Portland Community College Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Gerontology Program

Program Overview

"We live in an exciting time. There is a new old age waiting to be discovered, ready to be explored. Aging and the aged are not, as so often supposed, the cause of our problems – they are and always have been the source of the answers we need. Our longevity is ready to be freed from the shackles of prejudice and fear. It can and it will save our world."

William H. Thomas, M.D.
What Are Old People? How Elders Will Save the World

The New Gerontology

student with nursing home resident

Careers in gerontology are among the next big things in the 21st century workplace, and PCC’s gerontology program is on the cutting edge of this opportunity. This program is designed for individuals who wish to develop careers in the field of aging, those already employed or active in gerontology or related fields who wish to enhance their career paths, and those seeking challenging and meaningful career changes in response to new opportunities created by an aging society.

Graduates of this program will develop problem-solving and research skills through interdisciplinary core courses and electives tailored toward their career goals. See Careers in Gerontology for related information.

Degrees and Certificates Offered

Students can earn short-term Certificates of Completion, a one-year Certificate and an AAS Degree. These certificates and degrees are designed as a career pathway, with credits earned counting toward the next level of certificate or degree, while preparing continue to work and qualify for advancement within their selected career.

Program Prerequisites and Requirements

Candidates for certificates should be ready to enter WR121 and MTH20, and candidates for the AAS Degree should be ready to enter WR121 and MTH65 (demonstrated through placement tests or documented previous college level work).

Course of Study

Students may earn Gerontology certificates or completion, the one-year certificate or the Associate of Applied Science degree alone or in conjunction with a certificate or degree in other PCC programs, such as fitness technology, the allied health field, nursing, interior design, paralegal studies, business, management, or alcohol and drug counseling, depending on career interests. Courses are available in both online and classroom formats. The program has articulation agreements with Portland State University, Eastern Oregon University, and Marylhurst University.

Core and Elective Course Offerings

Most core and elective courses, as well as basic competency and computer skills courses, are offered each term in online, classroom or hybrid formats, often in multiple sections. Students should meet with the program advisor to plan course options to fit their career goals. See Transcript Evaluation and Course Planning for related information.