Gerontology is a multidisciplinary study of the human aging process. It examines the physiological, psychological, and social aspects of aging as well as how an aging population affects contemporary society. Professionals in the field work for community and human service organizations; retirement communities; federal, state, and local government agencies; educational and research institutions; and related organizations that work either directly or indirectly with aging adults.

Contact Information

Department Chair: Stephen J. Eso

Dean: Alketa Wojcik

Department: Psychology

Office: Building OC3100, 760.795.6871

Associate Degree

Associate in Arts Degree


The Gerontology program offers lower-division preparation for students who plan on transferring to pursue a bachelor's degree in gerontology. Students planning to transfer and/or earn this associate degree may also need to complete additional requirements or electives required by the transfer institution, as many CSUs and UCs have unique admissions and preparation-for-the-major requirements. Students should meet with a MiraCosta College counselor to identify required courses and to develop a written plan for their targeted university.
Required courses: 
GERO 101Introduction to Aging3
Part A: Elective Courses - Select a minimum of 6 units of the following courses.6
Intercultural Communication
Caregiving: Techniques for Working with the Frail Elderly
Internship Studies
Principles of Health
Certified Nursing Assistant
Nutrition Today
Psychology/Sociology of the Family
Psychology of Aging: Adult Development and Aging
Part B: Elective Courses - Select a minimum of 9 units from the following list, including any courses listed above not used for Part A.9
General Biology (Lecture and Lab)
or BIO 101
  & 101L
General Biology
   and General Biology Laboratory
Human Physiology
Interpersonal Communication
General Psychology
General Psychology (Honors)
Social Psychology
Statistics for Behavioral Science
Statistics for Behavioral Science (Honors)
Comparative Cultures
Total Units18


How to Read Course Descriptions


GERO 101: Introduction to Aging

Units: 3
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC
Lecture 3 hours. (1309.00)

This course introduces the interdisciplinary field of gerontology and the study of aging, with an emphasis on biology/physiology, psychology, and sociology. It emphasizes the impact of increased life expectancy and aging on individuals, families, and health care providers and systems. Topics include factors linked to gender, race, ethnicity, and cultural diversity as well as changes and challenges for social and public services, public policy, and the politics of aging. Gerontology is a growing field with practical applications in health care, fitness and wellness, social work, and social services.

GERO 130: Caregiving: Techniques for Working with the Frail Elderly

Units: 3
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours. (1309.00)

This course provides practical and theoretical information on age-related physical and cognitive changes and how to work with the elderly who are frail due to advanced age and/or chronic illness. It explores cultural diversity and its affect on caregiving, health consequences of caregiving, and available community resources. This course is specifically targeted for students interested in working in the field of aging or those who are caregivers for family members.

GERO 292: Internship Studies

Units: 0.5-3
Prerequisites: None
Corequisite: Complete 75 hrs paid or 60 hrs non-paid work per unit.
Enrollment Limitation: Instructor, dept chair, and Career Center approval. May not enroll in any combination of cooperative work experience and/or internship studies concurrently.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU

This course provides students the opportunity to apply the theories and techniques of their discipline in an internship position in a professional setting under the instruction of a faculty-mentor and site supervisor. It introduces students to aspects of the roles and responsibilities of professionals employed in the field of study. Topics include goal-setting, employability skills development, and examination of the world of work as it relates to the student's career plans. Students must develop new learning objectives and/or intern at a new site upon each repetition. Students may not earn more than 16 units in any combination of cooperative work experience (general or occupational) and/or internship studies during community college attendance.

GERO 296: Topics in Gerontology

Units: 1-3
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 1 hour.
Lecture 2 hours.
Lecture 3 hours. (2001.00)

This course gives students an opportunity to study topics in Gerontology that are not included in regular course offerings. Each Topics course is announced, described, and given its own title and 296 number designation in the class schedule.