Davis School of Gerontology

Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Aging

The Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Aging is an undergraduate degree offered at the USC Davis School of Gerontology in the social sciences. Students in this program often pursue careers related to older adults in business, law, the nonprofit sector or government agencies.

Students may also specialize in a health science track. The health science track combines the core gerontology curriculum with the prerequisites for admission to medical school and other health-related fields including: dentistry, pharmacy, occupational/physical therapy, physician assistant programs and others. In addition, students will participate in a supervised practicum experience in which they will become directly involved with aging clients in a health care setting.

Students planning to pursue a B.S. are urged to notify the school of this intent as early as possible during their undergraduate study. This will help ensure that the student receives proper advisement and that the student is alerted to any special requirements or program modifications.

During the freshman and sophomore years, students enroll primarily in general education required courses as specified by the university and the Human Development and Aging gateway course (GERO 200).

During their junior and senior years, students enroll in required and elective courses in the School of Gerontology as well as other courses throughout the university. These courses are selected in consultation with an adviser and reflect the personal and professional interests of the students.

The honors program is available to juniors who maintain a GPA of 3.5 in gerontology and a GPA of 3.3 in other USC course work. The honors program includes mentored training in research and course work relevant to research methodology and statistics.

A grade point average of at least C (2.0) on all units attempted at USC is required for undergraduate degrees. The School of Gerontology requires a minimum 2.0 grade point average in upper division courses applied toward the major.

General Education Requirements

The university’s general education program provides a coherent, integrated introduction to the breadth of knowledge you will need to be considered a generally well-educated person. This program requires six courses in different categories, plus writing and diversity requirements, which together comprise the USC Core. See The USC Core and the General Education Program for more information.

Foreign Language or Programming Skills (12 Units)

Students must satisfy the skill level requirement in one language or complete ITP 101x and additional ITP 100-level programming courses to total 12 units. Students in the health science track are required to complete only ITP 101x.

Degree Requirements

REQUIRED COURSES UNITS
GERO 200 Gerontology: The Science of Adult Development 4
GERO 320 Psychology of Adult Development 4
GERO 330 Society and Adult Development 4
GERO 340 Policy, Values, and Power in an Aging Society 4
GERO 350 Administrative Problems in Aging 4
GERO 416 Health Issues in Adulthood 4
GERO 481 Case Management for Older Adults 4
GERO 491 Practicum 4
GERO 492 Senior Seminar 4
General Education 24
Writing Requirement 8
Foreign Language or Programming 12
Gerontology electives 12
One approved statistics course 4
General electives in gerontology or related disciplines (8 units upper division) 32
Total: 128

Recommended general Electives Units
ANTH 305 Childhood, Birth and Reproduction 4
HP 402 Maternal and Child Health 4
LING 405 Child Language Acquisition 4
PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology 4
PSYC 336L* Developmental Psychology 4
PSYC 437* Adolescent Development 4
SOCI 305 Sociology of Childhood 4
SOCI 369 The Family in a Changing Society 4
SOCI 385 Population, Society, and Aging 4

*Prerequisite required.

Health Science Track in Human Development and Aging

Requirements for Admission

The listed requirements for admission to the health science track in human development and aging will not differ from existing requirements for admission to the Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Aging. However, because health professional schools are very competitive, USC students interested in this program will be expected to have achieved at least a 3.0 grade point average (A = 4.0). Students entering the program from high schools or transferring from community colleges will also be expected to meet the minimum admission standards.

Degree Requirements

SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS UNITS
BISC 120Lx General Biology: Organismal Biology and Evolution 4
BISC 220L General Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology 4
CHEM 105abL* General Chemistry 4-4
CHEM 322abL* Organic Chemistry 4-4
MATH 125* Calculus I 4
PHYS 135abL* Physics for the Life Sciences 4-4
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GERONTOLOGY UPPER DIVISION CORE COURSES UNITS
GERO 310* Physiology of Aging 4
GERO 320 Psychology of Adult Development, or
GERO 330 Society and Adult Development 4
GERO 340 Policy, Values, and Power in an Aging Society 4
GERO 414* Neurobiology of Aging 4
GERO 495 Practicum in Geriatric Care 4
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ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS UNITS
ITP 101x Introduction to Information Technology 4
General Education 24
Writing Requirement 8
Gerontology upper division electives 12
General electives in gerontology or related disciplines (8 units upper division) 24
72

