The Innovations in Aging graduate certificate program prepares you to take a culturally competent, ethical, humanistic, and interdisciplinary approach to addressing the unique needs of the aging population. You’ll benefit from innovative learning strategies and instructional technologies like flexible pacing, asynchronous learning, podcast-style content delivery and engaging discussion forums.

You will apply your learnings in real-world activities that are relevant to your ambitions while participating in the aging community through building upon prior work and sharing knowledge with your peers. 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). 




“Aging is one of my passions so it's awesome to see it at the forefront in this new program.”

-Undergraduate Physiology Senior, The University of Arizona


The graduate certificate program consists of 13 units of graduate credit, offered in a series of one-credit, 5-week online courses over the span of two semesters—or spread out over time to accommodate your busy schedule.

Current UArizona students can download Fall 2024 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.

This capstone course focuses on investigating, planning and presenting of a real-world and relevant aging opportunity or problem of interest to the student.

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