May 21, 2024  
2023/2024 University Catalog 
2023/2024 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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OFFICE: Hepner Hall 119
TELEPHONE: 619-594-6865 / FAX: 619-594-5991


Director: Min, Jong Won, Professor of Social Work (BSW Yonsei University; MSW University of Calgary; Ph.D. University of California Los Angeles)

Program Coordinator: Jackson, Norman, M.S., Lecturer of Gerontology and Social Work (B.A., M.S., San Diego State University)

Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty:

Garrett, Mario D., Professor of Social Work (B.S., University of East London, United Kingdom; Ph.D., University of Bath, United Kingdom)

Ko, Eunjeong, Professor of Social Work (B.A., Catholic University of Daegu, South Korea; M.S., Hunter College of The City University of New York; Ph.D., University of Kansas)

Min, Jong Won, Professor of Social Work, Director (BSW Yonsei University; MSW University of Calgary; Ph.D. University of California Los Angeles)

Nedjat-Haiem, Frances, Associate Professor of Social Work (B.A., California State University, Long Beach; M.S.W., University of California, Los Angeles; Ph.D., University of Southern California; L.C.S.W.)


Jackson, Norman, M.S., Gerontology, Social Work (B.A., M.S., San Diego State University)

Thoman, Marilyn L., Gerontology (B.A., UC Santa Barbara; Ph.D., Berkeley) 

Yaghmaee, Saman. Gerontology (B.A., University of San Diego; M.A., Ed.D., San Diego State University)


DuBois, Barbara C., Ph.D., 1989-2004, Assistant Professor of Gerontology

Harbert, Anita S., Ph.D., 1979-2008, Professor of Social Work

Stanford, E. Percil, Ph.D., 1973-2001, Albert W. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Social Work

Undergraduate Information

The Major

Gerontology concerns itself with the study and application of knowledge about the physical, social, and economic conditions of older people. Since the process of aging touches all aspects of human activity, gerontology is interdisciplinary in nature. Gerontology is becoming a major area of research in the biological, behavioral, and social sciences. With a rapid increase of older people, has come a growing need for more trained professionals to apply new knowledge about older adults. Such knowledge is needed for planning and developing programs and services which improve the quality of life for older Americans.

Gerontological training and research is an important link in meeting the social, physical, and psychological needs of older persons. Students of gerontology benefit through the personal understanding of their own aging process. Those wishing to pursue careers in aging will find many exciting opportunities for serving older adults in a variety of settings.

It is through research, teaching, and community involvement that faculty members from numerous disciplines provide for the intellectual development of students, the enhancement of community programs, and the assurance of a better quality of life for older people in the community, the state, and the nation.

Program Goals

  • Provide academic programs and experiences through courses and field experiences, leading to an undergraduate degree in a major and minor in gerontology.
  • Provide interdisciplinary education and training that meet the diverse needs of older people in California and in the U.S.
  • Prepare students as generalist gerontologists for careers in a variety of gerontological settings such as senior centers, senior service organizations, area and state agencies on aging, supportive senior housing, public, non-profit and corporate settings, health and long term care facilities.
  • Provide students with knowledge of aging networks and programs on the local, state, and federal level.
  • Provide students with knowledge and skills to identify and understand stereotypes and attitude toward older adults, and emphasize their places and contributions in society.
  • Prepare students with knowledge needed in describing, assessing and critiquing various programs, interventions and services designed for older adults.
  • Prepare students to meet the needs of older adults with cultural competence regarding age, gender, race and ethnicity, and/or diverse abilities.
  • Prepare students for evidence-based practice with older adults with appropriate research methods to develop, implement, and evaluate the aging programs and services.

Program Outcomes

  • Describe the process of physical (biological), psychological, social aging, and related theories of aging.
  • Know about the diverse needs of the older population in terms of age, gender, race and ethnicity, and/or diverse abilities.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the aging network consisting of programs and policies for the aging population.
  • Describe and understand personal attitudes toward and beliefs about old age and older adults, and reflect and analyze stereotypes or attitudes towards old adults in the portrayal of aging by society.
  • Understand basic concepts of research methods necessary to describe and discuss efficacy and effectiveness of the services and program for older adults as guided and informed by empirical evidence.
  • Develop effective written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills with individuals, caregivers, families, and community through professional field experiences.
  • Demonstrate case management skills such as interviewing, assessment, and report writing.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding necessary to describe, assess, and critique various programs, interventions and services to meet the needs of the growing aging population.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills necessary to advocate for the needs of older adults and their families by engaging in policy formation, implementation, and analysis.
  • Understand the ethical complexities that surround issues with respect to aging.


All College of Health and Human Services majors are urged to consult with their department adviser as soon as possible; they are required to meet with their department adviser within the first semester after declaration or change of major.

Retention Policy

The College of Health and Human Services expects that all gerontology majors will make reasonable academic progress towards the degree. Gerontology premajors who have completed major preparatory courses, earned 60 units, but have less than a 2.0 GPA may be removed from the premajor and placed in undeclared.

Impacted Program

The gerontology major is an impacted program. To be admitted to the gerontology major, students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Complete preparation for the major;
  2. Complete a minimum of 60 transferable semester units;
  3. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

To complete the major, students must fulfill the degree requirements for the major described in the catalog in effect at the time they are accepted into the premajor at SDSU (assuming continuous enrollment).

Major Academic Plans (MAPs)

Visit for the recommended courses needed to fulfill your major requirements. The MAPs website was created to help students navigate the course requirements for their majors and to identify which General Education course will also fulfill a major preparation course requirement.


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