Davis School of Gerontology

Graduate Degrees

Dual Degree Programs

The USC Davis School of Gerontology cooperates with six other professional schools at USC in offering programs in which the student receives two master’s degrees. These degrees provide the student with the knowledge and skills of gerontology as well as those of the other professional field. The dual degrees require more course work than the M.S. alone, but offer the graduate greater breadth of education and employment options.

Dual degrees currently available are the Master of Science in Gerontology and the Master of Business Administration (M.S./MBA) with the Marshall School of Business; the Master of Science in Gerontology and the Doctor of Dental Surgery (M.S./DDS) with the Ostrow School of Dentistry; the Master of Science in Gerontology and the Juris Doctor (M.S./J.D.) with the Gould School of Law; the Master of Science in Gerontology and the Master of Public Administration (M.S./MPA), the Master of Science in Gerontology and the Master of Health Administration (M.S./MHA), and the Master of Science in Gerontology and the Master of Planning (M.S./MPl) with the Price School of Public Policy; the Master of Science in Gerontology and the Master of Social Work (M.S./MSW) with the School of Social Work; and the Master of Science in Gerontology and the Doctor of Pharmacy (M.S./Pharm.D.) with the School of Pharmacy. Students must apply to both schools simultaneously and, if accepted to both, participate in specially designed programs combining the courses of each school.

Admission to Dual Degree Programs

Applicants to any of the dual degree programs must submit two application forms to the Office of Admissions; one indicating gerontology as the major and one indicating the other degree as the major. Each of the schools must accept the student for admission. Acceptance into one school’s degree program does not imply acceptance into the dual degree program.

Gerontology and Business Administration

The M.S./MBA dual degree combines knowledge of the older population with the skills of business management. The program prepares graduates for a number of roles in both public and private sector organizations including the marketing of products or services to seniors, human resource development with older workers and retirement benefits.

Gerontology Requirements

The Master of Science in Gerontology requires 30 units of course and fieldwork which covers the core content of the M.S. program.

Required courses Units
GERO 510 Physiology of Development and Aging 4
GERO 520 Life Span Developmental Psychology 4
GERO 530 Life Span Developmental Sociology 4
GERO 540 Social Policy and Aging 4
GERO 555 Integrating Gerontology: A Multidisciplinary Approach 4
GERO 591 Field Practicum 4
Gerontology electives 6
30
Business Administration Requirements

The Master of Business Administration will require 48 units of credit. Required courses include: all required courses in an MBA program; MOR 548 Competitive Advantage Through People (3); one marketing elective chosen from among MKT 512 Marketing and Consumer Research, MKT 525 Consumer Behavior, MKT 560 Marketing Strategy and Policy and MKT 569 Contemporary Marketing Problems (3); and additional graduate business electives sufficient to bring the total units completed in the Marshall School of Business to at least 48. Dual degree students may not count courses taken outside the School of Business toward the 48 units.

Program Adaptation

The USC Davis School of Gerontology will waive 18 units of electives, plus GERO 593 Research Methods (4 units) and GERO 589 Case Studies in Leadership and Change Management (4 units), which are required in the regular M.S. program. Students will be exposed to research and professional issues in business administration course work.

Gerontology and Dentistry

The M.S./DDS dual degree program extends over five years and is offered cooperatively by the Ostrow School of Dentistry and the Davis School of Gerontology. The program addresses the challenges facing oral health care providers as the number of older persons needing dental care increases. With the evolution of care toward patients who live longer lives, graduating dentists will be better prepared to provide service to the aging population in community settings and health care facilities. See the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC for course requirements.

Gerontology and Pharmacy

The emerging impact of the elderly on the health care system has created a need for health care providers who understand the unique needs of the elderly. As drug therapy remains the primary therapeutic option for chronic disease, the demand for prescription drugs will continue to rise. There is a demand for pharmacists who are equipped to meet the pharmaceutical care needs of this population. Geriatric pharmacy is becoming increasingly recognized as a specialty. Pharmacists with expertise in gerontology and geriatrics are in an excellent position to play a leading role in health policy and direct patient care. The Pharm.D./M.S., Gerontology program will provide extensive education and training in the unique health care needs of older adults. It will allow student pharmacists with a career interest in geriatrics or gerontology to work with health care planning or delivery organizations to develop and implement progressive pharmaceutical care programs for the elderly.

Application and Admissions Requirements

Students applying for the dual degree program must meet the respective admission requirements for each program. This includes having completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 and a minimum GRE score of 1000. Students will not be given special consideration for admission to either program because they are applying for the dual degree. Students may apply to the dual Pharm.D./M.S. degree program in two ways. First, they may apply at the time they submit their Pharm.D. application by concurrently submitting applications to both programs. Students, who elect this approach, must identify themselves on both applications as potential dual degree students. Students who are admitted to both programs will be offered admission to the Pharm.D. and will be offered admission to the dual degree program contingent on passing all courses in their first year of the Pharm.D. with a minimum 3.0 G.P.A. Students who are accepted by only one program may choose to attend that program, but will not be eligible for the dual degree. Second, students can apply to the dual degree by submitting an application to the M.S. in Gerontology program during their first year of enrollment in the Pharm.D. prior to the M.S., Gerontology published application deadline. Students, who elect this approach, must apply through the School of Pharmacy. Students admitted to the M.S. program using this approach will be offered admission to the dual degree contingent on passing all courses in their first year of the Pharm.D. with a minimum 3.0 G.P.A. Students accepted to the dual degree program must maintain a minimum 3.0 G.P.A. in their gerontology and Pharm.D. courses.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all requirements for the Pharm.D. and M.S. degrees as listed in the catalogue with a minimum cumulative 3.0 G.P.A. Students must complete 44 Gerontology units as indicated. The Davis School of Gerontology will waive GERO 589 Case Studies in Leadership and Change Management (4 units) because students enrolled in this program will have a primary professional focus on pharmacy. The Pharm.D. degree course requirements are listed in the School of Pharmacy.

