Gerontology (GERO)

This interdisciplinary program is sponsored jointly by:

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and
The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).

Program Faculty:
(The list includes all affiliates from both UMBC and UMB.)

LESLIE MORGAN, Co-Director and Graduate Program Director

ECKERT, J. KEVIN, (Sociology/Anthropology, Erickson School of Aging Studies), Ph.D.,Northwestern University; Aging and longterm care, social/cultural gerontology, research design/qualitative methods, environment and aging, caregiving
GOLDBERG, ANDREW P., (Medicine), M.D.,State University of New York, Brooklyn; Metabolic and cardiovascular functioning in the aging
GRUBER-BALDINI, ANN, (Medicine), Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University; Gerontology, cognitive functioning, long-term care, lifespan development
GURALNIK, JACK, (Medicine), Ph.D. MD, University of California, Berkeley; physical functioning, disability, measurement of functioning, physical functioning, demographic changes, epidemiology of aging
HOCHBERG, MARC, (Medicine), M.D., M.P.H., The Johns Hopkins University; Epidemiology of osteoporosis and related fractures in the elderly
KITTNER, STEVEN, (Medicine), M.D., M.P.H., University of Pennsylvania; Neuro-epidemiology with primary focus on stroke epidemiology
MAGAZINER, JAY, (Medicine), Ph..D, M.S., Hyg., University of Chicago; Epidemiology, hip fracture recovery, long-term care, methods for studying older people, psychosocial aspects of health
MILLER, NANCY A., (Public Policy), Ph.D., University of Chicago; Health policy and politics, disability and aging, long-term care
MITCHELL, BRAXTON D., (Medicine), Ph.D., University of Michigan; Epidemiology of aging, genetic epidemiology of complex diseases
MORGAN, LESLIE A., (Sociology/ Anthropology, Erickson School), Ph.D., University of Southern California; Older women, later-life families, housing for the frail elderly
MORTON, PATRICIA GONCE, RN, (Nursing), Ph.D., ACNP, FAAN, University of Maryland, Baltimore; Critical care, cardiovascular acute and critical care electrocardiology
RESNICK, BARBARA, (Nursing), Ph.D., C.R.N.P., F.A.A.N., F.A.A.N.P., University of Maryland, Baltimore; Motivation in older adults, particularly with regard to functional activities
RODGERS, MARY, (Medicine), Ph.D., P.T., Pennsylvania State University; Physical performance measures, aerobic exercise in stroke patients
RONCH, JUDAH L., (The Erickson School) Ph.D., Yeshiva University; Effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, long term care industry SHULDINER, ALAN R., (Medicine), M.D., Harvard Medical School; Genetics of agerelated diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension and osteoporosis
STUART, BRUCE, (Pharmacy) Ph.D., Washington State University; Geriatric drug use, health economics, health services research, pharmaceutical policy
TERRIN, MICHAEL, (EPM Gerontology) MD, CM, MPH, Johns Hopkins University; Clinical Trails, pulmonary disease, cardiovascular epidemiology, data coordinating center
WALDSTEIN, SHARI R., (Psychology), Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh; Cardiovascular disease and cognitive aging
WALZ, BRUCE J., (Emergency Health Services), Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park; Emergency medical services, health care provider education
WEISS, SHEILA SMITH, (Pharmacy) Ph.D., FISPE, University of Maryland; Pharmaceutical risk, risk identification, risk management
WHITALL, JILL, (Medicine), Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park; Development and learning of inter-limb coordination
ZUCKERMAN, ILENE, (Pharmacy), Ph.D., University of Maryland; Medication appropriateness in the elderly

