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. For full requirements, visit the Admission & Tuition page. 

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


PhD
EdD

Semester 1

The Philosophy of Scientific Knowledge

FPR 7300      3 credit hours 

Organizational Change

EDL 7140     3 credit hours

This course is designed to address the importance of organizational changes at it relates to school Administration. The need for change, planning for change, implementing change, and evaluating change will be discussed from a variety of theoretical and practical perspectives.

Semester 2

Research‐Based Decision Making

EDL   7120      3 credit hours

The analysis of the methodological and statistical components of existing research data to enhance and facilitate the educational decision‐making process is the topic of this course. Particular attention is given to application of research to issues of educational policy and reform.

Sociocultural Aspects of Aging

GERO   7560      3 credit hours

Presents a socio‐cultural perspective on the aging process. This course examines social and cultural factors that influence aging and the nature of the integration of older adults into society, as well as the way in which population aging affects the larger society.

Semester 3

Leadership, Applied Ethics, Aging & Global Change

GERO   7820      3 credit hours

Examines the ethical dilemmas of leadership, the foundations and context of moral choice, and the moral implications of decision‐making as they relate to gerontological leadership. Considers the ethical challenges and decision criteria facing leaders, the role of politics and power in organizations and the leader’s ability to promote and infuse organizational ethics and integrity in an aging and globalized world.

Policy Analysis (non-K12)

EDL    7211      3 credit hours

This course is designed for doctoral students seeking a degree program specializing in higher education leadership, organizational leadership, sports management leadership, health and human performance, and gerontology. Students examine the policy process of analysis, formation and implementation, and the ways in which politics shape these processes.

Semester 4

The Psychological Aspects of Aging

GERO   7505     3 credit hours

Examines psychological development and change across the adult lifespan. Using frameworks of developmental psychology, this course reviews and explores adult development in the broad domains of cognition, personality and socio‐emotional functioning. Issues related to normative and optimal adult development and aging are considered.

Gerontological Theory

GERO    7000     3 credit hours

Reviews major types of gerontological theory within the context of theoretical paradigms. This course explores the differences and commonalities within the various theoretical strands of knowledge
construction within gerontology.

Semester 5

Issues in Aging Policy

GERO   7805     3 credit hours

Explores the development, implementation and analysis of social policy in the United States on major issues affecting older people. Considers the determinants of aging policy. The policymaking process and development of legislation are analyzed as factors related to the making of policy for older adults.

Demography and Epidemiology of Aging

GERO   7800     3 credit hours

Explores fertility, mortality and global aging; distribution of health and illness within a population; age‐based migration and its impact on locations of origin and destination; variations in health and mortality by gender, race, ethnicity and social class; impact of health and mortality patterns for individuals, society and public policy.

Semester 6

The Physiology of Aging

GERO   7500     3 credit hours

Presents an in‐depth analysis of the biology of aging, building up from changes occurring at the molecular and cellular level and analyzing the consequences at the organism level. Examines the influence of these age‐related changes in what are commonly considered a disease of aging.

Diversity in Aging Societies

GERO   7900     3 credit hours

Explores how ethnicity, race and gender structure the lives of individuals throughout the life course and how other factors such as age, cohort and class intersect with these realities. This course considers how the lives of people differ across diverse strata and how social policies shape individuals’ lives.

Semester 7

Foundations of Teaching and Learning in Gerontology

GERO   7810     3 credit hours

Exploration and application of teaching and learning strategies for communicating gerontological knowledge. This course addresses teaching gerontology in classroom settings as well as in public settings to a variety of audiences in applied and policy settings.

Professional Seminar in Gerontology

GERO   7905     3 credit hours

Applies and integrates knowledge gained in earlier courses and strengthens skills necessary to claim identity as a gerontologist. Through applications in gerontology‐related areas such as advocacy, professionalism, and/or family and workplace issues, candidates will hone skills needed in the profession (i.e., CV/Resume development, job acquisition tools, communication skills, etc.).

Semester 8

Quantitative Analysis

RES   7605     3 credit hours

An introduction to the quantitative analysis of data; including data coding and entry of data. SPSS will be used to explore descriptive and inferential statistics: using both non‐parametric and initial parametric techniques.

Qualitative Research

RES   7700     3 credit hours

An examination of qualitative research approaches with a focus on research design, the role of the researcher, data collection and analysis, and writing from a qualitative perspective.

Semester 9

Mixed Methods Research

RES   7800     3 credit hours

This course explores the theory and practice of mixed methods research in program evaluation and applied research.

Advanced Qualitative Research

RES   7710     3 credit hours

This course provides advanced introductions to a representative range of qualitative methods. It is designed to familiarize doctoral and advanced master’s students with the commonly used qualitative research methods. The course will prepare them to further understand philosophies and concepts of qualitative methods, to utilize these methods in their own research, or to evaluate the qualitative work that others have done. This course also teaches how to use qualitative software as an analytic tool to analyze qualitative data.

Advanced Topics in Statistics

RES   7620     3 credit hours

An introduction to advanced statistical concepts including multivariate analysis, linear models, hierarchical linear models, factor analysis and data management will be covered in this course. Students will use
published software packages and will learn to write basic syntax for custom analysis.

Semester 10

Research Design

RES   7900     3 credit hours

Principles of research theory, methods, inquiry, problem formulation, data collection, literature searches and ethical considerations. Emphasis on how to design a doctoral‐level research study.

