Ph.D. in Gerontology
The Ph.D. in Gerontology has been the mainstay and foundation of the Graduate Center for Gerontology since its founding in 1996. Students seeking to become national or international leaders in aging research, teaching, and service are best served by this degree. The Graduate Center for Gerontology continues to be an innovator in cell-society based gerontological research and continues this mission with Core Faculty member interests that include: cell-based studies of neurodegeneration, functional studies of muscle hypertrophy, nutrition-based research to improve cognitive and muscle function, massage therapy intervention strategies, intervention strategies for health behavior and health promotion, mental health and substance use management, investigation of high risk decision making strategies and identifying factors that influence those decisions, identification of risk factors for elder abuse, exploring ethical treatment of elders, especially their health, transactional perspectives on aging/environment interactions and their relationship to health and wellbeing, aging in rural and Appalachian environments, life course studies, gerontological education, working with local, state, national, and international leaders to change public policy, and many others.
For a list of recent dissertation topics click here.
Our students come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds ranging from molecular biology to sociology and all are encouraged to learn more about what Gerontology can offer them. For more information about the requirements and the application process visit the website click here or contact our Director of Graduate Studies, John F. Watkins, Ph.D
Doctorate of Public Health (Dr.PH)
Our newest degree offering is the Doctorate of Public Health (Dr.PH). This degree is for those individuals seeking a professional degree to educate and prepare them for practice and teaching in settings in which they would interact primarily with older adults or for the benefit of older adults. In addition to the ability to teach in a University setting, Dr.PH. graduates would work as executives or managers in government agencies, retirement communities, nursing homes, or long-term institutional care facilities.
For more information about the requirements and the application process please visit the website Click Here or contact our Director of Graduate Studies, John F. Watkins, Ph.D or the Director of the Dr.PH. Program, Pamela Teaster, P.D.
Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
The Gerontology Certificate is the oldest continuous Certificate offered at the University of Kentucky. The Certificate is designed as a mechanism to improve students’ knowledge and understanding of aging. In addition, the certificate is a great starting point for those interested in learning more about aging or those who are thinking about a more advanced degree in Gerontology. The Certificate currently serves students from Social Work, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, Rehabilitation Sciences, Nursing, and other disciplines across campus that seek to set themselves apart as leaders with regards to the conditions, contexts, and consequences of our aging society. The Certificate is also available to the general population who simply want to know more about aging.
For more information about the course and practicum requirements and an application for our Certificate please visit the website click here or contact our Director of the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, Graham Rowles, Ph.D
All of our degree offerings allow our graduates to better understand the problems surrounding aging individuals and the effects of, and their effects on, society. Contact us for more information on how you can be a part of our expanding programs to contribute to the improvement of life for our aging population.
Gerontology Faculty Photo
Back row left to right -
Front row left to right -
T. Brock Symons,
former colleague Rodney Guttmann, John Watkins,
Pamela B. Teaster
Ongoing Faculty Research Projects
Faika Zanjani, Ph.D.
Pharmacist Prescription Drug Safety Survey
The Graduate Center for Gerontology at the University of Kentucky
is the First Doctoral Program in Gerontology in the Nation to Receive Program of Merit Status
At the 2011 annual meeting of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), held March 18-20, 2011, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Graduate Center for Gerontology in the College of Public Health became the first Doctoral Program in Gerontology in the nation to be awarded Program of Merit Status. Established in 1974, the AGHE is a membership organization of colleges and universities that offer education, training, and research programs in the field of aging. AGHE currently has more than 280 institutional members throughout the United States, Canada, and across the globe. Dr. Graham D. Rowles is its current president.
“The AGHE Program of Merit Review Committee has clearly determined that the University of Kentucky Doctoral Degree program in Gerontology has met or exceeded expectations for a doctoral program in gerontology.”
“This award is truly an honor for our Program and speaks to the high quality of our faculty and students since the program was started in 1997 through the efforts of the State of Kentucky, Dr. Graham D. Rowles, Dr. James Holsinger, and Dr. Michael Nietzel who had the foresight to recognize the value of bringing a focus to the University in the area of aging,” says Dr. Pamela B. Teaster, current Chairperson and Director of the Center. “Kentucky has fallen short in helping the aging population, despite having one of the highest percentages of adults over age 65.”
In its short history, the Program has had more than 40 graduates go on to be current faculty at universities such as the University of Kentucky, University of Tennessee, University of Georgia, Washington State University, State University of New York, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of California at Irvine, as well as to become businessmen and women in the field of aging who serve this underserved population.
Among other accomplishments, most recently the Graduate Center took the lead on the Kentucky Elder Readiness Initiative (KERI), a project that attracted national attention and was dedicated to evaluating the needs and opportunities for older adults to live well. Also, the formation of the Justice Center for Elders and Vulnerable Adults has been timely due to recent news of elder abuse in community and nursing home settings and the passsge of the Elder Justice Act (2010).
With the knowledge of the impending rise in older adults due to the Baby Boom and increased public health needs, the Graduate Center of Gerontology has made and continues to make a difference by educating professionals in research, teaching, and service. It will continue its mission, with passion, energy, and creativity, to help make Kentucky, the nation, and the world a wonderful place for present and future older adults.