Associate Professors
BAUMGARTEN, MONA, (Medicine), Ph.D., McGill University; Aging, epidemiologic methods, pressure ulcers, dementia
DEFORGE, BRUCE R., (Social Work), Ph.D., University of Maryland College Park; Sociology of mental health, psychosocial aspects of health, patient-provider relationships
DORSEY, SUSAN, (Nursing), Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore; Genomics, Bioinformatics, Gene sequencing. Neuropathies. Basic and translational research, Genetics
FORRESTER, LARRY, (Medicine), Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park; Stroke rehabilitation using exercise protocols
KELLEHER, CATHERINE, (Nursing), Sc.D., M.P.H., M.S., R.N., The Johns Hopkins University; Health policy, home- and community-based care
MYSLINSKI, NORBERT R., (Dental), Ph.D. University of Illinois; Neuroscience of aging
NAHM, EUN-SHIM, (Nursing), RN, Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore; Health care informatics and gerontology, using computer technology to improve the health-related quality of life of older adults
ORWIG, DENISE L., (Medicine), Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University; Bio-behavioral aspects of aging, pharmaco-epidemiology
PICOT, SANDRA FULTON, (Nursing) Ph.D.,University of Maryland, Baltimore; Family caregivers of the elderly, African-American caregivers, health disparities
QUINN, CHARLENE C., (Medicine), Ph.D., R.N., The Johns Hopkins University; Health services research and policy related to longterm care
SCHUMACHER, JOHN G., (Sociology/ Anthropology), Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University; Ethics, decision-making, hospital quality of care
SHAUGHNESSY, MARIANNE, (Nursing), Ph.D., C.R.N.P., University of Pennsylvania; Geriatric rehabilitation, stroke recovery, motivation to exercise
SHAYA, FADIA T. (Pharmacy and Medicine), Ph.D., M.P.H., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Geriatric/vulnerable populations drug use, chronic disease, drug safety, pharmaco-economics and pharmaco-epidemiology, community partnerships
SORKIN, JOHN, (Medicine), M.D., Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University; Changes that occur with aging in metabolism, biostatistics, informatics

Assistant Professors
ALLEY, DAWN, (Medicine), Ph.D., University of Southern California; How lifecourse social and biological influences drive health disparities
BROWN, JESSICA, (Medicine). Ph.D., UMBC; relations among menopausal vasomotor symptoms, sleep disturbance and mood
CAGLE, JOHN, (Social Work), Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University, care at end of life
CASADO, BANGHWA, (Social Work), Ph.D., MSW, University of Houston; Communication-based Long-term Care, immigration and cultural adjustment
CHENG, YU CHING, (Medicine), Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, genetic and environmental factors that predispose individuals to a variety of complex diseases, including stroke, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease
D’ADAMO, CHRISTOPHER, (Medicine), Ph.D., University of Maryland Baltimore, synergistic effects of diet, exercise, and genetics on the prevention and treatment of chronic disease
GALIK, BETH, (Nursing), PhD., RN, University of Maryland, Baltimore; Assisted living; dementia
HARRIS-WALLACE, BRANDY, Sociology/Anthropology), Ph.D., The Florida State University, aging and the lifecourse, sociology of health and aging, qualitative research methods, survey research methods, sociology of gender, and critical race theory
HERRERA, ANGELICA, (Sociology/Anthropology) DrPH, Loma Linda University, vulnerable older ethnic minorities, community based settings, quality of life, chronic disease management
HUANG, YI, (Mathematics/Psychology), Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University; Casual inference, estimating treatment, intervention, exposure effect
MACMILLAN, KELLEY R., (Social Work), Ph.R., ACSW, The University of Kansas; Health, aging, evaluation of State community-based services for older adults
MAIR, CHRISTINE, (Sociology/Anthropology), Ph.D., North Carolina State Univ.; life course, aging, and health social ties and social policy inequality and globalization
MCARDLE, PATRICK, (Medicine), Ph.D., University of Maryland Baltimore; Data architecture and data mining application as relevant to large genome wide analyses
MICHAEL, KATHERINE, (Nursing), PhD, RN, CRRN, The Johns Hopkins University; stroke, function
RATTINGER, GAIL, (Pharmacy), Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, sex differences in treatments and outcomes of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias
SACCO, PAUL, (Social Work), PhD, LCSW.,Washington University in St. Louis; substance abuse, problem gambling, research methods
TOM, SARAH, (Pharmacy), Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, women's health issues, sleep research, and osteoporosis.
YERGES-ARMSTRONG, LAURA, (Medicine), Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, molecular epidemiology of complex diseases

Adjunct Professors
FERRUCCI, LUIGI, Ph.D., University of Florence, Italy; Casual pathways leading to progressive physical and cognitive decline in older persons.

