Fundamentals of Gerontology

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. 

"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:

August 26 – September 27, 2019

"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

Program Cost and CE Credits

This program is available exclusively to ASA members to register. The cost of each course is $500 for ASA members and $650 for nonmembers (this includes a one year ASA Green membership). If you are not a member of ASA, and would like to register for online courses, click here to join ASA now, or you can join when you register.

ASA is able to offer CE credits from select accreditation providers to individuals who successfully complete a course. Click here for more CE credit information.


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

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Week 2

Theories in the Sociology of Aging Societies

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Week 3

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

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Week 4

Biology and Biomarkers of Aging and Key Diseases Associated With Aging

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Week 5

Policy and Programs Affecting Older Americans

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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