PhD/EdD, Leadership: Gerontology Specialization
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Become a Leader in Eldercare Services with a PhD or EdD in Gerontology

An aging U.S. population has created a growing need for skilled health care leaders who have expertise in addressing age-related issues. Concordia University Chicago offers two gerontology doctorate online program tracks that will prepare you to excel in this critical health care and social services discipline.

The EdD and PhD in Leadership: Gerontology Specialization programs from Concordia University Chicago feature the latest research and strategies for addressing age-related issues, with practical application of classroom knowledge in real-world situations. These online EdD and PhD in Gerontology programs are designed for busy mid-career professionals who aspire to become tomorrow’s leaders in the field of aging services and eldercare.

Online PhD in Gerontology Leadership
  • Provides comprehensive training in research methodology
  • Focuses on application of methodology in age-related issues
  • Offers a variety of theoretical perspectives, rather than one singular disciplinary approach
Online EdD in Gerontology Leadership
  • Trains stewards of gerontology leadership
  • Fosters expertise in applied gerontology
  • Prepares graduates for research, teaching or service roles

Skilled gerontologists play a critical role in health care. Reaching the pinnacle of this profession requires commitment to service for the elderly and knowledge in the latest research, health care strategies and policy issues that impact today’s aging population. Earning a PhD or EdD in Leadership and Gerontology prepares you to advance into influential positions in this important field.

Boost Your Gerontology Career with an Online Doctorate from Concordia University Chicago

Concordia University Chicago offers a wealth of innovative degree programs in many fields, including health care, business, education and human services. The online EdD/PhD in Gerontology program is designed for working professionals who aim to guide research and its application on age-related issues.

Both the PhD and EdD programs in Leadership and Gerontology are aligned with the national competencies and best practices of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE). Based on the learning concepts proposed by the AGHE, these programs will help students:

  • Appreciate the uniqueness, abilities and potential of older adults and their contributions to their families, community and society.
  • Acquire the educational, research and clinical skills needed for an informed gerontological professional identity and practice.
  • Develop increased competency in service to older adults and their families.
  • Apply scholarship and research in assessing and implementing future change for older adults and an aging society.

All students enrolled in the EdD or PhD in Gerontology program at Concordia University Chicago will have access to the university’s Center for Gerontology, which offers opportunities for collaborative research, rapport-building with other gerontology students and the Distinguished Learning Speaker Series.

Degree Program Specifications

The online EdD and PhD in Gerontology programs each require 68 credit hours of online coursework, including a comprehensive exam and dissertation. All online courses are eight weeks in duration. There are six to 26 students per cohort in the gerontology doctorate online program.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission into the online EdD or PhD in Gerontology program at Concordia University Chicago, students must have earned a master’s degree with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. Prospective students must complete the free online application and submit all required admission materials:

  • Objective Statement – Write a brief statement outlining your education and career goals and explain how earning your gerontology degree online from Concordia University Chicago will help you fulfill those objectives.
  • Official Transcripts – Provide one official, sealed transcript from each institution that has granted you a degree.
  • Graduate Exam Scores – Submit an official copy of your current Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores. (Test results must be dated within the prior three years). There is no minimum score required to be accepted.
  • Letters of Recommendation – Send two letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to comment on your academic proficiency, professional competencies, personal character and potential for doctoral study.
  • Professional Resume – Provide a copy of your resume or curriculum vitae, including relevant work experience, degrees, certifications, licensure and skills.
  • Writing Sample – Submit a paper that demonstrates your ability to write in a scholarly manner at a level typical of graduate work. A paper from your master’s program would be most appropriate. This sample should approach, but not exceed, five pages in length.

International applicants may be required to submit additional supporting materials, such as proof of English language proficiency and a foreign transcript evaluation from an approved credentialing service.

There is no application fee to apply for the gerontology program online at Concordia University Chicago.

PhD/EdD, Leadership: Gerontology Specialization: 68 Credit Degree Program

Course name

Credit hours


Sociocultural Aspects of Aging


The Psychological Aspects of Aging


Issues in Aging Policy


Gerontological Theory


The Physiology of Aging


Demography and Epidemiology of Aging


Foundations of Teaching and Learning in Gerontology


Diversity in Aging Societies


Doctoral Specialization: Leadership


Research-Based Decision Making (PhD only)
Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations of Leadership (EdD only)
Organizational Change
Philosophy of Scientific Knowledge
Policy Analysis
Leadership, Applied Ethics and Global Change


Research for the EdD, Practitioner Track


Research Design
Qualitative Research
Quantitative Analysis


Research and Statistics for the PhD, Researcher Track

Research Design
Qualitative Research
Quantitative Analysis
Mixed Methods Research
Select One:
Advanced Topics in Statistics
Advanced Topics in Qualitative Analysis



Comprehensive Exam and Dissertation  

Comprehensive Exam
Dissertation I
Dissertation II
Dissertation III
Dissertation Supervision

fee based
fee based
Career Outlook for Gerontologists

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t specifically track jobs in gerontology, the findings for many related occupations indicate how quickly jobs are growing in aging-related professions. For example, many gerontologists work as social and community service managers. The BLS forecasts that employment of these professionals will increase 18% by 2026.

Opportunities are expected to grow as more businesses turn to professionals skilled in working with the elderly for recommendations on planning benefits, training, policy and procedures for an aging employee base.

Graduates with an EdD or PhD in Gerontology and Leadership are prepared to take on chief administrative roles in many settings, including:

  • Community, human services and religious organizations
  • Senior living facilities and long-term care institutions
  • Federal, state and local government agencies that provide services to the elderly
  • Retirement communities
  • Academic and other educational and research settings
  • Professional organizations
  • Research programs with universities or government agencies
  • Financial gerontology
  • Consulting to businesses on age-related issues
  • Teaching

Salaries vary greatly depending on the exact nature of the job. Many graduates with an EdD or PhD in gerontology go on to work as social and community service managers. According to the BLS, these managers earn a median salary of almost $65,000 a year, with the top 10% earning nearly $111,000.

With the population aging and people living and staying active longer than ever, there is a great need for leaders who have completed advanced multidisciplinary studies in gerontology. The online PhD and EdD in Leadership: Gerontology Specialization programs from Concordia University Chicago can prepare you for leadership positions that will allow you to help guide the future of this critical health care and social services discipline.

Tuition & Financial Aid

If there is no interruption in your course of study at Concordia University Chicago, you are guaranteed there will be no increase in tuition rates. Contact us to confirm the current tuition and fees for the online EdD or PhD in Gerontology program. Students who enroll in the gerontology doctorate online program as a degree candidate are eligible to apply for federal financial aid.

Active-duty military service members, veterans and eligible dependents can take advantage of financial programs available to assist in paying for a college education. For more information, please visit our website.

Contact Information

Lori McGill-Sarago
Concordia University Chicago
Student Recruitment Manager


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