Associate Research Scientist
FRANKOWSKI, ANN CHRISTINE, (Sociology/Anthropology), Ph.D., Indiana University; anthropology of aging, culture of long-term care, power and control, gender and sexuality

Degree Offered:


Program Description

The Doctoral Program in Gerontology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School, provides an interdisciplinary and integrative perspective on the process of human aging and the experiences of growing old. The approach acknowledges the complex, dynamic and bi-directional relationship between individuals and the historical, political, economic, environmental, psychological, social, cultural and biological contexts in which aging occurs. Program emphases include socio-cultural and behavioral gerontology, the health of older persons and populations, and policy for the elderly. The goal of the program is to train a new generation of scholars conversant with interdisciplinary and integrative paradigms and research designs to examine the unique, reciprocal and dynamic nature of aging in context.

UMB’s seven professional schools (dental, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health and social work) and UMBC’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences departments (economics, public policy, psychology and sociology/anthropology) combine to make this mission possible by offering three concentrations of study: social, cultural and behavioral sciences; epidemiology of aging; and policy for the elderly.

The program also offers a combined program between gerontology and applied sociology and a dual degree program between gerontology and epidemiology. Students can earn a doctorate in gerontology and a master's in sociology or epidemiology.

Degree Requirements

The minimum requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Gerontology is a total of 67 credit hours distributed as follows:

Core: (21 credit hours)
GERO 672: Issues in Aging Policy
GERO 681: Epidemiology of Aging
GERO 700: Socio-cultural Gerontology
GERO 711: Biology of Aging
GERO 672: Issues in Aging Policy
GERO 786: Psychological Aspects of Aging
GERO 681: Epidemiology of Aging
GERO 750: Gerontology Theory and Methods Seminar I
GERO 751: Gerontology Theory and Methods Seminar II

Research Methods/Statistics: (12 credit hours)

  1. Six credits of foundations in statistics/methods (from an approved list and appropriate to research specialization)
  2. Six credits of advanced disciplinary analytical courses based on research specialization

Track Specialization: (nine credit hours)
Students will select from a customized menu of specialization courses.

Electives: (six credit hours)
Courses to be selected from the remaining pool of applicable courses in aging in consultation with the major advisor.

Ethics Course: (one credit)
A course focusing on professional and research ethics

Dissertation: (18 credits)
Research on doctoral dissertation under the direction of a faculty advisor.

Comprehensive Examination:
An examination of core gerontological knowledge, focusing on the content of core courses listed above. Typically to be completed at the end of the second year by full-time students, upon successful completion of all core courses.

Program Admission

Admission is competitive. Applications are accepted for fall admission only. All application materials must be received by Feb. 1 of the year in which the student intends to enroll. Three letters of recommendation, GRE scores, transcripts, a written statement and personal interview are required of all applicants. The TOEFL is required for all international students who do not have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a U.S. institution. All original application documents must be sent directly to the Graduate School, not to the graduate program.

Anyone interested in applying should contact:
Justine Golden, MA
Academic Coordinator, UMB
660 W. Redwood St., HH 200,
Baltimore, MD 21201

Resources and Facilities

Faculty research and instruction spans the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and schools of dentistry, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and social work. Research centers and programs contributing to the program include: the Baltimore Hip Studies, the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, the Geriatrics and Gerontology Education and Research Program, the Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center, the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research, the Peter Lamy Center for Drug Therapy and Aging, the University of Maryland Center for Research on Aging, and the Center for Aging Studies at UMBC.

Financial Assistance

The program’s commitment is to fund students in their first year and to make every effort to provide funding in the second year. Such funding may involve state support and/or extramural research. Every effort will be made to fund students for subsequent years in the program; however, such funding is contingent on grant funds and the match of faculty and student research interests. As such, students are encouraged to work with their advisors to secure funding beyond their initial two years in the program.


