ASA is the essential resource to cultivate leadership, advance knowledge, and strengthen the skills of those who work with, and on behalf of, older adults.

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Fundamentals of Gerontology

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An Online Course Offered by the American Society on Aging and the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology

The University of Southern California is home to the oldest and largest school of gerontology in the world—the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. ASA and USC have joined forces to offer an opportunity—exclusively available to ASA members—to earn a Certificate of Completion in Fundamentals of Gerontology from USC in a convenient and flexible online format.

Over the course of five weeks, USC faculty will take you through the fundamental concepts of gerontology and provide practical and theoretical perspectives to help you gain a broader understanding of the field. 

Beginning with our 2017 course offerings, ASA is able to offer CEUs from select accreditation providers to individuals who successfully complete a course. Click here for more CEU information.

"ASA’s Fundamentals of Gerontology was a great experience! The content was rich and engaging. Thanks very much for the excellent reading list. This course was a high value investment in my professional development!"

Many thanks,
Charlene E. Depner Ph.D, Assistant Director
Center for Families, Children & the Courts
Oakland CA

Course Offerings: Register for April 16 to May 18 course | Register for August 27 to September 28 course

"As our society continues to age rapidly, Fundamentals of Gerontology: What Every ASA Member Should Know provides both a broad overview and a deeper understanding of gerontology and the challenges faced by aging adults, their families, and their communities. With nuanced coverage of aging topics presented by our USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology faculty members, the program provides ASA members direct access to state-of-the-art, evidence-based knowledge from top experts at the oldest and largest school of gerontology in the world." 

-Pinchas Cohen M.D., Dean of the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
"No other organization in the field of aging represents the diversity of settings and professional disciplines reached by ASA. At our core is a commitment to cultivate leadership, advance knowledge and strengthen the skills of our members and others who work with and on behalf of older adults. Our collaboration with the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology responds to our members’ desire for a common body of knowledge that connects their varied multidisciplinary backgrounds. Together, we've kept the fee low so the accessibility can be high, and we hope every ASA member will enroll in this program."
-Robert G. Stein, President/CEO, American Society on Aging

Cost of program*


This program is available exclusively to ASA members. If you are not a member of ASA, and would like to register for Fundamentals of Gerontology, click here to join ASA.


Week 1

Part I. Introduction: Why Study Aging? Multidisciplinary Views of Key Questions in Gerontology

Part II. Aging by the Numbers: Demographic Trends, Projections and Census Data Exercises

more info

Week 2

Theories in the Sociology of Aging Societies

more info

Week 3

Psychological Perspective of Aging: Cognitive Changes, Personality and Mental Health

more info

Week 4

Biology and Biomarkers of Aging and Key Diseases Associated With Aging

more info

Week 5

Policy and Programs Affecting Older Americans

more info

USC Faculty Include:

Pinchas Cohen, M.D.

Expertise in neurodegeneration, cancer and diabetes. Cohen is well known for the emerging science of mitochondrial-derived peptides. Cohen is also Dean of the Davis School of Gerontology.

Eileen Crimmins, Ph.D.

Expertise in Demography of older populations, health and mortality, socioeconomic differences in health, biological risk, and global aging. In 2012, she was elected to the Institute of Medicine National Academy of Sciences.

Jon Pynoos, Ph.D.

Expertise in urban planning, fall prevention, housing, long-term care, aging-in-place.

Julie Bates, B.A., M.S.

Expertise in diverse gender, cultural, and ethnic aging populations and the Affordable Care Act.

Ed Schneider, M.D.

Expertise in polypharmacy: overuse of drugs in the aging population, Long term care costs, and geriatrics.

George Shannon, Ph.D.

Expertise in the sociology of aging: life course development and creativity of aging.

Cleopatra Abdou, Ph.D.

Expertise in intergenerational health and health disparities. Dr. Adbou’s research investigates the interplay of sociocultural and psychobiological determinants of health and well-being. Her interdisciplinary research highlights cultural and psychosocial resources that promote flourishing and buffer stress.

Aaron Hagedorn, Ph.D.

Expert in evidence-based health care interventions, measurement of life lived in poor health or disability, and technological interventions that can enhance quality of life for older adults.

*Tuition for ASA/USC online courses does not qualify as a tax deductible expense on IRS Form 1098-T

Register for April 16 to May 18 course
Register for August 27 to September 28 course

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ASA Washington, DC Roundtable Solo Aging: A 360-Degree Perspective Event Details
2018 NASW National Conference Event Details



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