Graduate Certificate in Applied Gerontology

Department Links: Overview
The Graduate Certificate in Applied Gerontology is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully pursue or advance careers within aging services organizations or academic research in aging.

Eligibility and Admission

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.


  • 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 via 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 in to a certificate program.

Certificate Requirements

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.

Core Courses (6 credits)
Nurs 760 Processes of Aging (3 credits)
Soc Wrk 851 Social Issue and Policy Analysis: with the subtitle “Age and Community: Policy to Practice” (3 credits)

Choice Core (6 credits min)
Students must choose 6 credits from the following “Choice Core”:

ADLSP 547 – The Educational Dimensions of Practice with Older Adults (3 credits)
PSYCH 680 – Psychology of Aging (3 credits)
Soc Wrk 685 – Social Gerontology (3 credits)
Soc Wrk 791 – Current Topics: Death and Dying – Aging section only (3 credits)
THEATRE 699 – Creativity in Health Settings (3 credits)

Electives (6 credits)
Students will work with the Certificate Coordinator to approve the selection 6 credits from the remaining Choice Core classes and additional electives, including a “Practicum” in the student’s home department or area of choice.

Students must complete an Integrative Portfolio as a final project under the guidance of the Certificate Coordinator and an assigned advisor. This Portfolio includes papers/materials from core courses and an introduction and reflective conclusion that integrates the key concepts from the interdisciplinary coursework and identifies potential impact on their future practice in research or aging services.

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

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.

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 Ph.D. 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.