerontology - USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Admissions Skip to main content

Become an expert
on the human lifespan

As the world’s population skews older, health care providers in all disciplines need exposure to issues of aging. The Master of Arts in Medical Gerontology prepares you for a rewarding career in meeting the health needs of older people.

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Program Information

Delivery format

100% online or on-site

Typical Program Length

33 Units
Full-time: 12-18 months
Part-time: 18-36 months


Spring 2024: October 15, 2023
Fall 2024: March 15, 2024
Post priority deadline: Rolling basis

Medical Gerontology: A Growing Field

Professionals with expertise in medical gerontology are in high demand:

  • The world’s increasingly older population has triggered a shortage of healthcare providers specializing in geriatric medicine.
  • Major demographic shifts across every continent are creating a need for qualified healthcare professionals.
  • The number of geriatricians per 10,000 adults older than 65 has decreased steadily since 2000. For every 700,000 Americans, there’s only one geriatrician.
  • Many training programs for health professionals don’t provide in-depth education on the unique and complex health needs of older people.

Is the Master of Arts in Medical Gerontology Right for Me?

This degree is designed for healthcare professionals and others interested in the health needs of older people. It may be an ideal fit if you want to supplement your professional healthcare experience with specialized training. You’ll develop expertise in areas such as:

  • Signs of normal aging and diseases of aging
  • Complexities related to multiple chronic diseases
  • Risks of polypharmacy (use of multiple medications)
  • Technology’s role in the delivery of healthcare
  • The principles of safety, comfort and convenience within built environments

What Can I Do with a Master of Arts in Medical Gerontology?

The Master of Arts in Medical Gerontology allows you to build on your existing knowledge of the aging process. As you complete the program, you’ll learn how to:

  • Dispel stereotypes, myths, false assumptions and biases about aging
  • Understand the whole-person approach to aging: examining living environments, nutritional practices and the care team that provides services
  • Think more critically and analytically about the complex health issues and concerns of those you’re caring for
  • Create relationships and communicate effectively with older people and their families
  • Create and effectively manage a health care team

How Do I Earn My MAMG at USC Leonard Davis?

The MAMG degree is a 33-unit program. You can complete your studies either on campus or through our convenient online education program. You can also choose to finish in as little as 18 months through our accelerated track.

What Will I Study in My Classes?

USC Leonard Davis explores gerontology through a sophisticated, multidisciplinary approach. Your classes integrate research and concepts from different fields, providing connections and context as you pursue academic and career goals. You’ll explore these subjects through the program’s required and elective courses:

  • Treating Multiple Chronic Diseases
  • Geropsychology
  • Novel Technologies in Aging and Assisted Living
  • Diseases of Aging with Emphasis on Cardiovascular Disease & Diabetes
View the full curriculum

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Complete supplemental application included as part of university application
  • In your university application, you must upload your resume and statement of interest
  • 2 letters of recommendation, either uploaded in your university application or mailed separately by your recommenders
  • Official transcripts should be mailed directly to our office, or submitted electronically. Students must declare all schools on the application and submit transcripts from all institutions attended (even if it was for just one semester) after high school:

USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
Office of Admission and Student Services
3715 McClintock Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191

On your university application, include your scholarship application—merit-based scholarships are available to qualified applicants. The GRE may be waived by having strong academics. If the GRE is required, you will be notified during the review process.


Your statement of interest plays an important role in helping our faculty consider your application for graduate study. The following prompt is designed to help you but is not an exhaustive list of information you should include in your statement. We recommend that your statement is within three to five double-spaced pages. The statement should be uploaded as part of the university application.

  • Tell us why you chose to apply to the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
  • Tell us about your experiences in gerontology
  • Describe your educational and career goals
  • Please describe your strengths and weaknesses
Program objectives How to apply

Gerontology vs. Geriatrics: What’s the Difference?

Gerontology is a broad, multidisciplinary field that investigates aging throughout the human lifespan. Geriatrics is a medical specialty focusing on caring for the unique health needs of older adults. Physicians, nurses and other health professionals can specialize in geriatrics.

What Does a Geriatrician Do?

Geriatricians are doctors with specialized training in the aging process, including preventing, diagnosing and treating illness in older adults. They practice in many different settings, from homes to long-term care environments, hospitals and private practice clinics.

Should I Study Gerontology to Become a Geriatrician?

Studying gerontology provides a solid foundation for a career in geriatrics. For instance, aspiring geriatricians might earn a gerontology degree before attending medical school. Earning a specialized education at USC Leonard Davis gives you a competitive edge in the next phase of your career.

Promoting Healthy Aging

Aging is more than a progression on a timeline — it’s a lifelong pursuit of mental, physical and social growth. Your training at USC Leonard Davis prepares you to help an aging population thrive as active, involved members of the community. Become an expert on the human lifespan with a gerontology degree from USC Leonard Davis.

Learning that Fits Your Life

Whether you live halfway across the world or have a busy career, we make this program work for you. You can earn the MAMG degree online, through our robust digital course platform.

All your classes are streamed online, allowing you to interact with your classmates and professors in real-time. Learn more about our online education program.

Gerontology is the new hybrid career... If you walk out your front door and look around, you will see older people everywhere. There is such a need for people educated in aging that the career opportunities are endless.

Jolene FassbinderMSG graduate and program officer for the Archstone Foundation, which provides grants for innovative projects addressing the needs of older adults

The MAG program at USC Leonard Davis explores gerontology through a sophisticated, multidisciplinary approach. Your classes integrate research and concepts from different fields, providing connections and context as you pursue academic and career goals.

Cynthia HutchinsMAG graduate and director of financial gerontology for wealth management company Merrill Lynch

The MASM program not only solidified my career opportunities, it also expanded my horizons in terms of personal well-being, appreciation of life’s stages and understanding of older adults. I thoroughly enjoyed the many walks of life my classmates brought to the program.

Erik DoanMAASM graduate and program director of Family Adult Day Health Care in Lomita, California

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Stories and Spotlights

Educating generations of leaders in aging

Corrine Jones, MAG ’18

After retiring early from a career with AT&T, Corinne Jones went back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science. She remembers it was a class on elder law where she got her first taste of gerontology.

Sarah Lamontagne, MAASM ’19

Sarah Lamontagne had a busy job at a Rhode Island nonprofit that helps adults age in place, remaining in their homes and communities as they grow older. But that didn’t stop her from pursuing a master’s degree from the USC Leonard Davis School in Gerontology.

Sahar Edalati, MS ’13

Today’s senior living market is marked by two extremes, says Sahar Edalati MS ’13, executive director of Watermark Retirement Communities in Brooklyn Heights, New York.

Learn more and apply

Our community of ambitious students, eminent faculty and renowned alumni is waiting for you to join us. Our advisory team is ready to answer all your questions. Let’s continue the conversation.

Contact us Learn how to apply