The gerontology program at the University of Connecticut has been training graduate students for over 50 years to meet the needs of older adults in the United States. In HDFS, faculty researchers aim to improve the health and well being of older individuals and communities by engaging in collaborative, multi-disciplinary research and by mentoring and fostering the next generation of aging scholars.
Current research includes projects that aim to:
- Analyze the effects of federal, state and local policies on the lives of older adults, their families and caregivers.
- Improve housing and long-term care environments for older adults in the State of Connecticut and across the nation.
- Understand the impact of chronic illness, particularly cancer, on the health and well being of older adults and their families in the United States.
- Examine the needs of caregivers and care-receivers to help identify services and/or programs to assist in providing quality care to family members.
- Understand the influence of culture, gender, and race on aging, health, and health disparities.
The gerontology program in HDFS provides students with a comprehensive background in theory and research in social gerontology, within the broader context of Human Development and Family Studies, highlighting the value of aging and the positive aspects of development. The curriculum is flexible so that students can pursue areas of individual interest. Degrees offered include a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy. A certificate in gerontology is also available alone or in conjunction with the either of the degree programs. Students can receive hands-on experience through individualized supervised field placements, research assistantships, an active mentoring program, and opportunities to interact with professionals in the field of aging through a formal lecture series.