Gerontology Master’s


Iowa State University collaborates with six sister institutions via the Great Plains IDEA (Interactive Distance Education Alliance) to offer certificate and master’s degree programs which are completely accessible online. This collaboration allows students to take a variety of courses taught by Gerontology faculty and professionals across institutions. Iowa State Great Plains IDEA master’s students work with Iowa State faculty advisors to design a degree program which suits their individual objectives and complete a culminating capstone project.

Our Great Plains students come from diverse backgrounds:

  • Some have been in the field of aging for many years and are returning for a degree.
  • Others are new to the field of aging and are pursuing second careers.
  • Some students have recently completed a bachelor’s degree.

The mix of student backgrounds and interests adds to the richness of students’ learning experiences in the program.

Local Iowa State Great Plains IDEA students are able to enroll in Iowa State courses on campus and participate in other professional development and research activities. Several students have found the master’s program to be a wonderful gateway into doctoral studies.

Admissions Requirements

For details visit the Graduate College website.


Total credits: 36

Required courses: 24 credits (8 courses)

  • Geron 530: Perspectives in Gerontology
  • Geron 534: Adult Development
  • Geron 540: Nutrition and Physical Activity in  Aging
  • Geron 545: Economics, Public Policy and Aging
  • Geron 563: Environments and Aging
  • Geron 577: Aging in the Family
  • Geron 584: Program Evaluation and Research Methods
  • Geron 594: Professional Seminar in Gerontology

Elective courses: 12 credits

Elective courses are offered in areas such as biological aspects of aging, gender and aging, spirituality, creativity, cognitive aging, sexuality, mental health and aging, long-term care, gerontechnology, and contemporary concepts in design.

Practicum experience. Up to three credits of practicum experience may be included as part of elective credits.

Gerontology Great Plains IDEA Course Planner

Contact Information

Dawn Risdal
2624 Howe Hall

DeAnn Barnes
2155 Lagomarcino Hall