Total: 128

Recommended GENERAL Electives Units
ANTH 305 Childhood, Birth and Reproduction 4
BISC 480* Developmental Biology 4
HP 402 Maternal and Child Health 4
LING 405 Child Language Acquisition 4
PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology 4
PSYC 336L* Developmental Psychology 4
PSYC 437* Adolescent Development 4
SOCI 305 Sociology of Childhood 4
SOCI 369 The Family in a Changing Society 4
SOCI 385 Population, Society, and Aging 4

*Prerequisite required.

Honors Program in Human Development and Aging

USC Davis offers an honors program to outstanding students already pursuing studies for the B.S. in Human Development and Aging degree. This program offers students an opportunity to participate in mentored undergraduate research, taking course work in research methods and statistics in aging, and experience in writing an honors thesis that summarizes the research project. Honors students are required to complete GERO 497abc for a total of 6–8 units, beginning in the fall or spring of the junior year. In the senior year, they must complete GERO 593 Research Methods with a minimum grade of B. GERO 593 is offered only in the fall semester. Completion of the program requires a minimum GPA of 3.5 in gerontology and 3.3 in other courses. The program leads to the designation on the transcript of Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Aging with Honors.

The student takes 2 units of GERO 497a in the fall or spring of the junior year as a mentored research course to begin the process of developing an honors thesis. This would be in lieu of elective units. In the fall of the junior or senior year the student would complete GERO 593 for 4 units and 2 units of GERO 497b, both in lieu of elective units. Also during the fall semester, the research design and methods for the honors thesis are finalized and the research project begun. In the spring, the student would register for 2–4 units of GERO 497c in lieu of elective units. The goal for that semester is to complete the research and write the honors thesis.

Degree Requirements

REQUIRED COURSES UNITS
GERO 200 Gerontology: The Science of Adult Development 4
GERO 320 Psychology of Adult Development 4
GERO 330 Society and Adult Development 4
GERO 340 Policy, Values, and Power in an Aging Society 4
GERO 350 Administrative Problems in Aging 4
GERO 416 Health Issues in Adulthood 4
GERO 481 Case Management for Older Adults 4
GERO 491 Practicum 4
GERO 492 Senior Seminar 4
General Education 24
Writing Requirement 8
Foreign Language or Programming 12
Gerontology electives 12
One approved statistics course 4
Electives in gerontology and related disciplines 20–22
116–188

GERONTOLOGY HONORS COURSES UNITS
GERO 497abc* Honors Seminar 2, 2, 2-4
GERO 593 Research Methods 4
10–12

Total: 128
Requirements for Completion of the Health Science Honors Track

SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS UNITS
BISC 120Lx General Biology: Organismal Biology and Evolution 4
BISC 220L General Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology 4
CHEM 105abL* General Chemistry 8
CHEM 322abL* Organic Chemistry 8
MATH 125* Calculus I 4
PHYS 135abL* Physics for the Life Sciences 8
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GERONTOLOGY UPPER DIVISION CORE COURSES UNITS
GERO 310* Physiology of Aging 4
GERO 320 Psychology of Adult Development, or
GERO 330 Society and Adult Development 4
GERO 340 Policy, Values and Power in an Aging Society 4
GERO 414* Neurobiology of Aging 4
GERO 495 Practicum in Geriatric Care 4
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ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS UNITS
ITP 101x Introduction to Information Technology 4
General Education 24
Writing Requirement 8
Gerontology upper division electives 8
Electives in gerontology and related disciplines 16–18
60–62

GERONTOLOGY HONORS COURSES UNITS
GERO 497abc* Honors Seminar 2, 2, 2–4
GERO 593 Research Methods 4
10–12

Total: 128

*Prerequisite required.

