Master of Arts in Senior Living Hospitality - USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Admissions Skip to main content

At USC Leonard Davis, we understand that where and how we live has a tremendous impact on our health and well-being. The Master of Arts in Senior Living Hospitality equips you to manage living environments that promote healthy, positive aging.

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Program Information

Delivery format

100% online or on-site

Typical Program Length

43 Units
Full-time: 12-18 months
Advanced Standing: 12 months
Part-time: 18-36 months


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

Senior Living Hospitality: A Growing Field

Career opportunities in senior living hospitality are on a major growth trajectory. And increasingly, executives need to adopt a customer-centered approach to improving the lives of older people. Consider that:

  • The number of Americans age 65 and over will nearly double to 98 million by 2060. Those ages 85 and older will more than double from 6.4 million in 2016 to 14.6 million by 2040, according to federal data.
  • Baby Boomers are reinventing retirement living by seeking active, vibrant communities where they can enjoy life to the fullest
  • America’s senior living industry needs to attract an estimated 1.2 million new employees over the next 10 years. About 350,000 will be new positions and another 900,000 will be needed to replace retiring professionals.
  • Many current job openings are executive-level positions, offering strong potential for career growth.

Is the Master of Arts in Senior Living Hospitality Right for Me?

Our innovative program is designed for current and future senior living industry executives. Its emphasis on hospitality and managing residential facilities sets it apart from other gerontology degree programs. The Master of Arts in Senior Living Hospitality is ideal if you want to gain:

  • Expertise in the unique, complex needs of older adults
  • The tools to improve older adults’ lives and the industry as a whole
  • Knowledge and skills in strategy development, leadership and the science of aging
  • Specialized instruction in hospitality through a unique cross-university collaboration with Cornell University’s renowned Nolan School of Hotel Administration

What Can I Do with a Master of Arts in Senior Living Hospitality?

Hospitality executives working in senior living communities face unique challenges and opportunities compared with their counterparts in the wider hospitality world. Leaders in these spaces are entrusted with meeting a diverse range of needs related to older adults’ health and well-being.

This program prepares you to navigate challenges and opportunities in the following areas:

  • Changing consumer demands of the Baby Boomer generation (for example: housing options with exercise classes, specialty-food bistros, workspaces and multi-family units)
  • Physical design of spaces to enhance residents’ safety and well-being, particularly for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments
  • Affordability and access to senior living options

How Do I Earn My MASLH at USC Leonard Davis?

The MASLH degree is a 43-unit program (31 units of required courses and 12 units of elective courses). You can complete your studies either on campus or through our convenient online education program.

Learn about our Advanced Standing Option for students who have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Business Administration from an accredited college or university.

A Unique Collaboration with Cornell University

In order to address the needs of this expanding population, USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology has collaborated with Cornell University’s Nolan School of Hotel Administration to create the Master of Arts in Senior Living Hospitality.

All successful graduates will also have the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Hospitality from the Nolan School of Hotel Administration in addition to their Master of Arts in Senior Living Hospitality. Contact an advisor to learn more.

What Will I Study in My Classes?

The USC Leonard Davis School explores gerontology through a sophisticated, multidisciplinary approach. Our classes integrate research and concepts from different fields, providing connections and context as students pursue academic and career goals.

This degree program provides training in managerial functions, nutrition, health and social engagement within a gerontological framework. You’ll focus on the physical, emotional and social needs of customers 55 years and older.

You’ll explore these subjects and more through the program’s required and elective courses such as:

  • Perspectives on an Aging Society: An Introduction to Aging
  • Applied Legal and Regulatory Issues in Aging
  • Human Resources in Senior Living
  • Marketing and Shifts in Consumer Decision Making
  • Current Issues in Aging Services Management
  • Case Studies in Leadership and Change Management
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

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 MASLH 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.

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"After years of accounting and finance experience in a broad range of industries, I fell into a Senior Living leadership role and committed to the pursuit of promoting healthy aging. I enrolled in the MASLH program to learn from the top Gerontology faculty in the world, which has enhanced my foundation and allowed me to continue confidently in the Senior Living industry."

Mark ReismanMASLH graduate and Chief Executive Officer of Empower Living Management

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