University of Southern California

Davis School of Gerontology

Courses of Instruction

Gerontology (GERO)

The terms indicated are expected but are not guaranteed. For the courses offered during any given term, consult the Schedule of Classes.

GERO 200 Gerontology: The Science of Adult Development (4, FaSp) Introduction to adult development through the lifespan; biological, psychological, and social processes; gerontology as a career for the future.

GERO 310 Physiology of Aging (4, Fa) Effects of normative aging processes on homeostatic mechanisms and how these changes relate to development of disorder and disease in later life. Lecture and discussion. Prerequisite: BISC 220L or BISC 221L.

GERO 320 Psychology of Adult Development (4, FaSp) How psychologists study thinking, memory, emotions, personality, and behavior, and how people change in these throughout adulthood to old age. Recommended preparation: PSYC 100.

GERO 330 Society and Adult Development (4, FaSp) How social relationships affect adults of different ages; the changing contract across generations; interaction of culture, race, family and social values with adult development.

GERO 340 Policy, Values, and Power in an Aging Society (4, FaSp) How Americans’ political values affect public policy. Studies of landmark legislation to explore the social contract between generations and role of governments in social welfare.

GERO 350 Administrative Problems in Aging (2 or 4, Fa) Analysis of the skills, approaches and issues involved in the planning, development, and implementation of programs directed at meeting the needs of older persons.

GERO 380m Diversity in Aging (4) Exploring diversity in the older population and variability in the human aging process.

GERO 385 Transitions in Adulthood (2 or 4) An exploration of the critical issues and transitions in the adult years, including careers, relationships, parenthood, and major turning points for personal development.

GERO 390 Special Problems (1-4) Supervised, individual studies. No more than one registration permitted. Enrollment by petition only.

GERO 402 Housing for the Elderly: Policy, Programs, and Design (2) An overview of housing policies, programs and design for the elderly, including analysis and evaluation of past, current and proposed government programs.

GERO 411L Physiology, Nutrition, and Aging (2 or 4) Explores nutritional needs and the physiological, psychological, and sociological relationships to nutrition. Laboratory experiments in assessment and evaluation.

GERO 412L Exercise and Aging: Principles and Programs (2 or 4) Physiological, psychological, and sociological aspects of exercise. Laboratory involvement in assessment and evaluation of fitness.

GERO 414 Neurobiology of Aging (4, Fa) Age-related changes in nervous system structure and function; relationship of brain changes to changes in cognitive function and perception; Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Lecture and discussion. Prerequisite: BISC 220L or BISC 221L.

GERO 415 Neuroaffective Disorders of Aging (4, Sp) Methods of studying, evaluating, and treating cognitive, psychiatric, and behavioral problems associated with medical conditions of old age.

GERO 416 Health Issues in Adulthood (4, Sp) Physiological, psychological, and social health problems of adults as they are impacted by health choices throughout life.

GERO 421 Managed Care for an Aging Society (4, FaSp) Examines key legislation, policies, practice, and outcomes of managed care and how population aging affects health care delivery.

GERO 423 Psychological Development through Autobiography (4) Introduction to autobiography as a source of individual psychological development, with emphasis on integration of cognitive, emotional, and decision processes.

GERO 435m Women and Aging: Psychological, Social and Political Implications (4, FaSpSm) Problems and resources of the middle-aged and older woman in a changing society; including discrimination, stereotypes, employment, social interaction, etc.

GERO 437 Social and Psychological Aspects of Death and Dying (2 or 4, FaSp) Introduction and critical survey of the current issues, concepts, and research of the social and psychological aspects of death and dying.

GERO 440 Biodemography of Aging (4) Consideration of the biological and social-cultural factors that govern the evolution of life spans and the life of humans and selected animal models. Prerequisite: BISC 112 or BISC 113 or BISC 120 or BISC 121; recommended preparation: statistics.