Bachelor of Science in Lifespan Health

The Bachelor of Science in Lifespan Health prepares students for admission to a graduate or professional school with an emphasis on the biomedical aspects of health including disease prevention, detection and treatment. This program is designed for students wishing to pursue graduate studies in a health field such as medicine, pharmacy, occupational/physical therapy, psychology and other related fields.

Admission to this program is granted through USC’s admission process, described in the admission section of this catalogue. The same foreign language requirement for the B.S. in Human Development and Aging is required as well as the USC Core (see The USC Core and the General Education Program for more information). Students must enroll in the following courses:

Gerontology Required Courses UNIts
GERO 200 Gerontology: The Science of Adult Development 4
GERO 310* Physiology of Aging 4
GERO 320 Psychology of Adult Development 4
GERO 416 Health Issues in Adulthood 4
GERO 483 Global Health and Aging 4
GERO 492 Senior Seminar 4
GERO 495 Practicum in Geriatric Care 4

Choose three from the following four courses:
GERO 414* Neurobiology of Aging 4
GERO 437** Social and Psychological Aspects of Death and Dying 4
GERO 475 Ethical Issues in Geriatric Care 4
GERO 481 Case Management for Older Adults 4
Electives 32
Gerontology electives 12

*Prerequisite required.

**GERO 437 must be taken for 4 units of credit

Bachelor of Arts in Health and Humanity

The USC Davis School of Gerontology offers undergraduate classes through the Health and Humanity major in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences (see the Health and Humanity page).

Progressive Degree in Gerontology/Master of Science in Gerontology

The progressive degree program allows high performing students to integrate their current undergraduate major with a Master of Science in Gerontology. Students with at least a 3.0 overall GPA may apply for admission to the degree program in their junior year.

Students will meet with the gerontology student adviser to develop a course plan that must be approved by the School of Gerontology and the student’s home department. Students admitted into the progressive degree program begin taking master’s level courses in their senior year and will complete the master’s degree in year five. For more information on the admission process, see the gerontology student adviser. For further details on progressive degree programs, see the Requirements for Graduation page.

Minors in Aging

The undergraduate minor program gives students the option of combining their major with an emphasis in gerontology, the study of aging. The minors provide students with the opportunity to supplement their education with a life course perspective of aging processes.

The minor programs, which are multidisciplinary in nature, allow the student to survey the sociological, political, psychological and biological aspects of aging; to gain an understanding of the current services available to older persons; and to examine the contemporary policy issues facing the field.

Individuals, Societies and Aging

This minor is a fit for students in business, engineering, communication, cinematic arts, or arts and sciences interested in developing a broad knowledge of issues in aging. Based largely on disciplines in the behavioral and social sciences, students learn how aging will impact their lives, families and careers. Upon completion of 20 units and graduation, the minor is noted on the student’s transcript.

Required courses Units
GERO 320 Psychology of Adult Development 4
GERO 330 Society and Adult Development 4
GERO 340 Policy, Values, and Power in an Aging Society 4

Select two from the following:
GERO 380 Diversity in Aging 4
GERO 416 Health Issues in Adulthood 4
GERO 435 Women and Aging: Psychological, Social and Political Implications 4
GERO 437 Social and Psychological Aspects of Death and Dying 4
GERO 481 Case Management for Older Adults 4
GERO 491 Practicum 4
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Science, Health and Aging

The science, health and aging minor is appropriate for students working toward careers in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, biological sciences, public health or other health related fields. Admission to the minor is only available to students who have completed 4 units of prerequisites (BISC 220L or BISC 221L) as part of their major requirements. Upon completion of 20 units and graduation, the minor is noted on the student’s transcript.

Required courses Units
GERO 310 Physiology of Aging 4
GERO 414 Neurobiology of Aging 4
GERO 416 Health Issues in Adulthood, or
GERO 496 Introduction to Clinical Geriatrics 4

Select two from the following:
GERO 415 Neuroaffective Disorders of Aging 4
GERO 421 Managed Care for an Aging Society 4
GERO 437 Social and Psychological Aspects of Death and Dying 4
GERO 475 Ethical Issues in Geriatric Health Care 4
GERO 495 Practicum in Geriatric Care 4
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