Core Courses

GERO 672
Issues in Aging Policy [3]

This is an upper-level undergraduate or introuductory graduate course on issues in aging policy. It provides an overview of the salient issues in aging policy and provides the student with a context for understanding the public policy process. The course will provide basic information and knowledge that will be useful to the student in more advanced policy-related studies in aging and health. Note: Also listed as SOCY 672.

GERO 681
Epidemiology of Aging [3]

This core course covers applications of the principle and methods of epidemiology and preventive medicine to the study of aging. There is a review of health assessment techniques that are potentially useful for conducting epidemiological studies of older people; the epidemiology of selected diseases common to old age; primary, secondary and tertiary prevention, as applied to older people, focusing on psycho-social and environmental aspects of health; and differing ideas of long-term care and its role in the prevention, intervention and treatment of illness in older people. Students learn how to evaluate and present research in a specific area of gerontological epidemiology with faculty supervision. Note: Also listed as PREV 681.

GERO 700
Sociocultural Gerontology [3]

A required advanced interdisciplinary seminar addressing the fundamental concepts, theories and interests of social scientific inquiry on aging and the aged. Topics include: social demographic aspects of aging in the United States and elsewhere; the cultural contexts of age as a basis for social status, stratification and social organization; societal change and aging; the history and development of social scientific theory and methodology in gerontology.

GERO 711
Biology of Aging [3]

This course provides opportunities to learn about several aspects of biological aging. They include what it is; how it happens; what effects it has on the structure and operations of the human body; how it affects social, psychological and other aspects of life; how it is related to diseases; and what can be done about it.

GERO 786
Psychological Aspects of Aging [3]

A core course that examines psychological and biological changes associated with aging. The topics of the course include theories of aging, research methods of aging, learning, memory, intelligence and problemsolving, personality, stress and coping with illness. Emphasis is placed on the contribution of longitudinal studies to understanding the individual aging process. Note: Also listed as PSYC 786.

Required Methods Courses

GERO 750
Gerontology Theory/Methods Seminar I [3]

The first of a two-semester sequence integrating theory and methods in gerontology. The course provides students with the information and skills to think like a gerontologist, using both theory and methods unique to the field and understanding the language and techniques used by a wide range of gerontological researchers. Students completing this sequence will be able to approach problems from an interdisciplinary perspective, “speak the language” of gerontology across disciplinary barriers of jargon, employ the work of contributing disciplines in their own research and work as part of an interdisciplinary research team.

GERO 751
Gerontology Theory and Methods Seminar II [3]

The second of a two-semester sequence integrating theory and methods in gerontology. The course provides students with the information and skills to think like a gerontologist. Key to these understandings is reading, evaluating and understanding the connections between research questions, theory and appropriate methods of research. Application of critical thinking skills and being able to bridge both linguistic and methodological variations in an interdisciplinary field are emphasized. Students completing this sequence will be able to employ the work of contributing disciplines in their own research, produce a “real world” proposal for research and work as part of an interdisciplinary research team.


GERO 703
Policy Analysis of Aging Issues [3]

This required core course will help students understand how and why aging policies reflect the political system in which they are enacted and implemented. Further, students will learn how research can inform and possibly transform the policy process.

GERO 742
Economics of Aging [3]

The main objective of this course is to provide students with the basic tools necessary to understand, critique and evaluate alternatives to issues in aging that have economic implications. The course is divided into four main sections. The first part of the course familiarizes students with tools used in microeconomic analysis. This section will also provide students with necessary computer related activities to obtain and process data for economic/policy analysis. The second part of the course will focus on understanding issues at the macro level. Accordingly, this part will address the nature and magnitude of the current issues, implications of these issues for the future and issues that need to be addressed to increase income and health security in old age. The third part of the course will examine the circumstances under which current programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other related welfare programs that address economic and health security in old age were implemented, their performance under current circumstances and issues related to their continuation. The final part of the course is designed to view issues discussed in prior units through an aging or life-course perspective that emphasizes the impact of events and issues in younger ages on income and health security in old age.

