Graduate Certificate in Aging, Health, and Society

Graduate Certificate in Aging, Health, and Society

Department of Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences


The Aging, Health, and Society Program in the Department of Sociology prepares students for careers requiring graduate-level knowledge and skills in areas relating to aging populations and their health, as well as training towards pursuing advanced degrees. Emphasis is placed on knowledge about sociological and related processes of normal aging; social factors that influence health outcomes; theory, research, and professional career preparation; and public policies pertaining to older populations and the delivery of health care. The program also is approved by the NC Division of Health Service Regulation to offer the Administrator-in-Training Program.

Details about the Program

  • Can be completed 100% online
  • Can be completed in either one or two years
  • Two classes per semester
  • No requirement to be logged on at a particular day or time
  • No requirement to come to the main campus
  • Can be added to other master’s degree programs at the university

Course Requirements (12 hours minimum)

  • Two required courses:
    • SOC 5400: Sociology of Adult Development and Aging
    • SOC 5420: Health Care and Aging
  • At least one of the following:
    • SOC 5430: Health Disparities
    • SOC 5550: Housing for Older Adults
    • SOC 5630: Programs and Services for Older Adults
  • One preapproved elective course (if needed)


  • Executive Director/Administrator at assisted living facility
  • Activities coordinator/director
  • Aging and health services program coordinator

Program Faculty

  • Dr. David Russell
  • Dr. Anastacia Schulhoff
  • Dr. Juhee Woo
  • Dr. Matthew Wright


Alumni Profile

Vanessa Hensley, Alumni of the Aging, Health and Society Graduate Certificate

 alumni profile-hensley

Why did you pursue the Graduate Certificate in Aging, Health and Society? What did you learn through this program?

During my undergraduate studies in Sociology at Appalachian State, I took a Gerontology class which ignited a passion for wanting to work with older adults. After graduating with a Bachelors in Sociology, I decided to pursue a career in long term care administration. The Graduate Certificate in Aging, Health and Society allowed me to not only expand my knowledge of aging and resources for older adults but I was able to obtain my Assisted Living Administrators License by completing the AIT training program at App and finishing an internship at Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living.

What positions have you held since completing the program? What is your current position? What are your career goals?

Since completing my Graduate Certificate at App State, I have secured my dream job as the Administrator at Appalachian Brian Estates here in Boone and went on to pursue a Master's Degree in Gerontology from UNCG. I hope to one day teach Gerontology in some capacity in hopes that I can inspire the younger generation to better understand aging and want to work with older adults. 


 Admission Requirements

  • Online application to graduate school
  • Application Fee
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume
  • Personal statement


Apply Here:


For More Information On This Program Contact:

David Russell, PhD

Sociology Graduate Program Director