GERO 451 Policy and Program Development in Aging (4) Policy trends and changing roles of local, state, and federal agencies in planning, managing, and evaluating programs in comprehensive, coordinated systems of service for older persons.

GERO 452 Economic Issues and the Aged (2 or 4) Analysis of economic factors associated with the aged; implications for individuals, society, and the economy; lifecycle economics, retirement, income maintenance, and social security.

GERO 461 Seminar in Molecular and Computational Biology (2, FaSpSm) (Enroll in BISC 461)

GERO 470 Aging and Business (4, Fa) An introduction to the dynamic roles of business in an aging society focusing on workplace issues, marketing to mature consumers, and careers for business gerontologists.

GERO 475 Ethical Issues in Geriatric Health Care (4) Biomedical ethical issues that are encountered in working with geriatric patients. Examination of ethical theory and the application of theory to clinical settings.

GERO 481 Case Management for Older Adults (4, Fa) Overview of the concepts, characteristics, skills, and clinical issues of case management in a variety of settings serving older persons.

GERO 483 Global Health and Aging (4, Fa) Overview of the impact aging populations will have on global institutions from a variety of perspectives. Examination of public health policy issues.

GERO 490x Directed Research (1-8, max 12) Individual research and readings. Not available for graduate credit.

GERO 491 Practicum (2-8, max 8, FaSpSm) Supervised experience in one or more community agencies. Graded CR/NC.

GERO 492 Senior Seminar (4, Sp) An in-depth integration of major research and professional themes in the study of human development and aging.

GERO 493 Longevity and Death among Ancient and Modern European Populations (Italy) (2, SpSm) The discoveries of ancient humans and bodies that have been preserved illuminate the connection between diet, health, and disease.

GERO 495 Practicum in Geriatric Care (4, FaSpSm) Supervised experience in a geriatric health care setting which allows students to put theories and ideas into practice. Graded CR/NC. Lecture, discussion, and fieldwork.

GERO 496 Introduction to Clinical Geriatrics (4) Medical problems of older adults emphasizing common geriatric syndromes, chronic illness, and alternative approaches to primary health care of older persons and their families. Upper division standing. Prerequisite: BISC 220L or BISC 221L.

GERO 497abc Honors Seminar (2, 2, 2-4, FaSpSm) Advanced study of empirical approaches in gerontology. Preparation, progress, presentation, and evaluation of Senior Honors Thesis research. Prerequisite: standing in Gerontology Honors Program.

GERO 498 Nutrition, Genes, Longevity and Diseases (4, Sm) Examines the role of nutrition and genes and the impact each has on longevity and diseases, particularly diseases related to aging. Offered in Genoa, Italy.

GERO 499 Special Topics (2-4, max 8, FaSpSm) Examination of special topics in the area of gerontology.

GERO 500 Perspectives on a Changing Society: An Introduction to Aging (4, Fa) Analysis of physical, mental, and social age-related changes as well as implications of population aging trends for individuals and society.

GERO 501 Applied Legal and Regulatory Issues in Aging (4, Fa) Analysis of shifting legal and regulatory issues affecting the delivery of aging services.

GERO 502 Marketing and Shifts in Consumer Decision Making (4, Fa) Branding, marketing, and consumer behavior through examination of established, transitioning and emerging aging services and organizations.

GERO 504 Current Issues in Aging Services Management (4, Sp) Basic skills needed for an executive working in an aging services environment. Recommended for entry level administrators and managers.

GERO 505 Behavioral and Social Consequences of Design and Environment (4, Fa) Examination of the behavioral and social consequences of design and the environment to create a more satisfying physical environment for both frail and active older adults.

GERO 506 Technological Innovations in Aging (Gerontechnology) (4, Sp) Reflections on shifts in preferences for aging in place and the market ramifications of innovations in science and technology on older consumers and service providers.

GERO 507 End of Life Care (4, Sp) Examination of programs related to end of life care. Cultural competencies in working with a diverse population on end of life issues.

