The Graduate Certificate in Applied Gerontology is an interdisciplinary program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to successfully pursue careers within aging services organizations, or to conduct academic research in the field of aging. The program focuses on the biological, psychological, social, and policy aspects of aging, and encourages students to link practice and research in order to improve the quality of life of older adults. The GCAG is intended for graduate degree-seeking students in any field, and for degreed professionals looking to advance or refocus their careers. Please contact Jennifer Kahn-Pettigrew, Coordinator for Education and Programming, at 414-229-6888 or for more information.

Admission Requirements 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.


  • Students wishing to obtain this certificate must declare their intention by applying to the program office or director.
  • All graduate certificate applicants—even those already enrolled in a UWM graduate program—must apply to the Graduate School through the Panthera Admission Application.
  • Graduate degree and previously admitted graduate non-degree students who decide to pursue a certificate program must submit the Panthera application before completing 6 credits in the certificate sequence.
  • Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted into a certificate program.

Scholarship options are available.  


Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted in to a certificate program.

Credits and Courses

Students wishing to earn a Graduate Certificate in Applied Gerontology must complete 18 graduate credit hours. No student may complete all 18 credits within a single school or college.

NURS 760Processes of Aging3
SOC WRK 851Social Issue and Policy Analysis: (Aging)3
Choice Core
Select two of the following:6
The Educational Dimensions of Practice with Older Adults
Nursing Care of Adults and Older Adults I (*open to Nursing students only)
Advanced Occupational Therapy for Aging Adults (*open to Occupational Therapy students only)
Psychology of Aging
Death and Dying
Social Gerontology
Practice Skills and Concepts for Aging and Health
Select 6 credits 16
Program Planning in Adult Education
Principles and Foundations of Adult Education
Master's Level Directed Research
Master's Level Independent Studies and Research
Pre-Thesis or Master's Project Research
Design Elective:
Master's Project
Communication and Social Order
Degenerative Cognitive Communication Disorders in Older Adults
Human Development: Study of the Adult
Advanced Internship in Writing and Community Engagement
Nursing Care of Adults and Older Adults II (*open to Nursing students only)
Advanced Practice Nursing Adult-Gerontology Chronic Illness (*open to Nursing students only)
Special Topics Seminar: (Pain and Symptom Management)
Design and Disability
Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology
Assessment in Assistive Technology and Accessible Design
The Aging Brain
Social Services for the Aging
Direct Social Work Practice II: (Aging)
Total Credits18

Additional electives that are not listed in the Electives heading above may be approved by the Certificate Coordinator. Students may also complete a "Practicum" in their home department or area of choice, with the approval of the Certificate Coordinator.

Additional Requirements

Transfer Credit

No more than 20% of the required credits may be taken at an institution other than UWM. These courses are subject to Graduate School transfer policy and must be approved by the director of the certificate program.

Grade Point Average Requirement

A minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average in certificate courses taken at UWM is required.

Articulation with Degree Programs

  1. Credits and courses required for a certificate may double count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements subject to the following restrictions:
    • Degree programs must approve the courses from certificates that can double count toward the degree.
    • All credits taken in completion of certificate requirements may count towards a UWM graduate degree as long as they do not contribute more than 90% of the total credits needed to obtain the degree. (Note: Students in PhD programs must still complete the minimum residency requirements)
    • Certificate courses used toward meeting degree requirements must be completed within the time limit for transfer credit.
  2. Courses completed for a degree may be counted toward a subsequent certificate, subject to all certificate policy requirements.
  3. A course may count toward no more than one certificate and one degree.
  4. Students may not earn a certificate subsequent to a concentration in the same area.

Time Limit

Certificate program time limits shall be established as follows:

  • 18 or fewer credits/Three years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.
  • 19 or more credits/Four years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.

For certificates that are designed as add-ons to degree programs and are awarded concurrent with the degree, the time limit shall be the same as that of the degree program.