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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the program have a rolling admissions policy?

We accept students for fall admission only. All application materials must be received by January 15th of the year in which the student intends to enroll.

Which type of student is the program seeking?

The program is seeking curious, articulate, committed, mature, and diverse students. Students should be interested in an interdisciplinary education focused on research, rather than practice, with older adults.

Are GRE scores required for applicants who hold Master’s degrees?

Yes, GRE general test scores are required regardless of the applicant’s prior education. Minimum scores of 150 Verbal, 150 Quantitative, and a 4.5 Analytic Writing Score are most competitive.

Is the TOEFL required of all international applicants?

The TOEFL is required of all international students who do not have either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a U.S. institution.

What are the GRE institutional codes for UMB and UMBC?

The UMB code=5848 and the UMBC code=5835.

What is the 3-4 letter program code needed for completion of the Graduate School application?

The code for the program is "GERO."

What are the track codes to specify in the application?

  • Aging Policy Issues = AGPO
  • Epidemiology of Aging = EPID
  • Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Science s= SCBS

What kinds of writing are appropriate for a writing sample?

The Statement of Academic Goals and Research Interests submitted with your application is used as your writing sample.

Which campus should I apply to?

In general it does not matter whether you apply to UMB or UMBC. It is the same program on both campuses and all applications are reviewed by the same committee. However, the most efficient application process is assisted by applying according to track:

  • Aging Policy Issues - UMBC campus
  • Epidemiology of Aging - UMB campus
  • Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Sciences - UMBC campus

Can I be a part-time student?

Yes, the program admits both part-time and full-time students. The admissions process is the same.

Who do I contact to determine if my application is in order?

Contact the academic coordinator Justine Golden by or phone (410-706-4926).

Is it possible to take classes as a non-degree-seeking student and, if I am later accepted into the program, have the classes count toward the degree?

Yes, it is possible to take courses as a non-degree seeking student. Registration for courses taken as a non-degree seeking student is by permission of the course instructor. Successful completion of a course taken as a non-degree seeking student will not guarantee admission to the Gerontology Program. In general, up to six credits taken as a non-degree seeking student may count toward the degree, if a student is later accepted into the program.

Does the program offer courses through distance education?

Not at the present time.

I’ve been out of school for several years. While two former graduate school professors have agreed to write letters of recommendation, can the third of the required three be a professional recommendation?

It is important that some references be from individuals familiar with your academic performance, both past and present, if possible. However, some references should be recent and may include those from employers, volunteer coordinators, etc.

What are the credit hours for the Doctoral Program in Gerontology?

The Gerontology Ph.D. program requires a minimum of 61 credit hours. Please go to the "Degree Requirements" section for a specific breakdown of credits.

Is there a time limit on the program that one must follow?

The Graduate School policy is that a degree must be completed within 9 years.

Do you accept credits attained from another graduate program at another institution? If so, how many?

You may substitute a maximum of 12 credits from other institutions. It is at the discretion of the Gerontology Program to permit the substitution.

How flexible is the option to take classes at other Maryland institutions?

With prior approval from your advisor and a Program Director, it is possible to take graduate level classes at other University of Maryland institutions and have them apply to the Gerontology Ph.D. degree.

Which types of jobs do students pursue after completing their degree?

Our graduates work in both academic and non-academic fields. The diversity of positions held by our alumni include working at a university teaching and/or conducting research, for AARP as a research analyst, at CMS or other government agencies serving older adults, in private industry, or as a post-doc on an NIH grant.

What is the average number of students accepted each year?

The program admits 4-5 students each fall.