The online Innovations in Aging Master’s program allows you to contribute to improving lives of older adults by (a) enhancing your knowledge about aging and aging research, (b) allowing you to join a community of scholars dedicated to expanding research and applying knowledge about aging, and (c) educating you about strategies for interdisciplinary collaboration and continued learning in the field of aging.   

The program includes core courses which prepares you to take a culturally competent, ethical, humanistic, and interdisciplinary approach to addressing the unique needs of the aging population. Also included are courses focused on different aging perspectives with an understanding of bias, equity, and innovations in aging and research methods appropriate for conducting research about aging. The curriculum is in alignment with the Association of Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) standards and will provide you with the coursework and experience needed to apply for professional certification through the National Association of Professional Gerontologists (NAPG). 






The Master's program consists of 36 units of graduate credit and is designed to be completed in 2 years.  Twelve of the units for the degree are supplied by the certificate courses, which consists of one-credit, 5-week online courses over the span of two semesters. When you have completed the certificate courses you are 1/3 of the way to completing the Master’s degree, with the remaining classes consisting of 3 credit, 15-week classes.

Current UArizona students can download Fall 2023 course schedule here

This introductory course sets the stage for a human and experiential understanding of aging and the life experience of older adults. Learning will take a practical, theoretical and humanistic look with emphasis on ageism, life course, person/environment interaction, autonomy, self-determination, inter-dependence, and inter-vulnerability. 

This course will provide a high-level review of every-day ethics along with special attention to issues related to aging and older adults such as elder protection. Emphasis will be placed on professional standards, so students are able to distinguish between and communicate around ethical issues while working with older adults and their families.

The focus of this course is on understanding aging as a biological and psychological phenomenon.  Consideration will be given to biological explanations for how and why aging occurs and normal versus abnormal aging changes.  Cognition as a biological and psychological phenomenon will be explored.  Finally, psychological perspectives will be considered including stages of growth and development, and ability to recognize normal age changes in intelligence and cognitive abilities including those that may impact late-life functioning.

This course is designed to assist students in exploring aging as a socio-cultural phenomenon.  Sociological theories of aging will be explored.  Life-course theory and ethnogerontological theory will be used to frame aging from the perspective of human diversity. Ways in which aging and the experience of aging differs based on gender, race, socio-economic status, and culture will be explored along with what these variations mean for working with older adults and their families.

This course provides an overview of how creative arts practices have been implemented to promote community health and wellness. Interdisciplinary in nature, the course draws on existing theoretical frameworks, practices, and research methods from both the arts and health sciences and seeks to promote inter-professional dialogue about how to expand the contributions of creative arts in promoting healthy communities. Students in the course will bring perspectives from their respective fields of study and will have opportunities to explore innovative ways to integrate creative arts practices into their fields of practice and research. This third course of a three part 1-credit course series focuses on creative arts in the context of aging, dementia, and brain health.

The goal of this course is to provide students with a beginning understanding of research strategies used with older adults so students are able to evaluate new information on aging and its sources (popular media and research publications) and to determine the appropriateness and applicability of research evidence. 

This course provides an opportunity for student to synthesize biological, psychological, sociological and humanistic perspectives of aging and apply it in real-world and relevant scenarios. Additionally, new theoretical models and tools will be introduced to aid student in thinking about and reflecting on the aging process. 

Students will learn about terminology and common derogatory communication patterns that present in discussion with or about older adults. Students will also learn how to apply the skills necessary to find, engage and participate in interdisciplinary and community collaboration in the areas of research, policy, provision of supports, services and other opportunities. 

This course focuses on learning about and understanding the existing spectrum of healthcare and supportive services for older adults. Current challenges and opportunities will be discussed along with ideation around improvements and innovations in this space. 

This course focuses on interdependence and inter-vulnerability shared by all humans with a special emphasis on the implications of these concepts for older adults. Additionally, opportunities to interact with, learn about and compare aging challenges around the world with local issues and opportunities will be explored.

This survey course introduces students to the challenges and opportunities of improving the lives of older adults throughout multiple disciplines. Students will gain a holistic view of the many ways a life-course can be impacted and how interdisciplinary work is critical for change. 

From the anti-aging movement to the use of “smart” technologies for monitoring the behavior and function of older adults, a plethora of new information bombards older adults, their caregivers and their care providers.  This course will provide an overview of the array of innovations being researched from the perspectives of those involved in the development.

Through this course students will integrate and expand gerontological perspectives on aging into a larger unifying theory. Longitudinal effects on the life course of older adults will be explored through this consolidated view to gain a better understanding of the multi-faceted and complex nature of various influences on the quality of life an aging population.

This course explores biases and ageism as social justice issues impacting older adults and the aging experience. Students will learn about how biases embedded in our culture impact messaging about aging that influences our perspective on getting older. Students will leave with the ability to better protect themselves from bias messaging and to be more open to opportunities and possibilities in the field of aging.

Research in aging is focused on improving health, wellbeing and interdependence of older adults in diverse groups with consideration to the interrelationships of the environmental, social, cultural, behavioral, and biological factors that create and sustain health disparities. This course considers the history of research on aging including its origins, pivotal findings and accompanying misconceptions and factors about diversity and inclusion.

This course is an introduction into quantitative and qualitative research methods used in scientific research. The objective of this course is to enable students to be skeptical and critical consumers of published works about older adults to inform decision making processes during their career. Additionally, this course sets up foundational skills that are critical for students interested in doctoral programs.

*For Fall 2023, this course requirement will be met by taking a research methods course from the following list:

BIOS/EPID 576A - Biostatistics in Public Health

AED 617 - Research Methods and Project Design

SERP 556 - Research Methods in Education

LIS 506 - Research Methods for Library and Information Professionals


Within the field of Gerontology and interdisciplinary research conducted with older adults there are several specific methods to answer current and pressing questions. This course enables students to dig deep into the practice and details of specific methods as tools for working with older adults and exploring challenges and opportunities currently facing them.

*For Fall 2023, this course requirement will be met by taking a research methods course from the following list:

BME/SIE 447/557 - Introduction to Biomedical Informatics

EPID 573B - Epidemiologic Methods

EPID 673 - Mixed Research Methods - Design, Conduct and Application in Health Research

MATH 574M - Introduction to Statistical Machine Learning

SERP 590 - Single Subject Research Design


Students will investigate, plan and present an innovation targeting a real-world and relevant aging opportunity or problem of interest to the student. Students will produce a research-informed and interdisciplinary intervention proposal that reflects current aging theory, models and ethical considerations. Finally, students must explore and consider sources of bias, influence and consider long-term implications of their proposed intervention.

Follow this link for a list of approved electives for the MS IIA Program.  Total credits must be at least 6:

Looking for undergraduate education in aging? Check out this Department of Psychology's undergraduate certificate.

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