GERO 508 The Mind and Body Connection through the Lifespan (4, FaSpSm) An introduction to mind-body processes involved in healthy aging. Examines the interplay of emotions, beliefs, and behaviors in shaping health-relevant biological processes.

GERO 510 Physiology of Development and Aging (4, Sp) Examination of lifespan physiology of human development, growth, and aging; major emphasis in the physiology of the later years and implications for health maintenance.

GERO 512 Communicating Nutrition and Health (2, Fa) Overview of current understanding of the dietary and nutritional needs of individuals across their lifespan. Open only to graduate students.

GERO 513 Fundamentals of Nutrition (3, Fa) A study of the principles of human nutrition throughout the life cycle. Current topics and controversies in nutrition and health are discussed. Open only to graduate students.

GERO 517 Advanced Therapeutic Nutrition (3, Fa) Introduce students to a variety of methods related to the planning, assessment, and interpretation of clinical and epidemiological studies related to nutrition. Open only to graduate students.

GERO 518 Current Topics in Clinical Nutrition (4, Sp) Discuss various factors that affect nutrition and aging. Topics include allergies in nutrition, food toxins, weight factors, and prevention and treatment of multiple organ systems. Open only to graduate students.

GERO 519 Recent Advances in Neurobiology and Endocrinology of Aging (2 or 4) Theories of the biology of aging and the effects of age on functional integrity of the total organism.

GERO 520 Life Span Developmental Psychology (2 or 4, FaSm) Behavior from adulthood to old age; study of major components of behavior such as perception, cognitive processes, personality, intergenerational relationships, sexuality, and life styles.

GERO 522 Counseling Older Adults and Their Families (2 or 4, Sp) Theory and application of assessment and intervention techniques with older adults and their families. Topics include: treatment modalities, psychopathology, ethical and legal issues, brain disorders.

GERO 529 Seminar in Psychological Aspects of Aging (2 or 4) Psychological changes in the later years; perception; sensory factors; intelligence and memory; psychophysiological measures; personality; psychopathology.

GERO 530 Life Span Developmental Sociology (4, Sp) Life span perspective on the sociological theories of marriage and the family, inter-generational relationships, work and retirement, and other forms of social organization.

GERO 540 Social Policy and Aging (4, Fa) Major legislation and programs; examination and analysis of policy-making and political processes affecting development and implementation of programs for older persons.

GERO 541 Health Care Delivery Models: Comparative Approaches (4) Examination of current trends and future prospects of finance and reimbursement systems. Topics include major legislation and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

GERO 543 Continuum of Care: Systems Perspective (4) Structural and organizational aspects of institutional and community programs; public policies, fiscal management, regulation, administration; obstacles to interagency coordination; the continuum of care.

GERO 550 Administration and System Management in Programs for Older Adults (4, Sp) Application of theories of administration and system management to public and volunteer programs and services for older adults including residential institutions and community programs.

GERO 551 Applied Policy Skills in Aging (4, Sp) An overview and application of techniques and approaches used in the definition and analysis of policy problems in aging. Prerequisite: GERO 540.

GERO 554 Evaluation: Incorporating Evidence-Based Practices (4, Sp) Examination of the evaluation of health and service delivery in aging services industries.

GERO 555 Integrating Gerontology: A Multidisciplinary Approach (4, Sp) Aging (commonalities and distinctions) as addressed by biologists, psychologists, and sociologists. Topics include research perspectives, normative aging, functional decline and disability, and aging and society.

GERO 556 Program Development (2 or 4) Principles and procedures of assessing needs, collecting resources, designing activities, and implementing programs for older people in a variety of community and institutional settings.

GERO 560 Micronutrients, Health, and Longevity (4, FaSpSm)Explores the role of micronutrients related to nutrition health and longevity. Open only to senior and graduate students.

GERO 570 Corporate Policies and Aging (4) An introduction to the evolving roles of corporations in an aging society including such topics as retaining older workers, retiree benefits, and the mature consumer.

