Gerontology

Gerontology examines the experience of aging from different perspectives: psychological, sociological, physical, spiritual, and philosophical. It’s the study of the process of aging, how society defines aging, and how individuals understand their own later years.

 

Gerontology at ҹav

Gerontology at ҹav is one of two stand-alone programs in Atlantic Canada. As a multidisciplinary department—drawing on courses from Psychology, Sociology, and Women’s Studies and Gender Studies—students develop an understanding of what it means to age and the progression of human development and self-fulfilment from multiple perspectives. 

An aerial shot of a student typing on a laptop

 

“The Gerontology program at ҹav is unique in that it approaches the study of aging from both the humanities and social sciences perspectives.”

 

Dr. Linda Caissie, Chair of Gerontology at ҹav

 

 

What sets ҹav’s Gerontology Program Apart? 

  • Small, engaging classes that emphasize personal interaction, discussion, and debate. 
  • Students can complete a Bachelor of Arts with a major or minor in Gerontology, a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Gerontology (in partnership with NBCC), or a Certificate in Gerontology. 
     
  • Lectures and seminars are always taught by professors—not teaching assistants—which means students learn from experts in the field.  
     
  • ҹav is home to the Third Age Centre—an autonomous, community-based non-profit organization that empowers older adults to maintain healthy, independent lifestyles—and Gerontology students are invited to participate in projects undertaken by the Centre. 
     
  • The university’s Chair in Community Health and Aging, Dr. Albert Banerjee, teaches courses in the Gerontology department.  
     
  • Students benefit from faculty expertise in mental health and aging, death and dying, critical approaches to nursing homes, understanding dementia, counselling older adults, and narrative gerontology. 

Where the Study of Gerontology can Take You

Students in Gerontology gain skills in critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and interpersonal relations, while developing the capacity to analyze situations from multiple perspectives, and challenge ageism in society. 
 
This prepares graduates for meaningful careers in fields like:

 

  • Social Work
  • Counselling
  • Recreational or Occupational Therapy
  • Long-term Care
  • Community Agencies
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Public Policy 

 

“ҹav helped me develop foundational skills such as communication, analytical reasoning, and critical thinking., I use these skills regularly when collaborating with interprofessional healthcare teams, establishing therapeutic rapport with clients to determine their goals, and advocating for advancements within the profession.” 
 
 
Julie Mahoney, BA ’11, Gerontology 
Occupational Therapist 

 

Gain Experience and Build Your Resume

ҹav’s Internship Program connects the study of Gerontology with professional experience through opportunities with organizations like:

 

  • Hospice Fredericton
  • Nashwaak Villa Nursing Home
  • Person Centred Universe
  • ServUs Health Inc
  • The Sleep Kit
  • York Care Centre

Join the extracurricular ҹav Gerontology Society and put theories from in-class learning into practice. The society hosts various intergenerational events that connect students with older adults. 
 
Participate in events hosted by the Third Age Centre to put your knowledge to work and witness how Gerontology translates into real-life experiences.  

You might be interested in studying Gerontology if…

  • You want to understand the process of aging from sociological, psychological, physical, and spiritual perspectives.
  • You want to learn more about the issues that concern older people.
  • You want to develop the skills and knowledge to build intergenerational bridges and connect youth with older adults.

Featured Courses

Aging and Health 
Aging and Spirituality 
Counselling Older Adults 
Death and Dying in Later Life 

Fields that Enhance Your Learning in Gerontology

As a multidisciplinary field, Gerontology is compatible with many disciplines including psychology, sociology, anthropology, criminology, human rights, economics, political science, and fine arts.