College of Health and Human Services
Interim Dean: Don Taylor

Gerontology Program
HSS 242
Fax: 415-338-3556
Director: Anabel Pelham

Graduate Coordinator: Anabel Pelham
Coordinator, Applied Social Research: Brian de Vries
Coordinator, Geriatric Care Management: Anabel Pelham
Coordinator, Long-term Care Administration: Darlene Yee


Professorsóde Vries, Pelham, Yee


Minor in Gerontology: Healthy Aging
M.A. in Gerontology (This program has been temporarily suspended)

Program Scope

Purpose: The Gerontology Program is administratively housed in the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS), and enjoys close collaborative relationships with other units throughout the college/university and with the communities it serves. The Program has formed several complementary partnerships with community agencies.

SFSU has a tradition of pioneering excellence in providing education opportunities for older adults, and today the Sixty Plus Club serves older adult students age 60 and over. Lifelong learning is the hallmark of the campus-based Sixty Plus Club and provides an opportunity for students to learn and appreciate the contributions that aging persons make to each other, their families, and society.

Gerontology at SFSU includes advocacy for the aged in the community and actively engages in activities which promote healthy aging, independence, and links with other professionals to provide a community-based model of consumer-driven health and human service. Students can participate in learning and service where skills of program development and research grant writing, care management, community organizing, needs assessments, and program implementation and evaluation directly contribute to the community's well-being.

Academic Auxiliaries

The Institute on Gerontology is a freestanding academic auxiliary unit associated with the program which houses development, research, and training projects and is a recipient of grants and gifts to the Gerontology Program. The institute enjoys joint ventures with regional providers; and students are encouraged to take full advantage of the clinical, direct service and research opportunities offered by these projects. The Health, Mobility, and Safety Lab is a second academic auxiliary unit associated with the program which provides on-going clinical research in the areas of driver assessment, driver education, driver simulation, fall prevention, home safety, and pedestrian safety for older adults. Program faculty are active in internally and externally funded research and program development grants and contracts; student assistants are routinely employed to contribute to on-going projects.

Career Outlook

Gerontology is one of the fastest growing disciplines within the field of health and human services. Current demographic projections indicate that California will experience a doubling of the population over the age of 65 by the year 2020 a vast increase in the numbers of single, female, and ethnically diverse elders.


The Minor in Gerontology: Healthy Aging has a gerontology core and a multidisciplinary selection of electives. It is designed to provide a program of study in introductory gerontology and introductory human services and field work. The Minor in Gerontology can be well integrated into most undergraduate majors and provides a focus for students who wish to pursue an educational path toward community service and helping professions. It offers the only undergraduate gerontology course work at the university, and other departments use minor courses to satisfy their program requirements. The internship course in the minor routinely places students in supervised field work settings in the Greater Bay Area. It is the centerpiece of a GE Segment III cluster.

Program Units
Units selected from the following: 4-6
  GRN 500 Gerontology: An Interdisciplinary Perspective  
  GRN 510 Death and Dying in Contemporary Society
  NURS 112 Healthy Aging (1)
Units selected from the following: 6
  HH 380 Holistic Health: Western Perspectives  
  HH 381 Holistic Health: Eastern Perspectives
  HH 382 Holistic Health and Human Nature
Required fieldwork courses: 4-6
  GRN 638 Gerontology Fieldwork Seminar  
  GRN 639 Gerontology Fieldwork (1-3)
Elective course selected in consultation with a gerontology adviser 3
Total 21

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Last modified July 05, 2012 by