Semester 11

Comprehensive Exam

COMP   7000 

The comprehensive exam is a written exam in two parts that is administered in Blackboard. The purpose of the exam is to evaluate a) your content knowledge and your ability to apply that knowledge to address a problem in the field, and b) your ability to formulate a scholarly argument based on a literature review on a topic of your choice.

Dissertation

DISS    7010     9 credit hours

Semester 12

Dissertation

DISS    7020     9 credit hours

Semester 13

Dissertation

DISS    7030     9 credit hours

Semester 14

Dissertation Supervision

DISS    8000     9 credit hours

Semester 1

Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations of Leadership

FPR    7011      3 credit hours 

Study of the philosophical and theoretical foundations of education and leadership, including analysis of the aims and goals of education, processes of attainment, content and curriculum, and the socialization function of education, schooling and complex organizations. Develop an understanding of the intersections between theory/philosophy, ethical perspectives, and the development of policy, practice and institutions.

Organizational Change

EDL   7140      3 credit hours

This course is designed to address the importance of organizational changes at it relates to school Administration. The need for change, planning for change, implementing change, and evaluating change will be discussed from a variety of theoretical and practical perspectives.

Semester 2

Research‐Based Decision Making

EDL    7120      3 credit hours

The analysis of the methodological and statistical components of existing research data to enhance and facilitate the educational decision‐making process is the topic of this course. Particular attention is given to application of research to issues of educational policy and reform.

Sociocultural Aspects of Aging

GERO 7560      3 credit hours

Presents a socio‐cultural perspective on the aging process. This course examines social and cultural factors that influence aging and the nature of the integration of older adults into society, as well as the way in which population aging affects the larger society.

Semester 3

Leadership, Applied Ethics, Aging & Global Change

GERO 7820      3 credit hours

Examines the ethical dilemmas of leadership, the foundations and context of moral choice, and the moral implications of decision‐making as they relate to gerontological leadership. Considers the ethical challenges and decision criteria facing leaders, the role of politics and power in organizations and the leader’s ability to promote and infuse organizational ethics and integrity in an aging and globalized world.

Policy Analysis (non-K12)

Semester 4

The Psychological Aspects of Aging

GERO 7505      3 credit hours

Examines psychological development and change across the adult lifespan. Using frameworks of developmental psychology, this course reviews and explores adult development in the broad domains of cognition, personality and socio‐emotional functioning. Issues related to normative and optimal adult development and aging are considered.

Gerontological Theory

GERO 7000      3 credit hours

Reviews major types of gerontological theory within the context of theoretical paradigms. This course explores the differences and commonalities within the various theoretical strands of knowledge construction within gerontology.

Semester 5

Issues in Aging Policy

GERO 7805      3 credit hours

Explores the development, implementation and analysis of social policy in the United States on major issues affecting older people. Considers the determinants of aging policy. The policymaking process and development of legislation are analyzed as factors related to the making of policy for older adults.

Demography and Epidemiology of Aging

GERO 7800      3 credit hours

Explores fertility, mortality and global aging; distribution of health and illness within a population; age‐based migration and its impact on locations of origin and destination; variations in health and mortality by gender, race, ethnicity and social class; impact of health and mortality patterns for individuals, society and public policy.

Semester 6

The Physiology of Aging

GERO 7500      3 credit hours

Presents an in‐depth analysis of the biology of aging, building up from changes occurring at the molecular and cellular level and analyzing the consequences at the organism level. Examines the influence of these age‐related changes in what are commonly considered a disease of aging.

Diversity in Aging Societies

GERO 7900      3 credit hours

Explores how ethnicity, race and gender structure the lives of individuals throughout the life course and how other factors such as age, cohort and class intersect with these realities. This course considers how the lives of people differ across diverse strata and how social policies shape individuals’ lives.

Semester 7

Foundations of Teaching and Learning in Gerontology

GERO 7810      3 credit hours

Exploration and application of teaching and learning strategies for communicating gerontological knowledge. This course addresses teaching gerontology in classroom settings as well as in public settings to a variety of audiences in applied and policy settings.

Professional Seminar in Gerontology

GERO 7905      3 credit hours

Applies and integrates knowledge gained in earlier courses and strengthens skills necessary to claim identity as a gerontologist. Through applications in gerontology‐related areas such as advocacy, professionalism, and/or family and workplace issues, candidates will hone skills needed in the profession (i.e., CV/Resume development, job acquisition tools, communication skills, etc.).

Semester 8

Quantitative Analysis

RES 7605      3 credit hours

An introduction to the quantitative analysis of data; including data coding and entry of data. SPSS will be used to explore descriptive and inferential statistics: using both non‐parametric and initial parametric techniques.

Qualitative Research

RES 7700      3 credit hours

An examination of qualitative research approaches with a focus on research design, the role of the researcher, data collection and analysis, and writing from a qualitative perspective.

Semester 9

Research Design

RES 7900      4 credit hours

Principles of research theory, methods, inquiry, problem formulation, data collection, literature searches and ethical considerations. Emphasis on how to design a doctoral‐level research study.

Semester 10

Comprehensive Exam

COMP 7000      

The comprehensive exam is a written exam in two parts that is administered in Blackboard. The purpose of the exam is to evaluate a) your content knowledge and your ability to apply that knowledge to address a problem in the field, and b) your ability to formulate a scholarly argument based on a literature review on a topic of your choice.

Dissertation

DISS 7010      9 credit hours

 

Semester 11

Dissertation

DISS 7020      9 credit hours

Semester 12

Dissertation

DISS 7030      9 credit hours

Semester 13

Dissertation Supervision

DISS 8000      9 credit hours

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

708-320-0152
Online.info@CUChicago.edu

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