GERO 585 The Aging Family (2 or 4, Sm) Family processes and structure in families with aged persons will be reviewed, including marital and family therapy and intervention strategies.

GERO 589 Case Studies in Leadership and Change Management (4, Fa) Examination of case studies of issues affecting the aging services industries and the role industry leaders play in reacting to change.

GERO 590 Directed Research (1-12, FaSpSm) Research leading to the master’s degree. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

GERO 591 Field Practicum (1-12, max 12, FaSpSm) Supervised experiential learning in one or more organizations that serve older adults; includes a regularly scheduled seminar. Graded CR/NC.

GERO 592 Multidisciplinary Research Seminar in Aging (2, max 8, FaSp) Multidisciplinary perspectives on current research in gerontology, including physiology, neurobiology, health and medicine, psychology, sociology, and public policy. Topics will change each semester.

GERO 593 Research Methods (4, Fa) An introduction to research methods and their application to gerontology including problem formation, research design, data collection, descriptive and analytic statistics, interpretation, and report preparation.

GERO 594abz Master’s Thesis (2-2-0, FaSpSm) Credit on acceptance of thesis. Graded IP/CR/NC.

GERO 599 Special Topics (2-4, max 8, FaSpSm) Examination of special topics in the area of gerontological study.

GERO 600 Geroscience: Molecular and Cellular Biology (4, Fa) Emphasizes the molecular and cellular biology of aging and age-related pathology and other aspects of basic aging research, including evolutionary biology, demography, epidemiology and bioinformatics.

GERO 601 Molecular Genetics of Aging (4, Sp) Explores concepts of molecular and genetic regulation of healthy aging, lifespan, and age-related diseases.

GERO 602 Seminar on Discoveries in Biogerontology (2, Sp) Critical analyses of primary scientific data and interpretations presented in the literature.

GERO 603 Research Integrity (2, Fa) Explores scientific integrity, mentoring, scientific record keeping, authorship, peer review, animal and human experimentation, conflict of interest, data ownership and intellectual property, and genetic technology.

GERO 610 The Aging Society (4, Sp) The interaction of demographic and economic processes, with emphasis on how the contemporary nature of these interactions influence public policy response to an aging population.

GERO 613 Health and Aging (4, Sp) Examination of changes in health related to age, changes in health in populations over time, and the key health issues facing older persons.

GERO 614L Laboratory Rotations in the Biology of Aging (4,8, FaSp) Mandatory organized laboratory rotation. Allows students to participate in laboratory activities. Designed to help select dissertation advisor and research.

GERO 620 Psychology of Aging (4, Fa) Overview of topics in the psychology of aging. Includes research and theory bearing on cognitive, personality, adaptive, and social processes throughout the adult life span. Open only to doctoral students. Recommended preparation: undergraduate course work in psychology.

GERO 628 Theories of Aging (4) An examination of the nature and adequacy of existing explanations of aging. Focus will be on psychological, sociological, and biological paradigms, and on the epistemology of theory.

GERO 640 Data Analysis Strategies (4, FaSpSm) Hands-on experience in developing and testing hypotheses using various types of databases, data management and analysis strategies and written presentation of findings. Recommended preparation: GERO 593.

GERO 645 Politics and Policy Processes in an Aging Society (4, Fa) Dynamics of the policy-making process in the context of aging policy in the United States; focus on the political system and its social dynamics.

GERO 666 Free Radical Chemistry, Biology, and Medicine (4, Fa) Explores the chemical and physical-chemical nature of free radicals and related reactive species. Examines the roles of antioxidants and how they work. Recommended preparation: Course work in biology and chemistry.

GERO 790 Research (1-12, FaSpSm) Research leading to the doctorate. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

GERO 794abcdz Doctoral Dissertation (2-2-2-2-0, FaSpSm) Credit on acceptance of dissertation. Graded IP/CR/NC.