Gerontology requirements Units
GERO 510 Physiology of Development and Aging 4
GERO 520 Life Span Developmental Psychology 4
GERO 530 Life Span Developmental Sociology 4
GERO 540 Social Policy and Aging 4
GERO 555 Integrating Gerontology: A Multidisciplinary Approach 4
GERO 591 Field Practicum (480 hours) 8
GERO 593 Research Methods 4
Gerontology electives* 12
44

*Choose three of the following: GERO 522, GERO 543, GERO 550, GERO 551 or GERO 554.

Gerontology and Public Administration

The M.S./MPA dual degree offers the student interested in management of agencies and institutions the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of the administrative and organizational processes and management skills necessary for the effective delivery of services to older persons. See the Price School of Public Policy for course requirements.

Gerontology and Health Administration

Students can specialize in health care administration (profit and non-profit) through the dual degree with the Price School of Public Policy’s Health Administration Program. See the Price School of Public Policy for course requirements.

Gerontology and Planning

The M.S./MPl dual degree is one of few in the nation which combines the knowledge of the older population with the skills needed to plan services for older people. The MPl prepares the graduate for the responsibilities involved in development of public and private institutions and programs. The M.S. indicates a special focus on the older person and the skills to analyze and design programs for this growing population. See the Price School of Public Policy for course requirement.

Gerontology and Law

The M.S./J.D. dual degree combines the knowledge of the older population with understanding of the legal system. The program prepares graduates for a number of roles in both public and private sector organizations. Students are required to complete 110 units of course work, 74 from the Gould School of Law and 36 from the Davis School of Gerontology. The first year is devoted to required law courses, and the second, third and fourth years combine gerontology and law courses. To earn the J.D., all students (including dual degree students) must complete 35 numerically graded law units at USC after the first year. The associate dean may make exceptions to the rule for students enrolled in the law school honors program. See the Gould School of Law for course requirements.

Gerontology and Social Work

The M.S./MSW dual degree offers the student interested in direct service or community organization the credentials most valued in clinical and therapeutic practice. Taken in connection with the social work degree, the M.S. focuses course and fieldwork on the older person and prepares the student for social work with older persons and their families.

In the M.S./MSW dual degree program, the student enrolls primarily in the first year program of the USC School of Social Work. During the summer session, courses are taken in the USC Davis School of Gerontology. Second year courses are taken in both schools and fieldwork during the second year is taken in the School of Gerontology. The research course is taken through the School of Social Work in the student’s concentration area. The School of Gerontology will waive GERO 589 Case Studies in Leadership and Change Management (4 units) and GERO 555 Integrating Gerontology: A Multidisciplinary Approach (4 units) because students enrolled in this program have a primary professional focus on social work.

Gerontology Requirements Units
GERO 510 Physiology of Development and Aging 4
GERO 520 Life Span Developmental Psychology 4
GERO 530 Life Span Developmental Sociology 4
GERO 540 Social Policy and Aging 4
GERO 591 Field Practicum 8
Gerontology electives 8
32
Social Work Requirements Units
SOWK 503 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I 3
SOWK 505 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II 3
SOWK 534 Policy and Practice in Social Service Organizations 3
SOWK 543 Social Work Practice with Individuals 4
SOWK 545 Social Work Practice with Families, Groups and Complex Cases 2
SOWK 562 Social Work Research 3
SOWK 586ab Field Practicum 3-3
SOWK 587ab Integrative Learning for Social Work Practice 2-2
SOWK 611 Leadership in the Social Work Profession and Organizations: Theory and Practice 3
31

In the second half of the social work program, students may enroll in one of four concentrations: Health; World of Work; Mental Health; or Community Organization, Planning and Administration (COPA). All students are required to take SOWK 611 Leadership in the Social Work Profession and Organizations: Theory and Practice. Required courses are selected based on the chosen concentration as follows:

Health Units
SOWK 631 Advanced Theories and Clinical Interventions in Health Care 3
SOWK 632 Program Planning and Evaluation in Health Care 3
SOWK 636 Policy in the Health Care Sector 3
world of work Units
SOWK 671 Clinical Intervention and Advanced Theories in Work Settings 3
SOWK 672 Improving Work Life Through Social Policy and Managing Organizational Development and Change 3
SOWK 673 Program Development, Training, Grant Writing and Program Evaluation in Work Settings 3
Mental Health Units
SOWK 605 Human Development and Mental Health 3
SOWK 625 Evaluation of Research: Mental Health 3
SOWK 645 Clinical Practice in Mental Health Settings 3
community organization, planning, and Administration (COPA) Units
SOWK 629 Evaluation of Research: Community Organization, Planning and Administration 3
SOWK 639 Social Policy for Managers, Planners, and Community Organizers 3
SOWK 648 Management for Community and Social Services 3

Course selection is done only with an academic adviser’s approval.

Program Adaptations

The School of Gerontology waives 12 units. The research course is taken through the School of Social Work in the student’s concentration area, and GERO 593, the research course, and GERO 555 are waived as well as one elective. The School of Social Work waives 12 units.