GERO 801
Independent Study [1-3]

The student selects a topic of professional interest and studies with a graduate faculty member who is competent in that field. Students will investigate issues related to the elderly in-depth.


GERO 898
Pre-Candidacy Doctoral Research [3-9]

Research on doctoral dissertation conducted under the direction of a faculty advisor before candidacy.

GERO 899
Doctoral Dissertation Research [9]

Research on doctoral dissertation under the direction of a faculty advisor. Note: A minimum of 18 credit hours are required for the Ph.D. degree.

Other Available Courses from Various Departments

ECON 600: Policy Consequences of Economic Analysis [3]
ECON 611: Econometric Methods I [3]
ECON 612: Econometric Methods II [3]
ECON 652: Health Economics [3]
EDUC 605: The Adult Learner [3]
LAW 516J: Health Care Law and Policy
LAW 522J: Critical Issues in Health Care
NURS 814: Design and Analysis for Non-Experimental Nursing Research [3]
NURS 815: Qualitative Methods in Nursing Research [3]
NURS 816: Multi-variate Modeling Healthcare [4]
NURS 817: Longitudinal Designs in Health Care Research[3]
PHSR 701: Research Methods I [3]
PHSR 702: Research Methods II [3]
PREV 600: Principles of Epidemiology [3]
PREV 619: Introduction to SAS [1]
PREV 620: Principles of Biostatistics [3]
PREV 659: Observational Studies in Epidemiology [3]
PREV 701: Cancer Epidemiology [3]
PREV 702: Advanced Quantitative Methods in Epidemiology [2]
PREV 705: Pharmaco-Epidemiology [3]
PREV 709: Health Services Research [3]
PREV 711: Genetic Epidemiology [3]
PREV 716: Chronic Disease Epidemiology [3]
PREV 720: Statistical Methods in Epidemiology [3]
PREV 721: Regression Analysis [2]
PREV 723: Survival Analysis [2]
PREV 749: Infectious Disease Epidemiology [3]
PREV 758: Health Survey Research Methods [3]
PREV 801: Longitudinal Analysis [3]
PREV 802: Statistics for Molecular Biology [2]
PREV 803: Clinical Trials and Experimental Epidemiology [3]
PSYC 611: Data Analytic Procedures I [3]
PSYC 711: Data Analytic Procedures II [3]
PSYC 713: Longitudinal Data Analysis [3]
PSYC 715: Measurement [3]
PSYC 717: Structural Equation Modeling [3]
PUBL 601: Political and Social Context of the Policy Process [3]
PUBL 603: Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis [3]
PUBL 605 Advanced Research and Evaluation Techniques [3]
PUBL 607: Statistical Applications in Evaluation Research [3]
PUBL 608: Applied Multivariate Analysis [3]
PUBL 610E: Global Aging and the Future of Social Insurance [3]
PUBL 611: Causal Inference in Program Evaluation [3]
PUBL 618: Issues in Health Care Finance and Service Delivery [3]
PUBL 652: Politics of Health [3]
SOCY/PUBL 600: Research Methodology [3]
SOCY/PUBL 604: Statistical Analysis [3]
SOCY 605: Advanced Research and Evaluation Techniques [3]
SOCY 606: Social Inequality and Social Policy [3]
SOCY 619: Qualitative Methods [3]
SOCY 620: Social Epidemiology [3]
SOCY 630: Sociology of Aging [3]
SOCY 631: Family and Aging in Society [3]
SOCY 632: Work and Retirement [3]
SOCY 634: Gender and the Life Course [3]
SOCY 652: Healthcare Organization and Delivery [3]
SOCY 681: Social and Institutional Roles of Nonprofits [3]
SOCY 685: Nonprofits, Internal Operations and External Relations [3]
SOCY 698: Adv. Selected Topic: Aging and Health in Diverse Context [3]
SOWK 726: Aging and Social Policy [3]
SOWK 800: Social Welfare Policy [3]

*Courses selected in consultation with the faculty advisor