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.
The flagship degree
The Master of Science in Gerontology positions you at the forefront of policy and research. You’ll build your analytical skills while studying the mechanics and mysteries of longevity, aging and population health.
Is the Master of Science in Gerontology Right for Me?
The broad expertise and quantitative skills you build through an MSG degree prepare you for an influential career. Many of our alumni hold leadership roles in federal social services programs, prestigious universities and leading research institutions. Others go on to medical schools and doctoral programs.
The MSG degree provides a strong career foundation for many areas of gerontology, including:
- Planning, administrating, and evaluating programs in the private and public sectors
- Executive positions in the delivery of direct services to older adults and their families
- Consulting for older adults and service providers
- Policy and advocacy work
- Scientific research and study
Changing the World with Your MSG
Many of our MSG students draw inspiration from older family members or friends. These students dream of creating more inclusive societies that protect the rights and value the contributions of elders.
They choose the MSG program to build skills to improve the world on a systemic level, through initiatives like:
- Conducting groundbreaking research on memory-related diseases
- Expanding healthcare access for elders with long-term chronic diseases
- Advocating for policies that improve affordable housing options for low-income seniors
- Spearheading local, state and federal legislation to protect the rights of older adults
These are just a few ways that your MSG degree can translate into a career with broad-ranging impact. At USC Leonard Davis, you’ll find your own path. We’ll be with you every step, with mentorship and professional connections to help you define the next phase of your career.
How Do I Earn My MSG at USC Leonard Davis?
The MSG degree is a 44-unit program. Our students typically complete the degree in two years of full-time study, or 12 credits per semester. You can complete your studies either on campus or through our convenient online education program.
What Will I Study in My Classes?
The MSG 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.
You’ll explore these subjects through the program’s required and elective courses:
- Physiology of Development and Aging
- Life Span Developmental Psychology
- Counseling Older Adults and Their Families
- Continuum of Care: A Systems Perspective
- Applied Policy Skills in Aging
- Integrating Gerontology: A Multidisciplinary Approach
What Are the Program Requirements?
In addition to the curriculum outlined above, you’ll complete these courses:
- Research methods: You’ll master analytical and investigative skills that provide a stepping-stone to doctoral-level research or immediately marketable skills for your career.
- Practicum: This class invites you and your classmates to translate academic theories into everyday practice while gaining real-life experience with internships.
- Capstone: You’ll integrate concepts from several academic disciplines to break new ground, making a serious contribution to the field of gerontology.
The MSG heavily emphasizes research throughout the program, but some of our students want additional research experience. We offer:
- A directed research course: This elective program offers you the chance for more in-depth, focused inquiry on a subject of interest.
- Student-faculty research collaboration: We offer a wide range of opportunities to participate in meaningful research. In fact, all our tenured faculty employ students in their labs. Past students have presented research across the United States and Europe before moving to the National Institutes of Health.
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 MSG 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
Stories and Spotlights
Educating generations of leaders in aging
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.