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College of Arts & Sciences announces revisions to Gerontology minor

VERMILLION, S.D. -- With an elderly population anticipated to increase significantly during the next decade, the University of South Dakota is modifying its Gerontology program to meet the needs of USD’s curriculum and South Dakota’s aging citizens.

USD’s Gerontology minor is designed to accompany any major and is especially recommended for students seeking careers in health care. The revised program has more required courses and fewer electives, with the course selections updated. The total number of credit hours in the minor remains unchanged at 18. According to Emily Haddad, associate dean, College of Arts & Sciences, the modifications reflect the College’s expectation that the gerontology minor will appeal to students in health science majors or students with an interest in human service and medical professions.

“To replace a nursing course no longer offered, an especially relevant health services administration course was moved from elective to required,” noted Haddad, who added that the gerontology minor remains an interdisciplinary program within the College of Arts & Sciences. “The additional courses contribute perspectives and knowledge from a range of fields, including anthropology, ethics, law and psychology. We believe that in revised form, the gerontology minor will be a practical and informative option for students.”

Program requirements include a health services administration course, Gerontology and Long-Term Care; a psychology course, Research in Aging; a sociology class, Sociology of Aging; and Social Work with Aging Populations and People with Disabilities – part of the USD social work curriculum. Electives range from Medical Anthropology to Communication Problems of the Elderly.

The revisions to the Gerontology minor were approved last month by the South Dakota Board of Regents and are now part of the 2012-13 curriculum at USD. For more information about the revisions or to learn more about the gerontology minor, please contact the College of Arts & Sciences at (605) 677-5221 or email


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News